Sunday, June 3, 2012

tips for new dads from a new dad

photo: Raj Lulla Photography

1. If she's quiet in the car, she's either sleeping or pooping.  Grab the gloves and tongs if her eyes aren't closed when you open the car door.  Hazmat suit if she's smiling.

2. Six [plus] weeks is a long time to wait for happy-fun-married-time to resume, but your wife just had dynamite go off in her ladyparts, so be generous and understanding.

3. Take the baby out with you: on walks, to the grocery store, on errands.  Your wife deserves a rest.  You need to build memories with your child.

4. If your wife stays home, she is starved for adult conversation all day.  Call on your breaks, and make sure to talk to her (not just the baby) when you get home.  Encourage her to take the stroller to the mall (or wherever) with other moms, and loosen up a little cash so she can.

5. Just because the baby is out doesn't mean that her body is going to just snap back to pre-pregnancy mode, especially if she is breastfeeding.  Plan on spending some money on a transition wardrobe, and smile while spending it because nobody watched you "allegedly" poop, scream, and swear while a human being emerged from your body.

6. Start early praying for/with your baby. It was difficult during the first couple of weeks because she was a light sleeper, but it got easier. It helps you focus on what you really hope for their lives.

7. Her hormones are on a roller coaster.  If she's not a danger to you, herself, or the baby, just ride it out.

8. Sleep in whatever arrangement works for the first few weeks (couch, etc), but after a little while, suck it up and get through a few tough nights in bed. You'll be able to sleep better soon enough. Invest in coffee or strong tea.

9. Practice random acts of chocolate.

10. You will not be able to defeat the tsunami of dirty diapers, dirty laundry, etc. but an extra load of laundry or trip to the curb makes everyone feel better.

11. Call once per week and ask if she would like you to pick up dinner on the way home.

12. If, on the day your wife your wife confides she is ready to resume happy-fun-married-time, you do not buy her flowers, you're an idiot.  You'll be tempted to hire a skywriter.  Resist that urge.

13. Love used to be spelled "t-i-m-e."  Now it's spelled "d-i-a-p-e-r" or "S-t-a-r-b-u-c-k-s."  (Who am I kidding?  It has always been spelled "S-t-a-r-b-u-c-k-s," just moreso now.)

14. Things that used to take five minutes (i.e. leaving the house) now take 20.  Plan accordingly.

15. You will miss your baby when she is asleep the same way you used to miss your wife when you dropped her off at home after a date.  This is natural and does not make you a woman.

16. When she starts sleeping in her own room, check on her every night before you go to bed.  You will never regret this, even if you accidentally wake her up and (oh, darn) are forced to cuddle with/rock her until she falls back asleep.

17. If you have a daughter, buy a gun and practice your aim.  You are no longer a pacifist.  If you have a son, start teaching him self-control, or learn first aid.


  1. I love these Raj! So funny and true! Lindsey is lucky to have such a good husband and Charlotte is blessed to have a dad that loves and cares for her and her mama. I laughed out loud at #9 and #13.

  2. I was trying to think of a few differences between raising girls and boys- but the list was too long. Instead, I'll go with this:

    The best toy you can give your son or daughter (or wife)- time with daddy. I've learned that mom's are best for tending to scrapes and bruises, but when it comes time to be pushed on the swings or tossed around on the lawn, they always come to daddy. For boys there is no such thing as too much wrestling, they can wrestle until the vomit, wipe it off with their sleeve, and go right back to wrestling. You'll tire of it LONG before they do. With girls, they like to be wrestled with, but only until they decide it's now time to go smell the flowers. I am now the official swing pusher, sword builder, nerf target, badguy/goodguy, police man, transformer, repair man, master lego builder, etc...

    Often you'll rather be doing something else, but 25 years from now you're going to regret not spending more time with them (no matter how much time you spend with them now, you'll regret not spending more).


    Yes, you're not supposed to let them sleep in your bed. But you know what? They'll take care of that on their own in a few years. If they sleep better there- take it..... 10 years from now they won't want anything to do with you, enjoy whatever time you can get now.

    1. Eric, if you write a parenting book, I will buy the first copy.

    2. Not a book, but I'm planning a series written on toilet paper so that you'll progress through the series and you unroll the previous 'chapters'.

  3. Excellent list. You are a great husband/father. Your girls are blessed to have you. My hubby could learn a thing or two from this post. I'll be directing him here in 3.. 2.. 1..

    1. Thanks, September! Exciting that we're going to be neighbors-ish soon!

  4. Just now I was wondering why there aren't posts for yesterday or today, and then I realized it was June. Lame. You should still post everyday, or as frequently as possible. :)


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