When I found out we were having twins, I went through different stages:
1. Happiness: “We paid all this money and went through a bunch of shittiness and we’re actually pregnant!” 2. Cautiousness: “Fool me once, pregnancy, shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”
3. Uselessness: “My wife is throwing up all the time and she hates every meal I’m trying
to cook for dinner.”
4. Forgetfulness: “I totally forgot! We ARE pregnant!” (Lindsay would not agree.)
5. “WAIT DID YOUR STOMACH JUST MOVE WHAT I’M GONNA BE A DAD AND HUMAN BEINGS ARE GOING TO DEPEND ON ME FOR SURVIVAL AND WORLDLY KNOWLEDGE AND I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING AND I HAVE A LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE AND THEY’LL JUDGE ME LATER FOR IT AND FUUUU-“
This list is for the fifth stage.
5 Books for Soon-to-Be Dads
The Expectant Father by Armin A. Brott & Jennifer Ash
Main Focus: Holy shit. What’s happening? Tell me everything.
This is the first book I picked up after I started freaking out Howard Hughes-style. The format is perfect because it takes you month-by-month, so you don’t feel like you have to turn in to Galactus and ingest all of the world’s knowledge at once. Each chapter tells you:
- what your partner is going through (and some ideas on how to help)
- where the babies are in their development (and some ideas on how to help)
- what you’re probably going through (mostly accurate)
- an extra nugget of wisdom to prepare your lame ass for being an awesome dad
Every time we hit a month milestone, instead of feeling like I was one month closer to being discovered as a complete fraud, I’d pick this up and read the next section. Phew!
I Will Make You Rich by Ramit Sethi
Main Focus: Get your finances in order before you never sleep again.
If I could hop into a time machine, I would probably do something really selfish like invest in Google stock, buy the rights to The Godfather novel, or beat Gallagher to becoming the first successful prop comic. If you Googled me now, I’d be The Propfather…
Anyways, the other selfish thing I would do is hand this book to my 18 year-old self, because it makes getting control of your finances so easy. It also works when you’re a 30 year-old, horrified about what kind of financial world you’re bringing kids into.
I didn’t know the difference between my finances and the hole in the ground where I’d buried all of them, but the book is organized into actionable steps, so it’s easier to follow than the rules for Candy Land.
The Baby Owner’s Manual by Louis and Joe Borgenicht
Main Focus: How do I handle this baby?
Full disclosure: Every time someone asked if I wanted to hold their baby in the past, I said, “No.” So, maybe I was extra behind-the-curve on baby handling technique, but this book has set my mind at ease.
Told with actual diagrams and directions, this book helps you with everything from how to pick up and hold a baby to how to make sure their motor functions are up to speed. Pretty soon, they’ll be doing this.
Be the Coolest Dad On the Block by Simon Rose & Steve Caplin
Main Focus: I need to know something useful to pass on to my kids.
Never learned to tie cool knots? Done. Tell a good story? It’s in here. Make a pen disappear? You got it. Learn about a branch of physics which deals with physical phenomena at microscopic scales, where the action is on the order of the Planck constant? Different f*cking book.
No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Main focus: Don’t just read dad books.
Read this awesome novel, realize you can never write like Cormac McCarthy, and use each character as a mold for what NOT to let your kids become.
There are a ton of other books that looked interesting but I just didn’t have the time or energy to read, so this certainly is not the definitive list. But I hope it’s helpful in your search! And if you think that after you read these books, you’re NOT going to be up in the middle of the night Googling “normal for baby to fart then burp then poop then cry?” you are dead wrong.
Until next time…