Advice For New Dads

One day when I was pregnant Bryce asked me what he could do to make me less stressed. I told him he could write a guest post for me so that I wouldn’t have to be stressed out about blogging when the baby came. He openly scoffed. “What would I blog about?” I gave him some ideas, one of them being “talk about something you wished you knew before becoming a dad.” He totally blew me off. From time to time I would tease him and say, “when is my blog post coming?” to which he would respond, “never.” Then one fateful day I received this post in my inbox. 

So, I would like to officially introduce my husband Bryce, the man I love and reference all the time. I’m stoked for you all to finally cyber-meet him. 

Once upon a time my sweet wife got this idea in her head that I should write a post with advice on becoming a new father, unfortunately for her, not only am I a mediocre-at-best father of one (soon to be two) child who has no business giving advice to anyone, but I hate giving advice altogether.  I mean, that’s not entirely true; I will happily opine on things like pie flavors and cable companies, but when it comes to anything even remotely meaningful, I’m of the opinion that life is best experienced by your own design and a whole lot of trial and error.   It’s been about 18 months since our boy was born, and in the combined 8 or so hours of his life that he’s been entrusted solely to my care, I somehow managed to keep him alive and happy, which leads me to conclude that as long as you love your kid and have any desire to be a good parent, it’s probably hard to screw up too bad.  That being said, I did ponder the assigned topic for weeks on end and have come up with one, and only one, piece of advice, and perhaps an additional “observation” from the life of a new father. 

My only advice (I know this may sound silly, but I’m dead serious) is to strengthen your core. I’ve had some moments of grueling physical endurance in my days (like the one time I ran a mile), but nothing reduced me to pain and tears like the 90thminute of holding and bouncing a crying child.  I think (and pray) that our first child was a particularly unique bundle of love, because he wanted nothing to do with sleep if it wasn’t in your arms as you walked endless circles around the house while your entire midsection trembled, screaming in pain for the sweet relief of a soft couch and an icepack.  Sitting down prematurely was like hitting the reset button and starting the game over; you could only sit down if the binky went completely limp in his mouth –signaling that he may actually be asleep– and even then it was risky.  My back aged about 30 years in three months, and I’m convinced it’s all because my midsection feels like a good tray of jell-o.  I can’t tell you how many times I cursed myself for retiring from abdominal exercises of any kind in the 7th grade after I did like 15 sit-ups and was sore for a week. 

Really, this is probably the only thing that I wish someone would have tipped me off about.  The reality is I probably wouldn’t have done anything about it –as I write this I’m still softer than a roll of Charmin and the only crunches I’m interested in are the chocolate ones– but at least I could have been mentally prepared, and there is an outside chance I may have done something about it. Either way, good advice is still good even if it comes from a hypocrite.  I’m also pretty confident that the benefits of a toned core reach far beyond baby rearing, but I couldn’t say for sure.

As for my fatherly observation, it’s pretty simple.  Men really don’t hold a candle to women in much of anything of importance, and watching a mother at work will confirm that to anyone.  Pre-child, when the alarm went off on Monday morning I wanted to beat it with a hammer.  Post child, when the alarm goes off on Monday morning I still want to beat it with a hammer, but I also feel this really guilty sense of relief that all I have to do is go to work today.  While I recognize that my role has some degree of importance and comes with its own challenges, I just can’t help but think that I got off really easy. To me, being a mother looks way too hard.  When I find out I have to babysit our ONE child for two hours I go into straight meltdown mode.  Don’t get me wrong, I love playing and being with my kid, as long as we’re under proper adult supervision.  We can be so happy playing with cars and toys and chasing each other and then boom, all of the sudden he’s whacked his noggin on the corner of the door, he’s screaming and wiping his snot in his hair, I can’t find a binky or a bottle, and he decides it’s an optimal time for a killer pooh.  I just don’t think I’m wired to handle those situations. So in short, I would say that my first year as a father has made me recognize that without a good mother and wife, I’m helpless and hopeless, and therefore, have been filled with an unbelievable amount of gratitude towards mothers, women, and the blessed fact I was born with a Y chromosome. 
Isn’t he awesome? I think so! Show him some love so that one day he might post again :).

*Disclaimer. While in this post Bryce describes himself as a “mediocre at best” dad, I just have to interject to say that is completely untrue. He is honestly the best father I’ve ever witnessed and goes above and beyond to help and support me. I love this article because in his humorous way he pays tribute to mothers and acknowledges that parenting can be seriously hard. Just don’t let him fool you into thinking he does nothing to help with the kids around the house, the opposite is true. 

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  • Mrs. Mama

    I love this post! We have a 8 week old so we are in the trenches right now. His advise about the core cracked me up. I never would have thought about that but so valid. You are lucky that he sees how much you handle as a wife and mother. I’m going to read this post to my husband. Your husband should really write more posts-this was really good.

  • MK

    Great writing of open, honest thoughts. I commend you on your confessions and praise you for having the courage and hutzpah to put them out there for all to “see.” Keep writing dude!

  • Cheyenne

    SUCH a great post!! I laughed out loud to myself a solid 5 times, at least.

  • Ryan and Kelsey

    Hahaha yes! I love this. Thanks brotha! I will definitely have Ryan read this one.

  • Pam from Over the Big Moon

    Bryce is seriously a talented little writer! But, I do feel like he is not giving himself enough credit! Bryce is one of the best dads around! Those kids are dang lucky to have him!

    I’m thinking Monthly guest posts…. You think he’d go for it? hehe :)

  • Anonymous

    Awesome post! So funny!

  • Megan

    Um… Okay that was just the cutest. I love those Bailey boys! And geez, Bryce is a great writer!

  • Sarah

    Bryce you are hilarious and awesome!

  • Amy K

    I love your blog the is a great post! Would you like to follow each other?

    Much Love,

  • Chelsey Bell

    Loved it! My husband and I laughed all the way through :) Bryce should definitely post more!

  • Hilary Cook

    Great post! He had me laughing so hard. Thank you for awesome words!

  • Sharlyn

    Made me smile!

  • ThanksandGig’Em

    I loved it! Can’t wait to get my husband to read it when the time comes.

  • Angie –

    Very cute article, I love it! I can’t wait to show it to my husband.

    I host a link party every Thursday and would love for you to join.


  • Leighanna Barnes

    I just love this post. Smiles all around. :-)

  • Aimee –

    LOVE!!! XO, Aimee

  • Anonymous
  • fromlondonwithlove2011

    Love it! I needed a laugh today, and it’s only funny because it’s true.

  • Mariel

    So funny and so true! I’d love for you to share this or any of your great ideas at the link party going on now (and every Saturday through Tuesday) at ‘Or so she says …’ Hope to see you there!

  • Katie Ellis

    So great!! I feel the same way when i babysit… my arms ACHE afterwards…. and keeps me a little less baby crazy for a while ;)

  • Mara Patterson

    I found this so funny that I had to read it to my husband! I thought we were the only ones with a child that woke up as soon as you sit down or try to put her down. Thank goodness we’re not! She’s 7 months old now and not much better.
    I loved reading a father and husband’s perspective!

  • Michelle’s Tasty Creations

    oh my goodness this post had me almost in tears! In a good way; laughing! This is so funny and probably so true for most Father’s. I know that even with my 17 and 18 year old kiddos when I say I’m going to go out for an evening, the hubby gets that deer in the headlight look like “what am I supposed to do with the kids?”. I only wish ALL Father’s openly admitted how much work a stay at home mom does :)

  • Lisa@hooplapalooza

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! does your hubby give hubby/father lessons? i need to sign mine up! :)

  • Kalina

    that was pretty funny to read. Thanks for the thoughts. It’s nice to hear it when Dad’s understand and see how hard it is to be a mom. My husband didn’t understand until he became a stay-at-home Dad right after our second child was born. He lasted 9 months. I was pretty impressed with that.

  • Sharon Huffman

    I just posted this on Facebook and will make sure my son-in-law reads it. they live with us along with thei 8 week old baby boy who loves to watch his momma and I do our core exercises. Sometimes he gets to ride the stationary bike with his daddy, so we’re already trying to get him used to exercising. I wish I knew all the tips about soothing babies back when my daughter was a baby almost 30 years ago and am very thankful for all of you out there who so generously share your tips. Thank you for helping others to understand the painful side of love. You will ALL get through this and eventually have the pleasure of grandparenthood! Hugs to everyone!

  • KAT

    I’ve often wondered who men felt with your children… My nephew just had his 1st – I’ll share this with him!

  • Anonymous

    My son is 11 mos and the first 6 mos was brutal with him having mild colic…for the most part I felt alone in soothing and caring for my baby the first 6mos. I am really moved to know that a MAN or/and a HUSBAND is strong enough to admit openly that he feels helpless and hopeless when caring for his firstborn baby without his dear wife. And inthemidst of spotting a onset meltdown, he continues to lend a hand in helping care for the baby and even help BLOG instead of flight the scene and grab beer with his boys or instead go into shut down mode and steer clear away!

    WOW!!! KUDOS to Bryce. Bryce’s post made me laughed, my eyes watered and my heart melted. Thank you for sharing. I needed this. This post gave me an outlet to release all the build up of stress. Write more!!!

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  • Brittany Webster

    I love this article. My son is 3 months old – my first. My husband is in the Army. He has always had a dream to be married with children. He got just that – Luck Me =) He unfortunately, is deployed and feels as if “he’s not getting a chance to be a father yet”. I have explained to him that he is. He does everything if can to take care of both of us though he may not be here. It’s a wonderful thing to know that there are men out there who are great husbands and fathers and don’t realize that they are more important then they think. Thank you for your blog Bryce. I loved it. Please write again!!!

    • Jessica @ Pretty Providence

      Amen Brittany! You said that so beautifully! Your husband is providing for your family as well as blessing our country, so thank him as well! We are lucky to have good men who care so much. God bless you and your family!