Day 37: The First Month of Parenthood – Expectation vs Reality

Pregnancy

Expectation – I had always assumed that as a man, my wife being pregnant would not really make that  much of a difference to my day-to-day life. Things would go on as normal for me, and life wouldn’t really change until the baby arrived.
Reality – To an extent that was right, as I continued to go to work every day, go out with friends, visit the pub etc etc. However, as the due date approached the biggest difference for me was probably the alarming amounts of time and money that were spent in Mothercare/John Lewis/Mamas and Papas/Babies R Us etc. Weekends became all about “baby prep” – there was a LOT more to do than I had ever expected.

Birth

Expectation – Obviously I expected birth to be traumatic, stressful and generally a not very nice experience..
Reality – It was actually a lot worse an experience than I had even anticipated, for my wife and also for me… The lack of care offered by the maternity ward and the horrors of induction were something I was wholly unprepared for.

The First Week

Expectation – I expected the first week to be really difficult
Reality – in fact, the first week was a joy, the baby was sleeping quite well, paternity leave was wonderful, and in general this was a fantastic time

The Return to Work

Expectation – I was dreading this
Reality – It was even harder than I anticipated. Concentrating is difficult, commuting is really draining, and operating on minimal sleep day after day is genuinely draining

The First Month

Expectation – I was expecting to find the first month of parenthood really difficult
Reality – It has been amazing. Of course there are difficult times, but to be honest most of these are work/tiredness related, which is to be expected. However, every evening when I get home and get some “daddy time” with my little man it makes the rest of the day worthwhile.

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