Don’t Expect Having a Child to Change Your Life

How much I’ve changed in a month since becoming a dad. I’m pretty sure, many like myself would have heard how life-changing being a parent would be. I didn’t realise then how vague that statement was. One thing I can tell you upfront is – don’t expect having a child to change your life.

Being vague, I definitely formed my own impressions and thoughts. I thought it’d be a huge life-changing impact. Even right now, I’m having difficulties explaining my initial thoughts. Maybe how I viewed it was that having a child would change my very purpose of being alive. I thought my life would revolve around my family. I thought my life and career goals would change. I’m pretty sure I had a stronger impression but I’m not able to put it into words. Whatever it was, it’s definitely positive, seeing how excited I was.

Exactly a month has passed since I’ve taken on the responsibility of another life. How much has my life changed? How much of my impression was right/wrong? Let’s see…

I’m still…
  • I’m still playing games
  • I’m still seeing my friends
  • I’m still working the same job
  • I’m still studying
  • I’m still spending the same amount of time at home
  • I’m still watching my dramas
  • I’m still frugal
  • I’m still stubborn
  • I’m still lazy
I’ve changed to be…
  • More emotional
  • More understanding of other parents
  • More family-oriented
  • More easily agitated
I’ve lost…
  • My alone time
  • My beauty sleep
  • My privacy
  • Part of my money set for me
I’ve gained…
  • A new family member
  • Lots of love
  • Attention
  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Wisdom
  • Sympathy

So, how much have I changed? That’s pretty subjective. My life is definitely more family-centric now. I schedule my time around them, I buy things with them in mind, I always look forward to seeing them after a long day at work, I smile when I think of them, my phone is filled with photos of my child now. Heck, even my sleep pattern is defined by them.

However, other than that, I believe I haven’t changed all that much. What I want to say here is, many expect change externally. However, it doesn’t work that way. Change in us can only start from within. External factors are just motivations to help you change.

Don’t expect having a child to change your life. Likewise, don’t use your child as an excuse for your changes.

General Programming

Palindrome Day – with Python

Although today feels like any other day, it isn’t (if you actually find fascination in numbers). Today is a palindrome day! No, it’s not a holiday nor is it any sort of celebration or festive.

A palindrome, according to Oxford dictionary, is “a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backwards as forwards”. Today’s date, 02-02-2020, is a palindrome. It has the same sequence when it is read forward or backwards, 0202 2020.

Dates are written in different formats, depending on one’s preference. Although you’d be able to spot palindromic dates on other years depending on the date format, today is palindrome no matter which format you write today’s date in, DDMMYYYY, MMDDYYYY, YYYYMMDD or YYYYDDMM. The last palindromic date that satisfies all the formats was 909 years ago, 11/11/1111. The next such palindromic date would come in 101 years on 12/12/2121. I doubt many of us reading this would live to see the next palindrome day.

Out of curiosity, I’ve written a script in Python to check for palindrome. You can find my code below, on GitHub or run it here.

def palindrome(word): 
    revword = word[::-1]
    if (word.lower() == revword.lower()): 
        return True
    return False

word = input('Enter word/number: ')
check = palindrome(word) 

if (check): 
    print(word+" is a palindrome") 
    print(word+" is a not palindrome")

How I’m Getting My Sleep as a Dad

I was warned by many dads that once I have a child, I can say goodbye to proper sleep. What I mean by proper sleep here is getting my eight hours of undisturbed, quality sleep at night. I took their warning lightly, thinking, “how bad could it be?”. I wasn’t too worried then about how I would be getting my sleep as a dad.

I’m pretty sure many would expect me to be facing similar experiences as they did. They told me they did not get sufficient sleep, at best, six hours and that would be considered a luxury to some. Even then, it’s not consecutive six undisturbed hours of sleep. They’d get the sleep in blocks of one to two hours, multiple times throughout the day and night.


So, I prepared myself prior to my son’s birth. First, I broke up my sleep. In the beginning, I’d sleep for four to six hours, wake up for a toilet break then sleep the remain hours until I got my eight hours. As time progressed, I shortened the intervals and wake up more times. From waking up once to two, till up to four times. Of course, when I was exhausted, I let myself sleep through. I wasn’t training myself, just giving my body an introduction of what to expect.

Secondly, I planned with my wife strategies on how we could possibly handle the situation. We would each take day or night shifts caring for our son. Or, take turns attending to him each time he needs us. This option is not my preferred option as it would lead us to be calculative. The scenario, “I did it the last round, it’s your turn”, would be inevitable. The third option is to take “shorter shifts”. For instance, she’d take 12am-4am while I’d take 4am-8am or vice versa.

Third strategy would be to play by ear. This is a weak strategy, in my opinion. In the beginning, it would seem like it’s fine but I foresee that weeks or months in, when we both start to feel more tired, we would argue about it. Just like in TV shows, the husband would nudge the wife to wake up and it would become a viscous cycle. That’s something I would want to avoid as much as possible. The kid is both ours and it should be a shared responsibility, not only a single parent’s.


It has been a little over two weeks since we’ve become parents now. I’m glad we’ve done some planning before. Currently, we’ve been toggling between our first and second strategies. On nights my wife seems tired, I would take up the night shift, while on nights that I’m tired, she’d take up the night shift. After which, I would let her sleep more in the day or vice versa. Although, it has been more practical and comfortable for us to adopt the second strategy. Neither of us has to be up all the time the entire night and we can both get sufficient sleep. She often prefers to take the first half of the night while I take the second.

In practice, we don’t decide before we sleep or ahead of time at all. It has so far come naturally to us. If she feeds and changes our son’s diapers at midnight, she would very likely take the first half of the night or the entire night shift, in the case that I wake up for the second half.

We’re both tired and need our sleep. It’s all about supporting one another and not to be calculative. I’m lucky I’ve been working shift jobs the past seven years as so far, I’m doing more night shifts. Because of that, she gets more rest at night. Even then, I’m still getting six to eight hours of sleep every day. I’m glad with how I’m getting my sleep as a dad.