The Game-Changer

It’s been quiet here on the site lately as the game has changed. I’m four weeks into fatherhood, and those four weeks feel more like ten.

I’ve been trying to come up with an easy way to explain to others what being a new parent is like. It’s an emotional roller coaster. Living with a nooborn is like setting a kitchen timer on a two to three hour schedule that never stops resetting. Change a diaper, feed, comfort, put baby to sleep, knock a few things out around the house, rinse, repeat. It does not stop.

And there are the fussy times when you lose confidence in your ability to parent — can I soothe this baby? Maybe mother can try. Maybe this will work. Maybe not. These times make me realize just how little I’ve appreciated my own parents (Thank you mom and dad!).

And then there are the moments where she grins from ear to ear or unequivocally meets your eyes with hers. The pride and joy that springs from these moments is profound.

Everyone tells you “your life [as you know it] is over.” They’re right. Becoming a parent is a game changer. There are new requirements, new rules, new milestones, new joys, new sorrows, and on and on. And you learn about it all as you go along via trial and error. Googling helps, too.

Being a parent is an incredible experience.

4 Responses to “The Game-Changer”

  1. Sterling September 7, 2009 at 8:13 pm #

    Hey man – glad you are enjoying being a father. It’s an honor. And it’s a lot of un.

  2. Charlie September 9, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    And it keeps getting better Justin. The hardest part for me, as a father, was equaling the bond that had already developed between mother and baby. I felt like I was way behind for a while, but oh man, has it been worth my time and effort. I now have a fifth grader (working on her homework downstairs), but I can so clearly remember holding her in my arms wondering what she needed… why she wouldn’t stop crying. Try all you want to explain to people how it’s a game changer. I think you have to play this game to understand!

  3. Matt Metzgar October 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    Congratulations. I would recommend two books that may make things easier for you – “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, and “The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program”. The first book applies Paleo concepts to newborns. The second book shows the best sleep pattern for babies.

    Good luck!

  4. Matt February 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    I second the advice about The Happiest Baby on the Block. What Dr Karp describes is really easy to put into practice, and it really kept us sane for the first year.

    It really is a great adventure.

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