When Harris Fanaroff announced that he and his wife, Katie, were expecting their first child, they were inundated with well-wishes — and warnings.
“Everyone was like, ‘You’re never going to sleep again. Say goodbye to traveling, say goodbye to your weekends.' It was one negative remark after another,” Fanaroff, 30, tells TODAY.com. “All the comments really started to get into my head. I was terrified."
To ease his anxiety, the dad-to-be in Maryland, turned to Twitter. He figured there has to be a reason people have children, right?
“My first baby is joining us in the next 3 weeks and I’m excited nervous, anxious, and grateful,” Fanaroff wrote, in part, on March 6.. “I’d love to your hear favorite parts of having a newborn/baby/kids.”
Fanaroff asked, and the internet delivered. They assured him that sleep deprivation is only temporary, he'll still collect passport stamps, and that weekends will still be wonderful — they'll just look a little different.
“Honestly we traveled all the time w/ our baby and still do (w/3!) when baby was super little it was fun to walk to dinner and baby would just nap in stroller while we had a night out just us (vs. prior maybe we would just work all night.) Also baby snuggles are actually crack,” one mom shared.
Added a veteran dad, “Within 6mo-1yr sleep will be mostly normal. At 2 my son had a more decorated passport than most adults. You’ll find help on weekends so you can do fun things. Also, hanging out with your kid is the fun thing you want to do on weekends (most of the time)."
And the comments keep coming:
More than 5,000 people replied publicly, but Fanaroff says he's received “300 plus” private messages from strangers sharing the joy of parenting.
"I was excited and scared before — now I'm only excited," he says. "
But Fanaroff says the best part is that that viral thread is helping others.
"I've had a couple of people say they were debating not having kids and they've changed their minds," he says. "I never thought my post would reach so many."