You’re expecting a child. You’re a mess. Your life will never be the same. But don’t worry. I have been there, and I’ll tell you the unexpected things that will happen in your future.
1. You Will Not See Many Friends For Several Years: Bad news first. You’re not going to keep all of your friends. Some will stay in your life. Some won’t. Some you’ll miss. Others you won’t.
2. You’ll Move To A Bigger Place: We know you love that one-bedroom, but you’ll need more space. Period. Say hello to a town that’s more affordable.
3. You Will Not Sleep: You can’t soft pedal this. Babies sleep for 3-4 hours and then you have to change and feed them. You will be “The Walking Dead.”
4. Never-Ending Laundry: Yes, you just did laundry yesterday. Yes, the baby goes through clothes that fast. No, you don’t have a choice.
5. No Amount Of Cheerios Equals Too Many Cheerios*: You might think there are too many Cheerios in your life when you find you’re sleeping on the ones you didn’t know were in your bed. You’d be wrong. Cheerios can save your sanity. *Also applies to Goldfish crackers.
6. You Will Hate Kids’ Music: Once you start listening to kids music, you will never again know peace. It gets into your head and stays there. Forever. And ever. This includes theme songs for children’s shows.
7. Family And Friends Will Mean Much More: Family and friends who stay in your life deserve your love, loyalty, and respect. Friends who come into your life while you are a dad are valuable. Meeting new friends as a dad can be tough, but check out organizations like City Dads Group (citydadsgroup.com).
8. Messes: I didn’t believe such a small person could make such a big mess either. Brace yourself.
9. Your Parents Were Right About Everything: And this is even more mind-blowing once you realize they had no instructions for parenting. Which leads us to…
10. There Are No Instructions For Parenting: You can buy books and take advice and whatever else, but what works for one kid won’t for all. Everyone will give you advice and it will be conflicting. You will have to sort out what works best for you and ignore the rest.
11. Nothing Grosses You Out Anymore: Disgusting messes are in your future. Take heart in the knowledge that within a couple weeks, you’ll be able to handle absolutely anything.
12. Your Home Now Really Feels Like “Home”: Even something as mundane as drinking water becomes a special event when you are teaching your child how to do it.
13. Your World Will Seem Brand New Again: Fireworks! Parades! Festivals! Beaches! The Ocean! Seeing everything for the first time again through your child’s eyes will leave you breathless.
14. More Messes: Messes are going to happen all the time. All the time. So expect there will be many messes. All the time.
15. Commercials Make You Cry: Becoming a parent puts you deeply in touch with an empathy you may not have realized you had before. Everything now affects you. Deeply.
16. You Appreciate Gifts So Much More: You’re now used to putting the needs and desires of others ahead of yourself, so when you get a gift or card, they mean much more.
17. Alcohol Tolerance? What Alcohol Tolerance?: By the time you go out drinking again, your tolerance will be way down. As in completely gone. No, it won’t matter how much you partied in your previous life. This will lead to the…
18. Worst. Hangovers. EVER: Everything hurts and you feel sick and you want to die. And the baby is crying. And you only drank one beer.
19. Naps Are Wonderful: Okay, seriously though. Why was I fighting it all these years?
20. Fashion Loses Some Importance: As the great philosopher Jennifer Lawrence once said: “If I don’t have to do anything all day, I might not even put my pants on.” This will apply to new dads, even while dealing with a full day of responsibilities. But please do put something on before you go outside.
21. Expect Even More Messes: Have we mentioned this yet?
22. The News Makes You Cringe: War. Natural disaster. President Trump. It’s all bad. But it’s the local stories that will really horrify you, especially if it involves child endangerment. Expect human interest stories that will stab you through the heart.
23. You’re Going To Be Sick. A Lot: Think of your kid as a petri dish. They’re going to catch every bug out there, especially once they start going to daycare or pre-school. Don’t worry, they’ll shake it off after a day or two, but you’re going to get your ass kicked. Badly. Take some preventative measures to lower your risk. And for God’s sake, get your kids vaccinated!
24. Your Courage Will Grow: You may think you are non-confrontational. Not anymore. If your child even seems to be in the slightest bit of danger you will face down and beat the combined armies of the world. Your protective instincts will not only serve your child, they’ll boost you as well.
25. …Almost As Big As Your Heart Will: What unexpected things will happen while you’re expecting? The most valuable experience of your life. While you were single, you may have only grown as a person by inches every year. Once your child arrives, you will grow by miles as a person every day. What can you expect when you’re expecting? Love. Yes, expect your life will change. Because you’re no longer at the center of it. Your life is no longer just your own. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Chad R. MacDonald once stopped a crime in a superhero suit, but he’ll only tell that story in person. His other stories can be found on SpoiledNYC.com, QuietMike.org, BleedingYankeeBlue.com, and many other awesome sites.