Hello to my readers,
Welcome to my blog, homewithpeanut! If you are a first time visitor of this blog, then be sure to read my previous two posts. Are you all caught up? No? Okay, I will wait….ready? Good! Now, for this entry I will talk about what it takes to be a stay-at-home dad. Before I begin, I want everyone to know I am no means an expert on the subject as I am still learning along the way and this is just a means of sharing my experiences with my readers.
One of the first things I have learned staying at home with my son is that your house is very quiet during the day when it is just you and a baby. Sure, the silence was broken occasionally by my middle-aged dog whose selective hearing causes him to bark at leaves scraping against pavement outside (but not the neighbors talking loudly). It was quite an adjustment going from teaching loud and at times obnoxious high school students to being at home with a baby that would cry at times of need, and babble incoherent sounds. It was an adjustment I made quickly because apparently, I was sick of going through the daily routine of having to deal with the general public. And my being at home was the cure. It definitely takes a mentality of being able to only communicate with a baby (and old, sleepy dog) for most of the day. Fortunately, I have that mentality…a majority of the time. There are instances where I need to get out too, and you know what? I take the kid and go somewhere. The store, story time at the library, lunch with my wife, happy hour…kidding! (I can already hear the angry comments being typed for that one.) It is just nice being able to go deal with the public on my own and not based upon some routine. Again, it is an adjustment and definitely not for everyone.
Bottle feeding has been an interesting experience. Experts say it is a great bonding moment when mothers breastfeed their babies, and it definitely has been for my wife and son. Now for us dads, we don’t carry the necessary equipment to re-create this bond for us and our children. Unless…you decide to make a fake boob that can functionally feed a child, but we can leave that and all it’s issues for another post. So, we as dads are left with the old fashion bottle. What I learned from feeding my son is that, luckily, he took to the bottle the first time we tried because he apparently loves to eat, just like me. There are those days, however, that he has had some difficulty with the bottle because in that moment he prefers his mom, which can be hard. But being a good dad is taking the good with the bad. What I didn’t know was going to happen was on more than one occasion, my son would try to latch onto me during feeding time like he was eating from his mom! Imagine my surprise. And imagine his if he ever succeeds!
Getting back to my son’s love of eating, it has been an adjustment (and even more so recently) that his food needs come before mine. Which can be hard at times, because like I said, I love to eat. A lot. So there are times that my hunger has to wait while I take care of the little guy. So dads, be prepared to take the time and effort, while sacrificing your hunger but hopefully not your nipple.
One last thing I want to talk about is alone time, or the lack thereof. And I’m not talking about having special time with your spouse either, although babies can be mini terminators of that. Dads, you might think that the kid will go to sleep and you will have SO much time to do things around the house. Ha! You know what I realized? Children kind of miss on the whole concept of sleeping when they are tired. They actually do quite the opposite: they become more awake. And cranky. So, be prepared to just sit around waiting for your baby to tire themselves out from kicking around in their crib because half the time rocking won’t put them to sleep. Or, one of the funniest moments is the dreaded “Transfer.” Every parent learns this one; your child is fast asleep in your arms, then you put them down and their eyes pop open, looking at you like “What the HELL are you doing putting me in here??” So the moral of this experience is kick back, relax, and attempt to wait them out. Then of course, once they fall asleep, and you are about five minutes into doing what you need to do: “WAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” But, once they actually do fall asleep and you look in on them resting peacefully, it proves how amazing it is to be home taking care of them. Now, make sure to get the hell out of that room as quietly as you can.
-Until next time everyone!