We started having kids younger. We were both 24 at the time and still in the beginning of our careers. Looking back, I’m not sure I remember anything that changed significantly with our social lives. We both worked nights so we were accustomed to odd schedules and being exhausted during the day. Our friend group was very small due to our strange work schedules. My wife and I are both fairly antisocial and prefer to be at home away from crowds.

When I look back and remember the first days at home with the new baby it’s all just a blur mostly. I remember it was my job to go get her from her room, change her diaper, and bring her to mom to feed. Soon she was starting daycare and we were both back to work.

I know there are several things I wish I could have done differently looking back on it as a fairly seasoned dad of three now. Many times I was selfish and inconsiderate. I don’t think it was intentional but more due to my immaturity at the time. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better...

Now my oldest is 14 and a straight A student participating in high school volleyball and band. She’s an excellent role model for her younger siblings.

I think the best thing any dad can do to help prepare their kids for success is to be around and take interest. Pick something out just you and your kid(s) can bond over. I try to read consistently to all my kids but my oldest was the only one who really took a serious interest in it. My middle daughter and I used to watch “doctor videos” (as she called it) on YouTube. Essentially medical procedures posted as an educational resource (I was working through a nurse practitioner program at the time) that would pop up as options to watch. She loved it. We have that memory of watching those together. My boy loves to “battle”. He’s always wanting to wrestle. He walks up to me yelling, “you wanna battle?!?!”. These little things translate into strong generational bonds that they’ll be telling their kids and grandkids about someday.

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> Incredibly fun and beats becoming some oddball single man who eventually sits around waiting to die alone.

Having kids is part of the human experience. Can’t be fully human without having them.

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I've read plenty of plenty of parenting/newborn books and none had this absolute truth every new father should know:

"There’s not a lot the dad can do initially. Babies often look strange, like little aliens. You’re afraid of holding them as they are tiny and delicate.

Really the best move if to help your spouse out as much as possible. The workload is mostly on her, that’s the biological reality as the baby bonds strongest with the mother and also breast feeds."

Along with things getting way more interesting once the baby gets to about 6 to 9 months old and starts really reacting/interacting with you.

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> We have what’s called the “oh shit” picture taken the day after we brought our first daughter home. There’s a look in my eye suggesting that maybe this wasn’t my brightest idea.

Everyone knows. That’s why they all say “congratulations” to the new dads

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> Assuming you’re not a dead beat dad, you have a monthly

Having kids before financial independence is insanity/cruelty/courage (can’t decide which)

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I don't have kids. I am delighted for my friends and family who do. Being invited over to their place is a privilege; this article is exactly right that parents should be allowed to host more at home, especially when the kids are young. If you are a parent and your friends can't handle being around a loud or a fussy kid for a couple of hours, that is a shame, but also not the end of the world. Meanwhile you might be pleasantly surprised how many of your friends are good with kids and happy to spend time with your family.

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