So, you are going to be a dad. You are to enter the most challenging, rewarding, stressful, and joyful experience of manhood.
I would know. After all, I have been a dad for all of three weeks now.
Given my extremely extensive knowledge of fatherhood, I thought I would share some of my insights into this nerve-wracking but incredible journey.
Before we delve into the day-in and day-out of being “dad,” you must first prepare yourself mentally. This can be done easily. All it takes is realizing that no matter what you do to prepare, you will absolutely, in no way whatsoever, be ready to be a father once your baby is born.
With that out of the way, we now get to the actual process of making a baby. As a man, your role in this act is by far the easiest in the entire realm of fatherhood and something you likely wanted to do in the first place. Enjoy it while you can.
After a successful baby-creation operation is complete, there will come a moment when your significant other comes up to you to tell you the news.
“I am pregnant,” she will say.
As your brain processes these three words, it is possible you will experience one of two reactions. Either your heart will flutter with such excitement you can feel pure joy pumping through seemingly every vein and into every extremity. Or, you may feel sheer terror at the realization you are going to be a father, causing your stomach to sink somewhere below the soles of your shoes and the creation of a massive lump so high in your throat you will momentarily wonder if at some point you had forgotten you swallowed a cue ball.
Likely, both of these emotions will occur simultaneously, causing you, in one of the most memorable moments of your life, a moment where your mind will be rushed with a million thoughts to express your excitement, to utter something extremely apt to memorialize the occasion. “Gwamunmeh” is what I came up with.
Once pregnancy is confirmed, the initial preparation for arrival should begin. This will involve many new words entering your vocabulary.
You will also suddenly hear things like Boppy, nursing pads, bassinet (apparently it’s not an instrument), Pack ‘N Play, convertible crib and other foreign-sounding terms used frequently by your significant other. These things are what you will need to purchase ahead of baby’s arrival, and it is important you let her determine what is needed for your future bundle of joy, because as a man, you are inherently an idiot when it comes to such matters. No, we need more than just a crib, diapers and a car seat you moron, she will say.
And seemingly overnight, a room in your house will be referred to as, “the nursery,” indefinitely. Sure, it may have previously been called “the guest room” or “the office” or “the room where we store all the furniture that hasn’t been in style since the Clinton administration,” but those monikers will be quickly replaced, for good, by “the nursery.”
So, you know you are going to be a dad, and the preliminary steps are being taken. However, there is still far more to do and knowledge to be gained.
On the next installment, we will cover what you can do as a father to help baby’s mother during the most physically taxing portion of her life; “Why telling your pregnant wife you are tired can get you killed.”