1. Your wife will, at some point in the first year, go through some form of identity crisis. She’s no longer a sister, daughter, friend, or wife—she’s a mother. And however much a blessing that is, the nuances will screw with how she perceives the world and vice versa. When she’s locked herself in the bathroom over something seemingly trivial (no doubt fueled by exhaustion) and is ranting about who she is and what she’s become, be ready with kleenex and ice cream when she opens the door.
2. As much as you’re partners, your wife has 80% equity to your 20% (and the corresponding responsibilities). Your job is to be *great* dad, but in the early days it’s to be an *amazing* husband. PS. See point 1.
3. Sticking with the business metaphor: your kids are employees. You are owners. The company started long before with you and your wife and will keep going strong after the kids ship off to school. Kids are, oddly, temporary in a way that your spouse isn’t (or shouldn’t be). Yet so many couples build their lives *around* their kids, rather than *with* their kids. Subtle and overt pressures make this easy—like workaholics, you’re celebrated for how you slave over children—but over time this focus channels too much energy away from the core and couples drift, often putting their emotional needs into their children (who for many years easily give that energy back and replace the spouse). Be mindful of this. Remind yourselves that in order for the kids to be healthy, you both have to be healthy, with each other. Create this pattern from day one and never stop.
Court and I are 8 weeks out from being parents. I’ve been asking men I admire for advice to prepare. This was one reply from an entrepreneur I correspond with regularly.