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Posts Tagged ‘son’

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When my son was 6.5 months and still couldn’t sit up, wasn’t mobile, and didn’t have any teeth I was a  worried. ” Why can all these other children his age do these things and he can’t?”  “Are we doing something wrong?”  “Have I done something to screw up his development?”  “Am I a horrible dad?”  The rational part of me knew none of this was true but the emotional part of me couldn’t help being anxious about my son’s development.  We are loving parents and I work hard to provide my son with a fun and stimulating environment every day but it is easy to doubt one’s ability as a parent.  After all, I’ve never done this before right?  How should I know what is best?  I’ve just read a few books and talked to friends and family about how to raise a child right?  When a milestone is finally reached it is truly amazing but the implications of that achievement can be quite scary.  For example once a child can move around the room on their own it opens up a whole new world of potential injuries and necessitates significant room layout rethinking and hours of baby proofing work.  I call this phenomenon “Joy in a fear sandwich.”  The sandwich’s meat is so tasty but that bread can suck sometimes!

There is a lot of fear surrounding developmental milestones, but it’s amazing how quickly all of that disappeared the first time I saw my son stay sitting up on his own.  In my years with the YMCA I taught 1000+ children how to do everything from swim, to kick a soccer ball but this moment topped them all in terms of how proud I was.  When it comes down to it I probably had little to do with him figuring it out, but I felt proud as though I had directly created the nerve connections and muscle capacity that enabled him to do it.  Perhaps some of that pride was because my anxiety about him not sitting up yet was gone.  I have to admit that it was getting the best of me when I started practicing sitting up with him much more than I had when he first reached 6 months old.  I was so worried that I hadn’t been working with him on it enough!  At that time I was thinking, “He’s just turned 6 months old he’ll figure it out in the next couple of weeks.”  Those weeks passed with no real improvement so I began practicing more with him but I still did not see him getting any better at it which only fueled my anxiety about his development.  O ended my anxiety and fear about his development in one joyful 24 hour period during which my now 7 month old son got his first tooth, mastered the continuous roll, and managed to stay upright without assistance.  It’s like his little brain and body reached the point where they were ready and he started doing all sorts of new stuff all at once.

I know my role as a parent is important to his development, but I think sometimes I worry too much.  I am a stay at home dad and my entire day revolves around the well being of my son so I think this amplifies my natural parenting fears.  I don’t mind because the added anxiety is far outweighed by my joy in witnessing these incredible moments that will only come once in his life.  I have a sneaking suspicion that these amazing moments will almost always be book-ended by some degree of anxiety and fear but I know that the pride and joy I will feel will be worth it.

The fear about his development is gone now but it has been replaced by the terror of a mobile baby in an apartment that is not baby proofed.  I’m sure I’ll have a post coming soon about that journey, but in the meantime please share your baby proofing suggestions or stories below in the comments section!

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2013-01-29_12-01-09_80

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 noticed lately that being a  stay at home dad has altered my sense of time.  I often find myself surprised when it starts to get dark outside, or when O shows signs of being ready for his morning or afternoon nap.  It’s really easy to space out and have a whole day go by just taking care of O in the apartment while meeting his moment to moment needs.  This becomes a problem early in the week when I don’t have any set plans to go anywhere.  It seems lately that my son and I aren’t getting out of the apartment enough during the first few days of the week.  There are several tools that can help to combat this problem.

The itzbeen timer was a great gift and it has definitely helped me keep track of when O needs to changed, fed, etc.  However, it does not help the aforementioned SAHD time warp.  That’s why I downloaded the ibaby app for my android OS phone.  It does what the itzbeen does but you can create custom buttons to track whatever you want plus create quick reminders and make time stamped notes with pics and videos to log what has happened during the day.  The main advantage the app has over the itzbeen is that you can look back over the day and see things like how many oz of milk your baby drank or how long they slept or how long its been since they pooped.  It also comes with quick log widgets for android OS phones that you can put on your home screen to make it easier to quickly log things on the go.  I enjoy being able to look at the log before I go to bed and see all that I did to care for my infant son and it definitely helps to fight the time distortion that comes with being a stay at home dad!

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Yesterday I got my first big lucky break as a stay at home dad.  The night before I felt the beginnings of a cold and so I had some orange juice and tylenol and went to bed.  My preemptive efforts were futile and I woke up exhausted with a nasty cold.  I took my shower and had some toast and juice.  My son, O, had been up to nurse and was ready to play! My wife left for work while I did my best to muster enthusiasm.  After and hour or so he was hungry again and went down for his nap.  He slept for three hours!  I took care of some daily tasks like dishes and picking up around the apartment and tried to get some more sleep.  When he woke up I fed and changed him before playing.  He went down for a three hour nap after that and woke up shortly before my wife got home!  I got really lucky, but its hard to imagine how I would have handled the day if he took his usual 30-60 minute naps.  I also found myself wondering if he was aware I was sick and was giving me a break.  Whatever the reason I feel like I got very lucky.  Any dads out there have stories/tips from taking care of a baby while sick?  I am particularly looking to hear from stay at home dads in CT but anyone is welcome to comment!

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2012-12-27_11-56-28_636

Merry Christmas!  We are visiting my in laws for this holiday week on their farm in New Hampshire.  Our son’s first Christmas is a white one for sure.  We have had him up here for a week before and he generally handles it well.  Its relatively easy to visit here because they have some of the essentials like pack and play(s) and a bouncy seat.  The parade of family and friends has no end and they are all thrilled to see him.  He had a good Christmas overall.  Lots of cute fun presents and time spent being passed around the room.  I think we enjoyed it more then he did, but I have a feeling that might change when he gets a bit older.  I also had a good Christmas!  I got some great stuff, but I have to admit that my favorite this was the mini Lego set in my stocking.  For 30 years my parents have always put a small Lego set in my stocking.  I would immediately open and assemble it in record time with a smile on my face.  This year when we did the Christmas thing at my parent’s house in CT there was no Lego set in my stocking.  My dad put lots of thought into the rest of my gifts, but I was very sad that this tradition had been broken.  I expressed this to my wife during the car ride home.  So fast forward to Christmas morning in NH and what is in my stocking… A LEGO SET!!!  The best part is that its a 3 in 1 set so I got to build 3 things!  I hope My son’s Christmas memories are as happy as mine have been and that I have the insight to understand and maintain the best of them through the years.

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