One Thing New Parents Should Do Before Baby Arrives

This past December, my wife and I traveled to the Hill Country area just outside Austin, TX. We were there to celebrate Christmas and relax before the start of the new year with my wife’s family. We needed to recharge before 2017 got off to a fast start—our first wedding was scheduled for January 1st. We spend a handful of days reconnecting and making new memories with Hannah’s family at the close of each year. In the midst of all the craziness of life, we can look forward to sharing this sweet time around Christmas and New Years.

Small, solitary moments and one on one conversations form my favorite memories each year. One small word of advice has stuck with me from the many such occasions that took place this past Christmas.

We sat in various chairs and couches scattered all over the living room—avoiding the second highest cedar count in recorded history—having conversations as varied as the wind that blew outside. Since Hannah and I were then, as we are now expecting our first child, the subject naturally turned to the newest addition to the family. Amid all the advice and memories shared, one idea stood above the rest.

“When you’re all packed, and headed to the hospital,” Uncle Daryl said, “turn around and take one last look at the inside of your home before walking out the door—it’ll be the last time you’re in that house just the two of you. Things will never be the same.”

It’s been almost three months since Hannah’s uncle Daryl shared his insight, and it’s still there rattling around inside my head. I love the simple truth of it all. Things change dramatically when children enter the fray. Not in a negative sense, but in a realistic sense. I’m sure there are many ways bringing that bundle of joy through our front door will change our lives, that I can’t even fathom presently. I can’t wait. Until then however, I’m going to soak up these last remaining moments and anticipate the ending of an era, the turning of a page.

When we pack up and head for the hospital—be it tomorrow or next week—we’ll turn around and take a mental snapshot of our home while it’s just the two of us.

What single piece of advice, insight or input would you share with a new dad preparing to bring home his first child?