OT - Calling All Parents

Submitted by canzior on May 25th, 2018 at 2:15 PM

Happy Friday MgoCommunity. 

 

My wife and I welcomed our first child last week, a healthy boy, 6 lb, 11oz. He was due May 31, but he surprised us by showing up early. At 37, I am definitely savoring the experience in a way I'm not sure I was mature enough to appreciate in my 20s. I was hoping he would be born into a world where Michigan is the defending National Champs in basketball, but at least his first football game with dad will be watching Michigan/ND.  If I knew how, I would post a picture. Can't believe I've been on here nearly 8 years and have no idea how to post a photo. 

 

Also spending  a lot of time at home with nothing to do. Anyone have any funny, inspiring, interesting stories about their children? Or something you want to brag about? Or any good advice? Or just anything worth reading in betweeen naps and food.

 

 

Comments

reddogrjw

May 25th, 2018 at 2:18 PM ^

they are up to something

both our daughters (now 22 and 25) finger painted with their diaper contents - not a pretty site / smell / cleanup etc.

but just be involved - they are a blast (most of the time)

 

PS - congrats!

ska4punkkid

May 25th, 2018 at 5:59 PM ^

Yes! be involved with them! Show them as much love as you can. They will screw up and do dumb stuff but remember they are kids and not adults, so have patience and roll with the punches.

 

I have 4 kids ages 4-10 and it is absolutely mind-blowing how fast they grow up. Enjoy every moment and CONGRATULATIONS!

Blue_by_U

May 25th, 2018 at 10:28 PM ^

seems like yesterday our twins were three months premature...now both are 'seniors' graduating next year, narrowing down college options, athletics options, setting up visits, and it seems like it just keeps  picking up speed each year. I stepped away from coaching to avoid being 'THAT DAD' and to dedicate time to watching them play. I spent time focused on their lifting, eating, and training guidance,and I wish I had even more time to spend with both of them. Just waiting for THEIR payoff for all their work and effort. Kids are a treasure.

Garfunkel

May 25th, 2018 at 2:19 PM ^

Congrats! I have a five year old and twin one year olds (and I’m 42... they haven’t killed me yet).

Savor every moment. It goes so much faster than you think.

TrojanBlue

May 25th, 2018 at 2:19 PM ^

For all three of my children is sleeping through the night.  Sleep is so underrated.

Best advice: don't be in a hurry for them to grow up, you only get each age once.

Congrats on the little one.

WestQuad

May 25th, 2018 at 2:28 PM ^

Had my first at 37 and have three.  Get lots of exercise so that you can keep up with them.

Make an effort to spend time with them beyond the time that you have to spend time with them.  

Take lots of photos.  I don't remember anything about the first few years because it is a blur.

Keep a journal or blog.  When your kids want stories later on you'll have some.  

 

reddogrjw

May 25th, 2018 at 2:31 PM ^

when ours were born

I liked being young enough to do lots of activities as some parents were in their 50's and struggled to participate with them so yes, parents need to exercise and be in shape so they can enjoy their kids more

twohooks

May 25th, 2018 at 2:29 PM ^

Don't be concerned about age or being an older parent as I have 2 and am older than you. I too was too immature in my 20's but somehow smart enough not to have any during those years, somehow what you learned in your 20's will help you appreciate the present instead of chasing money to protect the future. First 6 months are rough, I would highly recommend a small weekend getaway or break at the end of each 90 days fo the first 6 months as the 41/2 and 5 month point is where we felt our breaking point. Best of heath to you and your family!

Brian of Ohio-…

May 25th, 2018 at 2:39 PM ^

Just like a 401K, time is your best friend. Start it, seed it, and feed it. Depending on your state, you may even be able to deduct all or a portion of the amounts that you contribute.

Also, utilize as many tax savings vehicles as possible: HSA accounts for doctor visits, max out on FSAs for child daycare expenses. Lowering your taxable income by 5-10K per year is a beautiful thing, especially when it comes to year end and you see how much you spent on childcare

Pepper Brooks

May 25th, 2018 at 5:09 PM ^

I know this doesn't apply to the OP, but if you're 42 or older when your child is born, instead of a 529 plan I would suggest a backdoor Roth IRA contribution (after tax IRA contribution followed by Roth IRA conversion).  You get the same benefits as a 529 plan, but much more flexibility on how and when to use funds, including any way you like without penalty.  You can invest in any security in any class you like, and you can re-balance as often as you like.

Sione For Prez

May 25th, 2018 at 2:29 PM ^

Congratulations! My wife and I are expecting our first in about 10 weeks. We won't be finding out if the little one is a boy or girl until they make their arrival. I'm starting to get very anxious/excited/nervous but luckily my job and home projects will keep my mind plenty busy in the meantime.

S5R48S10

May 25th, 2018 at 2:32 PM ^

New dad here.  My little girl was born Jan 22, we just passed the four month mark and she's amazing.  I'll share the best advice I got for being a new parent.  

 

After coming home, try to get out of the house with your baby within a week.  It doesn't have to be big... a trip to the grocery store, a snack at a coffee shop, a visit to a friend's house, a drink at the (relatively quiet) bar.   If you prove to yourself early on that you can go out with your baby, it won't be such a daunting task when you have to.  

lilpenny1316

May 25th, 2018 at 2:30 PM ^

I have five kids and they're all awesome.  But man, the boys are a bit more active.  Here's just a minor list of what my youngest boy (currently 2 yrs old) has done:

1. Ran the hot water in an upstair bathroom while the family was asleep.  Water overflowed and ruined the ceiling and burned out a sensor in the water heater.

2. Threw the cap to a jar down the toilet, which of course got stuck somewhere in between the first/second floor.

3. Ripped a hole in a pool yesterday that I just blew up two days ago.

4. Ate a glob of vaseline last night.

With all of that...and more...I wouldn't trade my kids for anything in the world.  

Enjoy your son, record as many milestones as possible, and remember to laugh, even when he pelts your car with rocks...yep, my baby boy did that this week also.

Congrats!!!

Y-UM

May 25th, 2018 at 2:30 PM ^

Congratulations!

 

Best practical advice we got: don't whisper when your babies are asleep, or they'lll learn to only sleep when it's quiet. Despite the constant sitcom/movie jokes that anything above a whisper wakes babies, if you talk at a normal volume, that's the noise level they'll learn to sleep at.

Best hindsight: don't be determined to be right.

ImLawBoy

May 25th, 2018 at 2:40 PM ^

This is such a good one.  We made all kinds of noise when the kids were sleeping as babies, and now they'll sleep through just about anything.  I run the Vitamix most nights while they're sleeping, and they don't wake up (8 yr old and twin 3 yr olds - although the 8 yr old doesn't really count since he's deaf and doesn't wear his cochlear implant microphones when he's sleeping!).

jakerblue

May 25th, 2018 at 2:38 PM ^

Throw all your expectations out the window. Don’t try to stick to your guns just because you thought you were going to do something a specific way before the baby was born. We were going to use the reusable cloth diapers, that lasted about two months. It’s hard to give up on plans but different things work for every family.

Don’t feel guilty about not doing things you are supposed to do. Such as breast-feeding, don’t feel obligated to have he baby exclusively breast-fed. If they are getting some breast-milk but you need to supplement that’s perfectly fine, and if they aren’t nursing at all that’s still perfectly fine.

Sleep training is hard but it makes such a difference in the long term.

outofbounds

May 25th, 2018 at 2:37 PM ^

Be a parent, not a friend who is afraid to say, "No."

Believe me, your child will respect you when you show them you are their parent, not their enabler.  

Be firm and decisive. Be on the same page as your wife in raising the little one.  If you or her disagree with how the other is parenting in a certain situation, don't raise that point up in front of the child.  Support the other in the face of the child even when you disagree, discuss it in private after the episode.  

Good luck, it really is a lot of fun.  They grow up so fast! For realz.  

MaineGoBlue

May 25th, 2018 at 2:39 PM ^

Cherish all the “phases” they go through. While they may be REALLLYYYY annoying at first, when they get through them you’ll look back and think it was hilarious/silly/dumb/or maybe still just annoying, but they’re memories you’ll have forever. I’ve got a 2 year old and could fill the board with all the shenanigans already... but no sense doing that, you’ll learn for yourself!

CONGRATS!

An Angelo's Addict

May 25th, 2018 at 2:43 PM ^

We have an almost 14 month old. For the last 2+ months our rug has smelled of poop. Mind you there was nothing on the rug, but it just smelled bad. We theorized it was from a time we changed him and something got on the rug, or maybe he rubbed something there? Well the other day we are doing a big clean of the room and underneath a bunch of toys/junk there is a turd. Hard as a rock and months old. Mystery solved.

xtramelanin

May 25th, 2018 at 2:43 PM ^

but a few things i'd tell you.  young soldiers bring bullets to battle and they want to party.  old soldiers fill their pockets with food and sleep when it was available.   translation: get your rest when you can, and i can't encourage you enough to have mama nurse no matter how difficult.  it gets easier, so much better for baby, bonding is better, and last but not least, you don't come equipped with a dairy bar, so you aren't on tap to stay up at night. 

watch mom closely. she just performed a miracle.  sometimes their hormones go nutty and it is absolutely not their fault.  help her, help her, help her.  clean, cook, take care of the other kids (you'll have more), do the shopping, etc.   

like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.  happy is the man whose quiver is full.  he shall not be afraid, but shall speak with the enemy at the gate.  

rejoice! 

Bane of Gargamel

May 25th, 2018 at 2:48 PM ^

I have 6 year old and 3 year old girls. I was 37 when the 3 y/o was born. I'm definitely happy that I didn't have them when I was in my 20s.

Story: When the 3 y/o was a baby, her sister liked to get up super early and wake me up to hang out with her. It was sweet but since I was already getting very little sleep due to the new baby, I had to lay down the law. So instead of waking me up, she started standing next to the bed and creepily stare at me until I woke up. One morning I opened my eyes, was startled by the non-blinking toddler standing 1 inch from my face and opened my mouth to yell. Right then, she needed to sneeze. Right into my open mouth.

Advice: Everyone is going to have an opinion. Just use your best judgment. They'll get over it if you don't listen to them. You'll inevitably regret some decisions but, as long as you're always trying to do best by the kid, things will turn out well.

Ron Utah

May 25th, 2018 at 2:50 PM ^

Congratulations! I’m almost 39 with a 2.5yo and an 8mo. Advice is overrated, but here are a few things we wish we’d known sooner:

- Yes, your child is breathing. This sounds silly, but on our first kid especially we were constantly worried he was dead when he was sleeping. It kept us awake and sleep is precious. Learning to let go of fear has helped us become better parents and been good for our kids too.

- Every child is different and that’s why no advice should be taken as gospel. Books, parents, friends, the internet, and even doctors can give advice that is not good for your child. Trust your kid’s cues and really try to learn/listen to what they are telling you, though the first six weeks are pretty much just eat, sleep, diaper, repeat.

- Savor the period where your kid will sleep on your chest. It does not last long and is one of the best things the universe has to offer.

- Stay happy and healthy as a parent. Don’t let your kid become such a focus that you and yours don’t find ways to rest and recharge. Your patience and love are far more important for your kid than anything else and those are hard to offer when you’re cranky.

- As your kid grows, for us, neglect has been key to parenting. Giving alone time and allowing the occasional cry (especially when you know nothing is really wrong or there is nothing you can do) are certainly out of fashion right now, but man have they helped our kids develop.

- Electric swing, Dr Browns bottles, sleep sacks, good swaddles, rocker/recliner, good video monitor, water proof pads...these have been essential for us.

- There are some days your kid will just be fussy. It’s part of development and growth spurts and is okay. It’s definitely not your fault and it will pass.

- Move up diaper sizes as soon as your kid fits the bigger size. This minimizes blowouts.

- It doesn’t feel like it’s going fast for the first few weeks. By the time the kid is about 8mos there is a developmental milestone almost every day and you realize how precious that newborn/infant stage was.

- Consider keeping a daily journal with funny/memorable moments. It is awesome to reflect on.

- Save the internet from more politics and BS and post cute pictures and moments. That’s what social media is really for.

trueblueintexas

May 25th, 2018 at 2:53 PM ^

My two boys are 6 and 1 and I am older than anyone who has shared their age already in this thread. Kids are amazing and so much fun despite some of the "moments". 

No matter how much you do as a Dad, when they are little, Mom does a lot more. Make sure your wife gets a chance to have uninterupted chunks of time to her self periodically.  Sometimes encourage her to go out, but mix it up with taking the kid with you and letting her veg at home. It will help keep her sane and some of the best time you can have is one-on-one time with your kid. 

markusr2007

May 25th, 2018 at 2:58 PM ^

Some advice:

1. Don't ever let anyone tell you how you have to go all helicopter "parenting 101" nuts on your kid. That's craziness.  75% to 80% of being a great father is just being there.  The oak tree. The lighthouse in the storm.  Being there to guide and teach your son.  The other 25% is why men hit the grave earlier than women.

2. Take care of yourself. Remain physically fit. Make that a priority above all else.

3. The most interesting thing about having children is how so many things in  your life suddenly became a lot less important, or of dramatically lower priority to me.  This is normal.

4. Understand now that who you are and what you a do as husband/father may never be properly recognized or appreciated by others. You're just supposed to.  A lot of guys look outward for approval, etc. and are disappointed when it's never forthcoming. There's a lot of ridiculing of fathers going on right now, and some consider dads as insignficiant or bumbling idiots.  Ignore it.  You need to be OK with all that nonsense, and look internally for that sense of standard, appreciation, accomplishment, etc.

5.  Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

 

mdoc

May 25th, 2018 at 2:54 PM ^

Only thing I can suggest is, if your wife agrees to it and it's logistically do-able, consider alternating nights with the baby. You're on duty for all the wakeups/changes/bottles one night, but the next night you get to sleep all the way through. Then every day only one of you is a zombie, and the other (hopefully) got some rest.

LSAClassOf2000

May 25th, 2018 at 2:55 PM ^

I am 40 and my kids are 11 and 10 now, but if you're a new dad, then I definitely suggest catching up on sleep when you can. It's definitely an adventure but one you'll enjoy and I find each day that what my father told me as I was holding my daughter in the hospital 11 years ago is still correct - parenting is the best job you're never prepared to do. The best thing about it really is that, in some respects, I didn't even need to grow up....says a 40 year-old man with a cartoon pony on his shirt right now. 

The Maizer

May 25th, 2018 at 2:58 PM ^

I highly recommend having a child just in time for the Olympics to start in a far-away timezone. Really makes staying up all night more tolerable.

MacMarauder

May 25th, 2018 at 3:00 PM ^

Congrats!  I have a three and a half year old son and a daughter due in less than a month.  One thing I heard that stuck with me is that the first three months or so of a baby's life is the "fourth trimester".  They are no longer in the womb but they need time to figure how life out here works.  

BlueCE

May 25th, 2018 at 3:05 PM ^

I feel you... I am 40 and we just had out first baby 3 weeks ago. Tons of work but loving the experience. Can't wait for the baby to start interacting with us. So far my favorite is the face she makes when she is trying to poop.

wizzy

May 25th, 2018 at 3:07 PM ^

Don't skimp on the "main" stroller.  Picked up a not-inexpensive BOB stroller, and that thing was spectacular.  It's a jogging stroller, not that it was ever used for that function, but the agility was good enough for downtown Chicago, while it also had no issue going offroad through fields.

If you or your wife are tall, make sure that any stroller (even the umbrella stroller) doesn't make you hunch over too much.  Makes a huge difference.

Johnny Blood

May 25th, 2018 at 3:10 PM ^

It definitely changes your life - in most ways for the better. My oldest is finishing middle school today, can’t believe how time flies.

That would be my main advice - time flies so fast, make sure to spend as much time as you can with them when they are young. There is no better feeling in the world than when you come home after a tough day and they come running to the door to greet you like you are Caesar returning from battle.

jsquigg

May 25th, 2018 at 3:12 PM ^

My son was born in '07 and his first game was The Horror.  We couldn't watch the game then because I didn't have cable, and he spit up all over my new Michigan shirt as we listened via radio.  I can't think of a better analogy of Michigan football since he's been born.