This is not what I imagined fatherhood would be like.
No one ever tells you about doing whatever it takes to make your baby happy. That just seems like an innate trait. But, by whatever, I mean whatever.
Like when your baby’s crying and you thought you had ten quick minutes to take a shower. Nope. Somehow, even though she had been asleep for the previous hour while you were cleaning up the inherent mess that becomes what used to be known as your home, she knows to wake up right as you peel off that last piece of sweaty clothing you were wearing.
And you think: “Can I handle this crying for ten minutes while I shower? Maybe I forgo washing my entire body and cut the shower to six minutes. Can I handle that?”
As you try to convince yourself of that, or possibly think that a bottle might do the trick, you realize that she just ate an hour ago before she fell asleep. So, she’s not hungry. She’s just doing what babies do – cry.
You’re doing what new parents do – figuring out how to stop the crying because somehow an eight-pound child that is half as long as a yard stick sounds like there’s a damned ambulance right next to you.
Instantly you remember this one little dance you do that reverses her mood and you start dancing. Swinging your arms, swinging your hips. Making eye contact with her and smiling like the biggest dork in the world to get her to stop so you can have a normal, grown-up shower.
Except you’re naked. And it’s not just your arms and hips that are swinging.
Your child notices and her eyes break contact with your face and look at the swinging body parts. That swinging body part.
Yes, your daughter is staring at your dick. You hope this penis-staring does not become a trend in her life.
Yet, you’re still be-bopping away so that she will stop crying. She finally calms down and that cute giggle returns to her face and you know that soon she will fall back to sleep. Great, you think, a penis is soothing to my child.
Not exactly how you wanted to start your day.
Not many people want to put out the God’s honest truth of raising a baby. Oh, sure, there are those books about being a good parent and what milestones to expect out of your child in the first year of his or her life, but for some reason new fathers are almost helpless in knowing what to expect. The pregnancy books are out there – boy, are there a ton of pregnancy books out there – but then the baby comes out, you go home and have a feeling of “Oh, shit, now what?”
So, Mr. Naked Dancer, get ready. Everyone tells you that your life will change, but no one ever mentioned that not only will it change, it will get flipped on its head so damned fast all of a sudden you’re dancing naked in front of your three-month old and you don’t think twice about it because somehow it helped her stop crying. Fatherhood … Yeah, it’s kind of like that.
Matt Hurst is like almost any new father — a little scared, a little nervous and a lot excited. He best expresses his feelings through the written word and after trying to read a lot during the pregnancy months, he still didn’t feel like he was 100% ready. Because he wasn’t. There’s some fatherly advice out there, but it seems to get lost in the noise of all the motherly advice.
This blog is the trials, tribulations and adulations of a new father, written for those who have gone through fatherhood, are going through fatherhood, or might one day go through fatherhood. Its intent is to be honest, which at times might be wistful, but hopefully more often than not, it will be an exciting and humorous look through the eyes of a new dad.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org