Griffin is growing at a staggering rate and our ration of diapers is running long on the sizes that don’t fit him. We were warned, but we’ve been asking people to bring us things we need when they come to visit, such as diapers, baby wipes, formula, sanity, you know, the everyday things that mamas and daddies need to make sure their baby is taken care of and that they don’t forget about each other in the process. Now I’ve got a corner full of newborn diapers that don’t fit and a drawer full of newborn/0-3 month old onesies that mama has thrown on the floor to make room for the 3-6 month old clothes…what a mess.
What I learned today about being a father:
Can you believe it’s been four weeks since Griffin was born, I started this blog, and my hair has started to turn colors other than the nice, dark auburn color I’ve grown to know so well? In the last 28 days so many great things have happened, but now a reality of sorts is setting in…Change is upon us!
Jackie and I thought we could plan for this, but we were totally wrong. Our diagram of baby growing and parenting was thrown out the window 27 days ago, and we’ve been trying to pick up the pieces ever since. I’ve learned that she is the decider, when she makes a move I just go with it. When she says to do something that doesn’t make sense I question it every time on accident, not on purpose, trying to gain a better understanding of reason, and she motions with many different contortions of her body and face of how ridiculous my inquisitions are.
What it’s come down to is this; when Jackie makes a mess I clean it up.
What I think I know:
“I didn’t make the mess on purpose, it’s for the baby!”
Sooner or later you will hear this line, or one very similar to it, that describes mama’s reasoning for whatever it is she is doing that daddy doesn’t quite get. Being daddy has taught me to look past my wife’s simple indiscretions, keep my mouth shut and my head down (to see what’s on the floor that’s not supposed to be there) and never, never ask a question in the form of a statement.
Our partnership is more than that, however. It’s being on the same page, turning corners and expecting that the other will be there. I don’t mind doing the heavy lifting because that’s what I’m good at. Mama is good at reacting to the changes of baby’s needs, knowing when to create space (even when it is by tossing clothes on the floor, in the crib, or out the car window; it was an accident) and having the magic touch that calms babies emotions after spending too much time in daddies hands.
Being daddy takes a lot of understanding and reacting at a moments notice. No amount of preparation will prepare you for the changes that are being thrown your way, for the odd times when mama uses baby as a reason for doing what she does, or for the calming, loving effect your little child will have on you. It sounds cliché, I get it, but within the cliché is much truth. Our children are a miracle, a miracle created by the actions of individuals, which makes us pretty cool too. Sometimes the heavy lifting is reminding yourself about that, telling your partner how awesome of a job they did, and knowing that every time you ever said to yourself that you wanted to make a difference in a person’s life that you are.
I know there’s more to this story that I haven’t learned, but I’m keeping my eyes open and my ears alert to all the learning that hasn’t been described in detail for me. Mama is making sure of that too. I mean, just last night she taught me how pack old clothes into plastic containers and mark them for when we have our next child…”You want another one?”
Sometimes being daddy is questioning mama’s sanity…sometimes.
Being Daddy Tip of the Week:
Do everything you can to listen to instruction from you partner. Mama’s do not like to have to explain themselves twice…and remember that whatever she is asking you to do is “for the baby.” So rub her feet, and stop asking questions.