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17 Jun

Being a dad is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Getting to hold my son each day, feed him, change him, and put him to bed conjures up more feelings than any other experience. If you are a dad, you know what I’m talking about. The only thing that beats it out is watching them learn and grow.  Their minds are always going as they explore and take in the world around them.

Since fatherhood is so new to me, I’ve learned that there are a few things I would have loved to know before becoming a dad.  Here are a few of those things. Let me know if you agree.

1. Time is Hard to Come By

Face it, every waking moment is spent worrying about and taking care of the child.  When they are awake, they have your attention. You need to let go and take some time for yourself. Work it out with your wife where she can have her time and you can have your time.  Use this time to work on your body and mind. Exercise, reading, and learning new skills is important to keep your sanity in check.

2. Poop is Poop

Whether is baby poop, dog poop, or somewhere in between, poop is poop. I had an enormous fear of having to change diapers. Quickly I learned to get over the fear.  Changing a diaper is short and too the point. Just know that once you dive in, it will be over soon. If you spend time fretting over it, you are going to be miserable longer. Get ‘er done and you can move on to enjoy your day.

3. You Can’t Protect them from Everything

Unless you put them in a bubble, you can’t protect them from everything. Know that kids will get sick, they will get hurt, they will throw up, and they will live on. Babies especially are a lot more resilient than you think.  One thing I’ve learned with my little one is he can wack his head as hard as he wants, but he won’t make a decision to cry until he looks at me and reads my reaction.  My affirmation that he’s okay often keeps him from crying.  Sometimes though the only thing you can do is be there for them to cry on and thats okay too.

4. Time is Short

In the blink of an eye our little one has turned 9 months old. I don’t know what has happened to those 9 months. It seems like just yesterday we were sitting on the couch when my wife started getting contractions. You need to embrace every moment. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day, but take the time to make memories and know that babies only get better with age.

5. Babies / Children Always look up to their Parents

I can already see it in my son’s eyes. Every move I make, he is watching me, taking in my actions and interpreting them until he can mimmick them. You need to decide now, who you want your son/daughter to be and start acting that way yourself. It doesn’t matter what you tell them, they will copy you.

6. Get as Much Sleep as Possible

You can’t tackle a day without sleep. I still struggle with this, but you need to sleep when they sleep, especially in the beginning. If you don’t, you will burn out. If you sleep when they sleep, you’ll still be tired, but at least you’ll have some time under your belt. I know it is tempting to get stuff done around the house, but know this, you will never get enough sleep.

Are you a new dad? What are your experiences? Do you have any tips for new dads?


4 Reasons Why Fitness Matters

9 Apr

Often times we only think of fitness as accomplishing or meaning one thing, losing weight and looking good. It wasn’t until I stumbled up a blog by Steve Kamb at NerdFitness that it hit me that there are real life applications to fitness beyond athletics and trying to fit into societies mold of what is acceptable.  For a dad, whether you have a son or daughter, it is twice as important and here are a few reasons why.

1. Protecting Your Family

What if there was a fire in your home and the only way to get your family out was to climb your family down from the tree next to your window? Would you be strong enough to get down with your child or significant other in tow? More realistically, what if that fire caused your wife to pass out before you could get to her and you needed to carry her out of the house? We don’t think of real life emergencies like that and while, yes, adrenaline will kick in a little bit, there is only so much that can go around. I don’t know about you but I’d rather rely on my strength to save me and not some chemical that is only admitted in high tense situations.

2. Being a Good Role Model

From the moment your son or daughter is born, they are looking up to you.  You may not realize it until they are able to talk and repeat every cuss word out of your mouth, but they do idolize you and want to be like you.  Wouldn’t you rather them mimic the fit, strong, heroic type dad, rather than the couch potato, sweat pants wearing, lazy you? Showing them good habits early on sets them up for a lifetime of healthy choices and good decisions.

3. Being the Bedtime Hero

Who hasn’t come across the situation where their child, and or significant other hasn’t fallen asleep way before their bedtime on the couch and the only way to get them from said position to their bed is by carrying them up the stairs? Wouldn’t it be great to have the strength to get them there peacefully by doing all the work? If there’s one thing that makes you feel like Superman, it’s this.  Whiles it’s not the most important thing on the list, it is one that creates a connection and bond with you and your family so hit the gym Sally!

4. Playing with your Kids

This is one that we really overlook. Just being able to play with your kids and to be active in the back yard is something we all tend to undervalue.  For some, they just don’t have the physical capabilities to do this but long to on a daily basis. For you and I, we may get lazy, let ourselves go and then have it become burdensome to get off the couch and play. That’s why staying on top of your fitness is extremely important. The more time you spend with your kids in the backyard and off the couch, the less likely they are to fall into bad habits and behaviors.

Being a parent is tough, I’m not going to lie about that. There are some steps we can take to make it easier on us physically.  Getting into the best shape possible really helps overcome the complete exhaustion associated with raising kids.

What types of activities do you enjoy with your kids? Have you had the chance to take them on a nature walk?

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