First Big Surprise of Being a Dad

So I had this idea of life with a baby that went like this: Baby is born and things are really tough. The first few weeks are insane, no one sleeps and life is completely hard. Then after this, things get easier and easier and we go on into our future.

Our reality went more like this: The first few weeks were hard. Then the second month was actually harder than the first because I started going back to work and we had to deal with that. Then the third month was harder still because the baby is still challenging but now we have a long term exhaustion setting in. I’m not sure how long this trend will continue but at this point we are wearing down pretty hard. It’s amazing the small things of life that just don’t happen. I have a stack of unread comic books growing slowly because I’m lucky if I can read one per week. I can’t even remember the last TV show I watched on our DVR. I imagine things are getting recorded and then deleted as it runs out of memory but I haven’t looked in weeks.

The other thing that happens is that for people like us in a town with no family, there is a lot more support in the early days. People recognize the emergency nature of the situation and bring food and run errands, etc. However you can’t run like that forever and draw on friend karma forever.

I would have thought life would be different but there you have it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything but the arc of how it is playing out is a big surprise to me.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

8 thoughts on “First Big Surprise of Being a Dad”

  1. Adam Ritenour says:

    Your idea is right in that it does get easier. It’s just your timeline. Multiply it by about 10 and you’ll be close.

  2. Rob Brewer says:

    We are 7 months into our second child’s life and we are being reminded that the exhaustion does keep up for about a year. It gets better after that, at least until you decide to have another kid. And don’t let anyone tell you the second child is easier. Some aspects are, but new challenges (like the awake child waking the sleeping child cycles) keep you busy. Best of luck with your first!

  3. Paul Fischer says:

    It gets better. Just about the time you think it will kill you, it will get better. Our little one is 2.5 years old and we’re now about to go on vacation without feeling like we’ll kill ourselves.

  4. Andre Pope says:

    I know every family is different, but for us it was in 3 month cycles. I was the same way. I thought we were at our breaking point and just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore something changed. Life changed and we learned new things. Memphis changed and our outlook changed. It continued this way for another three months until it changed again.

    As far as family goes its both good and bad. Memphis is influenced way to much by our families. Family does help out but you loose some control over what happens.

    Your life style changes and so does the way you have to deal with it. Friends will help out, it’s now that you really have to ask for that help. I don’t feel as if when I ask it’s a burden to them, its more like they don’t want to overstep their bounds. If you ask they will come!

  5. I’ll 2nd that improvements seem to come in 3 month increments. In my experience a new normal stabilizes at the 1 year mark.

  6. Shannon says:

    Yep, it goes in cycles, tho’ ours were more like 6 months. Keep the faith, take a deep breath every once in awhile, and know that we’re thinking about you. It does get better.

  7. One year is when things settle down, but vary from family to family. Keep walking!

    Rodrigo Stulzer

  8. You want some company in May? I might could clear a couple of days.

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