It's easy to jump to conclusions when you're finding your way through the hectic haze of new dad life.
When I first found out that I had a kid on the way, it was a moment of fleeting panic and intense excitement.
Excitement because this was a chance for me to download all of my life knowledge into mini-me 2.0.
Panic, because I had to tell my parents.
I was pushing the higher side of my 20s, so when I told them we were pregnant and got the response, “I’m sorry but I can’t be happy for you”, it brought the happy bus to a screeching halt.
It turns out my panic was warranted. You see, my parents didn’t think we were at a place in our relationship where a baby would improve things.
We had debt, we were struggling to pay for some things, our relationship seemed a little rocky, and suddenly we were bringing in another stress multiplier into the equation.
Way to focus on the positives, right?
So it’s fair to say I never got the fatherly advice that I had come to expect from watching movies and TV shows. And not knowing what to expect made the whole prospect of fatherhood about a thousand times scarier.
With that in mind, I want to share five things I’ve learnt that you’ll be dead wrong about as a dad.
1. Your baby hates you
I’m pretty sure that babies are incapable of hate. But even so, during the first six or seven months of your child’s life you’re going to feel like you are a bad smell that just won’t go away.
As my partner put it, “You’re there to make money and make sure I’m comfortable”.
She wasn’t wrong. I couldn’t rock my son to sleep, feed him, and, while he gathered his wits about him, I couldn’t even play with him.
10 months. That’s how long it took my son to warm up to me.
10. F%#@ing. Months.
Hang in there, be around and don’t be disheartened. Your baby loves you, they just don’t know how to show it yet!
2. You work too much
You’ll feel as though you’re missing a lot of valuable bonding time. Even after you’ve spent however long you get for paternity leave.
Maybe you are the one staying at home. If so, congrats!
But if not, don’t worry, someone needs to bring in the money.
And as mentioned before, for a decent amount of time you won’t even be an afterthought.
As they get older, your child will get excited that you’re coming home. Trust me, you’ll have loads of time to forge that connection!
3. You’re selfish if you have alone time
No, you are not selfish for having alone time. In fact, it’s probably a relationship saviour!
Keep in mind though, while you’re at work your partner is fighting the good fight at home.
So, first thing is first – give your partner alone time before taking some for yourself.
It might sound like I’m stating the obvious, but when you get home from work and all you want to do is sit down and watch TV, don’t.
Oh for the love of god, do not do that.
It’s about finding the balance for both of you.
4. This is easy, why does everyone say this is hard?
I said this about three months in.
Trust me, while they are new and figuring out how their limbs and eyes work, you’ll fall into a false sense of security.
Sure they cry, but I know why.
Oh, they woke up during the night? It’s just for a feed, mum will take care of it.
Stop. Please. While you’re ahead.
It’s a sneak attack that comes in the middle of the night like batman coming out of the shadows and beating the crap out of criminals.
Suddenly they’re crying because they’re teething, waking up more during the night because that’s part of their development, and just wait until you have to wrestle that alligator to change a nappy.
Don’t fall for the trap.
It is challenging. But when they laugh or smile at you, it’s worth all taking all the bat-a-rangs in the world.
5. My life won’t change too much
I’d be willing to bet my left bullock that 90 per cent of expecting dads have either said this, or secretly thought this.
Having a kid changes – say it with me – EVERYTHING.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, dismissed it, and then thought, ‘Yeah maybe for you it did, but it won’t for me’.
Oh but it will. It will.
Priorities change, gaming with the boys until all hours becomes a blissful memory, going out becomes a myth, and talking about poop is no longer funny but a serious topic of discussion.
It took me a lot of time to adjust, and to work out what my new role of dad had in store for me.
Don’t feel like you’re supposed to know.
You literally get this real-life Tamagotchi, with no instructions on what it can do or when, and when it needs something it doesn’t hold up a little card with the icon.
You’re allowed to make mistakes.
My relationship with my son is one full of play, laughter and love.
I’m not going to lie, I love it when he refuses to go to his Mum and instead wants me.
That’s when they’ll show that they love you too.
So there you have it. Five things you will be dead wrong about as a dad.
Just remember guys, your baby DOES love you. You HAVE to work. It IS OK to have alone time. It ISN’T as easy as it’ll first appear, and things will DEFINITELY change.
And at the end of the day, you’ll get one of your best mates in the world.