Tag: Patience

Fatherhood: What My Husband Has Learned

For this piece, I consulted with my expert, my husband and father to my daughter, Nikki. As we chase our 14-month old around our place all day long, we manage to chit chat about what he has learned since becoming a father.

Here are the top 10 things fatherhood has enlighten my husband with:

Life Changes Completely

The moment that Nikki was born and I laid my eyes on her, my life changed completely. I knew that this new life was going to be my everything and I was going to do everything I can to protect her. The overwhelming emotions you feel when your child is born are all amazing and I am not ashamed to say that I cried as it was the best moment of my life. It was amazing how quickly I got into “daddy mode” as soon as I held Nikki in my arms. I remember being the first one to change her first diaper which was a very special moment for me and I learned from the nurses how to care for my baby girl. I wanted to make sure that I knew how to do it all.

Sleepless Nights

The sleepless nights are the tough ones especially when you are working different shifts at work; however, you do get use to them. I can’t even remember the last time I had 8 hours of continuous sleep. It is hard but when I look at my daughter’s smiling face the next day, the sleepless night melts away.

Support Your Partner

It is amazing what my wife did in bringing life into this world. I saw everything that she went through while pregnant, during birth and after birth. My appreciation for her doubled for all that she did and does. I knew I had to be there for her to help as much as I could. If it meant changing a diaper; giving our daughter a bath; feeding her; or taking her to another room in the early mornings to let my wife sleep an extra hour on a weekend, then that is what I did. My job before becoming a father is a husband and I couldn’t forget that; therefore, I tried my best to help my wife when I could.

Become a Poop Expert

I know this topic will make many laugh but I couldn’t believe how important baby poop was. Your babies poop can help tell you if there is anything wrong so I quickly learned what to watch for and monitor any differences with it. Looking back, I never thought my wife and I would have so many discussions about baby poop, but it happened.

Cherish Every Moment

Working different shifts, there would be days that I wouldn’t be able to spend any time with my daughter so it was important for me to cherish each moment with her. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would play dress up but it was worth it when I saw her eyes light up. Playing dress up is cool! The simple forms of play makes a world of a difference for her and me. These are the moments I will treasure forever!

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Unconditional Love

This one is obvious but one that I had to personally experience to know how it felt. It was that overwhelming feeling that I got when my daughter was born and has never left me since. The unconditional love keeps growing with every smile, hug, kiss and ‘dada’ that comes my way.

Trust your Instincts

As a father I needed to look deep inside and trust my instincts. At first it was hard to as I didn’t feel as confident as my wife did with knowing when to rely on instincts. But with practice and confidence I learned to trust my instinct and it was beneficial for all of us. Especially on the mommy break time, had to make sure those instincts were in full force.

You’re not the “backup parent”. You’re a father

I wanted to be very involved and hands on. Normally women take on the most active role in child rearing but as times change, men have become more involved. This is the type of parent I wanted to be. I wanted to know how to do everything and learn about my daughter. I wanted the front row seat and couldn’t sit in the back. By doing this, it has helped me become a better father and my bond with my daughter has grown stronger. As soon as I walk in the door from work, she runs to the door to greet me and it’s the best feeling in the world!

Married Life Changes

Many honest men will tell you that married life changes and it does. It no longer is about the two of you, it’s all about baby. Time with one another is hard to find and arguments are much easily sparked. But that is all normal and part of the growth needed in a relationship. It is important to communicate and allow to give one another some space if you feel frustrated. When you do find time to spend with one another it becomes more meaningful and your love will be stronger. I always heard people say that to test the strength of a relationship is to put a baby in it. Boy is that right! You have the bad, ugly but also the good. Never forget why you fell in love with each other and it all works out. Your both learning on the parent train together and I try not to forget that.

Patience goes a long way

Patience is a quick skill that you must learn as early as the day your baby is born. Patience is also needed in your relationship with your partner. We are all humans and we deal with changes and situations differently. Therefore, learning to be patient was necessary and crucial in being a husband and father. It isn’t the easiest one and I continue to work on it.

Above all, I learned how one little being changes you as a person and I feel like I am a better person with my daughter in my life. I could not see life without her and feel very blessed to have her. Fatherhood has been a journey like no other and I know I will continue to learn as my daughter grows. Looking forward to all the adventures ahead and all the stories I will be able to tell.

– Nikki’s Dada

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Motherhood: What I’ve Learned

Motherhood is a beautiful, rewarding, stressful and tiring role. But the most important one that one can ever have.

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I have always wanted a family of my own and was thrilled to be blessed with a baby girl on August 1st, 2014. I knew that this would be a journey like no other I have experienced and even though I was as prepared as I could be; it still didn’t seem like I was really prepared. It has been a year and I have learned so much especially about me. Here are just a few of my top ten highlights (in no real order).

1. Sleepless Nights

Everyone knows that with baby comes many sleepless nights. But to actually go  through them, is tough! If it wasn’t tummy pains, it was teething pain or just restlessness. No matter the reason, it resulted in many sleepless nights. This has been the hardest hurdle to overcome; however, I learned that taking naps during the day with Nikki helped battle those sleepless nights when they knocked on the door. It is important to get some rest for mom as it is for baby. So no matter what, try and get some rest when you can as the housework can wait.

2. Unsolicited Advice

Many of my friends who already went on the parent train, all warned me that many people were going to offer parenting advice, even when not being asked. Oh boy! They were so right! No matter who or where I turned, advice was always given. It would be on what to feed my child, how to care for her and any other parenting advice they deemed necessary to tell me. At first, the advice was hurtful as I felt it was a stab on my parenting skills and it does get extremely annoying to deal with. It took me awhile to get over this but I have learned that it is easier to just ignore the unsolicited advice and for helpful advice, to just say thanks. People do mean well but they do forget how frustrating it is for new parents to be nagged about their parenting.

3. Trust Your Gut

I learned that you should always trust your gut when taking care of your baby as you know your baby best. I knew what each cry meant and I knew when to intervene. It is always important to trust yourself and as a mom you always want the best for your baby. “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock

4. Patience

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” – Franklin P. Adams
I learned that I did not have much patience and learned quickly that I needed it more than ever. When my patience was running thin, there are 4 things that I learned to do: 1) Gave myself a break 2) Count to ten and start again 3) Be patient with myself and 4) See the bigger picture. Any one of these would help me cope and keep my patience at ease.

5. Unconditional Love

The moment I laid eyes on my baby Nikki, I was in love. I knew deep down in my heart she was my world and I was going to be the best that I could be to protect her. It was the beginning of that unconditional love that I heard so much about. Even in the hardest days, I learned that this love would always surface and made all the trouble times worth it in the end.

6. No More Privacy

Say goodbye to doing anything on your own. You always have company which includes trips to the bathroom. The silver lining, you will always have someone to talk to.

7. Ask for Help

I learned that it’s ok to ask for help when you need it. Even though I’m still working on this, it is great to get a mommy break. No need to try to do it all yourself as you are already caring for the most precious life, your baby. At the beginning, I tried doing it all and learned quickly that it was draining me and had to ask for help. No shame in that.

8. Don’t be so hard on yourself

No parent has ever been perfect but we all try our very best for our children and that is what matters. Learning not to be hard on myself allowed me to be a better mom to Nikki as I got rid of that pressure.

9. Laugh

Laugh as much as you can and it will be a happier environment for you and baby. By laughing often, it helped relieve my stress and Nikki learned to laugh often as well, and she was one happy baby. Life is too short, so smile and laugh often.

10. Multi-Tasker

It is amazing how quickly we learn to multi-task with a baby in our arms. I mastered many tasks with one hand and I have become much more productive at home. This is a great skill learned through the first year of motherhood and am grateful for it.

But the best lesson learned was experiencing what it is like to care, love, support and sacrifice for an extension of you. For the first time in my life, I know and felt what my parents went through to raise my sister and I. I have a deeper appreciation for all that they did and for the life they gave me. Now I have the opportunity to do the same for Nikki and for this, I have become a better me.

– Momma Braga

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