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Exploring the gear-change of fatherhood //Joe Beckman

Remember when you were a New Parent?

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Daily Menu for New Parents

Veteran parents…

Take a moment and think back to when you were expecting for the first time. Do you remember your thoughts, feelings, emotions, fears, excitement, etc…? It’s easy to forget.

Daily Menu for New Parents

Last week I spent some time with 2 of my good friends Justin and Mesa in Fort Collins, CO.   They are the proud parents of a 5 week old girl named Addie.And it was awesome to watch them navigate this new world of parenting.

  • Amazing to see Justin, who, for the record, was freaking out in many ways about being a dad, throw fashion to the wind (not that fashion is big on most guys priority list) and throw on the old Moby wrap in the middle of a busy restaurant and hold his little girl close to his chest. 
  • Amazing to watch him calm little Addy down by simply walking up and down the stairs with her over and over and over. 
  • Amazing to see the two of them communicate, and compromise, and negotiate who was in charge of what so that there could be a semblance of balance and sanity in their house. 
  • Amazing to see the pure joy, wonder, and awe in Justin’s face every time he was talking to her, holding her, and even changing her.

No Shame Dad

It got me thinking to where I was at in my first 5 weeks. Honestly I was on the complete opposite side. I was stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, and every time someone would say “isn’t time going by so fast,” I wanted to say “No…actually it’s not. In fact it’s been the longest 5 weeks of my life.” 2 kids later (3 total) I wish I could go back and do things over again.

Seriously…what the hell was I stressing out about? How could I not see the little miracle that was right before my eyes? Why did I choose to focus on the challenges instead of the joys?   There are times in life where we all wish we could get a do-over. For me, I would do-over those first 3 months.

Obviously I can’t do that, but I can continue to get better and be the best parent I can be now. I can…

  • Apply the same sort of emotions that Justin and Mesa apply to 5 week old Addie to my 7-year old Sophia. 
  • Bring that same sort of unconditional love that they have for 5-week old Addie to my 3-year old Finn as he struggles with potty training, sleeping, and not being able to do everything by himself (“I do it!”). 
  • Share that same wonder and awe that Justin and Mesa have for 5-week old Addie, to my 9-month old Jonah as he’s discovering all the beautiful things his little world has to offer. 

I encourage you to take moment out of your busy busy day, and reflect back on life when it was just you, your spouse, and your 5 week old.   For many reasons, that time frame seems to be really magical.  Do you look back at that time with regrets like me, or do you feel like you knocked it out of the park?    Either way, that reflection should hopefully make you a better parent today.

Thanks Justin and Mesa for giving me an opportunity to reflect. Good luck…not that you’ll need it. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Little Addie is blessed to have you as parents.

Comments (4)

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Reflecting back to the birth+ 5 weeks of my son, I remember mostly the constant intensive activities- the care-taking, the feeding, changing, bathing- but not for my son, but rather for my wife! Take care of the wife, and let her take care of the baby;) And in case of fine… Keep Calm!

By Matt Spaniol on April 16, 2014 at 7:33 am

No truer words have ever been spoken!

By Joe_Beckman1 on April 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm

I really can’t remember anything but constant crying and/or nursing (that was me doing the constant crying!). Not really, but I was stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, and hormonal…not a great combo for Zen parenting. But I learned from it and have done better each time after (twice). My type-A tendencies only complicated things so I learned to let go of expectations and just accept what was…a lesson that has come in handy in all other aspects of my life as well.

By Michelle on April 16, 2014 at 6:22 pm

WOW…I can totally relate to this. Letting go of expectations is probably the #1 piece of advice I would give to new parents. #2? you will get poop on your hands…get used to it

By Joe_Beckman1 on April 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm
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