Learning in Real Time
One of the lessons of doing daddy daycare is that it’s not as easy as some bloggers make it out to be. It really isn’t a walk in the park of hard work.
What it is is a lot of adjustments made on a perpetual basis. Children grow and adapt so fast that you’ve got to be ready for any and every thing.
Listen, I’ve always said that women have had it rougher than men. I’ve always said that women perform miracles all the time. Now that it’s my turn to perform a few of these miracles again… I’m sitting scratching my head wondering how I’m going to make it work as easy as my wife appears to make this work.
I have certain goals and aspirations I want for my life. These kinds of goals will help my family have a better and brighter future. However, the implementation of these is where the hard work is. And that’s the place where it’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed.
It is so easy to look at the other moms online who are building their businesses and raising kids and doing things with the schools and etc. It’s so easy to say “if they can do it, so can I”. Then reality hits.
They’re not telling you about the pains of sleepless nights back to back. They’re not telling you about that feeling of crap you have when you can’t get your baby to stop crying even though you can’t see anything wrong.
They’re not telling you how you feel so helpless and frustrated but can’t find words to put for those feelings.
DUDE! You’re depressing us…
Oh it gets a lot bleaker if I may say so. You know you can’t go voicing your concerns to your wife. She too had to do the whole mommy daycare thing before you did. And there is no expression for it, there is no movie made after it, there is no heroics about it. It’s just motherhood.
So, no sympathy there for you. Nothing. You’re going through what all women who become mothers have to go through. Difference, there is no village of support that is quite the same for you as a dude.
Sure, cry me a river man. Buck up and man up. This is doable. No need to write a long sad song about it!
Easy there folks, easy.
While women do make it look easy, in part because that’s just how women roll… let us be clear about one thing: balancing adult life and child care is a fine tuned dancing routine that requires a lot of sacrifice, agility, adjusting, reflecting, planning, and sweating.
Ever so grateful for the work my mom did in raising me, I’m now seeing first hand the efforts both my mom and wife put into their family.
I am extremely blessed to have a bit of time off to do the whole daddy daycare drill before I slip back into the reality I know and am accustomed to… called work/career.
But until I slip back, I’m taking the opportunity to enjoy this blessing to the fullest.
Blessings you say?
When your schedule is left to the mercies of a child who has no concept of abstract values, you start to see what is very important through all the mess that seems urgent. Time moves differently. Lessons have more value. Sleep becomes a luxury that has to be managed as it’s extremely scarce.
Dreams you’re working on get put on hold and touched only at the twilight hours or dusk hours… and if you’re lucky… during nap hours.
Lessons: Learnings of Daddy DayCare
1- give your lady a pass whenever she gets cranky. There is a child behind that crankiness that’s pushing her buttons (yours as well too) 2- take a moment to reconnect with your partner. Those adult moments are very critical. As all those hours with a child makes you forget sometimes you’re in a loving relationship with another adult
3- in the darkest of hours of zombified adrenal stress, remember, in a few weeks, the child will be in another developmental stage and things will be so new again. 4- they grow oh so very fast. In just a quick moment, new skills come online in their minds and your child seems to have leapt forward in smarts. But can just as easily step back in time and appear to have forgotten everything learned
5- when I go back to work, I can not afford to forget this chapter… as insensitivity to wifey’s needs, feelings, stress, worries, and care will cost you even more now that you’ve had some stay at home time to personally understand what she goes through. 6- nothing like seeing your child seeing you as their hero. Just because you changed their diapers. That won’t last long
7- projects do have their infancy… and in time will grow to stand on their own merits. I can now stress a lot less about my progress on my dreams… as they’re also in infancy… but one day, they’ll rise up and do their own thing 8- all the routines you had before that child came… gone. Might not come back. New routines will be learned, mastered, set, and life will go on. rinse and repeat
9- There is no such thing as “I couldn’t do house work because the baby was cranky”. You have to do it all. Just like she has. Now it’s your turn. Just Do IT! 10- forget all the above lessons. Kids have a funny way of reteaching you the basics the following week.
I am extremely blessed to have this amount of time off. The few weeks will come to a close too fast. I will be back to writing on my lunch break at work like old times. My heart will be missing that time I was home to stay all day watching this life grow before my eyes at a rate that is way to cruelly fast.
Then, I’ll be plotting my next vacation break to spend more time with my kids at home. But right now as I write this… I miss my quiet space at work where I could just sit and hear myself think, as with a crying baby, the echos ring in the head long after the baby stopped crying… and you wonder if you’re a bad daddy… much like mommy does whenever she’s not able to silence her crying baby (only… it’s hubby’s fault… and that’s OK too… because in the end, that baby is healthy and growing)