There is a lot to be said for having a baby: you’re contributing to a brighter future for humanity, because your child is obviously going to be extremely talented, and you now have a cast iron excuse to turn down any social engagement you don’t fancy.
On the other hand there’s so much to get wrong, over and over again. Here are ten baby-related challenges new dads always get wrong.
1. Buttoning up baby grows
Like button up flies, the baby grow was sent to humiliate any man who does not possess the dexterous yet firm fingers of a brain surgeon. It is the second most complicated garment ever invented, only beaten to that dubious accolade by the female bra.
The undercarriage area, where poppers converge and confusion reigns, is particularly difficult, forcing even the most capable men to give up on logic and blindly hope for the best.
One popper out of sync and the game is up.
2. Choosing an outfit
A man will count dressing a newborn baby without dislocating any of its limbs as a major triumph. He will not stop to consider whether the outfit’s various components match or if it coordinates with the buggy’s colour scheme.
3. Packing change bags
Having finally dressed his child, the new dad may attempt to leave the house. Before doing so, he’ll look at the bag his partner hoicks around all day and think: “Really? I’m only going to the park”, before stuffing a bottle in one pocket, his phone in the other and heading out …
It takes just one al fresco nappy apocalypse for him to reassess the importance of always carrying a change of clothes and antiseptic hand gel.
The male approach to post childbirth sex varies wildly. Some men will try it on indecently quickly, although hopefully after mother and child have left hospital (she may have just pushed a baby out of a place used to accommodating something much, much smaller but, you know, he’s got needs). Others lose their libido completely, unable to separate the object of their lust from the sight of a human emerging from it.
Ideally they’d tread a sensitive line between these extremes; sadly sensitivity is something very few men excel at.
5. Being helpful at night
He may have work in the morning, and he may not have breasts, but (sadly) that doesn’t mean a man can’t get up in the middle of the night. And not just to go and sleep in the spare room.
Even if all he does is pass the baby to its mother, he will at least be sharing the pain a little. After all, she has a full time job too, albeit one that allows some room for naps.
6. Remembering important information
When a medical professional asks how old your child is in terms of weeks, he or she is looking for something more specific than “several”.
7. Understanding babies will move eventually
Babies, they lull you into a false sense of security: lying still for hours, staring at their hands wondering what on earth they could be for. But they will move at some point, probably when you have perched them on the edge of the sofa, exactly as the health visitor advised you not to.
Hopefully you’ve got the razor sharp reactions of an 18-year-old or, failing that, haven’t got around to replacing the carpet with floorboards.
8. Weekend sport
You are a man, you love sport (naturally), and before the little one came along you wanted to do nothing more with your weekends than devote yourself to whatever fixture was being played. Now, however, you should probably reconsider your obligations to the 4th XV, as taking the field on a Saturday or Sunday will mean your wife has to stay at home tending to the fruit of your loins all day.
You don’t have to, but then she doesn’t have to stay married to you either.
9. Getting drunk
Babies have little time for hangovers. They don’t care if you only have enough energy to scoff Hula Hoops and knock back lemonade. Indeed, they often save a bout of diarrhoea for just these moments.
10. Arranging dates
In the fug of new parenthood, romantic relationships all too easily morph into working relationships that are primarily concerned with searching for wet wipes and sterilising breast pumping equipment.
The male urge is to escape this state of affairs by organising lads’ weekends to places with limited mobile reception. However, it is likely your other half is thinking along similar lines, so why not organise something you can do together? It’ll be just like old times, apart from the fact that conversation will focus almost entirely on how wonderful your baby is at rolling over, which is amazing for his age. Whatever that is.
Credit: Chris Windle @ The Telegraph