Year 1 as a Dad: Mission Successful!
“Survive Year 1” Mission Summary
After my first year as a dad, here’s the punchline: Yes, kids take up your time, energy, space, and sleep, but in the end, it’s worth it!
“They grow up so fast”
The above expression is absolutely correct. I remember the first moment I held him like it was yesterday. Every phase and tantrum holds a different place in your heart. I honestly LOVE the “Rediscover this Day” feature in Google Photos (If you don’t know what it is, well, try it NOW), it reminds you of how far you’ve come.
Sleep? What’s that?
I’ve always been a late sleeper, no matter what I do, I can’t sleep early, it’s in my genes. Now combine that with a baby who inherited the same genes from you, and multiply it by a few times, and you’ve got yourself a devious minion who’ll keep you up most of the night! Why devious? They know everything maaannnnnnn, they may look like babies, but they’re very smart, don’t fall for their cuteness, it’s a trap!
The early mornings
Him sleeping late was the first step of making sure that we must forget what sleep is, the next step was the early mornings. I hardly needed an alarm clock, because before that rang, I was already woken up by my son lying beside me and touching my face, putting his fingers in my ear/mouth/nose/eyes and just smiling. What do you do after being woken up like that? Nothing! You start doing the same things to them because “sleep” is game over by then, and well, secretly you enjoy it too!
One of the most enjoyable moments in the first year are the “Firsts” of everything. Here are some of the most memorable firsts:
- The first cry: Well, obviously, no explanation required for this!
- Walker: The first time we put him in a walker, he figured it out instantly and started running and bumping here and there, after 15 mins he got so tired that he fell asleep in it!
- Acting: The first time he pretended to be asleep in the bouncer for 15 minutes (just 10 months old)
- First steps: The first time he walked on his own from the TV console to the sofa and crashed between my legs.
- First first first… too many to list here…
I used to be completely drained by the time I reach home from work. I’m still drained, but now when I come home, the little monster first used to crawl, and now runs as soon as I enter the door, gets me to pick him up, screams while laughing, and tells me about his day in his own language. No matter how tired I am, this revives me immediately.
Before he was born I used to have a lot of free time to do some side projects, or some self learning, or just playing video games. That changed the day he was born. Every spare moment is devoted to him, it’s not that I “can’t” take out some extra time for all that stuff, truth is, I “don’t”. Playing with him and witnessing his new tantrums every day are too hard to ignore. After a year, things have started to settle down and I am sometimes able to take some time out. However, for the first year, taking time out for extra things is very difficult.
It is worth everything
2017/2018 was a very difficult year for me. We were still adjusting to our new life in Australia, were trying to set up our house, working full time, and taking care of the baby. I was completely drained, but, I don’t see how I would’ve survived without this little guy in our lives. No matter how tough it got, as weird as it sounds, he gave us the energy to always move on.
Wait for the “perfect time”
People keep waiting for the “perfect time” to have kids, let me tell you, there is no such thing as a “perfect time”, it will always be tough in the beginning. My wife and I knew the challenges we would be facing, but still planned for a baby, and I am pleased to say that it is an amazing journey! No matter how hard you think it is, once you have a child you’ll find out you always had the capability to handle it, and like I said, in the end, it’s worth EVERYTHING!