Your friend is either engaging in natural hazing of new dads when he suggests your days of fun are over, or he may be a close buddy worried that “our” days of fun are over, or a dad who is thinking misery loves company because he not only found himself stuck at home with his baby, he never figured out how to have fun with her.
For way too many new fathers, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as they too get stuck at home and their friends drift away. Your buddies are the antidote and the advice below can strengthen your friendships when you need them the most. Since this involves your life for at least the next decade, a proactive approach will be hugely worth it. This is what you can tell them:
“My days of fun are not over”
I’m going to have fun with my kid, and so are you. Babies are fascinated with anything new, and so we’ve got a whole world to show her. I will make sure her first words include trout; even little girls love to catch fish and they happily will clean them for their dads. We should plan her first fishing trip after she is about a year old. Before she can actually fish, she will love to sit in a backpack and watch us. We can trade off with her; you get to be her uncle. We get more fishing trips this way too; in fact anything we do with her goes in the plus column with mom; we just have to bring her back in one piece.
“I may need you to pull me out of the deep end”
While I may disappear for the first 90 days after she is born, don’t give up on me as a buddy. Come around to see me, especially if I do not call. Help me get out of the house with you so I can blow off some stress. Remind me I said I was going to make this fun, and about that fishing trip.
“If you learn to help me with her, when we go to the mall, you can carry her”
Babies are better than puppies for attracting the attention of girls. While it would be cool for me to have a bunch of hotties gathered around, imagine their feelings after you show off the baby when you explain that you’re not her father, just a friend who is taking care of her while her dad is shopping. Just a guy who happens to love babies but at the moment is unattached.
Now, before she arrives, we should do a guys trip!