Today we are talking about expectations for first time dads. What should you expect when the baby is born.
Here is my overall advice:
Expectations are only good to have for the negative stuff. For the good stuff, you don’t want to have expectations. This is the topic we are going to discuss today.
Let’s tart with the obvious things that everyone tells you are going to happen when the child arrives:
1) You will get less sleep
2) You will get less attention from your wife
3) You will probably get more attention from your family (or your spouses damily) because everyone wants to see the baby
4) It will take you so much longer to get places than it did before
5) You will schedule everything around the baby’s sleep and eating patterns. Want to go to a birthday party at 1pm? Sorry, that’s the baby’s nap time
6) You will have less personal time to do the things you want to do (golf
7) You will have increased expenses. Babies are not cheap.
8) There is a lot of noise – a baby crying is not pleasant
9) You will talk a lot about throw up and going to the bathroom
10) You will worry about whether you are good enough to be a father
So these are great and all, but you don’t have to fall into a negative trap. These don’t all necessarily have to come true but if you expect that they could, then you will be more prepared. But be sure not to stress over the fact that these are “going” to happen.
As I said in the beginning, it’s ok to have expectations on negative things, but for the positive ones, you don’t want to setup expectations. This is where disappointment can happen. Here are a few areas that new dads may set expectations on and they can fall short:
1) When the baby is born, I am going to feel so connected to the baby – often we don’t bond in the beginning. The baby doesn’t give you much feedback. It’s not as rewarding sometimes
2) The baby will sleep through the night – Um, good luck with that
3) The baby will be happy all of the time
4) That the baby will make you happy – nope’
5) That the baby will make your relationship better
We need to be careful of the positive expectations we put in place. If they don’t happen, we don’t want to be disappointed.