There’s a baby boom happening at the Tiny Prints offices, and we couldn’t just let the expectant mommies have all the fun! Here’s a witty batch of advice from Ashish, one of the excited expectant father’s in our office:
The last time I wrote anything that was going to be published (yes, I consider this a published article), I was chronicling a blind date setup by my grad school newspaper in exchange for a free meal. I guess a lot has changed in my life since then.
While my predecessors did an excellent job of focusing on a particular topic and providing helpful details to educate other expectant mothers, I’m going to go with a relatively random assortment of advice to expectant fathers based solely my experience with little to no other research to back it up.
This baby ain’t cheap. Don’t forget all the hidden costs that you may not think about. Whether you need to upgrade your living situation, your partner is finally calling you out on your promise to get a car that was built during this millennium or you forgot to take into account that your stroller needs to be local, organic and grass-fed, you’ll long for the time when you were just spending two month’s salary on an engagement ring.
Find a place to dispose of an unimaginable amount of packing materials and cardboard boxes. Pretty much everything you buy for the baby will be 90% packing material. If you have limits on how much of this you can put out in your trash, you may end up having a very unpleasant conversation with an angry hippie yelling at you about polluting the earth (although this might be unlikely if you live outside of San Francisco).
Books for expectant fathers are very condescending. It’s a fact.
There is nothing like the accomplishment you feel when you single-handedly paint the nursery for your soon-to-be son. This is a very different feeling from the one you get after painting the living room and the bedroom because your wife thinks you did a great job on the nursery.
Most baby furniture is optimized to be assembled by approximately 10 able bodied men. So when you are trying to do it by yourself, I suggest you set aside a few hours, a few beers and a few band aids.
There is nothing more terrifying than the labor video you will watch in your birthing class. Not because it is graphic (it is) or full of pain, but because it is the first time you will truly understand your own role in this experience. I always thought of the “coaching” process as kind of a Phil Jackson experience: sit on the sidelines, provide guidance and a Zen-like calm to help the team. It’s actually much more Mike Ditka: get in her face, shout instructions and use lots of colorful language.
Do something nice for her. It was statements like this that made me hate the expectant father books, but sometimes a reminder doesn’t hurt. Get her some flowers, a gift or (ahem) a nice card from Tiny Prints.
I really can’t wait. Most of the time, I feel like it hasn’t sunk in that I will be a father. But once in a while, the idea of teaching my son why college basketball is the greatest sport of all time (and of course why Duke is the best team of all time) or thinking about the first time he will dunk on his old man just makes me smile. Try and take a minute, let it sink in and enjoy the moment. There really is nothing like it.
So, there you go—the rambling thoughts of a dad-to-be who’s looking forward to starting a whole new ballgame.