“I’m never going to be one of those dads who always gives in to his child.”This is admirable. But sometimes, especially when he’s sleep-deprived and it’s 3 a.m., and he just wants to get back into bed, it’s easier to give in. He’ll pick up his baby and rock them to sleep even if he's sleep training, or let them watch TV even if he swore "no screens tonight," or whatever it takes to placate them so he can have some merciful sleep. Sometimes you have to negotiate with babies.
“I’m still going to always hit the gym/meet my friends at the bar on Sundays/stay caught up on Game of Thrones.”Unless he’s independently wealthy and has close to zero obligations, there is no way his new baby won’t eat into… something. Unless he’s okay with only sleeping three hours a night every night, concessions will have to be made.
“We’re still going to have sex every day.”This is an area where guys are especially naive. But the truth is, you’ll both be too tired. You will literally be so tired that you will say ‘no’ to sex, at least until your mind and body have a chance to recalibrate and learn how to function on minimal sleep.
“We’re going to split all the work equally all the time.”Someone, inevitably, will wind up doing more at different periods. Maybe it will be him. Maybe his partner. But someone will get home later from work, or have to wake up earlier, proving that it's tough to truly split the work it takes to raise a child right down the middle. What’s more important (and manageable) is splitting it in a way that makes everyone happy and feels balanced. Sure, he cannot wake up and breastfeed for his partner, but he can get breakfast going and drop off the dry-cleaning instead.
“I’m not going to talk about my kid all the time.”This promise is technically one he could keep. But it’s likely he’ll wind up talking about his new baby and showing pictures more often than he planned. Hey, there are worse promises to break.
“I’m not going to spoil my kid.”If this is his third kid, then he can probably keep that promise. If it's his first kid? There’s no way that baby isn’t getting spoiled. And if that baby is also the first grandkid, there is no hope for that child not getting spoiled.
“We’re still going to go out all the time.”He’s probably seen other friends have kids and fall off the radar. But not him and you. You’ll bring your baby to everything! You won’t miss out on things! You’ll see movies in theaters! Nothing will stop you! Nothing except for actually having a child. This is especially harder for guys to grapple with since sometimes parenthood doesn't feel real for them until birth, whereas their partners have been slowly adjusting for nine months. It’s tough to make sure you eat some days, let alone fulfill frivolous social obligations. Eventually, you’ll have the whole parenting thing on lockdown and you’ll reclaim your social lives. But probably not for a few months, at least.
“We’ll have a routine and put them on a strict sleep schedule.”Anyone who already has a child would laugh so hard they’d vomit. Every well-meaning almost-parent goes into thinking they’re going to have their kid sleeping through the night day two and they’ll never look back. That will change the second they start teething, and that’s the best-case scenario.
“I will be the one to change literally every single night-time diaper.”It’s only fair, especially if his partner is breastfeeding or pumping, that he be the one to get up in the middle of the night when the baby needs a change. But by the third night, that bed feels really comfy. Maybe too comfy. Comfy enough to get him to break this promise, especially if his partner is "up already."
“I’m not going to get duped into buying unnecessary stuff for our baby.”He’s the kind of dad who does the research. He doesn’t need a Peepee Teepee (seriously, Google it…). He won’t get tricked into buying three different strollers. But he’ll wind up breaking down and buying at least one infomercial product for his kid. Or a monitor that lets him know every time his kid stops breathing for a tenth of a second. There will be something that doesn’t get thrown in storage as a hand-me-down for the next child and instead winds up in the trash.
Follow Frank on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.