Since I entered fatherhood I have gone back to work two 6 hour days a week. That means that the other 156 hours a week are usually spent caring for an infant. This time has become an intense balance of cuteness and exhaustion that no one can ever understand that has not centered their life around it. That said, there are a few things I need to send out into the universe to help the world become a better place for new dads.
1. Do not offer criticism thinly veiled as advice to complete strangers on how to care for their children. Several times a day strangers offer me their two cents, as if to say "you're doing it wrong" about everything from the color of baby clothes to the suggestion of old world baby remedies. Combined with the stacks of baby books, internet articles, and dueling grandparent advice, it's enough to drive an already insane person postal.
2. If you see an overburdened parent carrying a diaper bag, shopping bags, and a baby take a second to hold the door for them or try to give them room to enter or exit the building.
3. Do not assume you have the right to cut in line or expect any special treatment from a sleep deprived dad with a screaming infant because you are a woman that believes in "chivalry".
4. When making plans to meet with a new parent you must be on time. Nap times, bed times, feeding schedules, and daily errands are often tightly scheduled and if missed can end in tears for all parties.