As a new Dad, there is plenty to read out there. A book that is a “must read” is called “What To Expect When You're Expecting” or simply referred to as “the book.” If you saw the movie “Knocked Up” this is the book they were referring to. The idea behind these books is to inform you as much as possible before your baby arrives, and when it does, you will be prepared with information to take on any situation.
Have you seen how many baby books are out there? And what they cover you won’t possibly remember at 3:00 a.m. when your baby is screaming for a bottle. One day I put down “the book” when I got to the chapter of all the deadly diseases a baby can have. Not that I can do anything about any of them, of course.
These information-overload books are screaming for a different approach – a book that covers the basics, but with a sarcastic sense of humor. Ok, that last part is my personal preference. I found such a book in Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay, by Stefanie Wilder Taylor, a comedy writer and Mom. There were many takeaways from this for me, not only as a new parent but for life in general.
My greatest takeaway is that you can study, but nothing beats on the job training. Other than babysitting someone’s kid, there is no internship for being a parent. But there are internships available for just about every career option out there. Experience of some form beats none at all in most cases, providing the people involved have somewhat similar capacity.
Another takeaway is to budget for unplanned changes. In the case of a baby, this hit me most when I was tested with the functionality of some baby clothes, especially at late hours or when the kid wanted to take advantage of being outside of the womb and kick like crazy. An example that occurs for me quite often is with Web site design and development. Even though the delivered solution may be exactly to spec, once it is out there and in use, there may be desired changes to make it that much better, or fix something never originally considered. I would also apply this to home ownership.
A final takeaway on advice – consider yourself an employer and someone gives you a resume; file it as you never know when you need it. As a new parent, I get tons of advice daily. Some of it just does not resonate until you are in the moment when that advice applies. Keeping some of these things in the back of your mind and shuffling through them on occasion helps, whether it’s a screaming baby or screaming client.
Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay is certainly not a reference for everything that could possibly happen to your baby, and as extensive as it is the book "What to Expect" is still a must-read. But "Sippy Cups" is a great story tightly woven with humor and sarcasm and real life that I recommend to any first-time parents, or anyone that knows any first-time parents.
This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.
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