Thursday, August 2, 2012

Veteran

As of today I am no longer the newest parent in my family.

At 2:30 this morning my younger sister gave birth to a new nephew for me, a new cousin for Cam. Another beautiful little life thrown into the world, all potential and squidginess.

Sadly, as much as I’d like it to be, unclernity leave is not currently a thing. Hard to believe I know, but DavCam and co don’t grant me even a single day off work upon the arrival of this new bundle of joy. Damn them. Damn them and every other government who hasn’t implemented unclernity (and aunternity) leave.

Frankly, this is ridiculous. How am I supposed to impart the AWESOME PARENTING WISDOM I have accrued over the past (not quite) four months of being a dad if I have to go to work instead of hopping on the motorway and going to see the new parents? Why, of course, I can put it here.

  1. Your time for sleep is when the baby sleeps. The hoovering can wait. The mess does not need to be tidied. Grab the opportunity to sleep with both hands, use superglue to ensure it does not escape your grasp.
  2. When the baby cries, it wants a cuddle. Or it doesn’t want a cuddle. Or it has a poo it needs sorting out. Or it is hungry. Or it is just crying. Try not to worry about it too much.
  3. Be Excellent to Each Other (#BETEO). You will be tired. You will be stressed. You will have poo under your fingernails and sick in your hair. Your ears will be hearing wails even when there are not actually any coming from the baby. Despite all of this, remember that you love each other very much, and treat each other accordingly.
  4. Babies like walking, but they’re not very good at it. So you’ll need to walk for him. Walk around the house. Walk the deserted midnight streets. Walk, walk, walk, walk.
  5. When it gets too much for either one of you, take a break. Five minutes of peace can feel like an eternity when there hasn’t been any for several hours.
  6. Ask other people for help. That’s what we’re here for.
  7. Enjoy it or endure it. When it’s easy, enjoy it. When it’s hard, endure it. He will change so quickly you won’t believe it. Savour every moment, because you only get that moment once.
  8. I know I already mentioned sleep, but, seriously, do it whenever you can.
  9. If it suits you, ignore ever piece of advice you’re given by anyone. Go with your instinct. Go with your gut. You will know what is right, you will feel it inside you and you will not need a book, a website or a ridiculous brother/uncle to tell you.

Anyway. I’m super pleased and excited that there’s another little person in the family, and I’m super chuffed for my sister and her wife. I know they’ll be amazing parents and that the little guy will grow up with an abundance of love and affection thrown his way.

If anyone would care to add some more top newborn tips please add them in the comments box :-)

8 comments:

  1. Great advice, and congrats! My only additional advice is eat. I kept forgetting in first weeks! Often the only way to eat is in shifts, so make microwave heat up friendly food!

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    1. Oh, yes, that's good! We ate nothing much more than cake (from my mum) and bowls of cereal for the first couple of weeks!

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  2. Huzzah for new babies! Erm, advice? Don't drop them.

    Congrats to all :)

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    1. Huzzah indeed!

      Your advice is consistent, that's what you told me not to do :-)

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  3. Ah huge congrats Uncle Lewis :) Advice? Remember sometimes it is ok to say no to visitors, especially in the first few weeks.

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  4. Surprised there aren't more comments on here bub.

    Perfect advice all round. The Gut Feeling especially is a feeling that must be listened to ABOVE ALL ELSE when faced with adversity.

    My advice? Listen. Listen to your partner, listen to your baby and listen to yourself. Take it all in because, as you say, this will only ever happen once.

    Congrats to all

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  5. I think that's an excellent list of advice Lewis, and contrats!

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