My wife, Vy, and I had our first child on June 30th. His name is Benjamin Ender Simo and he is absolutely perfect. It's definitely been an adjustment but it's a more fulfilling time than I could have imagined.
I'm super thankful that my job's paternity leave is 6 weeks. It has of course afforded me the opportunity for me and my family to adjust but it's also allowed me to reflect on the experience.
The following snippets are the distillation of that month's reflection. I'm writing them down for a few reasons:
- To help me remember this time down the road and how fulfilling and satisfying of a period it was.
- To give me a touchstone so that these lessons persist and I don't have to re-learn them as often.
- I'm only a month into being a father, there is loads and loads I have yet to discover and sure, they may be obvious to some, but life experience really lets knowledge sink in. If anyone can be better equipped for their own parental journey and benefit from these then that'd be really neat too.
OK, with that out of the way - in no particular order..
It is not about you anymore. And that's OK.
There are good and bad moments. They are both equally fleeting.
It is really hard, but you can do this.
There is always more (pee/poo), to assume otherwise is to invite disaster. Do not let your guard down.
Small, even seemingly mundane, efficiencies are favors to your future self.
Self care isn't selfish. It helps you rejuvenate yourself, and if you're at your best you can help your partner and your child better. Don't ignore it.
Newborns do 4 things; eat, make dirty diapers, sleep, and cry. Crying is like 25% of what they even know to do, so don't get discouraged by it - it's to be expected.
You are on the same team, treat everyone with as much grace as you can muster. You'll need some in the future too.
It's totally OK to ask for help.
Vy is a force of nature, you are incredibly lucky.
Sleep and the opportunity of sleep is precious. Do not squander either.
Have a plan, but hold it loosely.
Alright, that's all I got - thanks for reading.
And to Ben, thanks for teaching me so much in such a short time. Love you so much and I'd do anything for you. I'm looking forward to getting to know you more, be nice to your mom and dad.