Many first-time dads are rightfully nervous about how life will change with fatherhood. How will your relationship with your spouse evolve? What’s needed to properly care for a newborn baby? How do you handle sleep deprivation and visits from extended family? Today we’re celebrating Father’s Day with a special all-dads panel of new and expecting dads eager to share their experiences.
A Dad's Guide to Baby's First Year
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Danny Singley : No matter how many books you read, classes you take or podcasts you listen to, there's no substitute for experience when it comes to raising kids. While first time dads are rightful nervous about certain aspects of their impeding fatherhood, new dads have a unique perspective on what it's really like. As a licensed phycologist, I work with expecting new dads all the time. And today we're talking about what baby's first year is really like for dads. I'm Dr. Danny Singley, director of Basic Training for New Dads, and this is Parent Savers.
Johner Riehl : Welcome to Parent Savers, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Parent Savers is your weekly online on the go support group for parents of newborns, infants and toddlers. I'm your host, Johner Riehl, and thanks again for all of our loyal listeners who joined the Parent Savers Club. Our members get all of our archived episodes, bonus content after each new show, where we do a special conversation with our expert, extending the show. And plus, we also have special giveaways and discounts that we offer to our members. You can subscribe to our monthly newsletter for free though, if you're not already a member, and you can get a chance to win a membership to our club each month. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Parent Savers app, available on the Android and iTunes market place, and every time we put on a new show, it will just automatically appear there, so when you're working out, walking around or doing whatever you listen to podcasts, you will be able to listen to Parent Savers. As you guys know, I'm Johner Riehl, and I am 39 and I have three young boys, a 6 year-old, a 4 year-old, and an almost 2 year-old. By the time this episode's released, I think it will be a couple of weeks into being 2. So this is actually a continuation of our show that we just did with Preggie Palls this week, where we were talking about what dads can experience, with the experiences like pregnancy and childbirth, so we're joined by the same panelists, but we'll go around and reintroduce ourselves, and talk about how many kids you have and what you do.
Rob Laird : Hi, I'm Rob Laird, I'm 35, I'm a naval officer and captain of a minesweeper, I've got two and a half kids, one 7 year-old, one 10 month-old and one due in August. All girls.
Chris Conte : My name is Chris Conte, I'm 38 years-old, I am a financial risk analyst, my wife is a doula and the mother of our 1 year-old daughter.
Nick Christiansen : Hi, I'm Nick Christiansen, 34, I am a stay at home dad to a beautiful 11 month-old named Cali.
Danny Singley : I'm Danny Singley, I'm a licensed psychologist with expertize in men issues, particularly the transition to fatherhood. My boys are 6 and 8 years-old, and they happen to be the most beautiful children on the planet. I'm a scientist, you can trust me.
Johner Riehl : What a coincidence too, that's the topic that we're talking about.
Antonio Guererro : And I'm Antonio Guererro, I'm 32, I'm an IT consultant and I have a little girl on the way.
Johner Riehl : Congrats!
Antonio Guererro : Thank you!
Johner Riehl : And thanks for joining us everybody.
[Theme Music] [Featured Segments: Father's Day Gift Ideas]
Johner Riehl : Are you looking for the perfect present for your dad or perhaps you're doing some last minute shopping for Father's Day? Then you'll definitely want to check up DaddyScrubs.com. Robert Nickell founded the company and he's joining us now on the phone. Robert, thanks for joining us, is it OK if I call you Robert?
Robert Nickell : Absolutely, glad to be here, thank you!
Johner Riehl : Alright, so, let's start with the basics, what are daddy scrubs?
Robert Nickell : Daddy scrubs is the uniform to get dad into the process. And I call it a uniform because it's medical scrubs, it says “daddy” on the front and on the back, and it's a start of the process that dad wears in the labor in delivery room. And for me, I put my daddy scrubs on when I drive my wife to the hospital, I wear it almost the entire time I am there, taking a new baby down to the nursery, helping them. You can sleep on them, they're super comfortable, they're like pajamas, and then you can wear them for the next two or three weeks afterwards too, in that first few stages of having a baby. They are completely washable and clean up really good, I had one of our celebrities was like, “Yeah, I wore them for three weeks straight afterwords!” It's pretty fun to hear those things.
Johner Riehl : Awesome! Yeah, my wife saw these recently at an event out here, and first thing she came home and talked to me about, she was really excited about them, was like, “You have to check out these daddy scrubs, so cool!” We have three boys...
Robert Nickell : I don't know how old your kids are but my oldest is 3 years-old now, he actually gets upset if I'm not putting my daddy shirt on Saturday mornings, or getting my daddy hat, he's like, “Where's your daddy hat? Get your daddy hat dad!”
Johner Riehl : Yeah, that's awesome, that kind of underscore the dad role in the family. There is so much mom stuff that I feel like maybe the only stuff you do see that identifies dad is like the cheesy “World's greatest dad” necktie or something like that.
Robert Nickell : We have the most amazing Father's Day ties, I'm telling you, because I agree with you, if you Google Father's Day ties, all that comes up are these cheap ties, they're stiff, they're ugly; so I went and made custom silk ties that are very nonchalant, there's one that says “I love daddy”, there's another one that says “Daddy daddy daddy daddy”, and there's another one with a word search, where different words are circled that spell “what daddy means to me”, like fun guy, loving spirit, and different things like that.
Johner Riehl : That's cute. It sounds like pretty much everything you're doing is with dad in mind.
Robert Nickell : What I'm doing is basically looking at I want as a dad, in other words, what I like and what do I want to use during that time period, after the baby is born and before they go off to college.
Johner Riehl : So how can our listeners learn more about Daddy Scrubs and purchase these Daddy Scrubs items?
Robert Nickell : They can learn more about Daddy Scrubs by going to DaddyScrubs.com, and we ship all over the world actually, and we can ship anything that they like for Father's Day, we have hats and mugs and t-shirts, daddy diaper bags and big daddy disposable changing pads and daddy scrubs and all kind of daddy products that you cannot find anywhere else in the world, except at DaddyScrubs.com.
Johner Riehl : Nice, so much stuff to check out, and Daddy Scrubs is actually offering a special discount to all of our Parent Savers listeners, so if you're purchasing items through their website, simply enter the promo code “New Mommy 13”, and you'll get a 15% discount and that expires on June 30th. So thanks so much for joining us Robert, and thanks for creating these products that make dads feel special, and yeah, we're going to have to hook that up, I think I might to wear daddy scrubs for a special episode of Parent Savers.
Robert Nickell : Awesome, if there's anything you need, I'll send a bunch of free swag.
Johner Riehl : Alright, thanks! Go to the giveaways page on ParentSavers.com and sign up for your chance to daddy swag gift set from Daddy Scrubs. The gift set includes the daddy scrubs, a t-shirt, hat, coffee mug, three pens, sun glasses and more, all proudly proclaiming, “I'm the daddy!”, happy father's day!
Johner Riehl : Alright, today's topic on Parent Savers is a continuation of the conversation we had on Preggie Palls, were we were talking to dads about what they're expecting in the first year of life, we're calling it dad's guide to baby's first year, and we're joined by Dr. Danny Singley again. How do you describe to the people who are taking your class or you work whom, what's the first year like of being a dad?
Danny Singley : I describe it as a series of firsts, because it is. It's not a series of challenges, it's a series of opportunities to dad up. I think that in the first year we've gone from a straight line, as soon as you have that baby, you are now a triangle. There are now legs from each parent to the baby. And I look at it as an opportunity to keep that leg from you to your partner, if the person is still in the picture, very strong. It's funny, every time I do one of these classes for expecting dads I give them the chi-chi, there are three things that you have to do, the first thing is, if your wife thinks that you're evil because you're not reading as much as you're supposed to, get online, sign up for one of these emails, they give it to you once a week, it's an executive summary of what's going on, it's usually a lot of fruit, and do that. So then you come back and then all of the sudden you got it. And you can do this also with an infant. The second thing is to take point on arranging for medical care, a lot of dads are just like, “Mom's in charge of that”, well you can be the one that's helping her, interview the pediatrician, taking her appointments and be involved. But the third, which I think is much more important is to – and no dad in history, no expecting dad has ever done – to set up a weekly recurring 50 minute check-in, initiated by the dad, that's the part that's never once happened in the history of world, you hardwire this into your schedule, and you begin it ideally before the pregnancy, during the pregnancy, and then during it, you sit down and you do the check-in, and you sit down and you don't do the family business, you don't figure out how to get more diapers, you don't see about transport or anything, you just work on that leg of the triangle that goes between you and the person. That relationship is what caused this family to happen in the first place. But it often times gets very short thrift in that first six to nine months. There is a well documented relationship between, you know, as soon as you have kids, marital satisfaction takes a hit, it's a “U” shape.
Johner Riehl : It changes, I mean I think is, and maybe that's what you talked about, but the marriage certainly changes after the baby, so that probably it's all a reaction to.
Danny Singley : Yeah, but it doesn't have to be that way, my point, stats, you take a billion people and squish them all together, some of them have high satisfaction the whole time, and if you keep the relationship strong, it's the best for the baby, it's the best for the marriage.
Johner Riehl : Nick, let me ask you about that, because I remember for the Preggie Palls episode one of your big tips, and I think we all agree on, you've got to be able to go with the flow. And I know that my wife and I struggled a little bit because she is a calendar person, she's a list person, and I'm maybe not as calendar and listy as she is, so if I hear that I have to have a 15 minute meeting with my wife every week, that seems really structured to me, and you kind of have the same reaction about what you're saying or how that fits into it.
Nick Christiansen : All the above. I think it's a great idea actually, 'cause my personality is not very schedule-like, I'm not very structured so it's hard for me to just sit down and say, “OK let's meet and do this”. I think it's just a fantastic idea, just making sure that everyone is happy.
Danny Singley : No, no, it's the opposite. Not making sure that everyone is happy. But I'm glad you said that. The point of it is if I'm not happy, I'm going to tell you exactly what's going on with me, right here, right now. I want you to know what it's like to be in my skin and between my ears right now. And for both parents to do that with each other, and if it's uncompletely freaking out, I'm stressed, I resent you, I'm actually gealous at the bond that you have with the baby and I'm concerned about what that means to me on the long-term . That's what that check-in is for.
Nick Christiansen : I think that's fantastic, I don't know if it's a guy thing or if it's just me, but I'm not the best communicator, I keep everything bottled inside and eventually it just explodes. Definitely a testosterone thing.
Danny Singley : I've never heard of that!
Nick Christiansen : So I think that's fantastic 'cause it forces you to get out of your comfort zone and communicate your feelings or her feelings or hear her feelings, and both see each other from a perspective that you don't normally do on a day to day basis. I love it, I don't know if I've done that, looking back in the past, at least in a scheduled manner.
Johner Riehl : I know that I would probably be a little bit afraid of the notion of, “Oh, here's a reminder that I got to talk to Christina in 50 minutes about how are things going”. But if it happens, “Hey, let's have a cocktail tonight after the kid goes to sleep”, or “Let's just have a bowl of ice-cream and talk about it”.
Chris Conte : If you don't kind of force yourself to do it, if it's a little uncomfortable, then you'll find excuses not to do it. Especially like Nick said, this isn't exactly something that most guys are really good at, it doesn't come naturally. So number one, you have to force it, 'cause it doesn't come naturally, and number two, you could actually be talking about, “OK, I'm not really happy about such and such that's going on right now”, that's normally not a comfortable conversation to have to begin with, but it's one that needs to happen. Because if it doesn't happen, it's going to build up until it's so big that it can't be ignored, and then it's harder to deal with.
Danny Singley : So jumping off of that, I do couple's therapy for folks that may have or not have kids, but what I can tell you is the number one top reason that people walk in the door and sit down and say, “The reason why we're here talking to you, doctor, is because we don't communicate well”, and then there's all the details and that, but fundamentally, when things are going wrong in a couple it's 90% of the time there is a communication block, so if you stay ahead of that...
Johner Riehl : Is it that they're not communicating well or is it that they communicate differently?
Danny Singley : Same thing. Communication, good, bad or negative, are the lines of communication open about what really matters?
Johner Riehl : So is your focus on the basic training for new dads, is all the focus on keeping that leg of the triangle with your partner? Or do you talk about...
Danny Singley : No.
Johner Riehl : Things like changing diapers, to use that example, or things that I think that we as guys, as dads, feel like we can figure out and do. It's the touchy feely stuff, that's the stuff that we're most concerned about. Let's talk it after the break, let's talk a little more specifics about some of the things we're terrible at, we're going to talk a little more about some of the things that we've all learned in the first year of our baby's life and probably talk a little more about keeping the relationship healthy as well too.
Johner Riehl : Alright, welcome back everybody, today we're talking about baby's first year with doctor Danny Singley, and our dad panelists is part of our special Father's Day episode of Parent Savers, and we're also doing a special Father's Day episode with the same group on Preggie Palls. So if you haven't already checked that out, make sure to do that as well. We've had some great conversations about pregnancy and the childbirth experience. And now we're going to talk a little bit more about the experience of being a dad. Let me go around the table and just ask you guys, what is the first thing that surprises you the most in that first year about being a dad. Obviously, the hole thing is full of surprises; for me it was, as soon as I saw the baby being born. I thought totally different about it, because it was this vague entity before, and then all of the sudden it was really real. But I imagine that's not the case for all dads, but that was something that was just surprising to me, that once it became real, how attached I felt to it. What about you guys, what are some of the things that surprised you?
Chris Conte : I've always been kind of non-confrontational until something went a little sideways with the kid after the baby was just first born, and I was extraordinarily protective. I've heard of a mom tiger thing but it works for dads too. I wasn't quite prepared for exactly how attached and how quickly I would become to the baby.
Johner Riehl : So even like at the hospital or something was happening?
Chris Conte : Yeah, absolutely. It kicked in pretty quick.
Antonio Guererro : And you know, Johner, you were talking about once that baby came out, than it was a whole different experience, it was real at that point. For nine months the mom is developing that relationship with the baby, and is feeling every single kick, you know, my hand wasn't always touching her belly so I didn't know what was going on, but I was having conversations with it, but not on a frequent basis, it was different. I almost feel like it was a pre-relationship with my daughter, but in the second she was born, you see, she's just there, something just switched. It became real at that point, even though I knew it was real before, it was very real before, there's nothing taking back that experience of just seeing her for the first time, and becoming that protective father.
Johner Riehl : Do you have those feelings Antonio, you kind of don't know what to expect?
Antonio Guererro : Yeah, the unknown is obviously the scariest part; the thing that is freaking me out the most actually is driving home. It's a 45 minute drive in San Diego, it wrecking my mind, I can't teleport her home, I don't think I'll be calm until she's home in her crib.
Chris Conte : It's funny that you say that, 'cause we had a home birth and after everyone left, they made sure the baby's fine and mom is fine, and a couple hours after the birth it was just us and the baby, and we were like, “Oh no, what do we do?” I think no matter where you are, it's going to be just a scary experience a little bit, 'cause of the crying...
Johner Riehl : I will say for us, we brought our third home, we came in, and the grandparents have been watching her too, all the kids, who were two and four at that time, and as opposed to like walking in – when it's your first, you walk in and it's an empty house, like here we are, the triangle – you walk in and there's chaos going on, and toys being thrown about, and it was like, “What did we just add to our play and get ourselves into?” Because the two and four year-old didn't really change, and even though my wife and I felt a change and a change to our family, we still had to deal with all the burdens and joys of raising the others.
Rob Laird : But then you got to play goalkeeper, 'cause the two and the four year-old still expect mom to do everything she was doing before she got run over by a bus.
Johner Riehl : Exactly. And so maybe is that a concern that you have?
Rob Laird : Definitely. Luckly, I've got a seven year-old and a ten month-old, so the seven years-old is old enough for me to make sure she understands, but it's even better 'cause I can actually kind of incorporate her into helping me be my daddy's little helper. I guess that that's how I'm planing to incorporate it and trying to keep the chaos away from mom for a while.
Johner Riehl : Danny, what are some of the things that you hear dads complain about? We were talking about some of the cool things about it, but what are the complaints? And we can maybe go around to but what are the worst parts that people are saying of being a dad? Like what are the things that they hate, and they weren't prepared for?
Danny Singley : In order, the most common ones are, disconnects that they didn't see coming, how are they going to handle night duty, and by extension, not agreeing about when to move baby out of the room, and then, not having really clearly discussed, so that you can be on the same page about dealing with the extended family and close friends. And of course that is completely different depending on your cultural background, if you're an entitle white guy like me, you're an individualist and you think everything is about you, if you come from a more collectivistic perspective, than there is the extended family and the inclusion and involvement of folks looks very different. But then that gets thorny, 'cause you want to be very focused and you want to have a base as a family. Those are the main. Finances and just sleep depravation are all there, but those are the ones I hear. They come back over and over.
Johner Riehl : How did you guys deal with that? Did you guys talk to your extended family before about what the plan was going to be? I know that for my in-laws, my wife's brother just had a baby, and they were walking on egg shells because they wanted to go see the baby, they don't want to stop, but they still have to make decisions, there's a grandma involved, and so they're feeling weird about it too. Did you guys talked about it, how did you deal with it?
Chris Conte : We started talking about it during pregnancy, because all of our family is local and they all want to be pretty involved, and one of the big fears that my wife had during the pregnancy, especially near the end, was that constant text messaging, emailing, phone-calls that, “Did you had the baby yet? Did you had the baby yet?” She didn't want to answer those questions anymore, so living up to delivery, we went total media black-out, we just decided, “We're not going to let anybody in the family know that we're having the baby”, when it starts, we're not going to have it, we're not going to have Facebook updates and Twitter updates and phone-calls and text messages and having all this, trying to live up to these expectations of the media. After the baby came, it was a little bit more the same. We decided that OK, we're going to have our own little sanctuary here and when we want to invite people into our home, we'll make the space for them to come in our terms, our times, when it works out for us and baby, and it will be a defined period of time, when they're ready to go, they can go. I thought it was easier to do it that way, we felt it was easier to do it that way than to try to accommodate everybody's wishes. So if you try to accommodate everyone you're going to be chasing your tail forever.
Rob Laird : I think that's the protective dad instinct, that kind of kicks up a little bit, it did for me, at least with, you know, I need to make sure that my family is the focus now, and maybe my wife wants to be close to her sister, or other people want to help, but like, “Hey, it's about us and we got to do what's best for the three of us now”, or the four of us, or the five of us.
Johner Riehl : What about night time duty? How did you guys do that?
Rob Laird : This is one thing that's surprisingly easier if the wife is breastfeeding, at least from our situation, because all I had to do was get up, grab kid, bring back, and then I was done. With the kid plugged in, I was sleeping,
Johner Riehl : Maybe go in and change the diaper from time to time.
Rob Laird : That too, yeah, definitely, but I guess that maybe it's the naval training, I'm used to being up at night, and being able to sleep, wake up, do something, go back to sleep at the drop of a hat, so I've been kind of playing that game for a long time.
Nick Christiansen : Everybody talks about taking turns, you know, it's my turn, it's your turn. When our daughter's awake, it's everybody's turn. Somebody may go do the duty and make sure she gets her diaper changed and gets put back down, but you kind of do it together, even though you may not be in the room together. Our daughter's downstairs, when my wife goes down there, even if the noise stops, I don't fall back asleep until she's back upstairs, I'm sleeping with one eye open, so the idea of trading doesn't really work in our house. Yeah, and I think that's what you need to figure out, what works, and that was Danny's point about communication. I know for us, I'm not really that comfortable with the whole tit for tat idea, the whole, “I cook dinner, so you do the dishes” or vice-versa, but, you know, it's more of a collaboration. They both have their different joys and burdens and so the same with dealing with night time.
Danny Singley : One of the points that I've seen happen is a kind of stereotypical guy thing, like, “Wait, but we talked about this before”, you know, people are being proactive and saying, “Hey, here's how we're going to do it, it's going to be my turn and then it's going to be your turn, or you're up or we're both up or however it is”, and then, the dust and placenta clear, and it changes. And what I counsel dads, brand new dads, over and over again is not to say, “We had an agreement”, yeah, but now you have new data. So revisit it, don't try to just go back to a decision that was made in the absence of it. Here's what is really like.
Nick Christiansen : Agreements are great until someone's growing teeth or until someone gets a cold, it's very clear that someone needs a break. There is a lot of non-verbal communication that goes on, if you're paying attention and reading the signs you can change, tonight's mine or tonight's yours or however it goes, pretty easy.
Johner Riehl : Antonio, hopefully you're taking notes about some things to discuss.
Antonio Guererro : I am, oh yeah, we have plans, I'm naturally a night person, it doesn't bother me to be up to two in the morning at all. But I'm not a morning person, she is. And so far our baby seems to be a night person like daddy, so she's kind of happy thinking that this will carry on. We'll see, we plan on breaking it up that way – mornings and nights.
Johner Riehl : It's funny, I feal like throughout the pregnancy there is this personification – not literally, maybe that's not the right word – but you really want to humanize and identify with the baby inside the womb, and you get this notion that by the time they're full term, that there's this sage old baby, smoking its pipe and knows what's going on. And then they're born again and it's almost like rewinding to go back to the beginning. Let's talk about another issue that I think is something that needs to be addressed and it's something that you have brought up, the whole bringing the baby out of the room, co-sleeping argument. Is there something that you either recommend, you tell people to figure out how it works for them, I think that everyone's different here, again, let's have a little discussion about it, because it's something that sounds like people definitely need to talk about.
Danny Singley : Well, as I say, I'm orthodox about virtually nothing, so to say that here's a sleeping arrangement that could work for everybody is a great disservice to different context and different backgrounds. In terms of the mechanics of the situation, no! My brother and sister in-law still basically do family bed and they've got a five year-old. This would make me insane. But it works for them and so they like it. Rather, the way I come about that question is to make sure that – because it's charged, as far as the baby is coming, that's your personal space with your partner, and there's a lot that goes into that. Not just sexually or physically, but as a sort of your inner-sanctum. And beyond that, the consistency of your sleep and so on. The thing that I focus on is to make sure to have an assertive conversation about it. And when I say “assertive” a lof ot times is misunderstood, people say, “I was very assertive, I punched him”, that's actually aggressive. Assertive is right in the middle of passive and aggressive and assertive means that I'm working very hard to be understood, not to win, I'm working hard to be understood and I'm working equally hard to understand you. And typically people come at this, they're tired, they have a lot invested in it, and they just want what they want to happen, to happen. But don't work as hard at, “OK, I want to understand why it is important to you, I want to understand exactly what's going on that make this, how did you arrive at that”, and then not shoot it down and try to win. You can apply this to anything but we're talking about the sleep arrangement. If you do that, and having that conversation, you're going to get more attraction by working to understand and to be understood than to, “Just get the kid out of the room!”
Johner Riehl : You didn't mention it before as one of your complaints about dads, but I imagine, going around the room, that we've all experienced some change in the sex patterns you have with your wifes, love making and what's going to happen. So what do you find in talking to, and what do you guys all find as far as how it changed? I'm happy to go first, it absolutely is different, and I think that it is or it can pretty easily be a source of frustration if you're not talking about it and communicating about it. You want to be sympathetic to your wife's needs, but then you have your own needs and you got to find that balance in-between. And that's kind of what you're doing with everything.
Nick Christiansen : Well I have about 11 months of research on this. We're actually one of those co-sleeping families that you were talking about, so that brings a whole different curve-ball into the sex conversation, if there is even a conversation about it. Flexibility, in terms of schedules, you have to realize that is not always going to go out as you expect, if at all, and try to make it work and be assertive and communicating. You have to communicate, you know what you're feeling and what your wants and needs are, she's communicating probably to you what her wants and needs are, but are you communicating yours to her? This is important to you, it's important to her, and try to meet somewhere in the middle and hopefully she realizes what it's all about.
Rob Laird : We did the co-sleeping for months, and then... it wasn't working for us, it just wasn't working for the baby either, and that is, the thing to consider is what works for you and then what works for the baby. It wasn't working for the baby either.
Johner Riehl : Yeah, if it's not working for the baby...
Rob Laird : So we moved her down into her room and that doesn't change anything really though. You move her down into her room but we have a very challenging high energy need, if you could harvest her energy it would solve a lot of the world's problems. But just because she's downstairs in her crib doesn't necessarily mean she's sleeping, so the amount of free time to communicate mentally or physically or how you want to communicate is very small to begin with. And then when you do finally get that moment, it almost feels like you're trying to fit something into the schedule, “Oh my gush, we've got five free minutes, what are we going to do with it?”, and you think, am I in the mood, am I tired, am I sick, is she in the mood, is she tired, is she sick. And you got to just try it. If you're not, give it a go, maybe you are in the mood, maybe you just need to be talked into it for a little bit. But so many things change, there is no broad answer for it, to make it come right back to the way it used to be. And you can't plan it.
Johner Riehl : Let's close it up with, I want to go around and see if you guys have one tip for a dad, one piece of wisdom that we could impart on Antonio or any of our listeners there expecting, for the baby's first year.
Nick Christiansen : Patience, lots of patience. Things are all over the place, there's pee, there's crying, there is injuries, babies falling, tears from mommy, from daddy, is just everything is different so if you go with the flow and just have patience with it, and just smile along the way and then this is all part of the journey and it's exciting, you just have to look back and enjoy it.
Johner Riehl : I heard a good phrase the other day that I haven't heard before, someone said – they saw us with our youngest – and they said, you know, we miss those days, you'll always get the people that will see you out with the baby and be like, “Oh...”
Danny Singley : Remember these days!
Johner Riehl : Remember these days, right, but what they said – and I thought it was good - “The days are long, but the years are quick”. When you're in it, and you can't even imagine how can you not remember this, but the years do go by quick, my oldest is already going to be in the first grade next year, and I remember when he was just a baby, it really does fly by, but when you're in it, it seems like it's never going to end.
Chris Conte : I had countless conversations with parents that just come up to me now and no matter how old their kid is, 10 months, 10 years, 18 years, 30 years, everyone of them says, “Oh my God, it flew by so quickly, I can't believe it, my kid's in college now, my kid's going to kindergarten”, and I feel that right now, I can't even believe that my baby is almost one year old, that is so true, the years just fly by.
Rob Laird : And then they romanticize the past as well, “Oh, our baby never had problems”. So I've been writing everything down because I don't want to forget that we had problems sleeping. You have to find a way to get rest, whether you train your baby to sleep or you just sleep when the baby does sleep, and you capitalize on those opportunities. Sleep depravation will catch up with you no matter what. You cannot hide from it. You'll forget things that you shouldn't forget, driving a car becomes dangerous, you just don't know where you are, how you got that, it's frightening.
Johner Riehl : Any other words of wisdom as we wrap it up?
Danny Singley : Yeah, my thought is, in the same manner men are said to be terrible communicators, we're also terrible social chares, we generally socialize to have external forces bring us together, school, work, teams that we are own. But right now, I'm looking around, we've got six guys in the same room that are very engaged, very focused and open about being dads, and this is a very rare kind of forum. This isn't, “Hey, we're going to do the dads class”, this show is different in what I would say is, when you have even a newborn, make sure that you're not trying to get all of your social support needs met by mom. It isn't fair, it isn't realistic and it ends up just being a strain on the relationship. So even if you're thinking, “I know, but she spends so much time, I can't go play golf or go surf or just hang up with some friends”. You need it, you've got to have it, because if you don't initiate that, if you don't work to go get it and do it in the way that makes sense in your newly extended family contacts, you are not really looking after your overall well-being. It's hard, it's not one of the things that people see coming, it feels like a want to, but getting your social support needs met in addition to your relationship is absolutely a need. So be proactive about it.
Chris Conte : Yeah, I would say, she needs it too. It's OK to come and bring that up, because bringing up with her also, “OK, this will be my time to do this and I'll take it from you so you can go get some adult communication as well”. The other thing I would bring up is be a little forgiving with yourself, there is a lot of wrongdoings when you're a new dad, the kid is not going to remember your screw-ups, so it's just... kids bounce.
Johner Riehl : Nice. Alright, well thanks so much, I hope that this fun conversation was helpful to you guys listening as well, thank you doctor Singley for joining us. I'm actually going to save my top tip for new dads for the bonus, I think it's something that you'll like doctor Singley, and actually will come in handy for most of you guys at the table as well. So yeah, stick around for that, if you're a member of the Parent Savers Club, if not, you should join if you want to hear it, I also did a blog post about it, you can look it up on our site, ParentSavers.com, and for more information about doctor Singley, or any of our panelists or today's topic, make sure to visit today's episode page.
[Featured Segments: Parenting “Oops”!]
Johner Riehl : Before we wrap up, here's a parenting “Oops!” from one of our listeners.
Grace : Hello, this is Grace, from Michigan, one of my favorite parenting stories is I was cutting my boy's hair for summer, and I had my clippers and I'm not a hairstylist, but I can do haircuts, and I did my first son and it worked fine, and then I set my second son down to do his haircut. But I forgat to put my clipper back on after doing my other son, and I started right in the center of the top of his head, and let's just say he was not very happy with it, he was completely shaved down to his scalp, I couldn't do anything about it, I just had to shave the whole head. And he was not very happy with it, he had to wear a hat for a while until it grew back a little bit, but now he doesn't want me to cut his hair, and I understand why. It was funny looking back, but he was pretty mad at me, he was about I think 8 or 9 years-old. So that was my fun parenting story, bye!
Johner Riehl : If you have a parenting “Oops!” you'd like to share on our show, call our voice-mail, at 619.866.4775 and leave us a message. Or send us an email through our site, ParentSavers.com. That wraps it up for our special Father's Day episode of Parent Savers, and we also had a great one for Preggie Palls as well, so thanks so much for joining us, we appreciate you guys listening to Parent Savers, hopefully, you found the conversation helpful. Because it's Father's Day, we're doing a special promotion with Daddy Scrubs, you have a chance to win a Daddy Swag gift set, all you got to do is go to our giveaways page on ParentSavers.com and sign up, and you can win your very own set of daddy scrubs, a t-shirt, hat, coffee mug, three pens, sunglasses and more, all part of this awesome Daddy Swag gift set from DaddyScrubs.com. Go to Parent Savers giveaways page and enter. Don't forget to check out Preggie Palls for expecting parents or the Boob Group for moms who are breastfeeding their babies. Next week we're going to put the focus back on moms, we're going to talk about ways to help them get their bodies back after a baby. And as we talked about, we like your bodies how they are, but we know it's important for you guys to feel good about it too. So we got an expert coming in to give us some tips on that. Thanks so much, this is Parent Savers, empowering new parents!
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
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