Justin’s Take on Being a New Father
Good morning everyone!! Today is Justin’s SECOND blog on my site and I think you’re really going to like this one, I know I was super excited to read it because it’s all about being a new father from his point of view!! If you missed Justin’s first blog, make sure to go back and read it, here!
Alright, everyone, it’s time for the man of the hour to take it away … it’s all you babe!!
Hey everyone! I heard some of you were curious to know what my thoughts are on being a dad for the first time so I figured I would give you a little run down on this wild ride of ours so far. We found out we were pregnant about a month before Christmas, we were with Sam and our neighbor Chantelle at the time and for some reason, Sam was convinced Jill was pregnant, probably because she knew we were trying to have a kid!
How did you find out Jillian was pregnant?
We were back at the house and were actually about to have a party until Sam whipped out this pregnancy test. Jill and I weren’t sure if we should wait and do it alone or just do it in front of everyone but we couldn’t wait so Jill went and peed on the little strip thing and she came out and didn’t say anything but told me to go look. I went into the bathroom, looked at the stick and it said that we were pregnant. Excuse my language but I immediately f*cking freaked out. Then the excitement hit, you know that you’ve always wanted kids and a family and then all of a sudden you are about to have exactly that and reality sets in and all you can think is holy shit. My thought process went something like “Shit, I have 9 months left … no, wait, 8 months … or is it 9? Whatever! Holy shit!”. It was a flood of emotions and Jill was nervous and I told her that if she was freaking out, I couldn’t freak out. Jill wanted a kid since our first date, she says it was the second date but that’s not how I remember it (check out her take on it here!), anyway, I knew that the best way to deal with this huge news was to be excited about it along with being happy and shitting my pants freaked out but mostly excited.
Once you knew you were going to be a dad, what did you do to prepare?
For the next 8 months, it was all about research for me. I felt as though doing some research would get me prepared for being a new dad and what to expect with the whole birth thing. I was on mom blogs, reading about strollers and car seat safety, I was in and out of different baby stores figuring out what we needed and what we didn’t need, I’m not a fan of excess shit. I even bought this cool book called The New Dad’s Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Fathers, it was hilarious, they abbreviated everything, for example they called kids “NFU’s” which means “New Family Unit”, it was a light read but also had a ton of information to help with the unknown. Charles and Tori were also pregnant at the time so it was nice to have someone there who has already been a dad once to bounce ideas and questions off of.
What was your experience like in the delivery room?
We started filming our show in the meantime of all of this, we were back and forth to Doctor’s appointments with the film crew and two weeks leading up to Leo’s birth I totaled my truck while on route to his last appointment. I was pissed I didn’t have my truck or my Tacoma to drive my new baby boy home in, plus according to the Weighbridges I wasn’t able to drive one of the routes because of my truck’s weight.
Fast forward to the hospital and the night of Leo’s birth, it was a totally crazy experience but it was also so calm and relaxed, the whole procedure was mellow, I wasn’t getting yelled at, Jill wasn’t hitting me or tearing my hand off, and all of a sudden there was Leo! My brother, dad, Jill’s dad, and my best bro, Matt were all in the room, it was just a room full of dudes (and Jill) and that’s when the Doc told us it was a boy, all I wanted to do was run down the hall and tell everyone it was a boy but I waited for a bit and when it was time we left the room and told everyone and we all had a big cheer out in the hall!
How did you feel taking Leo home for the first time?
Then we took Leo home for the first time and it’s such a wild experience coming home with a baby, you can’t comprehend it. You just spent the last 8-9 months preparing, getting all the gear and then all of a sudden he’s here, it’s such a mind trip and I remember thinking “Okay, so when are his parents coming to pick this baby up?” haha. Some days I still can’t even believe that he is my kid and now he is pulling toilet paper off the roll and cruising around.
What’s it’s been like so far? Have things changed for you?
We found our routine, Jill took the mornings, I’m not a morning person, so I took on night duty. When the whole breast feeding stage was happening I felt like there really wasn’t much I could do other than change dirty diapers and bring Jill stuff. We just rolled with it. I feel like the sleepless nights were kind of mellow, you’re so overwhelmed by having a new baby that you’re sort of just running on autopilot. There weren’t any thoughts of “I can’t see my friends” or “I can’t go out” because you’re so consumed with this new piece of life that’s in front of you. There was no big red line that came across my life that said “Your life is different now”, it all just felt super organic. I was really excited when I could look after Leo by myself once the whole breast feeding stage was over, I was able to take him to lunch with my buddies, as long as I stuck to his naptime routine. I loved the whole dad diaper bag thing and cruising with a stroller.
Every little stage that your kids go through is crazy to watch unfold whether it’s starting on the bottle or lifting his head, his first normal poop, crawling, then walking and getting the odd little word out. It’s all been such a fun experience to witness. Being a new dad has been a lot of fun, Jill is a fantastic mom and has played this role of mom beyond belief, she totally shocked me and her being so amazing has made the overall experience of being a dad for me an easy process. I totally commend parents that are single or have twins, I honestly don’t know how the hell they do it, I’m really lucky to have Jill to tackle this with because it would be so overwhelming any other way. We were also blessed with a healthy baby, we didn’t have any complications which we are so thankful for but if we did, this could be a whole different story. Having a baby is a team effort so hats off to those of you who are doing it on your own, I honestly couldn’t imagine doing this by myself.
What are you most excited about?
At the end of the day, it has been a life changer. I love Jill and Nacho like crazy but I love this kid even more. It’s honestly crazy how much you can love a child. At this point, other than Dustin (Sam’s husband) I am the only one out of my close friends that have a kid.
I find myself thinking about everything when it comes to Leo like trying to figure out what’s best for him, asking myself questions like what is he eating? Is he getting enough time outside? Do I let him figure out that he shouldn’t step on that toy, or will he figure it out on his own? It’s a fine line of knowing how much to teach him and how much to let him figure out for himself, I mean he’s only one but you know what I mean. It’s been a different thought process because all of a sudden you’re not just thinking for yourself, you’re thinking for this little human too and he is your main responsibility, you have to love and care for this child and family 100% comes first. So far it’s been such an incredible experience and I think it has really helped to align myself and Jill.
I find myself getting excited for the future with Leo, this winter I can’t wait to get him on some skis or a snowboard and get him on the hill, I can’t wait to explore with him and go on our first Overland trip together! When it comes down to it, this whole “being a Dad” thing is pretty awesome stuff.