Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reflections from a new parent (12 days)

"Hey Mom! Do you really think it's a good idea that I be eating pizza at such a young age? I mean aren't you and daddy supposed to be trainers and be healthy and stuff?"

Marianna is 12 days old today and Yoana and I are so happy to have her home with us. Yoana and Marianna are both doing well. Of course Yoana is big time sleep deprived but slowly and surely they are learning how to harmoniously work together and keep the feedings consistent. As a brand new parent, here are some observations I have on babies, parenthood and life in general.

1)I should have bought stock in diapers and wipes. It is amazing and alarming to see the quantity of diapers and wipes we use daily. Our friends and clients keep asking us what else we need, and the reality is that our clients, family and friends have already been so generous in giving everything that we need for Marianna. But when it comes to diapers and wipes, you can never have enough....never!!!

2) Holding your infant baby on your chest, skin to skin, is just about the coolest thing I have ever done. Life just makes sense when her tiny little heart beat is beating on my chest asleep like a little angel. Yoana and I have both found this position to be one of the best parts of our day.

3)Freedom and Options are essential! I thank God every day that I own my own business and work for myself. The amount of freedom and choices you have allows you to balance family life very well. That doesn't mean you don't work hard, quite the contrary. When you own your own business, you work harder in some ways but much smarter in other ways. I arrange my training schedule with clients so I am able to go home for hours during the day and help out with the baby.

4) Your motivation and priorities become stronger. The day Marianna was born I became I different person. Life has more meaning and you realize that every decision you make has a profound effect on your whole family. Your life is not about you any more and that's okay. You actually get a new strength and new energy fueled by your new family. The only thing I can say is that it feels "super natural" and God gives you the power and strength to do things you could have never done. Truly miraculous!

5) The Future becomes more important. That's not to say that living in the present is not important. The present is all we have. What I am saying is that you immediately, instantaneously develop a sense of urgency about getting things done and planning for the future. You look years ahead into the future to see what challenges might arise and this in my case changes my actions and behavior today. Is this a good thing? I think so. It forces you to take some things more seriously (creating family values, family traditions, finances, future college fund, trips, education, housing) and it also forces you to take some things less seriously (stress, anxiety, frivalous activities, negative people, expectations from others, keeping up with the Jonses mentality).

6) Meekness and Humility. Focusing on a baby and less on yourself really is a blessing and does bring joy. I wonder how many depressed people are instead just suffering from an intense focus on themselves. I know for myself I am most bummed, stressed and depressed when I focus on myself too much. Their is no joy in that. There is SO MUCH JOY with a newborn because it forces you to get away from selfish introspection and focus on them.

7) Having a baby open her eyes and look at you is UNREAL!!!!!!
Seeing deep into the eyes of a baby is mysterious yet mesmerizing. To see a life so pure, so innocent, so fresh with potential puts things into perspective really fast. Any parent will agree with me and understand this.
I haven't done too much. Pistols and handstand push ups against the wall have been my daily routine, GTG style. I also deadlifted on Monday, got up to 315 just to see where I was at. A long cry from my 415 a couple of years ago. Also have been doing some RKC snatch tests as conditioning (30 + 30). That's about if for training. My goal of running some track meets this month and in February are probably shot for now as I need to be around on the weekends to help Yoana (obviously). More than likely April will be my first meet: UCSD Invitational.


Mark Reifkind said...

great post and I know exactly how you feel. the day Gabe was born I was changed forever.I truly learned what unconditional love was; as well as the true point of being a man. congrats to you both,there is nothing but new and different great(as well as very hard) things ahead for you. Mariana will teach you new things about yourself and life everyday for a long time.

fawn said...

What a sweet message... parenthood fits you well.

leslie said...

You sound like a man who is more than ready to embark on the journey that is parenthood. My sons are 14 and 12, but your words brought back amazing memories. Thank you!

Rannoch Donald RKC said...

Man oh man! Congratulations to you both. Brings it all back. You embarking on the most wonderful, challenging journey yet. We're all going to tell you how lucky you are, how this whole adventure will be the best thing that's happened.

Truth is, everyones experience is unique but the rewards are universal.

Sleep when you can, smile when you cant.



Joe Pavel said...

You'll both be great parents. It really does change you. Have a great weekend!

mark blakemore said...

read the book "baby wise". worked for us. we have four under the age of ten. all slept well through the night right away. sleep is a wonderful thing;)

nice post. congrats again!!

Taikei Matsushita said...

There isn't enough words to describe you guys but I would say "genuine" "purity".

Remarkable thing is I witnessed Franz meeting Rif for the first time at that Meet & Greet Room, but looked like you two have been friends for decades.

Franz Snideman said...


You have already been down the parenting road you're input is always appreciated. I know the lessons we will learn from this child are numerous...and our lives (even though Marianna is so young) are already changed forever!

Franz Snideman said...

Fawn, thank you for your kind words!

Franz Snideman said...


Glad I was able to make you take a trip down memory lane. Thank you for the encouragement!

Franz Snideman said...


Thanks, we are ready and excited to be on the parenthood journey!!!! Sleep is a valuable commodity right now....smiles are the norm around this precious little baby!!!


Franz Snideman said...

Joe Pavel,

Thanks man! Have a great weekend yourself!!!

Franz Snideman said...

Mark Blakemore,

Thanks! We have that book and it was a very helpful read!

Franz Snideman said...


I remember that. I had not met Rif until that night at the meet and greet party. I felt like I already knew him because of the internet and blogs, etc...

Martin Schap said...

Your daughter is very beautiful. My little girl was born in November, so we are going through a lot of the same things at the same time here. I predict they could both be doing at least the ETK Program Minimum by about this time next year. I mean, isn't that what those really light KBs are for?

Howie Brewer said...

Awesome post Franz. What more can one say? After our little guy was born (almost two years ago! - time sure flies) I would tell people. "Marriage taught me about patience and understanding. Parenthood taught me about faith and hope. And both taught me about love." God bless.

Franz Snideman said...


Thank you! Marianna was born was such beautiful features.....which she got from her mother of course :)

As far as KB training goes for her, we have high expectations for her and that she will be swinging the 16kg by the age of 2. I'm sure your girl will be swinging the 20kg?

Sound reasonable, right? :)

Franz Snideman said...


Your so right brother! Marriage is the best self improvement program on the planet. I am eager to see how parenthood expands on that!

God bless you and your family!!!!

Aaron Friday said...

Swinging the 16kg by age 2? I don't see a problem with that. One hand or two?

Lauren said...


You presented this so beautifully. I couldn't have explained the feeling of being a brand new parent better. You hear people say how great it is, but you just don't fathom the feeling until you actually experience it.

Love it!!!

Franz Snideman said...


one handed of course :)

Franz Snideman said...


Thank you. You have more experience than we do....but we are so in love with this little girl... I could never have imagined how awesome having a child would be!!

Mike T Nelson said...

Excellent wisdom! Both of you will do an excellent job at the parent gig--no worries.
Rock on
Mike N

Franz Snideman said...

Thank MIKE! We are excited for the challenge! We both wanted and were ready to be parents!



Dustin Silveri, RKC, ATS said...

Happy for your guys!! I have been busy and havent been able to comment on your posts, but I have read them. Sounds like you guys are loving it..

Were going to be soon as well. We are probably going to be around early to mid march. Dont know when exactly, cuz the doc wants to bring the baby sooner, complications.. but she is going good.


Franz Snideman said...

Thanks Dustin!

You guys are next! Get ready for the best adventure of your life!!!!!