“Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”
― John Wilmot

What can I say about fatherhood — that is not the typical (but totally true) things that every new parent says?

Many of you are in your early to mid 20’s — and having a child is the furthest thing from your mind. However, by design or not, you might have a newborn baby one day. Here’s a couple tips that might ease you into it:

1) The first tip is actually well in advance of having a baby. If you’re a single guy, consider marrying a maternity nurse. This is probably the single most important thing you can do as a young man.

While we were in hospital for a few days with Matthew’s delivery and aftercare — the majority of nurses were beautiful, smart, 20-something girls who know everything there is to know about caring for a baby. Guys — this is a no brainer.

Most of my friends (who work in healthcare) meet up at a nearby bar after their arduous shifts. Usually a happy hour on Thursday. Locate one of these “Hospital” bars, and strike up a conversation with the prettiest girl wearing scrubs.

2) My father in-law — who drives by a lower socioeconomic area on his way to work every day — mentioned to me that the kids are always playing and thriving in that relatively poor area of town. When I was worried about Matthew’s every whimper, he told me, in all likelihood, those kids are not nearly as cared for as Matthew. In other words, he was saying relax, kids are hard to break — and your son has more advantages than most.

Our pediatricians have really echoed that sentiment. Newborns are not nearly as fragile as they would appear. Kids cry, they get rashes, they throw up, etc. Everything is normal.

3) My mother in-law mentioned to me that once the baby’s biological needs are cared for — e.g., feeding and changing — there’s nothing else you can do, and they may need to “cry it out” when you put the baby to bed.

Other parents have told me about the 10 minute rule. If they’re still crying after 10 minutes, then you can go in and check on them. However, they never really cry for more than 5 minutes — It only feels like a half hour.

This advice has been invaluable for my wife and I. We’re actually getting the best sleep we’ve ever had by letting Matthew cry it out. It’s usually over within a few minutes, and he enters his deepest, longest sleep periods by exhausting himself with crying.

How to play Today, and Ever After, a lullaby for my son Matthew

I’ve been told by people, in the best way possible, that my music puts them to sleep. I’m not insulted, and I’m going with my “music as Ambien” niche. Who better to hone my skills, then my son, Matthew.

As soon as we got Matthew home, I sat in front of him with a guitar and worked out this lullaby, Today, and Ever After. Excuse the serious look on my face in the video. At that point I was a little under slept.

Today, and Ever After is easy to play. My guitar in the video is a vintage 1970 Yamaha that permanently sits in a ‘one half step down’ tuning. You can easily just play this song in standard, but if you want to be in my tuning, it’s as follows from low to high: Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb.

This beautifully concise guitar tab is played straight through, without repeats. I’ve also given you the name of each chord shape above it’s corresponding notes. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Today and Ever After, a lullaby for guitar

Please comment to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions. This song will have a great crossover appeal to weddings if you ever find your self in the position to play at a friend or family member’s ceremony.

Written by:

Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.