When my son was born, two things went through my head. The first was “oh my god, he’s so beautiful”. The second was, “oh my god, how am I going to pay for this?!” I was self-employed, which is a posh term for working from home and not getting enough money to scrape by. There is guilt in working for you, the guilt being that when you’re not working you feel like you should! If there are any fathers out there reading this who feels the same, please let me know! My son is 11 weeks old, and so I am now in the thick of it. Wet nappies, dirty nappies, the fact that if I’m going out, I need to pick the item of clothing that smells the least of puke. But I’ve learnt a few things along the way. So for the dads out there in the same predicament, read on…
Lesson One: Don’t Feel Guilty!
For whatever reason; For working too much, or not seeing your kid “enough”. You need to earn money. If you are self-employed, then there is lots of time spent at home. Use that time to bond with your child. Because when the next job comes up, you will need to take it. Feeling guilty isn’t good for you, and if you’re feeling bad while hanging out with your child, it’s not time well spent.
Lesson Two: It Is A Short Term Solution
Whether you are trying to build up a business from home, or you work freelance, there are times where you need to be working. Your partner may have enough holidays from work saved up, or they may still be on leave. And if you were working a job, you would only get a few weeks leave, and you would have to start back to work. So, if you need to do a short job away from home, it is only a short job. And you will be back home before you know it getting quality time in with your kid.
Lesson Three: Outsource Where Possible
By this I mean the child’s grandparents or a close family friend. I’m not saying dump your child on their doorstep and not come back for days. If you need an afternoon to do that difficult bit of work you’ve been putting off because they’ve not stopped screaming, then so be it. Besides, granny will love spending some time with your child anyway. This extends to organizing family functions. If you’ve got a big birthday coming up, then use a company that can plan it out for you. Companies like Birthday Parties For Kids can take the stress off you with regards to making the plans. There’s never any shame in asking for help, so make sure you do.
Lesson Four: Do The Night Shift
The one most difficult thing when it comes to being a new father is the sleepless nights. I’m sorry to say this, but if you are working during the day, then you need to take a night shift once in a while. I take the 1 am feed for my son, so his mother can get a good block of sleep in so she is more refreshed to take him during the day while I’m working in the back room. If you can take some of the stress away from your partner so they don’t feel like they’re doing it alone, then it’ll make everyone’s lives a lot easier.