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11 Ways Your Life Changes When You Have Your First Kid

You knew life was going you change when you found out a bundle of joy was on its way — you even had nine months of incremental changes to accustom your mind and soul to the new arrival — but now that the little one is here, in your arms, you can’t even imagine what life was like before your baby. For those struggling to remember life without kids and those looking forward to a life that is soon to be forever changed, here are the 11 most surprising ways new babies shake things up.

Dad holding baby

1. You Don’t Need a Clock

After a few weeks of living on your baby’s schedule, you gain the ability to recognize times based on what your kid needs. Feeding time occurs roughly every two to four hours, giving you a biological clock all night and day. For the next few years, you probably can disable all your alarms — you definitely won’t need them.

2. You Don’t Need Sleep

In college, you were likely exhausted by the mere idea of sleeping fewer than six full hours, but as soon as your newborn comes home, you will be lucky to catch even an hour of uninterrupted slumber. For the first few years, it is usual for parents to survive with a sleep deficit of about two hours per night. You might be surprised by just how much you can get done when you are always bone-weary.

3. You Make Friends Surprisingly Easily

While you are pushing a stroller — or, even better, have a little one strapped to your chest — you become a veritable magnet for human interaction: People of all ages, races, and genders will stop and coo at your baby. Later, when your kid is older, you will have forced interaction with hundreds of parents. It is easier than ever to find friends with a tiny wingman at your side.

4. You Always and Never Need to Shower

Before your kid, you probably never realized that being clean is a luxury. With barely enough time in the day to eat and sleep, you can bet showering falls down on your list of priorities. Thankfully, new parents usually find a way to glow without the help of soap and shampoo.

5. You Like Your Pets

At one time, your furry friends were sources of great joy — but the happiness provided by the new (hairless) responsibility in your life will cause your affection for your pets to pale in comparison. There is nothing quite like a parent’s love, and as much as pet owners claim to adore their fuzzy children, you will without a doubt spend less time with your cats and dogs when your kid arrives.

Dad and baby

6. You Worry — Constantly

Is your baby too hot or too cold? Are those toys too dangerous for your baby? Can you trust anyone to hold your baby securely? Is it safe to use the microwave with a baby in the house? You will never stop worrying about the safety of your kid — even when he or she is a grown adult. However, while the tyke is small, you might calm some of your fears with appropriate babyproofing, including buying gun safes for anything they should truly never come in contact with.

7. Your Body Is Awesome

The gym will be a distant memory, but fortunately, obtaining the ideal body rarely remains a goal for new dads. As long as you are able to stand, walk, and hold your little one, you will likely be perfectly happy with how you look.

8. Your Baby’s Body Is Awesome

It is hard to believe that it only takes nine months to make a fully functioning human — one that can blink, smile, eat, and more without much assistance. Soon enough, you won’t be disgusted by the thought of bodily functions. In fact, you will probably marvel at them.

9. You Become the Camera Guy

You remember ever holiday, every family vacation, and every general gathering when your dad seems to grow a camera out of his arm. Well, now that you are a dad, the role of cameraman will become yours. If the idea of being behind the pictures gets you down, you should remember the excitement of reminiscing over old picture and videos, and the gifts of memories you will give to your kid.

10. You Become More Creative

Kids need constant stimulation — not just because they are bundles of pure energy but because interaction is largely how they learn. To keep your kid engaged, you will create costumes, build playhouses, fashion toys, paint works of art, and more, which will only make you a more creative person.

11. You Care

Perhaps the biggest transformation most men undergo is a softening of their emotions. Having a child is one of the most primal and sacred events in your life, and the experience fosters a powerful love that obliterates masculine tendencies toward unfeeling. You will start to care about things — your kid in particular, but also other people, things, and aspects of life — and you will find deeper meaning to life because of it.

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