On being a new parent

Well, it’s been eleven days since Mel and I became new parents to our daughter Millie, and wow, how our lives have been turned on their head.  Not that we’ve had any particularly bad experiences, but it’s a shock to the system, that’s for sure.   Experienced parents may smile with sympathy at some of the below, but here are a few observations I’ve noted –

  • My day (and night) is now broken up into 3 hour segments and time seems to pass remarkably quickly.
  • I’ve never felt so constantly tired in my life, and sleep is achieved by snatching it whenever you can.
  • Breastfeeding is a hard gig.  Really hard.   Respect.
  • I’ve become dramatically more efficient and motivated at nearly every chore, now that I have a defined time-frame to achieve it.
  • I wish I had have chopped more firewood, made more frozen meals, and pushed harder to wrap things up at work earlier.
  • I’ve noticed a new perspective on life is developing, and the things that used to matter in my world have started to change.

But you know something?   – I need to take only a glance at her and immediately any of my challenges are forgotten.  Every day seems to be a little easier than the last, and as a team, Mel and I are just as strong as we’ve ever been before.   I am so thankful that I’m not forced back to work next week, as is the reality for many, and I’m able to provide in-person support for my new family.  My year of being a stay-at-home dad has begun, and I’m loving it.

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8 thoughts on “On being a new parent

  1. Kathy

    I loved reading your words and yes those 11 days must all seem a blur. Everybody tells you what to expect and you think you know what to expect but OMG it’s nothing like it in terms of sleep, going grocery shopping….washing baby clothes, changing baby clothes, trying to sort out dinner. It is way harder than you think and way harder than what you think you’ve prepared for however on the upside you can’t imagine how amazing it is seeing this little person lying there that you made. It’s incredible and you can just sit there and stare at them and who cares about the floors needing a mop or clothes needing to be ironed. I know a simple trip to the grocery store for supplies now has to be planned down to the last minute like clean nappy, feeding first, taking all the supplies, are they asleep etc. It’s all so much more involved than deciding to pop to the shops to pick up something. I think now is the time to get familiar with Coles and Woollies on-line. Sure you are going to pay a delivery fee but it might be worth paying that occasionally so you can spend more quality time at home together as a family. It is an amazing time seeing your baby girl and the other thing is yep “they grow so fast” so photograph everything. Congratulations to the both of you for getting through the last 11 days. Get through hour by hour if you have too. Beautiful photos of Millie. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    Reply
  2. livingsimplyfree

    It does get better and you will again find you can sleep an entire night, in time. She is so beautiful! Oh and breastfeeding will become second nature for both of them as well. I think it is fantastic that you are able to stay home with your family for the first year.

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  3. Jess64

    Congratulations again. On the breastfeeding please don’t hesitate to ask for help. The australian breastfeeding association is a good resource the the helpline is alway available for support.

    Reply
  4. safia

    Congratulations – a baby brings so much joy, it’s hard to put it into words, but you’ve done a great job on that score. Wishing you well in your year of caring for Milly. It really doesn’t compare to anything else, but it’s way harder than going out to work! Worth every minute though.

    Reply
  5. Miss Piggy

    Congrats – she’s lovely. I think I’d be a terrible parent – the sleep deprivation would kill me! Enjoy your year — looking forward to more updates.

    Reply
  6. Kirsty@Bowerbird Blue

    What a cutie, that first year, its a tough gig. I decided if I got one thing done in the day to be happy, for that small achievement, basic living with a newborn is full time times ten. Early breast feeding is full on, but it does get so much easier, as with most things baby. Enjoy that little one and let things slide, they’re only tiny for such a short time, lovely to hear a dad oozing with baby love.

    Reply
  7. Zena

    Congratulations! What a beautiful baby. How lucky to stay at home for a year; it will be amazing! I had my second at Christmas and he was just as special as my first. Your observations list reminded me how intense it is, even the second time round. Blessings to your little family.

    Reply

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