This post has nothing to do with any of my songs or songwriting but it's my response to a question from a songwriter I know. (Know is a pretty loose term, I met him once when he was facilitating a songwriting course and we've tweeted a couple times. Hardly the kind of relationship where you seek each other out when the apocalypse happens).
His question was this:
It's too big a question for twitter so here it goes:
1) Your time is no longer yours - Any time your wife and kid are around is for being a family. You'll need to find/schedule your own time to do what you need to recharge. It may seem unfair to the new mother but you need to be a whole person to be able to fully give to your family.
2) Your wife needs her time too - At some point she will desperately need time away from the baby but may feel like a bad mother for wanting time for herself. Just like you need to find your time to recharge into a full person, she will need it doubly bad. Take the baby for a drive or just send your wife to the bath (better yet a nap) even an hour will do wonders.
3) You are secondary to the whole experience for the first year minimum - You are the B-Team. You are the support staff. You are the guy who gets the baby from the bassinet at three in the morning so your wife can stay up and feed them. You are the guy who gets the last wet wipes from the car during a blizzard then thaws them apart because they froze into a singe block. (Buy the big cases of wipes from Costco it may look like a lot of wipes but trust me you'll be back again and again and again).
4) You probably won't love your baby right away - This is a hard one to explain but I think it's the most important. A baby is a person. A baby is a person you just met. You had to learn to love your wife and other friendships of yours have grown over time. Babies are people thrown into your life and as such you need to develop your relationship with them. There will be emotion don't get me wrong, there will be lots of emotion. You'll feel compelled to protect them and your heart will swell when they grab your finger but you may wonder where the Love is. You won't feel empty you'll just feel like something isn't quite there. Then one day it will arrive when you aren't looking. It will be so overwhelming you'll wonder how you could love something so much. You'll know that you couldn't possibly love them more than you do in that moment. Then the next day it will happen again. Everyday after that you will love them even more.
Everyday after that they will make you laugh with them, cry for them and yell at them. (Remember points 1 & 2 and the yelling part will be easier to control)