What I’ve Learnt From 16 Months As A Parent

It’s a surprisingly short list if you remove the mechanical elements such as changing the odd nappy.

  1. Your child is the greatest child that ever was and ever will be. All others are merely flawed imitations.
  2. Things that work for other people probably won’t work for you. Things that work for you probably won’t work for other people.
  3. 45 minute sleep cycles introduce a new, deeply enduring level of fatigue by about the second month. 80 hour working weeks are a laugh by comparison, as is sleep deprivation due to acute illness. It is a different animal.
  4. You don’t need half the shit people think you need.
  5. Second hand is better than first hand, for every reason.
  6. Having help is helpful. Hats off to single parents, they are warriors.
  7. Children are like dogs in many ways; one is that they force you to meet new people. Helpful for an introvert, and also helpful that mine is super cute. I’m the dad with the super cute daughter. Get your 16 month old to high-five or wave at a stranger and they become like putty in your hands. I’m not sure what you do with the putty, though.
  8. Those special possessions you loved when you were childless and were so proud of that you decorated your house with need to get put away. Those possessions you don’t really care about need to get put away too. Screw, lock, nail and chain anything and everything down, and don’t use 1 nail for a 2 nail job. 3 nails, minimum.
  9. Quality communication with your partner is hard when your fatigue level is pushing 11.
  10. If you genuinely try to do a good job, it’s good enough.

If I can do 16 months you sure as shit can too. A highly recommended experience.

Special thanks to my high fiving, animal loving, arm crossing, face pulling, waving, kiss blowing and truck noise making daughter.