Stay at Home Father: Help!
Today Madex has turned 5 months old, but it feels like it has been 5 years since she was born. It has been a roller coaster ride watching her leap into each new phase. I had to re-read the last blog I wrote when she was born, for two reasons: The first was to remember the feelings I had when she was first born. The second was to remind me of the feelings I had when she was first born. I say this because she will not be little forever and I want to embrace these times, as difficult as they can be sometimes. She has changed and grown so much that tonight I told her she will not be looking up to me much longer. I sit here this evening at midnight and chuckle out loud at how much she has challenged me these last 5 months. Anyone that has had to care for a child for a long duration will understand when I say that there is no reprieve. As a parent watching the child, you need to be focused and present all day and everyday. There is very little time to do much of anything, and I will defend this statement ferociously.
My wife has returned to work and I have been a full time stay at home Dad for over a month now. I compliment and hold such a high respect for woman all over the world who have stayed at home raising children. I am certainly glad the times are changing, as there are very few men who really understand the sacrifice and efforts that their wives made to raise their children. I thought I knew, but truthfully had no idea! I am amazed each and every day the amount of work you put in to care for these little humans, and I would be lying if I said, I did not need help! I am managing, but some days I am barely hanging on and do not know what I would do if I did not have the support or help of my wife’s parents. My wife does her best when she returns from work, but this is difficult to do when you have spent all day running at work, and I certainly understand this, as I was the one doing it before.
My darling Madex, you are a precious jewel, but your temperament is full of jagged edges. I am certain I will come to be proud and admire that you are like this, but when it is against your father, it challenges my patience to its fullest. It is extremely difficult to get mad at you when you smirk at me as if you know exactly what I want you to do, but refuse to do it just to make a point. Your mother and you are like two peas in a pod, sharing many similar characteristics. The two of you are going to have some battles like two queens in a beehive, but you need to learn that there is only one Queen, and that is your mother. You, my sweetheart, are of course our little princess, but you do not make the rules in this castle. I will be there to keep peace and support the queen as it was her and I who made these rules, and ultimately know what is best for you. There will come a time when we will have to let you fly and find your wings, but the date for this remains unknown and can be discussed later.
My mother told me that I was a colic baby because I had a milk allergy, and that they did not figure this out until I was six months old. How she survived through this is nothing short of a miracle. I would not have said this five months ago, but today I carry a different tone. Thank you mom for having the strength to endure those months caring for me. To everyone out there that is caring for a child right now, know that there are others who are enduring what you are, and some who are enduring even more. I have a huge amount of respect for you and know that you will succeed in getting through the difficult days. The time you put in now will pay large dividends down the road, let me assure you.
I do not want to come across sounding completely negative, as it is a beautiful thing to watch your child grow and develop. However, I do not want to pull any punches when expressing how exhausting and difficult it can be. A newborn can leave the best adult and parent out there looking defeated at times, but it certainly does not mean it is not worth it. I will say with extreme confidence that it is worth everything. We are however human, and to say it is perfect, or that there are not many trying moments would just be foolish and a blatant lie. My wife and I took our daughter on her first camping trip which turned out relatively well. The second time we went out, it got so bad that I packed the family and everything up, left our trailer and went home to sleep. The third time this year was an absolute dream, and Madex appeared as though she was right in her element. This is the way it is with a newborn! Everyday is different and you never know what each day has in store for you. If it is a bad day, there is always tomorrow. Tomorrow may show you the reasons you live for, or perhaps, it may make today look like a walk in the park. Afterall, how could you ever be really upset with this little girl?
Today’s blog is a bit of a shout out. I want to hear some of your stories raising a child in their first year. What is the best advice someone gave you? What is the best advice you could give someone else? If you could raise your child all over again, what would you change or do different? For those that are at the same stage as myself right now, what are your biggest struggles? Share your stories so that we can laugh together and help each other through the difficult days, or celebrate the amazing ones. I look forward to hearing your stories and reading your advice.