Welcome to Dadism – an incomplete collection of mistakes made and lessons learned by a first time Dad.
You get 9 months to prepare for the birth of your child – but it turns out you don’t get so much as a second to prepare for any of the unexpected challenges that follow.
When we were awaiting the birth of our first child, now 8 months old, I spent a lot of time researching ideas, information and products that I thought we’d need. Some things we did well with, others we found less useful. By sharing my successes and failures here I hope to be able to provide useful help to any other new dads who need to know what’s the best baby carrier, what happens when you get your baby home form the hospital and what to do if you get a flat tire just as you’re leaving the hospital car park with your brand new baby.
I’m a first time Dad at the age of 35. I’ve spent most of my career running pubs but a couple of years back things took an unexpected turn when I followed my wife on what was supposed to be a two year trip to work in Sierra Leone. We arrived in the country at about the same time as Ebola and have written about our experience at length here. Our lives have never quite settled down since, and even the addition of a new member to our family hasn’t managed to entirely ground us.
At the moment I’m a stay-at-home Dad but it’s an arrangement we expect to change at some point in the near future. For now I’m loving the time I get to spend watching the baby grow up and I consider myself incredibly fortunate – not many Dads get the chance I’ve had to spend so much of these precious early months with their newborns – but it’s not without its various challenges.
Since the birth of The Child we’ve moved house once and taken her (to date) on 8 flights (none longer than two hours). We’ve driven the length of the country and even met the Queen, all of which has given us ample opportunity to exercise our mantra of “Fail Fast”.
As a new parent you’re obviously going to make mistakes – and no amount of research or preparation will allow you to avoid that, but our policy has been to embrace these mistakes – to move quickly, to be as unafraid as possible about trying things and to learn from the experience when things haven’t worked out well.
At it’s heart, this is what I want Dadism to be about – to share with you our mistakes so that hopefuly you can make different and better ones. I’ll also share the things we discovered along the way that have been helpful or useful, the advice that we benefitted from and the experiences and thoughts we’ve had along the way. Hopefully you’ll find something that’s relevant to your own experiences.
And if, like me, you’ve just become a new Dad, or if you are expecting soon – or even if you’re an old hand at this – congratulations, Good Luck and I hope you enjoy the ride as much as we are.