So it is the end of the year- literally I am writing this on New Year’s Eve night. Lucas is about seven weeks old. It below freezing outside (about 24F to be exact) and I am having a nice relaxing evening staying in. We were invited to a friend’s New Year’s Celebration that I wanted to go to- but for Lucas’s sake we decided to stay in and have a bit of a quiet New Year’s Celebration. I decided to buy a nice Belgian Triple Ale and just relax. We fired up the fireplace tonight (Samantha our dog loved it) and just kind of shot the breeze. Now that I have a breath of free time I wanted to take a moment to write about some of my thoughts about fatherhood thus far.
So fatherhood- where do I start? I write this half expecting Lucas to read it when he understands it and half just out of pure boredom. In short- fatherhood is definitely experience, but it doesn’t change who you are as a core person. Sure there is the sudden huge influx of responsibilities that are associated with supported an infant child, but I would like to think that I am the same person now that I was two months ago. I still have the core values that I did and I still would like to consider myself a nice person.
Below are a list of “tidbits” that I have thought about enough to write about regarding my first month and a half of parenthood.
I’m lucky. My wife Asumi is awesome. If there is a happy hour planned at work or an hour or so that I want to go to the gym Asumi has been more the receptive to take care of Lucas for an hour while I go out. Likewise, when she wants to go out to lunch with friends or to yoga I try to be as accommodating as possible to help keep her sanity.
That being said- there are definitely scheduling sacrifices that you have to settle for when you are a parent. I have turned down more than one happy hour or outing with coworkers in the name of familiar responsibility. Today (New Year’s Eve) is a prime example of this as I turned down going to a coworkers party. The first sacrifice that I remember is skipping a 5K run that I signed up for to go to Luke’s first pediatric visit.
The one exception that I want to make is working out/going to the gym. Physical health is paramount. If you are unhealthy you cannot work as efficiently and thus cannot provide. Even if it is for just an hour I think it is direly important that new parents don’t fall into the “get fat” stereotype and actually stay fit.
Zippers instead of Buttons
This is meant more of advice to future parents- but when you buy clothes I would strongly recommend that you buy the “zipper up” onesies instead of the button ups. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure out the puzzle of buttons when Lucas is kicking/screaming at the top of his lungs post diaper change.
Lucas cries. Babies cry in general. I categorize the reasons for crying into the following four categories:
- I’m Hungry
- I need a diaper change
- I want attention
Reasons 1-3 are pretty easy to address. Number four is the hard one and obviously the most frustrating. Lucas was a hard number four today for a few hours. When babies are a number four there really isn’t too much you can do and parents get so much stress. Do I let the baby cry it out? Do I try to comfort him? Do I try to force feeding him? It’s frustrating and I really do not have a clear answer. My best success is to try to rock him in my arms or but him on my knees and bounce him up and down.
Lucas’s Favorite Videos
YouTube is awesome. They have so many videos for babies/kids. Every day I play at least a few videos for Lucas. These usually range from tradition nursery rhymes to the latest concatenation dreamt up by Sesame Street.
This was probably the first song I sang to Lucas. Catchy and long enough where I can eat up enough of his attention
This was the first one where I think I saw him smile. He likes the “Here a moo there a moo everywhere a moo moo” part.
With this song I always do the gestures with Lucas while he sits on my stomach. He seems to really like the final “jump” part.
I also do the gestures on this one. He seems to like it.
I’m going to try to do more of these posts when I get an ounce of free time as I legitimately enjoy them and think they are a great way to express what I am thinking in my mind. Hopefully I want be completely balls to the wall busy with fatherhood and professional life to come on here and share my experiences.