father falling asleep with children flickr / Lars Plougmann
Fatherly Forum

Sleep Is A Luxury And 19 Other Things I Learned During My First Year As A Dad

The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at [email protected].

What do you learn from your first year of being a parent?

  1. Sleep is a luxury good.
  2. Baby poop doesn’t smell bad until they start eating real food.
  3. If you have a boy and the boy has a boner, he’s about to pee on you. Or he has already, and because of rule one, you didn’t notice.
  4. Baby bones are incredibly flexible and will tolerate your incompetent parenting better than you expect them to, but this stops by the time your kid is one years old.
  5. Your child will likely eat everything and then nothing within a span of 24 hours, and you’ll think it’s your fault.
  6. You won’t remember the last time you went out to see a movie with your significant other, and then, when you do, you’ll be disappointed and worried that the babysitter killed your kid the entire time.
  7. Your child will constantly amaze you with their intellect immediately before doing something idiotic.
  8. Your child will constantly amaze you with their intellect immediately before you do something idiotic as a parent.
  9. You’re going to become familiar with the idea of pump and dump, and think using it in a sentence is normal until you talk to your single friends, who will tell you that it’s the single-most disgusting thing that they’ve ever heard.
  10. Immediately after that, you’ll describe childbirth, because you’ll misinterpret their disgust as a challenge. This is due in large part to rule one.

  11. Virtually everything you bought for your kid besides diapers and a crib is useless for the first 6 months.
  12. You will become a connoisseur of board books for children as you determine which messaging in which books defines your parenting style.
  13. You will remember the days when you used to work out regularly and think to yourself, “Oh, that was nothing compared to this.”
  14. You’ve never felt joy like you do every time your son or daughter reacts to you, which makes all of the unfortunate messes you endure worthwhile.
  15. Your friends, relatives, other family members and co-workers will give you a constant stream of unwelcome, conflicting advice about child-rearing when all you want to talk about is TV or football or something equally inane.
  16. You’ll stop having friends for about a year, but then everyone worthwhile comes back around.
  17. You’ll think it’s normal to dress a 8-pound baby in 16 pounds of clothing to protect them from the cold when it’s 70 degrees outside because you’re ‘worried about the air conditioning.’
  18. You’ll think it’s normal to go out to the drug store in your pajamas to pick up a rectal thermometer because the one you have must be broken.
  19. You’ll start asking everyone around you what shots they’ve had and when so that you can pinpoint which people can be allowed near your child.
  20. Finally, you’ll wish, every single night before you drift off for your 3 hours of sleep, that none of this will end, ever, because it’s amazing.

Jonathan Brodsky is the former SVP of Chicken Soup for the Soul and fmr Director at 1-800-flowers. Read more from Quora below: