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Posts Tagged ‘dads’

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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Taking care of an infant as a stay at home dad humbles me daily.  For example, about a month back I was feeling confident that I could put O to sleep every time I needed to as long as he was tired and I could use our glider recliner.  All I had to do was put his head near my shoulder, put the pacifier in his mouth and rock him to sleep.  It worked great for about 3 weeks and I was so proud of myself that I started telling people that I had figured out the secret and everything would be easier from now on!  Of course lately he refuses to be held upright in the recliner and my amazing sleep technique that I was so proud of discovering has been rendered useless.  I have been trying something new that seems to work pretty well, which means now that I have said that it will not work anymore.  Such is my life as a stay at home dad in CT!  Do any dads have any tips or tricks they have used to get their child to go down for their naps?

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