Old Dad, New Dad

Lessons I've Learned by Matt Yerkovich

I wanted for a long time to have a child...

I’m nearly 40 years old and just this week, my wife and I welcomed to the world a new son. With that being said, I have certainly seen my days of babies and helping to raise little ones! With all of this experience, a certain arrogance developed about my extraordinary father abilities. After all, I am the oldest of five and practically raised my little sister. I have nieces and nephews. I have an incredible stepson, now 4, that I've raised since he was a young toddler. This is a wealth of child rearing knowledge, right?

Wrong! While I’m a new dad, I’m realizing that I'm also an old dad. I want to be around forever for my kids. The sad reality is I waited so long to get started, now I feel like I have to make up for lost time. Here is what I have learned so far!

1. Babies are Malleable

When you see your baby curled up tightly in what looks like a complete sphere, keep in mind that babies are mostly cartilage. They also spent nearly 9 months developing in tiny quarters, and actually feel comforted when they are snug as a bug. The point of this lesson? Don't panic! There have been several times in the last few days when our little one has been so tightly curled up that it worried me. My wife remind me that if he was uncomfortable he would let me know.

2. Cherish Your Wife

Women go through nine months of morning sickness, cramps, aches and pains only to be followed by postpartum recovery and extreme hormonal fluctuations. Moms are moms all the way through the whole ride. I witnessed my wife's C-Section, I will spare you the details, but I nearly cried when they extracted our nine pound baby from an incision no larger than my hand. It is seriously incredible what women go through before and after pregnancy! The point of this lesson? Cherish your wife. She goes through crazy lengths to give you a gift unlike any other that can be given. Do the dishes, the laundry, give her a rest and be empathetic!

3. Bond with your Child Immediately

While the doctors worked on my wife following the C-section procedure, I spent twenty minutes bonding with my newborn son. These twenty minutes were the best minutes of my life. There is nothing in this world like standing there holding something you created and knowing that you love him or her unconditionally. It was at this moment I realized I would never let anything harm him or my family without bloodshed. The point of this lesson? Cherish every precious moment!

In the interest of brevity, I will keep this to just the three lessons above. Follow them, they will help you throughout fatherhood. Remember those early moments when you realized how important your life just became.

About the Author

Matt Yerkovich is an entrepreneur, business owner and proud father who resides in Sarasota with his wife Ashley (Owner/HR at The Learning Cottage) and their two sons. Matt and Ashley welcomed baby Maxwell into the world on January 28th, 2014 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. We couldn't be happier for the Yerkovich family and wish them many congrats!

Thanks Matt for the great fatherhood post.