10 Pleasant or Not Surprises for Newborn Dads

Perhaps because of their relatively passive role during pregnancy, even the most supportive expectant dad will face myriad surprises after the birth of a child. Some are wonderful surprises, while others are anything but. Here are ten of the things that typically catch a new father off guard.

  1. His Partner’s Gross-Out Threshold Disappears – Women whose delicate sensibilities were offended by the slightest hint of unpleasantness become immune to gross-outs after the birth of a child. This drastic change in his partner can be one of the more amusing surprises of new fatherhood.
  2. Mom Cries, Too – Many a father has returned from work or a trip to the market to find a crying partner holding a screaming baby. Post-partum depression, anxieties about parenthood and feelings of inadequacy can leave a new mother in an emotional mess, and it almost always blindsides a brand new dad.
  3. The Great Diaper Con – The first few diaper actions of a newborn baby are relatively mild. Dads who prepared for nuclear mess find themselves relieved, and convinced that the whole “diaper thing” is overrated. Then the meconium leaves their baby’s system, and actual products of digestion take its place; it’s often a shocker to find that those early diapers were a cruel trick.
  4. Complete Change of Perspective – Most fathers think that they’re prepared for the birth of a child, and that they have a basic idea of what parenthood will feel like. Upon the arrival of their new baby, most find that they weren’t prepared for the level of devotion and love that they feel at all; this is, hands down, the very best surprise fatherhood has to offer.
  5. Babies Are Actually Fun – In theory, newborns just sleep and make a mess. They don’t say much, and are terrible at playing catch. After a new baby’s arrival, most dads find themselves fascinated by every facial expression and movement; it turns out that newborns are fun, but only when they’re yours.
  6. Fear – Men understand on an intellectual level that having a baby is scary. They may even feel a little bit of fear before the birth of their child; real fear sets in with the first contraction, and exists in the form of worries for the safety and well-being of a child for the rest of a father’s life.
  7. Sleep Deprivation – All of the advice in the world doesn’t prepare a person for the level of sleep deprivation that comes from having a newborn infant. New dads are always surprised at how exhausted you can be while still managing to function.
  8. Utter Confusion – Conflicting advice and no practical experience conspire to create the most complete form of confusion most men will ever know. Fathers find themselves shocked at the bewilderment that comes with their new baby.
  9. Baby Blues – Many expectant fathers assume that post-partum depression will only affect their partners; though the Baby Blues aren’t hormonally driven in new dads, they’re still very real. The feeling of exclusion from the new baby and their partner as moms handle most of the care and worries about providing for a growing family can blindside a man after the birth of his child.
  10. The Need For Strategy – When a simple trip to the corner market requires an arsenal of tools and carefully plotted course, new dads can find themselves overjoyed at the prospect of turning everyday errands into a plot worthy of an action film.