Being a dad is hard work! At least, that’s what I tell people so that they won’t ask me to do things for them. In fact, I’m so filled with dadly wisdom that I’m prepared to share a few survival tips for new and expecting dads.
Of course, this is on my mind because a friend of mine is going to be a new father this spring. Currently, I’m carefully considering what advice I can give him to prepare him for what will be the biggest adventure of his life. (At least, that’s what I tell other people to impress them while they backpack through the Himalayas or whatever.)
7 Incredible Survival Tips for Dads
- Get a yoga ball. Those little bastards will not let you sit down. However, if you bounce on a yoga ball, they have a harder time climbing on you.
Plus, I’ve heard conflicting reports about the health benefits of sitting on yoga balls. I’m no scientist—or back doctor, or whatever—but I’m confident in saying that dubious health claims are (sometimes) better than no health claims at all.
Oh yeah, and they’re fun.
- Be prepared not to sleep. I’m talking no sleep for like two or three years. Minimum.
On the bright side, if you’ve gone to grad school, you’re probably used to it.
Whoever said sleep was important was probably lying, anyway. I blame Big Mattress—they’re just trying to get their paws on my money in exchange for a luxurious pillow top.
- Get a butt sprayer for your toilet. Some people have informed me that they’re called “bidets,” but I’m not trying to hear that. I know what it does, and I take a utilitarian approach to naming conventions.
Trust me on this one: you’ll need it one day. And on that day that fateful day, if you don’t have one, you will curse yourself. (You can leave a comment below if you’d like for me to curse you, too. The more the merrier, right?)
- Get ready for unpredictable nap times. They sleep for like, 16 hours a day. The key word is day. In ten-minute increments.
Now, I’m not sure who told them to do that, but it should be illegal. This, this might be your best opportunity to do really cool dad stuff, like throw away toys. It could also be time to pick up a neat hobby that you can enjoy in weird, short increments.
- Start documenting things. That cute outfit of theirs that you love? Get a picture while you can. They’ll probably grow out of it far too quickly.
Do they not have a cute outfit that you love? Try this great dad hack: get them one. Or make one. It’ll take longer and might not look very good, but it’ll give you bragging rights at the next dad convention.
- That outfit that you like for yourself? Get a picture while you can. You look good, champ—document that, too!
Plus, I don’t know if anyone’s told you this, but babies are messy. They’re borderline gross. (Haha, “borderline.” Yeah. They’re fully gross.)
Remember that scene in the exorcist? Well, I’m not saying that babies are possessed, but there’s a lot of projectile vomiting going on, and no scientist has been able to figure out where it all comes from. (Please don’t check my sources on that.)
- Congratulate yourself. It’s all worth it, because in seven years you can teach them to hide in the hamper and scare the shit out of your partner.
I’ve also taught them to occasionally bring me a well-deserved beer from the fridge. Oh, and to throw some trash in the actual trash, rather than just the floor.
Bonus tip: use the words “teach” and “taught,” because most people will look at you funny if you say “train” or “trained.”
And that’s it! That’s seven tips! Totally nailed it.
I’ll be sharing these with my expecting dad friend. I think it’s a common courtesy. Nobody should get into dadhood without fully understanding the risks involved. Plus, as a dad, giving unsolicited life advice is just another one of my duties.
Did I miss anything? What else should be on the list?