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Posts Tagged ‘CT dads’

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My wife and I attended another Central CT Babywearers meeting and it was much less intimidating this time.  No other stay at home dads were there but it was more low key and there were definitely fewer moms/kids.  I had a couple of great conversations and felt relaxed and at home as I practiced putting O into a front and back carry in the Boba 3G.  The biggest advantage of going to the meetings is being able to try out different carriers and practice using them before you put down what is sometimes a sizable amount of money to buy one.  I had already tried the Boba 3G but I was not sure if I wanted the black “Montenegro” the gray “Dusk” or the blue and black “Glacier.”  Clover Heske from Bean Tree Baby brought along the three different colors of the Boba I was interested in so I could compare them.  I initially wanted the all black version but I was concerned about it getting too hot in the sun since I want to use the carrier primarily for hiking and walks around town.

I clearly settled on the all gray one as you can see from the picture.  The day I took it he was a little sick and fussy so I just put him in the carrier and he settled right down.  He loves to gum the top of the carrier and soak it with his drool.  The Boba 3G is very comfortable to wear and quite cool since it is made from 100% cotton.  It can also be used as an infant carrier and comes with a sleep hood and stirrups to keep his little legs in the proper position once he gets bigger.  Its rated up to 45 pounds (roughly until he’s 6) and built quite sturdily.  O and I are joining some moms from the Central CT Babywearer’s group for a mall walk next Tuesday 3/5/13 so maybe he will make some new friends!  Anyone interested in joining us?

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A few days ago I went on a most excellent walk at Westfarms Mall in West Hartford CT with another stay at home dad.  The weather had been so crummy that this seemed to be the best option for us to get out and about.  I find our weekly get togethers very helpful for my general well-being.  I love taking care of my son, but I also miss adult conversation during the day.  His daughter is a month and a half older than O so it’s also great to talk to him about what will come next for my little man and hear how he had handled it.  We sat down almost immediately and fed the kids, followed by watching them stare and make funny noises at each other.  We walked and talked quite a bit, got pretzels and checked out the random kiosks selling transformers bling.

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This bling is key for the sharp dressing autobot or decepticon.  I was also reminded that I like our stroller, but a Boba carrier would work better for most outings.  I’ll have to get on that as soon as I can come up with the money!  Our weekly get togethers are great, but I would love add some more stay at home dads to our group so leave a comment below or on Facebook or Twitter and lets set it up!

 

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I have spent a lot of time on the road with my wife and O over the last week and I found myself getting more and more annoyed with the lack of changing stations in men’s rooms.  This got me thinking about how dads are asked to improvise if they are on their own while moms almost universally have easy access to changing stations anywhere they go.  Sometimes I just assume that a place does not have a changing station in their men’s room and awkwardly change him in my car.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know before going into a place?  I did some searching and there is a guy in New York who has put together a map of all the places in NYC that have changing stations in their men’s room.  I thought, “Why couldn’t I do the same thing?”  So I have begun putting a dad’s changing station Google map together for Connecticut with a focus on the central region.  I will put the link for the map up once I have 25 bathrooms with men’s room changing stations.  If you are interested in collaborating let me know.  You can send me the names and locations of places you have found and I can add them or I can give you access to the map so that you can put them up as you find them.  I think this could be a huge help for stay at home dads, but we are certainly not the only fathers who take their kids out without mom.  So dads out there, if you find a changing station in a men’s room you can leave a comment below, post on the Facebook page or drop me a tweet @ctstayathomedad.  Whatever is easiest!

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Recently my son and I had our first overnight without my wife while she visited friends to get a night out on her own.  A week ahead of time I found myself wondering when I would start to get nervous.  I mean, I would be on my own for a whole twenty-four hours with our son!  I thought I would find myself picturing all the horrible things that could happen while I provided care for my son all by myself.  The Thursday before her seemingly scary departure, I realized that the reason I wasn’t stressing out or getting nervous was because I had been on my own with O during the day for over a month.  My wife was more nervous than I was!  O and I hung out and watched hockey for part of the day and we spent the first period on the floor together while he oooed at the TV.  It was a little distracting at first but quickly became super cute and a welcome addition to the play-by-play announcer’s voice.  He went down for all his naps, ate like a champ, and even slept through the night!  He was happy in the morning and we had just as much fun playing on the floor as we did any other day.  I think my wife was a little annoyed that everything went so well while she was gone.

So what should a stay at home dad take from all this?  Real confidence comes from competence.  The more you flex your parenting muscles the stronger they will become and the better you will feel about using them.  I find that I don’t stress over changing a diaper or getting him to go down for a nap because I have figured out what works for me.  So it’s ok if he wakes up when I first put him down in the crib, or if he squirms around when I give him his bath, or if he cries because he woke up scared.  I know that at this point in time I can do these things with relative ease.  That doesn’t mean that he won’t throw me a curve ball in the days and weeks to come.  So I feel confident, but hopefully not too confident.  Infants have a way of humbling those who think they have it all figured out.

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Babywearing

It seems like ages since I last posted despite it only being six days.  It has been an eventful period of time including our visit to the babywearer’s group, my first solo overnight with O, and a death in the family.  Currently I’m staying with family near Philadelphia so that I can attend a funeral tomorrow.  My wife is home taking care of him while I here.  I find that blogging helps take my mind off of things so I will attempt to cover all of this ground in my next few posts.  This post will focus will be on the babywearer’s group that my wife and I attended this past Saturday.

I will begin by briefly recounting our first visit to this group together several months back.  It was a small gathering of parents with at least one dad and interesting mix of crunchy and average moms.  By crunchy I mean one ha dreads and a toddler who walked over and pushed her shirt out of the way to breastfeed.  By average I mean parents who were interested in the carriers and had varying levels of interest in cloth diapers and breastfeeding.  I had some very nice conversations with the parents there and overall enjoyed the experience.  My wife bought two different carriers, uses them regularly and has attended multiple meetings since.  Neither of us has seen more than 12 people there and generally there’s a dad or two.

This past Saturday was a bit different for a couple of reasons.  The first was that I was there and was quite excited about it.  I wanted to try out a structured carrier and potentially buy one, plus I was hoping some other dads would be there that I could tell about my blog and facebook page to hopefully get a ct stay at home dads group up and running.  I also pictured the small low key and not intimidating group I attended several months back.  I walked into a group of roughly twenty moms and lots of babies and toddlers crammed into a relatively small space with limited seating.  I got to try out a Boba Carrier and I loved it but O isn’t quite big enough.  Diana was nice enough to help me with the carrier, and suggested that we might be able to prop him up higher in the carrier to make it work for the next month or so.  I can’t see spending $100+ for a carrier that he won’t fit into yet.  A friend is also giving me her carriers to try so that might hold me over until he is big enough for the Boba.  My wife learned how to do a back carry with her woven wrap and he seemed to like it, but I found myself a bit sidelined because I was not interesting in the various wraps all the moms were trying out.  There were no other dads there, although one mom did say her husband was staying at home to take care of their child and might be interested in what I was trying to do.

I will go back to the group again because I have seen that it isn’t an necessarily an overwhelming experience but I can’t see myself going back if I am going to be the only dad in a sea of moms and kids.  Its a bit overwhelming to be the only guy in such a noisy and prolactin fueled environment.  Everyone was very nice but I felt more like some sort of rare bird.  Most moms I talked to thought it was great I was there, but seemed surprised at the same time.  “We want you to be an involved dad, but we are surprised when you are” seemed to be the general sentiment.  I need to get used to this kind of reaction because it seems to be a common one when I do amazing things like “show up” and “change a diaper.”  So dads out there, any thoughts or stories about showing up to a group or event and being the only dad there?  Maybe some of you have had some interesting reactions to doing basic parenting things?  Leave a your story below in the comments section or on the facebook page!

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Today we are venturing out into CT to hang out with a fellow stay at home dad.  We have met up a couple of times for lunch and to let the babies stare/make noises at each other.  I am very thankful to be able to talk to someone during the day who can talk back and carry on an intelligent conversation.  I also tend to refer to myself as daddy as I talk to O during the day so the adult conversation helps remind me that referring to myself in the third person should not be the norm.  I think it would be good to have a couple of other stay at home dads to create a larger playgroup but that would require either of us knowing any in CT and we don’t.  Leave a comment if you are a stay at home dad or know any who might be interested in a regular playgroup!

 

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Many of my stay at home dad experiences with O and my wife have been  in our old two bedroom apartment.  We tolerate its flaws because the central CT location is great, the price is right, and we have a nice view.  We were both initially concerned that O would have trouble sleeping with all of the noise that comes with living in an older building.  We provided background noise and refused to succumb to our “shhhhhh the baby is sleeping” impulses and over the last couple of months I have noticed the results of our efforts.  O sleeps through our neighbors screaming outside his window.  He sleeps through the UPS guy’s loud knocks on our door.  He even stays asleep when our upstairs neighbor’s 2 year old son jumps off their couch and runs above O’s room.  I am very thankful that O sleeps like I do, but I sure wish he wouldn’t freak out when I let out a loud sneeze!  Does anyone else’s baby do that?  He’s napping now so its time to prepare for an outing when he wakes.  Such is the life of a stay at home dad.

PS: He slept for another hour and a half so I ended up heading out on my own after I started dinner and my wife got home.  I finally got my netbook, we’ll call him lillappy, back from the repair shop.  This is the third time I have been there to pick it up but the first time it was actually fixed.  I wish PCW had their act together more but they don’t.  At least they stuck with the quoted price despite them needing to do more work on it.  They must have felt guilty having me come back twice to pick up my fixed computer only to find it wasn’t totally fixed.  The good news out of all this is that I now have a workable computer I can easily post from anywhere with wifi.  To date most of my posts have been done from my phone using the wordpress app which works but takes longer and makes editing more difficult than it needs to be.  More posts to come for sure about my life in CT as a stay at home dad!

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