Archives for posts with tag: New Dads

There comes a time for most new parents when we have to go back to work.

(I don’t want you to think I have any antidotes about how to make this easier, because I don’t. I’m just talking.)

For me, it happened quickly. I was back to work 2 weeks after Grayson was born. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But it was easier knowing Dibs was home with him. She is really good about letting me know what they’re doing and sending photos throughout the day, which makes it a lot easier.

On Monday, she goes back to work. I have a feeling she’s broken down a couple of times today about this, and probably will a few more times over the weekend. We have both of our moms coming in on alternating weeks, which will make it a little easier, but not really. The longest she’s been away from him since he was born is about 2 hours.

She knows everything about him. She knows what his cries mean, she knows how he likes to be held and she knows when he’s pooped himself. Plus, it’s rare that he’s bottle fed. How will he react when he has to have a bottle throughout the day? Will our mom’s get sick of him quickly? Gray loves being held all day. We probably spoil him, though we’ve been told you can’t spoil a baby. Will they handle that well? How will Dibs handle not knowing what he’s doing at all times?

The other issue is that there’s nothing we can really do, Dads. There’s really nothing anyone can do, because we all have to work.

I guess this is the part where I ask how you guys are dealing with this. If there’s any advice you can share to make it easier, please do.

I’ve already considered adding webcams to make sure everything goes ok while we’re at work. Is that a step toward crazy?

Also, please comment in the comment section below. Commenting on Facebook helps no one!

“When your kid comes, your life will never be the same. Enjoy it while you can.”

How many times have you guys heard that? Every time I went to Vegas, Miami or New York before the kid came some douche dad said that to me on Facebook. So, I started blocking them on Facebook. (I love blocking people on Facebook. It’s the best. Yeah… you’re my friend… but you’re BLOCKED!)

Obviously when the kid comes things change. No one really tells you what is actually going to change, though, do they? Well, guys, that’s why you hired me! What’s that? I’m doing this for nothing? Eff…

So Long Life Without Guilt – Prepared to feel guilty about everything you do from here on out. I went golfing for the first time since Gray was born two Sunday’s ago. The whole time I felt like I was a terrible person for being gone. I wasn’t. On Sunday I’m going to the Frightened Rabbit concert. I’ve felt guilty about this since I bought the ticket. 2 months before Gray was born.

Seriously, You’re Going to be a Whole New Kind of Sleepy – And, here’s the thing, you can’t really complain about it! Dibs is a part of new mom’s group that discusses this sort of thing. I’m thinking we should start a new dad’s group to talk to each other about what we’re not allowed to talk to our wives about. Because no matter how tired you are, she’s 10 times more tired than you. Of course she is. Why wouldn’t she be? The metaphor would be complaining to someone that you had to settle for a BMW M model, when they’re driving their Grandma’s Cutlass Supreme.

You’re About to Accept A Lot – My example of this, if you follow my twitter, happened the other day at lunch. My friend, Ryan, and I were in line at the Thai place, and I’m on my phone. Ryan says, “Dude, what’s all over your phone?” I examine, shrug my shoulders and say, “Grayson pooped all over me last night. It must have gotten all over my phone.” This was at lunch! I’d gone over 12 hours with poop covering the top of my iPhone 4, and I shrugged it off. Never in my life did I think I’d laugh when someone hosed me down with poop, yet, here we are.

You’re Excited About the Tiniest Things – Every milestone that happens makes you think your kid is a genius. I mean… of course he is.

Eating Is a Whole New Experience – When we go to restaurants, we basically prepay, and ask them to bring it out in to go boxes. When he cries, one of us tries to calm down, if we fail, then we’re out. Eating at home is even more fun. She’s eating and I’m holding him. I’m eating and she’s holding him. Just be ready to eat cold food.

(As I type this, I’m having a beer at the office. I feel guilty about this. I told you!)

What else have you guys noticed as changing? Let’s start the New Dad’s Group…. now.

Let’s admit something right now. We’ve gained weight over the past 9 months, haven’t we Dads? I mean, why wouldn’t you have? I’m not sure you’d be a good husband, boyfriend, gay partner, one-nighter-knock-her-upper had you not gained weight while your spouse was pregnant. She’s going for that extra cupcake, you should have, too. Now look at you, you’ve gained a good 5 (10… 15?) extra pounds.

Here’s the biggest issue with getting back into the gym – the lady isn’t back in the gym. No, she’s stuck feeding. Sure she’s losing 800-1,000 calories a day from it, but it’s not the same.

I came upon this problem immediately after my wife gave birth.

You can’t tell by looking at me, but I’m a little obsessed with working out. You really can’t tell by looking at me, but I’m a lot obsessed with running. The first couple of runs I went on, man, I felt like shit because Dibs wasn’t with me. I’d come home and I could feel the resentment.

When I went back to work, it got worse. Now I’m not seeing Grayson all day. I definitely don’t want to come home and immediately go to the gym. By the time I shower and make dinner I’d get, what, an hour or two with him a day? That’s just not enough for me.

I keep going back to the 10 things post, which I’m forever going to call the 10 Commandments. It’s a good reference point, huh? Like I said, I get up with every feeding to change him and burp him. The other night I find myself awake at 6am, and I can’t go back to sleep.

“Honey, I’m going to go for a run.”
“Really? Whatever, I’m going back to sleep.”

Running that early in the morning in San Francisco is pretty great, by the way. The sun is coming up, people with sucky jobs are waiting for the bus and it’s cold. Meanwhile, Dibs and Grayson are asleep and I’ve missed nothing. More importantly, they didn’t even know I was gone.

Sounds simple, but man I hate waking up early. The main thing I’m learning right now is this new life is about adapting. I don’t mind that.

Me: “Honey, lots of new moms want to throw their baby out the window.”
Her: “No, honey. I don’t want to throw him out the window. I want to throw him against the wall. This way he has a better survival rate.”

Actual conversations by brand new parents! Please, don’t report us to CPS. If you are CPS, I was clearly kidding (umm…). And, if you start thinking we’re really terrible people, then you probably don’t have a child yet, or are past the 3 year mark and you’ve forgotten all of this fun stuff. In fact, you’re probably reading this because you’re ready for kid #2. Meaning, you’ve definitely forgotten all of this, or are in denial about what happened the first time around.

Being a parent is like being bipolar. This morning, while feeding, Gray’s pee leaked through his diaper and all over Diabla. “GET IN HERE AND GET HIM OFF OF ME!” I did, quickly. I changed him, and Dibs immediately went to prepare a bath for him and her. While preparing a bath, Gray started smiling like he’s never smiled before. I felt like he was almost on the verge of giggling. (PS. I know babies don’t giggle till around 4 months, but apparently they don’t roll over till month 2, and Grayson was doing that at week 3.) I quickly rushed him over she could see it, and she gushed, “I just love him soooo much. He’s so cute.” I didn’t feel the need to remind her that she still had pee on her. Hell, it was so adorable I almost took the day off from work hoping he’d smile at me all day.

Man, I’m on a tangent that was nowhere near where I wanted to go. I think I’m going to leave it anyways.

So, where was I wanting to go? Oh! Dibs throwing our kid against the wall. Let’s be honest, kids cry. It’s kind of what they do. But, there are some ways to help calm him down. I thought I’d share some of my techniques to getting Gray quiet with you guys. That’s what I do, right?

There’s a book that everyone talks about. Something about New Babies on the Block, or something. Some guy talks about the 5 S’s. I have heard these s’s, and I use some of them. I wished I remembered them, or bothered to read the book. With that said…

The Boob – I mean, this is a no-brainer, right? Nothing gets babies to chill quite like the boob.

Sweet, Sweet Swaddle – I have found that once I’ve swaddled Gray, he will chill out. It’s weird, because he hates it as I’m swaddling him, but he can’t really sleep without. He’ll wake himself up with Gangsta Pose without being swaddled. Sometimes he gets a little worse before he gets better with the swaddle, so keep that in mind. (Little known fact outside of my house… I’m the swaddle king. There is no swaddle queen. I don’t know why I love this fact so much.)

Over the Shoulder Hold – I don’t know what it is, but when I throw Gray over my shoulder he just chills. And I mean, over the shoulder, too. His belly is on my shoulder bone (To show how little I know about bones, I’m now wondering if there is a shoulder bone… Google it.). I toss him over and pat his back, and he’s fine. Well, until I take him off my shoulder. Everyone is always shocked when they see me do this.

Bouncing – He’ll also chill out when I stand up, put him on my chest and start bouncing. This will also usually put him to sleep. And, if I talk/rap (yeah, rap) while doing it all the better. I guess the vibrations calm him down. By the way, don’t shake him. That will obviously get him to be quiet… forever. You will go to jail. You will not pass go. You will not collect $200.

Baby Bjorn – This is just a super version of bouncing. So, I can bounce him while checking fantasy football scores in one hand and eating a burrito in the other. I had no idea how amazing being able to use both my hands would be till I discovered the magic of the Bjorn. Sweden is the gift that keeps giving.

Baby Massage – I’ve mentioned this before. Usually massaging Grayson involves a lot of farts from him, and a lot of laughing from me. Yep, I’m a dad.

Bath Time – He LOVES bath time. It’s hilarious. Once he hits the water, he’s in pleasure country.

Going for a Walk – If things are really bad, I’ll put Grayson in his stroller and take him for a walk. This is so phenomenal that 60% of the time it works every time. The change of scenery, combined with the sidewalk bumps calms him down.

Change their Diaper – Oh, snap, he’s crying cause he’s got poop in his diaper.

The Pacifier – Or as it’s known in my house, the silencer. This combined with anything above, besides the boob of course, increases your chances of a calm baby by some percentage that I’m sure has been reported somewhere. Let’s just say 83%. I think I mentioned before that Dibs was against the silencer. But, once she learned that as long as you don’t rely on it after month 3, they won’t still be using it when they’re 8 years old. And, that, my friends is a good thing.

Just, try to avoid throwing your baby at the wall, ok?

Football started last night! While watching my fantasy team implode in the first game of the season, I started thinking about my little team at home.

From the time I was a small child playing flag football and throughout my football playing life, I was always told that a football team is a family. And, as cliche as it is, it’s true. You protect your teammates, they have your back, you have theirs. Everyone has a role, and if everyone executes that role well, you succeed.

Last night, I started filling in the starting offense of my family football team. The one I mostly struggled with was the quarterback position. Was it the mom? Or the baby?

Ultimately I’ve decided that, unless we were calling mom the head coach, she had to be the QB. She’s really the one that makes the offense go. Her production makes the running back even better. She “feeds” the baby the ball. The stronger her game is, the stronger running game/the baby will be.

I decided that our friends were the receivers. They’re on the outside, sure, but they can make some big, big plays. Things like bringing us dinner, taking care of the baby in an emergency, or giving the QB a break with ladies dinners.

Our family (Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins) is our security blanket. The people we can rely on no matter what. They’re the tight ends of our offense. They fight for the tough yards, they’re our red zone target and they’ll draw plays up with you in a hotel room (3 people got that).

That leaves us, Dads. The most under appreciated part of this offense. For we, Fathers are the offensive line. We protect the QB, we open the holes and we do the work no one appreciates. Well, our QB appreciates what we do. She may not be buying us a Rolex when we execute a perfectly time glass of water. She may not take us to a steak dinner when we bust out a 3am diaper change/burp combo. But, without us, our team is going nowhere.

Cheesy? Yeah… Accurate? Hell yeah.