Becoming a New Dad – general advice very much required…

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  • Becoming a New Dad – general advice very much required…
  • bullheart
    Member

    Evening STW hive-mind,

    I require some help and advice. Bullockheart/Heiferheart is due in the middle of January, and as yet I am no closer to understanding what is about to happen to my life. I wanted to have a go at the ‘Puffer, but apparently it’s too close to the birth date, as is Hit The North. I know this because I’ve just been told in no uncertain terms that if I consider either, it won’t be the cancer that sends me off, but a frying pan or my wife’s Fiesta.

    No here’s the issue. I’m happy to accept that my riding patterns will change. As Mrs Bullheart as pointed out, the moment BiddyBull pops out will probably be so epic that I won’t even look at my bike, but I need a dad’s-eye view. So the questions are;

    1) How did it feel? How did you cope? What happened to the bike?

    2) Did the NCT classes help?

    3) Are there any forums I could join that would help prepare me for the inevitable life-explosion about to happen?

    Many thanks gents!

    BH

    crikey
    Member

    Why is your wife buying Fiesta?

    bullheart
    Member

    It’s on a special at the newsagents.

    Har-har! Yes, your life will change, no doubt, but lets be frank, you’ve got over far more momentous changes. Get a trailer, in fact, contact me (e-mail in profile), I’ve got one you can have for nowt, my 2 have grown out of it.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    lol @ crikey

    I have no children of my own, but I was once a tiny baby myself. No, it’s actually true.

    You’ve enjoyed a car journey with me for several hours. I know you’re not very good at coping with stressful situations, as you’re just a whiny little girl, but on that occasion you coped ok really, so I’m sure you’ll be fine.

    🙂

    X

    GW
    Member

    felt amazing, all coped fine! rode my bike the same day/raced the following weekend

    NCT classes?

    the internet can be helpful but personally I’d GTF away from forum advice, it’s a real life baba.

    1) Didnt hurt in the slightest, didnt feint, and I went for a ride on the bike before they got home.
    2) Dunno, they wouldnt let me go to the breast feeding class,
    3) You’re already here.

    crikey
    Member

    As a Dad of 3;

    Don’t look at the business end while it’s coming out; one day you may want to visit that area for fun…

    Spend whatever cash you have spare on whatever you want now, because you either won’t have the cash or the time later.

    It’s a baby. In spite of your frankly awe-inspiring story, it’s just like every other baby in the world, so remember that others may not seem to be so impressed.

    You will lose a lot of sleep, but it’s just sleep.

    It’s still only a baby; it doesn’t need an expensive buggy, the heating on full for the next 6 months, a new wardrobe from (insert expensive shop of choice).

    Do your share of the shitty stuff.

    timbur
    Member

    1)It’s amazing. Life changes and priorities are totally re-adjusted. Well, for me they were. You’ll be too tired to ride for a while. And you’ll learn to live on a lot less sleep.
    2)No. It’s common sense. Make it work for you and your family. There are no instruction manuals and every little one is different. Routines are good if they work for you. Start young I’d say as it makes it easier when they get older.
    3)You’re already here!

    Tim
    One 4.5 year old and one 10 day old. Off to bed now whilst all is quiet.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    In spite of your frankly awe-inspiring story, it’s just like every other baby in the world, so remember that others may not seem to be so impressed

    particularly the baby. HTH. 😀

    (and congrats, obviously)

    Premier Icon robob
    Subscriber

    1) didn’t hurt a bit. Fine. Didn’t get a look in for at least three days.
    2) what’s nct?
    3) mumsnet?

    carlosg
    Member

    1)Witnessing the birth of my children was an amazing experience (although there were a few scary moments with number 2) . Both my kids were born 5 weeks prem so spent a couple of weeks in transitional care , this meant my maternity leave was used up while mum and no2 were in hospital. Biking was severely reduced for the first 2-3 months but has crept back to normal levels.

    2) NCT classes? , never got to them due to premature births.

    3) mumsnet ! 😉

    Premier Icon drain
    Subscriber

    What crikey and timbur said.

    Also, keep your hands away from Mrs B’s teeth during the event, I got bitten when Mrs D was bearing down. It hurt.

    TooTall
    Member

    You can’t really prepare for it. You might think you can, but you can’t. It is so much about instinct when it happens and your reactions will be different in some ways to anyone elses. It is massive – really massive. Sleep as much as you can between now and then. Any time you might do something else, just sleep.
    If you have the strength to ride and not to the detriment of your wife, have a ride. Remember that she will be far more limited to just nip out and do stuff than you, so you have to use that empathy thing.
    We knew more than most about the birth before it happened, so we didn’t need most of the classes – but we were different.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    its the bestest thing ever

    even if it does mean no sleep, no riding, no partying ……

    but its all totally worth it

    on a practical note sleep whenever you get the chance
    try and get a routine going, meals, bedtime etc
    any big jobs need doing get them done now eg decorating, everything becomes a bit trickier when you have to factor in a baby

    kimbers jr is 363 days old
    and likes smith eyewear

    timbur
    Member

    I’ve got a pic of my eldest wearing some Oakleys just like that! (they were white frames with pink lenses to keep thinks on track wit being a bike website and all!)

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Everything that crikey said

    + one word – relentless

    can’t add on what others have said generally but NCT classes – great. I enjoyed ours and we have made some good friends.

    Enjoy every minute of it – it changes everything tor the better

    GW
    Member

    ^^ just goes to show, even a cute innocent baby can’t make cycling glasses look any less “special” 😉

    Oh.. and some babies actually sleep LOTS.

    1) How did it feel? How did you cope? What happened to the bike?

    2) Did the NCT classes help?

    3) Are there any forums I could join that would help prepare me for the inevitable life-explosion about to happen?

    1. Worst day of my life was watching labour.
    2. Not much, but the Mrs has a good group of friends to help out now.
    3. STW has all the answers you know that.

    They are kind of dull for 3 or 4 months and then they get fun. Tomorrow is Franks first b’day, its quite scary how much you love them.

    Oh.. and some babies actually sleep LOTS.

    they all do – just not when you want them to…

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    1) How did it feel? How did you cope? What happened to the bike?

    Exhausting, but good fun. Don’t plan to do anything for the first three months – you will be so underslept that you won’t want to even if the wife allows it. Bike mileage much reduced (now picking up a bit since Miss RBIT is 10 months and in nursery) but was so desperate to get out that I went out in Jan in the ice, fell off, broke collar bone and bent mech hanger…

    2) Did the NCT classes help?

    As has been posted elsewhere, there will be one couple who are yoghurt knitters and one couple who are taking it all far too seriously but the rest will be good value. We’ve kept in touch with our lot, and anecdote suggests you’ll not be the only dad there into bikes (which fits with my experience). Worth it for the social factor and not-being-in-it alone, though some of the advice need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    3) Are there any forums I could join that would help prepare me for the inevitable life-explosion about to happen?

    STW=Dadsnet. In fact, there should probaby be a parenting sub forum to go with ‘Bike’ and ‘Chat’.

    Good Luck.

    Andy

    ohh and I didn’t mind the business end one bit

    magowen100
    Member

    Crikey has it spot on.
    Do remember to do the cheesy bit and lift little bullock/heifer out of the cot, walk over to the window and whisper ‘ I can give you nothing but the world….’
    NCT – I’d say do it. Mrs O and I met some good friends through it even though we only went to one meeting due to a premature birth. If nothing else they are going through the same things as you about the same time.
    Mumsnet – not a chance! Spend less time on the ‘puter and more enjoying your wife’s larger ahem, upper body. As you won’t get near em if she’s breast feeding! 😀

    sugdenr
    Member

    Don’t look at the business end while it’s coming out; one day you may want to visit that area for fun…

    Word.

    Spend whatever cash you have spare on whatever you want now, because you either won’t have the cash or the time later.

    You will lose a lot of sleep, but it’s just sleep.

    It’s still only a baby; it doesn’t need an expensive buggy, the heating on full for the next 6 months, a new wardrobe from (insert expensive shop of choice).

    Poverty, permanent lack of sleep are inevitable. However both creep up on you so you have a little time left think nothings changed

    Most baby stuff is bought not becuase babs needs that it but you want/perfer it. Just like buying MTBs in fact.

    NCT was mostly wast of time, but did help you know the names of the different drugs your wife will call for inbetween screaming etc. More seriously both times my missus only had gas&air as I got her to do breathing techniques and come off gas&air between thingies. Didnt want my muppets to come into the world doped up before their first breath. Wife want too happy afterwards when she realised I had deprived her of her rightful hit of analgesics.

    Baby mostly sleeps for first 2 weeks, some form of denial I think, then it all really starts. NCT also talks you through things like the nasty nasty black first nappies and horrifying sh…stuff like that.

    Blah, blah, blah – i’ll shut up now

    ……being able to hold up your own offspring with one hand is priceless – esp. ’cause (most) girls havent got big enough hands 😆

    nonk
    Member

    Don’t worry about stuff. Once the baby is born everything will be have changed.
    it’s all good.

    not sure if it happens to everyone but i didn’t need much sleep for the first three months because i felt like i had been given some mad new father performance enhancing drug by mother nature. 😀

    i oddly ride my bike a fair bit because when i get the chance i go, no tossing about with one more brew or ooooh it looks a bit nasty out …etc.

    congrats mate and all the best with it.

    GW
    Member

    they all do – just not when you want them to…

    speak for yourself 😉

    warton
    Member

    1. its good! you just sort of do it. still cycle once a week too (and commute daily)
    2. Didn’t bother
    3. Didn’t bother

    don’t listen to other people otherwise you’ll be confused with scores of contradictory advice, you’re the parents, do it your way. you’ll make mistakes, but thats how you learn.

    Time flies, don’t wish it away!

    William, 18 months old (not the best pic):

    djglover
    Member

    1/ Went though ICU etc with my twins, you’d think everything after that would seem like a breeze. Nothing prepares you for how demanding and draining parenting and holding down a full time job and a hobby is. Something will probably give. In my case its a bit of all 3. I dont mtb anymore though so that tells you something
    2/Categorically no, seems like the only benefit is to buy middleclass friends. I’m a cynic, but it wouldn’t have helped me. All they do is eat sleep and shit, its not rocket science, but it is draining and a source of worry…
    3/ You will go through a phase of asking for help, then you will just think **** screw that I’m just going to make it up as I go along

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    And if you do the NCT classes make sure you pay attention – babies can arrive before the midwife has time to get to yer house 😯

    crikey
    Member

    They are kind of dull for 3 or 4 months and then they get fun

    This is one of those ‘yes, I do agree, but better not say so’ things!

    I gave up biking after our first 2 were born; I simply didn’t have the time or the energy to train as much for XC racing. I started running instead, and used that to stay fit/become my new obsession until I could start riding again. Then, because I was doing so well, we had another….

    Although people are correct in that it changes everything, it does so relatively gradually apart from the birth, so you get chance to adjust.

    You should both be able to say to each other ” **** it, you’ll have to take over, I can’t cope any more”, and expect the same in return.

    And each time you despair through lack of sleep/excess of poo/overwhelming relatives/fear for the future remember it’s how you got here, so it can’t be that hard!

    DrP
    Member

    Think of all the riding and other things you do now…..Establish about 20% of it that’s really important and want to keep doing….halve that in order to be realistic…then end up having the energy to do about a quarter of that……

    😉

    Good luck!

    Dr ‘Daddy’ P

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Its life changing you will re-prioritise, but bike time (for me) is getting away from it all so you’ll work it out again.

    NCT is more important for Mum IMO, especially if this is your first child. She builds a friends style relationship with a bunch of people going through the same issues and challanges, and its good for her sanity to know she’s not doing anything wrong/different or isnt going insane any more than other people.

    Oh, and you will appreciate sleep as a whole new wonderfully high value thing…

    Yours, Mr tired after the recent fireworks have kicked off a 2yo’s fear of the dark (yawn)….

    lodious
    Member

    You will go through a phase of asking for help, then you will just think **** screw that I’m just going to make it up as I go along

    Sooner you get to that point the better. So much advice is handed out, and in reality, impossible to follow.

    Things that worked for us…

    Relaxing and having the confidence to ignore advice.

    Not falling out with the inlaws (didn’t do too well at that).

    Get him/her on dual fuel (bottle and breast) as soon as you can.

    Don’t buy a baby monitor. You need a break without listening to every whimper. Baby’s are actually pretty good at getting attention when they need it 🙂

    We are on our third, and looking back, it was us who created most of the stress.

    freddyg
    Member

    1) How did it feel? How did you cope? What happened to the bike?

    Scary – no manual was supplied. Not too badly – just listen to your Mrs, she knows her body and she knows when she needs your help. Listen to her first. Bike went on the garage wall and stayed there for 4 years.

    2) Did the NCT classes help?

    A bit – however, we’ve made some great friends we’re still in touch with 6 years on.

    3) Are there any forums I could join that would help prepare me for the inevitable life-explosion about to happen?

    You’re already here 8) In fact, this place was the first I came to when MrsG went into labour.

    <gratuitous photo of my kids> *proud dad*

    </gratuitous photo of my kids>

    alba23
    Member

    Our boy is 10 m old. Never wanted kids but if i new how great it would be i would have tried for one years ago. Despite the sleepless nights and working all the overtime i can get to pay yet. Our tips are
    Buy your pram or buggy on ebay.
    Buy car seat and other stuff online.Go to mothercare and get them to demo everything and then buy else where
    NCT was bollocks waste of time and money. meeting times were changed most weeks and the other five couples we have not spoken to since thank god . they were a nightmare. We made excuses twice not meet up with them for get togethers. Its pot luck whonyoubend up meeting but we was advised not to bother but we new best .

    RichPenny
    Member

    The dynamic of your relationship will change, so be ready to adjust to that. I’ve found it quite difficult at times to watch my wife always put the baby first. Not in a selfish way, just when she neglects herself on occasion like not eating properly.

    Fantastic fun though, so wonderful to watch a new human develop on a daily basis.

    razor1548
    Member

    “1) How did it feel? How did you cope? What happened to the bike?”

    I coped without turning into a really feeble parody of an 80s self help manual. A lot of other people have too. The bike melted instantly and both my legs fell off so I can no longer ride! 🙂

    “2) Did the NCT classes help?”

    Nope. They do not have the answers you are looking for. The chances are that nobody else does either. There are an awful lot of fathers out there. A surprising amount of people have them, and an awful lot of people also are them! It’s not a big deal. You are probably better than at least 50% of them so don’t worry. 🙂

    “3) Are there any forums I could join that would help prepare me for the inevitable life-explosion about to happen?”

    http://www.get my balls back dot com

    Seriously man. You are not living in a movie. You will still be the person you used to be, you are not doing anything that isn’t done by an incredibly huge number of people again and again and again.

    Stop worrying!

    You are going to be fine at it… even more so if you don’t turn it into a little stress fetish! 🙂

    Hi mate

    Congrats on your impending arrival, it’s seriously the best thing you’ll ever do.

    In terms of your questions:

    1) It was a really intense experience, and a bit scary as a dad – I’ve never felt more generally useless. Adrenaline keeps you going through the actual birth, the knackeredness doesn’t hit you till later. I managed a ride the day after our first was born, but it wasn’t popular, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I cut back on the riding quite a lot, mainly because I was so knackered with lack of sleep. If you don’t already have one, get a turbo, it’s easy to pop on for 30-45 mins just to keep your legs turning.

    2) We didn’t do the NCT classes, still made plenty of friends locally, Mrs HH went to several mother and baby groups, you just seem to meet other people with kids. Most of the parenting advice is pretty common sense anyway, grandparents are very useful.

    3) +1 for STW, definitely Dadsnet

    The best piece of advice I got before the birth was relating to changing nappies after a “code brown” – (assuming you’re right handed) hold both the baby’s legs in your left hand and wipe buttocks with your right (holding a wipe, obviously). If you leave one of the legs free, you’ll get crap kicked everywhere.

    Best of luck!

    Barn (the bloke from the Oktoberfest with the T-shirts from Al)

    Muke
    Member

    FOLLOW THESE 14 SIMPLE TESTS BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO HAVE CHILDREN.

    Test 1 – Preparation

    Women: To prepare for pregnancy:-

    1. Put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front.
    2. Leave it there.

    3. After 9 months remove 5% of the beans.

    Men: To prepare for children:-

    1. Go to a local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet onto the
    counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself
    2. Go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to
    their head office.
    3. Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time.

    Test 2 – Knowledge

    Find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their
    methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance
    levels and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest
    ways in which
    they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table
    manners and overall behavior.
    Enjoy it. It will be the last time in your life that you will have all
    the answers.

    Test 3 – Nights

    To discover how the nights will feel:

    1. Walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag
    weighing approximately 4 – 6kg, with a radio turned to static (or some
    other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
    2. At 10pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to
    sleep.
    3. Get up at 11pm and walk the bag around the living room until 1am.
    4. Set the alarm for 3am.
    5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a cup of tea.
    6. Go to bed at 2.45am.
    7. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off.
    8. Sing songs in the dark until 4am.
    9. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up when it goes off.
    10. Make breakfast.

    Keep this up for 5 years. LOOK CHEERFUL.

    Test 4 – Dressing Small Children

    1. Buy a live octopus and a string bag.
    2. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hang
    out.
    Time Allowed: 5 minutes.

    Test 5 – Cars

    1. Forget the BMW. Buy a practical 5-door MPV.
    2. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
    Leave it there.
    3. Get a coin. Insert it into the CD player.
    4. Take a box of chocolate biscuits; mash them into the back seat.
    5. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
    Test 6 – Going For a Walk

    Wait
    Go out the front door
    Come back in again
    Go out
    Come back in again
    Go out again
    Walk down the front path
    Walk back up it
    Walk down it again
    Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes.
    Stop, inspect minutely and ask at least 6 questions about every piece of
    used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way.
    Retrace your steps
    Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbours
    come out and stare at you.
    Give up and go back into the house.
    You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

    Test 7
    Repeat everything you say at least 5 times.

    Test 8 – Grocery Shopping

    1. Go to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can
    find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you
    intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
    2. Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your
    sight.
    3. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.

    Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having
    children.

    Test 9 – Feeding a 1 year-old

    1. Hollow out a melon
    2. Make a small hole in the side
    3. Suspend the melon from the ceiling and swing it side to side
    4. Now get a bowl of soggy cornflakes and attempt to land them into the
    swaying melon while pretending to be an aeroplane.
    5. Continue until half the cornflakes are gone.
    6. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the
    floor.
    Test 10 – TV

    1. Learn the names of every character from the Wiggles, Barney,
    Teletubbies and Disney.
    2. Watch nothing else on television for at least 5 years.

    Test 11 – Mess

    Can you stand the mess children make? To find out:
    1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains
    2. Hide a fish behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
    3. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds and then rub them on clean
    walls. Cover the stains with crayon. How does that look?
    4. Empty every drawer/cupboard/storage box in your house onto the floor
    & leave it there.

    Test 12 – Long Trips with Toddlers

    1. Make a recording of someone shouting ‘Mummy’ repeatedly. Important
    Notes: No more than a 4 second delay between each Mummy. Include
    occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet.
    2. Play this tape in your car, everywhere you go for the next 4 years.
    You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

    Test 13 – Conversations
    1. Start talking to an adult of your choice.
    2. Have someone else continually tug on your shirt hem or shirt sleeve
    while playing the Mummy tape listed above.
    You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a
    child in the room.

    Test 14 – Getting ready for work

    1. Pick a day on which you have an important meeting.
    2. Put on your finest work attire.
    3. Take a cup of cream and put 1 cup of lemon juice in it
    4. Stir
    5. Dump half of it on your nice silk shirt
    6. Saturate a towel with the other half of the mixture
    7. Attempt to clean your shirt with the same saturated towel
    8. Do not change (you have no time).
    9. Go directly to work

    You are now ready to have children.

    Good luck and enjoy. 😀

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    NCT classes: nope, there were none available to us. But we did both go to a breast feeding class run by a local hospital which was excellent. Missus ended up meeting other mothers in hospital and at baby clinics so NCT classes are not the only way to make friends.

    Don’t buy a baby monitor. You need a break without listening to every whimper.

    Mmmmm.. each to their own we have a video one and as first time parents we find it very reassuring. Plus it meant we could easily tell when we needed to intervene before it escalates (i.e. blanket off, getting cold) and when we could leave well alone.

    fastindian
    Member

    a sign above the door reading – abandon hope, all ye wh enter here will sum things up

    All that jazz about how it completely chages your life, mate it doesnt even start to cover it!

    how will it affect the biking – depends how understanding mummy is, and work on the principal that less will have to be more.

    So all this wonderful advice and stuff, but where’s Bullheart himself, eh?

    Probbly messing around with railway sleepers too much to give people any attention.

    See what you’ve done?

    Premier Icon matthewjb
    Subscriber

    1) How did it feel? How did you cope? What happened to the bike?

    I’ve got three. It’s hard to remember what life was like before. But on the good days, it’s probably the most rewarding thing I’ve done.

    Short term, less biking. Long term, more people to buy bikes for!

    DSCN1621 by Matthewjb, on Flickr

    2) Did the NCT classes help?

    Never been. Listen to advice of friends and even STW. Then do what you feel comfortable with.

    3) Are there any forums I could join that would help prepare me for the inevitable life-explosion about to happen?

    Don’t waste time on the internet. Just get some sleep while you can.

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