To start, I’m going to say this outright, that I’ve been extremely blessed. I have a beautiful, healthy baby boy who is smiling and laughing more often than he is crying. I’ve also been lucky enough to work for a company that has allowed me to be with my son full time for the better part of the last 6 months.
When my son was born, my wife and I agreed that I would take my paternity leave when her leave was over. We did this so we could prolong as much as possible, having to worry about 3rd party child care. For the first 3 months, sans the first two weeks after he was born, I was working full time. I cherished the time I had with him in the evenings and the weekends. But largely didn’t get to see him during the day.
When the time came for me to start my leave back in October, I would be lying, if I said I wasn’t scared shitless. To that point I had only been alone with my son a couple times while my wife went to the doctor or went out to the store, and most of the time he was sleeping. So I never had to be a lone parent to that point. My first day alone with him was, let’s just say – less than ideal. He either screamed or cried for pretty much the whole day. That night, when he finally went to sleep and my wife went to bed, I sat on my couch and thought how the fuck I was ever going to make it through the next 19 weeks. The next day was consideredably better, and eventually the little man and I got into a routine and we made it through.
Over the next 4 months, I got to watch as my little guy grew from an infant that bearly wiggled in his seat, to an almost toddler that wants nothing more than to stand up and walk. It amazes me how much he can be curious about the world around him. He has gone from a potato, to a little person with a growing personality and a smile and a laugh that lights my world. We have gone on road trips and vacations, and no matter where he goes he always seems to enjoy himself. Like a true heart grabber, he always smiles for the ladies.
I’ve learned a lot over the last months and I can’t say I would even recognize the guy who was sitting where I am now, back in October. Things as simple as knowing which toy he likes or how to hold him so he is comfortable. From learning the difference between when he’s crying because he’s hungry, to when he’s upset. Sitting here I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to find the little things that make life easier. Whether its a song or a hum that calms him down, or a certain face that makes him laugh when he is sad. It’s hard to give anyone advice on being a dad or a mom, every child is different and reacts to different things.
So I will leave you all with this as I look back on my 4 months. Enjoy the little things. Enjoy the laughs, the smiles, the giggles, even the diaper changes. Everything is part of thier story. When the time comes you will look back on things like how they looked in a pair of pajamas or how they looked at you and giggled when they wake up from a nap. While I’m anxious to go back to work and go on with normal life, I am scared as hell of missing daily milestones. But while I may miss some things, I know I will be there for so many others. I can only hope that I never forget the small things that came first.
As always Have a Good One,
Beautiful little face. I don’t blame you for being anxious. So hard to leave them at that age, isn’t it? Not to worry. My second youngest grandchild has just started high school, so I’m here to tell that the milestones and the phases never end.