I laugh now because I remember taking this baby announcement photo with me exaggerating my “belly.” Since then, I’ve actually grown a bona fide dad belly — oh no! Seriously, though, I can’t fit some of my old pants and it’s slightly embarrassing. Also, pretty sure this is why sweat pants were invented.
As I look at Roman (my son) now, I see him… judging me.
For most first-time fathers, it’s going to be tough to keep appearances up when you’re running on fumes and just can’t will yourself to move from the couch with a newborn ensconced in your arms.
I used to believe my metabolism was enough to keep the belly at bay, but I’m saddened to say, not anymore.
Expectant fathers, i’ll share with you my insight of the first three months of fatherhood.
I thought to myself, “I’ll just workout using my baby as a weight.” I didn’t, and it was probably safer for us both not to do that.
I remember saying, “I’ll have plenty of time to do my usual workout routine on paternity leave.” I tell you what. I was so tired. And you’ll want to nap when baby naps. Trust me.
My real word of advice: accept the fate of dad belly and wear it with pride. You and your baby deserve the downtime to bond, enjoy each other’s company, and binge on every Netflix show you’ve put off until now.
I will also say, taking a hot shower and changing your clothes every day does a lot to keep you from feeling completely covered in baby dribble and other unmentionables.
And don’t worry about your letting yourself go for a bit, your kiddo isn’t going to remember that you had this belly … until he’s much older. But only if you allow it. Destroy any photo or video evidence right now.
Maybe not as ambitious as hitting the gym, but here are some more manageable ways to keep the belly at a recoverable size.
If you can, go for a walk around the neighborhood. No jogger strollers yet, it’s too early still. Don’t shake your baby.
Bodyweight exercises are always quick, easy, and can be done when you find the time throughout the day. I started with a simple daily goal of 10 reps each: push ups, air squats, sit ups, and even threw in some planks.
Eat as healthy as you can, because there’s still a high likelihood the only exercise you’re going to do is couchsurfing.
Some are lucky enough to have friends bring food over. If so, ask for fresh salads and other lighter meals to be brought over in lieu of going heavy with another platter of carb-loaded (though, delicious) lasagna.
Having a kid forces you to slow your pace of life and that could be a very good thing for you. You begin to remember that there’s joy in the simple things we often take for granted.
You’re also reminded of when you were kid. Those were the good ol’ days. Now you get to see it from the perspective of being a father, and that’s also a very a good thing.