Being a new dad is hard, like, WAY harder than I ever expected. Having a baby nowadays is way easier than it used to be though, I assume. All you need is wireless internet service, your laptop (or desktop) and you’re pretty much set. What did people do before the Internet? I mean, you can Google anything, any question, any worry, and BAM! Answers in a few milliseconds. It’s awesome.
Throughout my wife’s pregnancy, she used pregnancy websites and message boards to track her symptoms and issues and make sure that what she was going through was normal. She also met other moms online who were due at the same time as she was, and now she talks to them more than she talks to me! (hey….wait a minute….)
When she went into labor, she wanted to labor from home for a while before going to the birthing center and so she used a contraction timer online to keep track of how close they were and how far apart they were. I busted out the stopwatch and a pad of paper but NO! “Honey, I’ve got this website to use for that.” I couldn’t believe how many things were available to new parents online. It gave me a chance to pack our bags and whatnot.
So we bring our little lady home, and she’s not sleeping well. That saying “so and so is sleeping like a baby” is ridiculous; babies don’t sleep well. Sleep? What’s that? So, we get online and start trying to find ways to help her. Shushing, rocking, singing, swaddling, and WHITE NOISE. There are white noise websites that just play white noise for babies. It’s been a godsend, seriously. She sleeps like a dream, it relaxes her completely and supposedly reminds her of being in the womb. So awesome.
When my baby girl, who’s 3 months old now, had her first cold, we used the internet to help us figure out her symptoms and what they could mean. We, of course, took her to the doctor to get a real diagnosis and treatment and all, but it helped us at home and helped us know a bit more about what our little gal was going through.
As someone without any experience with kids prior to our little girl, I, as a guy, felt overwhelmed. It’s weird when your wife is pregnant and while you’re going through that too, well, sort of, it’s even weirder when she gives birth and now you have this little person to care for. Someone who depends on you entirely to do every single little thing. It’s kind of scary. But one thing that has helped my wife and I are “mommy blogs.” Reading about other parents and their experiences is reassuring. It’s nice to know that other parents have a hard time with their kids too, and that it’s not just me feeling like I’m doing something wrong. This sense of community that the Internet creates has been helpful, especially to this new dad.
(Bio: Michael Cash is a twenty something freelance writer and internet consultant residing in western Michigan. When not coaching people out of 1990s era web practices, amateur astronomy and hiking take up his time. A completely random fact about Michael is that he used to “ghost hunt” as a youngster.)
((Thanks for your blog post, Michael! The best advice I can give is to enjoy having just one! lol))