My son is not born yet and I already find myself worrying about how I will do with the diapers and the crying and so on. I can do a google search and find a few dozen people giving advice on how to handle being a new parent, but none of them will magically make me ready. No matter how many books or blogs I read I will still have to work to develop the skills and knowledge to be comfortable taking care of a child.
This is where I compare being a new dad to a video game…
I still remember the first time I made a character in WoW (World of Warcraft). It was a brand new experience and it was both intimidating and exciting at the same time. You start out with some basic skills but you have to play the game and level up in order to become better and what your character is specialized in. You can visit a trainer and get the skills but it is up to you as the player to learn how to use them.
One of my favorite blogs, The Art of Manliness, recently had a two part post on being a new dad. The first one was on The Skillset you need as a new dad. As I was reading through it I found some very good advice but I began to realize that being a parent is going to be a lot like playing that video game for the first time. It is awesome, exciting, and scary all at the same time. Reading the manual and “training” the skills will only give me the foundation, the only way to be good at it is to do it.
Dad Skill Trainer
Skin Time: It will be good for both of you and it is an awesome way to spend time with the baby and give mom a break.
Hold Baby: Proper holding of the baby will keep baby and mom happy and safe.
This is easily one of the scariest things if you have never done it before. Luckily I have plenty of practice with my sister’s children.
Diaper Change: Keeps the baby clean and happy. On a very short cooldown for the first few months.
This is something I expect to get a lot of practice at since it is reasonable to expect to change a newborn every two hours.
Calm Baby: Quiet a crying baby by providing exactly what it wants or needs.
I think of all the skills this is the one I am most afraid of failing at. I dread finding myself in that scenario where I can’t calm the bay and I am at my wits end.
I am looking forward to leveling up these skills and learning new ones as I gain experience being a new dad.