LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...

The Fears of a Father: Awaiting the Birth of a Second Child

Seven more weeks (give or take) until the birth of my son, and it’s starting to sink in: I’m about to be a father of two. They say having kids doesn’t really affect dads until the birth of their second child- something about there being nowhere to hide and dads having to step up and be accounted for- but I’m pretty sure I’ve proven I’m about as involved as a father can get.  But, that’s not to say my life won’t be in for some changes, big ones at that.

Most parents will say they are blessed. In fact, anyone with a healthy and happy child should see themselves that way, but I think I’ve been really lucky when it comes to my first born child. My daughter has been nothing but a joy since the day she was born. From the day we brought her home from the hospital she has made my introduction to parenting a breeze. I mean, who has to wake up an infant for feedings, or pinch them to see if they are actually capable of crying (because she never did)? Who is so lucky that they can just place their baby in their crib and within seconds she’s asleep? Who has a child that spends her entire day giggling, and laughing and entertaining herself, so much so that you feel like you’re just an observer and she’s pretty much raising herself?

Well, me. I’m the lucky guy with the easiest kid on the block (for now).  And for that reason, and possibly that reason alone, the thought of having a second child scares the crap out of me.

Maybe lightning will strike twice, and I’ll have two easy going kids? But, honestly, what are the odds of that? You and I both know I’ve had it so easy with my little girl that I’m about to get the rudest awakening a parent can get- I don’t know sh@# about parenting. I’ve never had to sleep train a baby. The kid literally used a pacifier for a week, found her thumb and that was the end of it.  I’ve never had to rock a child to sleep, or soothe a colicky baby, or call a sleep doula in the middle of the night and offer them ten times their normal fee to leave someone else’s house and get their ass to mine. The truth is I’ve never suffered the way other parents have suffered. I’ve never endured the way other parents have endured. I got off light (as far as infants and toddlers go). I got the kid other parents were dreaming about every time they were awoken from R.E.M. sleep to a wailing child demanding a feeding. But all bets are most certainly off now.  I have a feeling I’m about to learn the hard way that no two kids are alike.

The countdown is on. 7 weeks to go. My wife can’t wait to get this one out of her. He’s always in perpetual motion- kicking, or tossing, or punching her insides- and there’s no way that’s going to stop once he’s out. This one’s going to make us work for it. He’s going to be the one who keeps us up at night, as both an infant and a teenager. I can just feel it. If my daughter’s been a godsend, this one’s making his way from somewhere else and you can be sure I already have a nanny, a doula, a priest (yes, that’s an Exorcist joke) and every single member of my entire family on call to lend a hand when he starts to make me wish we left well enough alone and kept my daughter as an only child.

I hope for the best, but I’m preparing for the worst. I hear all the horror stories. I know all the tales about kids who make their parents go grey… the first week after they’re born. I’ve read about newborn “terrorism” and infants that hold entire households hostage with their incessant crying, and wailing and wanting of things like being fed on demand and being comforted 24/7. I don’t know from this. I’ve been spoiled. Hell, my 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter says she needs to go to the bathroom, then leaves the room, does her business, and returns without me even needing to get off the couch- she even sprays. What am I going to do with a kid that actually needs to be- dare I say it-parented?

But maybe I’m just freaking myself out? Maybe I’m overreacting? He could come out and be perfectly content. He might even be better than my daughter.… Yeah, who am I kidding? That’s impossible.  I’m f@#%ed, and I know it!

7 more weeks and counting. I’m not worried in the least…

Related Links:

The Real Difference Between Boys and Girls - Parenting,Com
Birth of a Second Child- KidsHealth.Org

8 comments:

  1. It totally sounds like you've jinxed yourself. Lol. Or were you hoping that if you jinxed yourself on the hard aspects, you would get easy-going baby again? ;)

    I hate to say it because a lot of people will, but damn it, I'm going to say it: You will be a great dad! It will be ohh-kay. I'm sure of it.

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  2. You never know...quite a bit of a babies contentment can come from its surroundings and the people in it. Our first was like yours and thankfully our second was almost as easy-obviously there was more action in the house so that could have been the difference. Having its needs fully met and noticed on time makes all the difference in the world sometimes. ~KR

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  3. Well you just about hit the nail on the head. I thought you were describing my daughter lol. She definitely made me want another and we found out we were going to be blessed with a little boy just like you. He was born May 21st. I had the same worries and expected the worse. With a few complications at birth I was simply happy that he was ok and knew he'd be demanding from the get go. The boy couldn't leave a pair of arms. I hated to hear my son cry. Not in a bad way I mean every parent wants to comfort their child in any case. Well he expected that hourly so after the first two months tough love kicked in. He had to learn crying didn't mean he was going to be carried because I didn't not want my daughter to feel neglected. Well good news sir. He's is a happy little man 4 months today. He smiles nonstop and has no problem being set down. If anything the tide has turned my once least demanding daughter has been the handful. Maybe it's the terrible twos (22 months). Either way the love you will have for them both will have you overlook any of the concerns you have expressed. Congratulations and good luck!! Don't worry and keep strong faith.

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  4. I have 2 but my experience was opposite. My daughter, first born, love her to pieces, is a "spirited" child. aka difficult. I was so scared for number 2 but my son, is the exact opposite.

    Whoever tells you that having a second is no big deal is a liar. It's not bad but it isn't easy but you're a great dad. You'll do great.

    James

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  5. Lol... Good luck! My first was my most difficult... I'm surprised I actually had more

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  6. Great post! Was in a similar position last year, only flip flopped (older boy, new daughter on the way). had the same concerns, thoughts, etc. and fortunately, our daughter was even easier than the first one (which makes us think, maybe he wasn't that easy? LOL). Anywho, I decided to be more proactive with number 2, or make up for any shortcoming from the first go around (it all depends on how ya look at it, hahah). I made a commitment to do 2 things every week (1 thing for me or wife, and 1 thing for the baby) for the 1st 100 days. It turned out really cool and really, really glad I did it. I just published a book about it, maybe there's some ideas in it for you? DADspirations: The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood. Anywho, best of luck, you'll be a great dad, again. Enjoy!!

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  7. Hi,
    Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Fatherhood Community? Our members will appreciate it and as the father of 3 teenage boys, I will too.
    Members include: Fathers, Dads, Daddies, Fatherhood Lovers, Experts and Fans.
    It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also share Photos, Videos and Articles if you like.
    Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
    Please feel free to share as often and as much as you like.
    The Fatherhood Community: http://www.vorts.com/fatherhood/
    I hope you consider sharing with us.
    Thank you,
    James Kaufman, Editor

    Awesome!

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  8. First of all... Congratulations!

    Second of all (from someone who has been there, done that) - the BIGGEST change is from two to three. That's when parents are outnumbered!!

    Enjoy!

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