I wrote this article 7 years ago when my kids were 5, 4, 3 and 1 year old, and all of it is still absolutely true. Want to know the things that nobody tells you before you become a Dad? Here are 50 of them. If you enjoy this, you might also want to read The 33 things I always want my daughter to know.
1. It’s awesome.
2. The first time you hold your baby, you’ll never think you could love anything as much ever again. Until the next one.
3. At some point you are going to have to do a poo whilst nursing a child.
4. Pixar films are awesome and not at all made for children.
5. Spongebob Squarepants is genius.
6. Your children will create a lot of art. Most of it will be rubbish.
7. You won’t ever sleep again properly but at least they will all be in the bed with you.
8. An ‘anaesthetic run’ is cramming all of your kids in the car about 1pm and just driving. Aimlessly. With an Ed Sheeran CD playing. Preferably on some winding road through the bush.
9. Your children don’t love your footy team as much as you. Despite how much you try to force them to.
10. You will cry. When ads for nappies come on the TV.
11. Most kids’ TV isn’t bad and you will eventually find yourself sitting in your lounge room on your own and realise you’ve been watching Nickelodeon alone for the last 25 minutes.
12. Chicken nuggets are very easy. You hate yourself for it, but they’re very easy.
13. 5:30pm to 8:30pm is shite. But only when you are home.
14. Giving your partner an extra 8 minutes of sleep in the morning is like buying them a car.
15. The noise coming from the back of the car is like nothing you can compare it to.
16. You will be told by an equal amount of people that your child looks like either you or their mum. You will become convinced that people just make that up to say something.
17. “Ooohhh, he’s so unique/interesting looking/cute” actually means “Jesus, your baby is ugly”.
18. Some babies are born really ugly. Sometimes they are yours.
19. The only thing worse than poo in the bath is poo in trackpants.
20. You will absolutely have a favourite. That favourite might change but at any given time you will want to spend more time with one of your kids than any of the others. Any parent who tells you they don’t have a favourite is just lying (including your own).
21. Primary school performances are terrible. Everyone is thinking it.
22. Divide and conquer is the best strategy.
23. The best place to leave a tooth for the tooth fairy is just inside the bedroom door NOT under the pillow. (Also in Mum and Dad’s room is a good spot)
24. You will blackmail your children upwards of 5 or 6 times every day.
25. Counting 3, 2, 1 to make a child stop doing something annoying only serves to teach them that they should go hell for leather through 3 and 2, and then stop doing it for a couple of milliseconds when you get to 1.
26. Kids don’t love watching cricket. There is literally nothing you can do about that.
27. You will turn into your father.
28. You start to tell ‘Dad Jokes’ all the time, but in your mind, they are just ‘jokes’.
29. If you say “fuck” in your car, so will your kids.
30. When you watch your partner give birth, you will honestly not comprehend how the hell she did it.
31. Kmart is awesome.
32. You will change your gym to one with a creche. Even if it’s just to dump your kids in it sometimes to go and have a really long shower and get some peace and quiet.
33. You don’t babysit your own children. You’re just, you know, their father.
34. You being the funny, cool, ice-cream-buying parent is not awesome for the other parent.
35. If 3 or more of your kids need a haircut, get them all done at once. Get in. Get it done. Get out. Shock and awe.
36. There could be just one tiny lego block on the floor in your whole house, but if all the lights are off you WILL stand on it.
37. Milestones like your kids graduating school or university or getting a job or getting married, become a lot less important than them being able to get in the car and put their freakin’ seat belt on.
38. Kids shoes. Just that.
39. You will boil, sterilise, and cleanse stuff a lot less for your 4th baby than you did for your 1st.
40. They are born beautiful simple things with no prejudice or hate. If they turn out some other way, you have to shoulder at least some of the responsibility for that.
41. There are 3 states of clothing: definitely needing to go in the wash, clean, and ‘it’s OK put that one on’.
42. Other parents lie about their children to make you feel bad, and them feel better.
43. Mess is OK. There was probably a lot of fun in the making of it.
44. If you push them once on the swing, you will have to do it a further 297 times..
45. Almost everything you vow never to do as a parent, you will normally have done before the first 12 months is out.
46. Your kids will always love time playing with something on the floor with you, or you reading them a book, than any amount of donuts you could ever buy them.
47. There is a lot of sugar in fruit juice. A LOT.
48. Grocery shopping on your own is just about the best thing ever. And can take up to 4 hours.
49. They will be sneaky and lie to you. You did that too.
50. Your kids will teach you something every day.
And as a bonus, number 51: it’s fun, and annoying, and joyous, and infuriating. And awesome. And it goes way, way too quick.
So Dads, which ones did I miss?