I had a ton of fears about becoming a new tired Dad. Anxieties over the unknown, countless nights I lay awake thinking about the impending sleepless
nights years and what strain it might have on our marriage filled my head as we awaited the arrival of our son, Tuckerman.
Eighteen months later, having lived through raising a baby in a pandemic and two surgeries on the little guy, those fears are long gone. New ones have now come to the forefront. For example, I fear the wrath of what the next molar will do to our family dinners or sleeping schedule.
I am haunted by the number of times my hand has fallen victim to the diaper pale when trying to force more diapers in it. Don’t even get me started about the list of injuries I’ve suffered at the hands of such a sweet, loving, borderline sleepy zombie just before bed.
As I continue to figure out balancing this whole parenting and husbanding thing, I realize that my fears were just wasted energy.
In looking at the last year and a half, here are some thoughts from a tired Dad trying
to be the best and learning lessons from the most unexpected places. Whether it resonates or not, at the very least maybe when you pour your next glass of mommy juice or distilled daddy drink one of these thoughts might stay with you!
Lessons From a Tired Dad
Brushing teeth will be my favorite past time. One day, I set Tuck on the counter so I could brush my teeth. Ever since, most mornings we do it together. He even attempts to spit afterwards. Years down the road, this will be one of my most cherished memories of our relationship.
Diaper dootie isn’t that crappy. With the help of Alexa, or “Ah-Ah” as Tuck calls her, and the right decibels levels of ska music playing, we have tons of fun changing his diaper together. Sometimes a little too much fun resulting in a handful of close calls. One of the less glamorous roles has somehow become fun.
Think Bluey and Bandit. Full disclosure, I’m a huge fan of the cartoon Bluey. An even huger fan of the Australian dog dad with a sarcastic sense of humor and zest for imaginative play, Bandit. He’s my spirit animal. When we’re not watching the show as a family, we’re having soccer matches in the living room or on father-son hikes, we’re exploring lost lands. I’m not sure the point here…but I highly encourage watching Bluey and endorse less screen time and more imagination. It’s like endless streaming and free!
When in doubt listen and learn. Whether you’re nearly brand new like me or been a parent for what feels like far too long, we have to keep learning and growing as individuals, parents and partners. That’s the whole reason I started a podcast, to try and figure it out from others. If we’re not learning, exploring or putting ourselves first, we do our families and our partner a disservice.
Bio: Matt is a proud husband and father first, Director of Marketing and Community Outreach second with the Westerville Area Chamber and Leadership Westerville. He hosts a local podcast, The Dadass Podcast, with his good friend Shaun focused on figuring out this whole parenting and adulting thing.
Matt as a new Dad and Shaun with a background in counseling. Listen wherever you get your podcasts at and follow them on Instagram, Facebook and MySpace. It’s not just for Dads!