Dad Life pt. 4

The Dad Life, Operation Life

By: D.J. Shuttleworth


Before Henley was born, I had no clue of what to expect in fatherhood. She was my first child, and just thinking about the responsibility of this little girl’s life was terrifying. All I could rely on was remembering certain situations from my dad, watching Dane with his kids and other father figures. Oh and the 2 videos Dane said to watch before birth. Well, no one can prepare you for being a parent.

Most of my experiences in life have either been from football or lifting. In a way, both of those apply to parenting. Discipline is something that was huge while playing football. It is also key in parenting as well. Now, Henley is not old enough for me to have to stand my ground on lets say taking away a toy or something, but it is a different kind of discipline as a parent. Her being so young, you need to be disciplined on her schedule. Wake up 6ish, eat, drop off at sitters 7:30, nap, eat, poop, eat, nap, eat, poop, pick up around 3:45, eat, poop, nap, eat, poop, eat, 7 bath, 7:30 bed, repeat. Yep, that is basically her schedule, I can not give Lauren enough credit for all she does with feeding her and bathing and pretty much everything, weekends is the only time where I truly can help out.

Another trait you learn is patience. This one is particularly big with weightlifting. Not only in the lifts (patient in the pull), but also patience in the sense of training for a long time is how to bed good. Weightlifting is a marathon, not a sprint. Having a newborn you need to be very patient. Her taking a bottle for the first time, or before bed, her crying and you have to keep doing different things to try and calm her down, being patient with your significant other because this is both of your first child. Patience is key to lots of things in life.

Attention to detail is another thing you need to pick up on as quickly as possible once having a child, just like technique in olympic weightlifting. With a child, you need to pay attention to everything they do, especially in the beginning. This will help later on with learning certain cries, noises she makes, and just reading her body language to figure out what she needs. Every cry is different, you can tell when she is hungry, needs a diaper changed, or sleepy. I didn’t really believe this at first, but if you really pay attention, it is unbelievable the things you can pick up on.

I have not been able to use a ton of parenting skills yet that I have picked up over the years because newborns are pretty simple. They eat, sleep, and poop. That is basically all they do. I have been told that after 6 months is when the real fun begins and I will be able to start to use some more skills.

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