Daddios, Sameer Phal shares his experiences of being a first time dad with Pregnancy to Parenthood.
How are you finding being a first time dad?
I have been a dad of a baby boy for almost 3 months now, although this fact is yet to sink in completely. Maybe in parts living with the family & having a helping hand has kind of cushioned the stress & work. From whatever I have seen though if you do not have enough help at hand at the real nightmare. I cannot claim to have fully adjusted now, but I guess I am getting there one step at a time.
Has it been what you expected so far?
It is kind of a mixed bag. It is incredible. I love this little guy. Nothing really prepares you for it.
You expect that you are going to be in love with your little child, but it is really overwhelming. It is very, very different from any relationship I have had. At times it feels a bit burdensome to do all the chores associated, but then the little guy melts your heart with his cute smile or cooing & well you surrender.
The journey of parenthood starts from the day you come to know that you are going to be a father. You really must put in a lot of effort especially in taking care of your wife. The realization that she is not just a single life but also wholly responsible for another life which is totally dependent on her sometimes does put in additional pressure. You must make a lot of lifestyle changes that follow pregnancy. There are just too many things all at once. Also, the anxiety which swamps especially with regards to the health of the child & mother makes you quite tense.
The day of delivery is a kind of acid test of your nerves, you are in the hospital expectant & worried praying for safe delivery. Fortunately for me, I had my family & friends around which made the experience less daunting.
I would say it was more of relief when I finally saw my baby boy for the first time. Of all the people in the world he was my biggest help, coz as soon as I saw him for the first time, he kind of smiled & waved his hands around. I remember letting go of a huge sigh of relief at that time.
If you were giving a friend (first time dad) a piece of advice what would it be?
Just expect the first two months to be insane. Just write them off and if you treat them like anything can possibly happen, it avoids you getting too pissed off when things don’t go to plan. Helping hands are never enough. Get as much help as you can, sometimes you are going to have too many people telling you too many things. You need to filter out the info.
Just remember one thing if it is difficult for you it is 100 times worse for your wife. Be supportive, listen, be flexible (your routine will & must be disbanded), remember that the baby is the prime focus, help in whatever way you can. Most importantly your temperament makes the biggest impact on how you deal with this lifechanging chaos.
In my case, I feel grateful that my son was born just before the Corona Virus or Covid-19 hit us majorly. The pandemic has been a black swan event likes of which we could have never even imagined in our worst dreams. Life has changed dramatically for everybody. We could not really celebrate any of the events associated with a new-born. Even an event like the naming ceremony (which is kind of an introduction of the child to the world) had to be done in a private way with a handful of close ones.
Being a parent especially a first-time dad is as much of a responsibility as it is a privilege. There is no one size fits all method of being a dad. Like everything else in life, this experience too falls in the grey zone. There is nothing fully White (good) nothing fully Black(bad), it’s all a shade of grey :-).