Swapping beer for ice cream
Guest blogger Jim Briffett, shares how he swapped beer for ice cream and other changes since becoming a dad. A journalist, blogger, and former guitarist of Brighton bands Clearlake and The Miserable Rich. BrightonMums.com are thrilled to have him write this post for us.
My lovely baby daughter has just turned eight-months old. Since her birth life has felt like a bit of a whirlwind – I said to my wife recently: “I feel like I’ve had ten nervous breakdowns…”
Okay, so it might be a slight exaggeration but becoming a father certainly gets you thinking. Or at least it should get you thinking, right?
Fact: there’s nothing that can prepare you for fatherhood. I hit the biggest high ever after Isla was born and then hit a huge temporary low – mainly because I was so excited I thought it was possible to exist on no sleep. It’s not. In the end no sleep hurts no matter how high you feel.
Time management is crucial but I’m basically a bit of an old hippie, a free spirit if you will so managing my time is just…not in tune with my whole spiritual ethos, yah? Managing when you sleep, when your partner sleeps and when baby sleeps is so important.
Compromising one’s lifestyle is also a bit of a shocker. That 3-day bender with your mates will have to go on hold, that rock-opera you were composing will have to go on hold, that space rocket you’re building in the garden will have to go on hold. Yeah, it sucks.
Swapping beer for ice-cream will not make you any thinner but it will make the pacing round the lounge a thousand times at 3am trying to get little one to sleep that bit easier. If you didn’t have a healthy paunch before, it’s okay to have one now – you’re a dad.
Look after yourself coz no one else will now. As harsh as it seems you’re the ‘big man’ – your partner’s love and affection for you will take a back seat. If you can, make time for your favourite hobby even just once a week: a bit of time out here and there will make you love your family more – well, that’s what you tell the missus.
Try to remember when baby’s screaming incessantly and you feel like turning to hard(er) drugs – it will get better.
Ask for help: friends, relatives and even random passers-by love the sight of a new-born baby – get them to do stuff for you, they enjoy it.
The main thing is: for all the poo, wee and vomit there will be the odd life-affirming moment of absolute joy making you feel like the king of the universe.
Of course every fathers experience is uniquely personal. These are just my hazy, baby-brained ramblings, but for any fathers-to-be reading this I hope it makes the ensuing onslaught of nervous breakdowns that little bit easier…
Fore more of Jim’s musings check out his blog www.jimbriffett.com.