Earlier this month we celebrated Australian Father’s Day. Being a Cuban/Colombian/American/Australian household means that we have an interesting mix of holidays and we’ve enjoyed creating our own traditions since Matt and I became a couple. In honor of Father’s Day we did something a little special…
Are you currently looking for some real-life insights into that first year of fatherhood that you can share with your partner about what they can expect?
Please allow me to introduce my husband: Matthew Eddy. Also known around here as Santa Puppy, Honey Bee, and most recently “daddy”. Matt is an ex-criminal defense lawyer turned legal automation tech salesman, ultra-marathoner and life of the dinner party. While I was pregnant, I tried to get Matt to listen to podcasts or read books about pregnancy and birth and while he took them on with a smile, he also assured me that he’d figure out most of it ‘on the job’. Now, he is a lover of philosophy, meditation and mindfulness practices, so it’s no surprise to me that these are the learnings he’s taken from the last 14 months.
I hope you enjoy his insights,
I’ve been asking Andrea when I could do a celebrity takeover of her Instagram account/website and she has finally let me craft a Father’s Day message for all the soon-to-be and new-ish dads!
I’m Matt, Andrea’s husband and proud dad. If I could tell myself or any new dad some of the lessons I’ve learnt from the first year of fatherhood it’s these :
1. Every parent is doing the best they can.
We all have unique experiences, knowledge, wisdom, idiosyncrasies and some days we look back and know we could have handled a moment better. Don’t beat yourself up about it and it serves no good to beat up other people either. Just aim to bring a little more calmness, humility and patience next time.
2. Get comfortable being humble!
Identify with being the top salesperson? Identify with being a great lawyer? Identify with looking your best every time you leave the house? Identify with being well-read? Those are all great things to strive for but you’re now also the guy who cleans poop out of the bathtub. You’re also the guy who clips clumps of poop out of your dogs’ fur in a lockdown. You’re the guy who doesn’t get too smashed at the (virtual) dinner party so you can parent at 7:00am the next day. If you can do all this with a little more humility, you’re an amazing man.
3. Life doesn’t get easier, it just gets more meaningful.
I can’t remember where I first saw this quote but I carry it around like a metaphorical tram card. Just like before you had kids, there are good days and bad days. The difference is that there is a growing bank of amazing memories and feelings that you just can’t replicate. When your daughter first blows you a kiss. The first time they fall asleep in your arms. The first time they shove their tiny pointy fingers up your nose. Even with all of the tough moments, I wouldn’t trade those meaningful moments in for anything.
4. Hold onto moments as best you can.
This has two parts to it, firstly, try and be in the moment when it’s happening. Don’t be distracted by your phone or the game of football on tv; the quality of attention you give your child will define the quality of your relationship. Secondly, find a way of capturing those moments so you can recognise how grateful you are (and should be!) I like to keep a journal. Others like to take photos or videos. It doesn’t matter how you keep a record but one day you will want to look back on all those beautiful moments.
5. Be you.
No one knows your strengths and weaknesses quite like you do, so you’re the best person to work out how to play to your strengths, improve your weaknesses and be the best dad you can be. If you’re a good cook, do more cooking for your family. If you’re not as patient as you could be, double down on trying to be more patient. There is never a better time to start being the best version of yourself than after you become a dad. What are you waiting for?
Share this blog with a dad who would appreciate the inside scoop!