Parenting Thoughts From a Two-Week Old Dad

As many of you know my wife and I are in the adoption process and were recently placed with a beautiful newborn baby girl. We’re a whole two weeks into parenting and absolutely loving it.

As I ponder this new milestone in our lives I began to wonder how to sum up everything I’ve learned and felt over the last two weeks:

Should I make a collage in my dream journal?
Maybe, but I would have to have a dream journal in order to do that. Since I am neither 13yrs old nor a girl, that seems pretty unlikely.

What about writing a song?
Definitely do-able. I spent a semester abroad studying music at the New England Conservatory and this would be a great way to put that experience to practical use. The only problem is Sarah would never allow me to play my kazoo out in public or in private at home. Or even think about it in my head.

Do I boil all of my parenting wisdom down to a cheap, David Letterman-esque, Top Ten list?
Yes, that is it. That’s the answer.

So, for the dozens of you who tune in to read my blog, here are my Top 10 thoughts on parenting from a two-week old dad:

1. Are baby bouncers supposed to soothe a baby to sleep by making a ratcheting sound that pounds into your skull and haunts your waking dreams? If so, than ours is working perfectly. Right now it sounds like a descent of woodpeckers laying siege to that tree the Keebler Elves make all their cookies in.

2. A part of me was a little worried I might not love Angela as much as a biologically child. I was dead wrong. I love her more than anything else in the world. I could not love anyone or anything more than I love my baby girl!

3. When wrapped correctly in a swaddling blanket (“swaddling blanket” being a nice way of saying “baby straight jacket”) infants resemble a human Chipotle burrito.

4. I promised myself I would not be that dad who takes pictures of his kid every time they make the slightest movement (even when it’s to release their bowels). I was wrong about that too. I’ve already maxed out the space on my iPhone. iCloud came just in the nick of time. Thanks Apple!

5. I’m not sure if this is characteristic of most newborns, but Angela has old lady hands. Seriously, it’s like she has the hands of a slightly less-ancient Betty White. Hopefully she will grow into her skin.

6. The first day back to work was hard. I consistently like what I get to do for a living, but it was tough to focus with my two girls at home. It doesn’t help when my wife texts me every 5 minutes with another moment from my daughter’s life I missed. Makes me treasure the ones I’m there for all the more.

7. I’ve come to the realization my parents love my daughter more than they love me. This is difficult. I will mourn the loss of their affection and the surplus of Christmas gifts that will now go to Angela instead of me.

8. My wife has never looked more radiant than when I see her holding my daughter. Have I mentioned how much I love my girls? I love my girls more than anything in the Solar System!

9. My baby’s head is too small for hats. Every time I try to put one on her it immediately drops over her eyes. On the plus side this has helped Angie to perfect her Donald impersonation from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.

10. As much as I can’t wait to see the person Angie is going to become, I’m enjoying all of the little moments with her now as a baby. Here is Sarah and my’s parenting prayer from Psalm 101:2 (TLB): “I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need your help, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should.”

What tips do you have for this two-week-old dad?

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3 comments

  1. First off all, congrats! My biggest tip for you is to Talk with your daughter from this moment on. This might sound obvious but this in one thing that most parents miss out on. Tell her why you do everything, and i mean everything. Remember that she is new to this world so she doesnt know Why she needs to go to bed, or why she needs to eat healthy. Or why you dont want her to stand on the edge of a chair. If you do this from this moment forward combined with letting her ask you why on everything, one more time, EVERYTHING, She will understand you, and you will understand her. I have a ton more to say, feel free to respond by email if you want! Good luck!

  2. Congrats! As a new mommy to a 3 month old it’s been 13 weeks of trial and error but what we’ve learned has helped us regain our sanity in those days you feel like you might lose your mind. Naps are key! The common misconception that if you keep your baby wake ALL day or only give them a nap or two they’ll sleep all night isn’t reality. We’ve followed a Eat, Play, Sleep schedule since day one and she’s thrived from it. Enjoy every second, it goes so quick! 🙂

  3. Isn’t it amazing??? When we brought our first home, we just kept thinking, “Who let us be parents??” We felt so excited, unprepared, in-love, and overwhelmed at the same time. It has just kept getting better. The only thing that’s getting tough now is the introduction of discipline. Our daughter is almost two and it’s high-time to start setting boundaries. It’s so tough seeing her little face crinkle up and cry (like when we won’t let her watch Curious George for 2 hours straight).

    Treasure all the moments, but don’t worry too much about “missing something”. I just got out our first-born’s baby calendar and I recorded WAY too much. Like when she had a diaper explosion in church. That shouldn’t have been remembered!

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