My friend’s wife is a Natalie (due next month!) and he’s been tweeting some half-joking-but-probably-also-serious cries for help. My dear husband, who is as private as I am shameless, has agreed to a little interview to share what he’s learned over the past five months. This interview is pretty heteronormative; perhaps interviews with non- married/ straight/ WASP-y/ Midwestern people will come in the future!
What’s your biggest piece of advice for new dads during the birth?
Just be supportive. Be adaptable. A lot can change from when you enter the hospital to when you leave that you can’t control, so roll with the punches.
What’s your favorite thing about being a dad?
Waking up and spending time with him. As of this week, really playing with him. (Mom note: He has gotten so much more interactive! It can be hard to engage when they don’t really smile at you for the first two months, but it’s coming.)
What’s the worst part about having a kid?
Not sleeping. And the fact that most places don’t even have paternity leave. You’re just expected to go to work the next day.
What was your paternity leave situation? Was it enough? What were your thoughts when you went back to work?
One week that my boss made up for me. He said to tell HR I was working from home, if they asked. No, it wasn’t enough– I was too tired to be driving into work! It was weird being away when you’ve been with the baby every day before that.
What’s been the most surprising part about being a father?
Nothing really surprising, just stuff you know is coming but you can’t prepare for & then you’re actually living it. Like, you’re told about all these things, but until you live them you don’t really know what they’re like.
What do you wish you knew before becoming a dad?
I don’t know. I feel like I haven’t found any secrets. <– that means he’s done with this charade. It was good while it lasted, dear. Thank you for your reticent participation.