Jake and I are almost through day three of 24/7 Daddy detail. It didn’t take long to figure out how to be an effective Dad, while effectively NOT driving myself insane, nor neglecting the little man’s needs. I became really responsible, REALLY fast. Here are a few of my new rules for Daddyhood…
1: Be proactive. As soon as Jake passes out, it’s go time. And time is of the essence, so you have to move swiftly. I prepare his next meal and start thawing his milk for the next bottle. I do all the dishes from his previous feast. I prep his clothes or bath, whatever the next phase calls for. I’m totally reset and ready to go for the next round. Then it’s “me time”.
2: Lose all sense of selfishness. It’s all about the baby during their waking hours. So find ways to manage priorities and incorporate his/her playtime in with your own goals and to-do’s. Today, Jake played in his bouncy seat and playpen while I cleaned the house. Which leads to my next rule…
3. Be ready to put your personal to-do list on the back-burner. If you don’t, you’re only setting yourself up for frustration. On day one, I accomplished almost nothing but the essentials after my wife left. On day two, I was able to fix the bathroom exhaust fan and do a little pube groomin’. (Did I just type that out loud?;) Jake and I also managed to do some shopping. By noon today, we’d already fed the horsey, cleaned the house, and did three loads of laundry. We’re becoming a little multi-tasking team, and it’s only day three!
4: Last but not least, take care of yourself! If you’re tired, sleep when the baby sleeps. Your to-do list will still be there when you wake up. It’s also easy to skip a meal if you’re not careful, so dine together! And most importantly, don’t skip showers! It’s easy to become smelly and exhausted if you don’t take a few minutes for yourself during their nappy times. No one likes a grumpy, stinky bastard!
All of these things seem like common sense. But without establishing a plan and a routine, you are bound to get all jammed up! This all goes without saying, don’t forget to ENJOY it! This has been the most time I’ve gotten to spend with Jake since the first few weeks after he was born.
I am by no means a master at parenting, but I try to learn something new each day and apply it in the future. What have I learned in the last few days? That the only thing I was afraid of was the unknown. Would I be able to care for Jake all by myself? I think I answered my own question:)