*guest post from Relevant Dad
We knew that at some point the reality of our tiny happy family of three would change into something new and unknown. What we hoped for was that when that unknown came, it would be happy and healthy.
And it was. As we drove off towards home, the settling realization occurred that while we were proud parents of a two and a half-year-old, we were also now parents of a newborn again. This meant being parents to TWO children at once and thus we had no idea what we were doing. It is still way too early in my time as a second-time father to expel any great advice but I can offer some observations I have made in my short time with two little ones.
It's Not Twice as Hard: If anyone says to you that having two kids is twice as hard, you can tell them to
Baby Sleeps, You Sleep: And by sleep, of course, I mean push your toddler on the swing for twenty-five minutes and then argue with them about why they can't have their third cheese stick of the morning. There is no honeymoon period with baby number two, you are busy in your so called “down time” being a parent to the older sibling. This isn't bad, however, these small moments with your older child are amazing, to be able to parent to two vastly different ages with two vastly different needs and wants, while challenging, is fulfilling beyond anything you could imagine. Embrace that.
Time Speeds Up: Before you know it, you are out of the maternity ward headed home. Before you know it, your few days of vacation are up and you are back at work. Before you know it, it’s been a month and then two. Time speeds up when you grow your family. It has a funny way of sneaking past you, so you must try your best to not take it for granted.
They Didn’t Ask for This: Maybe night four or five when you are at your wits end, dancing your newborn around the bedroom while your wife dozes in and out of sleep and all you want to do is crash, just tell yourself “they didn’t ask for this, you did.” It’s a mantra you can apply to most negative situations in the first few weeks of a growing family. Through the tantrums and meltdowns from your older child to the late-night marathon cluster feedings and string of poopy diapers with your newborn, just know that they never wanted any of this, it was all you. Embrace the chaos and make it life.
You might not have that moment of realization until you are leaving the hospital and it dawns on you that in your back seat are two tiny humans that are under your care. When that moment happens, smile and know that your life has just gotten exponentially better.
The millennial generation of fathers is different from the generation of fathers who raised us. Dads today want to be more involved in raising their children, make more purchasing decisions for the household and be more actively engaged in domestic responsibilities. Above all, the modern father wants to have experiences and acquire products that will enable a closer connection with their children and spouse. That is why we created www.relevantdad.com.