I messed up enough so you don’t have to
So you are both ready. For nine months you both have found a renewed love, wanted to kill each other, fought, cried, and laughed, or you had a surrogate or you are adopting. Whatever the terms it does not change the fact that there will be a child, in your life, that you will be responsible for. Scary! I know it was for me, but I had to step up. As soon as my wife birthed our son the game changed, forever.
SO here are some things, in hindsight, that I did and didn’t do during my son’s first year.
Do not be afraid to get a second opinion
So when we look at our children all we see is this perfect little baby devoid of anger, hurt, expectations, and motor functions. We are on a different kind of honeymoon. It’s a love built on protection, sincerity and fear of the world’s influence. This can sometimes blind us to the actual issues or children might be having in the early stages of life. We can not be so caught up in their new person smell that we don’t recognize the signs.
My son was “delayed” or as I like to say, being willful. He did what he wanted when he wanted. My wife wanted specialist to come and observe him. I was in denial for about 3 months. I can say, looking back, It did help. It helped me more than him. I am now not afraid to take sound advice from people when it comes to my son and I will never just hope for the best in terms of him. I will do all I can to help him.
Get sleep when you can
Our son kept me and my wife up for about a year and a half. He was so active at night and if not active he cried. Me and my wife would play tag team to get him to sleep. Till this day, 5 years later. He will still, sometimes, get up at 3 in the morning. You are no good to anybody half sleep and dazed. GET YOUR REST!
You can never be to safe
At the baby shower we got one of the most important gifts. It was a safety package, it had plug socket covers, door lock zip ties, and door knob covers. Take the extra precautions to ensure your child’s safety. I rather be over prepared than not prepared at all.
Do not believe everything you read or hear from other parents
So in this age of social media everybody’s an expert. (I do not profess to be an expert, but in one thing, screwing up). Me and my wife read so many things online and we even argued about it. So you don’t have to argue this one is simple. Do proper research. We learned to read unbiased articles and articles by doctors. We then took that info, looked at our son, fleshed out the unnecessary stuff and started to understand him even more.
Remember they are babies
I struggled with the fact that my son just did things or didn’t do what I said. I was like “does he know that’s not gonna work?”, “oh he can demand stuff but the min I do it I’m being rude”. As you can see from my last statement I totally forgot he is a baby. LOL. I know, it sounds stupid but you have to realize the first 6 months they are like this beautiful blob of miniture human. They can’t walk, talk, or hardly see what’s in the room. They are totally dependent on you. I used to get so upset. For the first 6 months my son gave me a look like I was in his way. I have pictures of him, straight face, no smiles, everytime he was around me. Even as he approached his first year I barely got a reaction from him. Did I take it personal? Yes! I mean I was out for 4 months on paternity leave with him. I least give me a smirk. LOL.
BUT, I have to remember he is a baby, he just lives and I cannot take him being a baby so personal.
You will make many mistakes, and it’s ok
No parent has all the answers. If they say thay do, walk away. Each child is different and each has a different instruction manual. My son is quirky, laughs at his own antics, plays with the most random things (hangers, string, cds, a single drum stick, etc..), he loves Thomas the train, he choses when he wants to be smart or independent (like he can never get ready for daycare but can get dressed when you say “i’m going to walmart”).
There is no way you know you are being the best parent. I’m discovering you will notice when they get a real group of friends, when they date or when they get married. BUT, you will never notice any of that during year one. All you can do is try your best and have faith. I know for a fact you will mess up, and again, it’s ok. Learn, grow and impart that knowledge, you have a lifetime with your child. (I know, “when they turn 18…”Blah, blah, blah. Even after year 18, you will always be their parent)
The best thing you can give any child is your time and love. The knowledge that you want to impart to them will happen naturally. If a child knows they are loved and you will take care of him/her they will absorb all they need from you (even the stuff you didn’t want them to learn). I have worked with kids for more than 12 years and I have learned if there is a connection education is easy. Now get out there, nurture a kid and shave some years off your life. 😁