My son came early and I wasn’t prepared.
The title says it all. I recently entered the brotherhood of being a dad. My son came a little earlier than expected, three weeks and three days to be exact, and with that, my whole world changed for the better.
But like with anything new, I had to put on my training wheels. Dads out there will understand.
You go from being a pretty big deal in your life down to not mattering very much. Not saying that you no longer matter but there’s just someone in your life that means the world to you and beyond. And not saying my wife doesn’t mean that much to me as well too but we both understand that we had to step down from that position since there’s a new sheriff in town.
So what was my hiatus like? I’ll sum it up by the following:
I slept according to my son’s diaper changes, eating, burping, swaddling, and play time which equated to maybe 4-5 total “not so deep sleep” hours and a good half hour to hour nap during the day. I eat whatever I get my hands onto which is food usually made or brought over by family and friends.
Exercise has become non-existent, although when I feel the training high I make sure to toss some weight around. I continued to train my athletes and clients which helped me get out of feeling stir crazy and gave me some physical activity, but it did not satisfy my stifled aggression and lack of testosterone filled activities.
Pastries and sweets, along with kicking back a few more beers than normal found their way back into my life. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and had to laugh, “What the hell happened to you. You look like crap. Oh ya. Welcome to fatherhood.”
My son and wife took priority over everything. They deserved every ounce of willpower and attention I could offer. I didn’t have the time or energy to worry about exercising, what food to eat, making sure I wrote for my website, or even when to sleep.
Here’s the problem. Too many new dads fall into this hiatus which causes them to put their health and fitness on the side for way to long and let themselves go.
After a little more than a month of fatherhood training and I felt my training wheels slowly come off. I felt confident that I can get back on track with him and my wife still being a priority. I realized that with him in my life now, it is essential for me to be more productive, organized, punctual, decisive, loving, and healthier to set an example for him. When I noticed that he was become more alert and able focus on faces and images it made me even more aware that he is highly impressionable.
No More Excuses
Although I’m a new dad, straight out of the gate, I strongly believe that it’s okay to have a hiatus where you figure out this whole new world of being a father. But after that, you must realize how important it is for you to set a positive example for your child as early as possible on top of making sure you take care of yourself.
Making excuses such as being tired from lack of sleep or anxious because you feel locked down to allow yourself to get lazy from taking care of your health cannot be tolerated. If that is the case, you need to give yourself a reality check and maybe enlist other friends who are dads to help out one another instead of sitting around a cooler of beer talking about the hardships of parenthood.
I’m not saying this is easy. The first month or two of fatherhood challenged me and I’m still learning. You have a person, who is a piece of you and solely relies on you. I’m still trying to figure things out. But I know for sure that if I don’t get back to or continue to work on my health and fitness, then I won’t be able to set the example for what it means to be a strong and healthy young man to my son.
I have two questions for all the fathers out there:
1. What challenges have caused you to let go of your fitness and health?
2. What is keeping you from allowing the hiatus to prolong longer than you really want it to?
Photo: Pixabay/PublicDomainPictures / 18043 images
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