Dipping My Toes into Stay-at-Home Parenthood

As I write this at midday on Monday, my son is asleep. I had just changed his diaper and his clothes–since he peed all over himself and them–and I set him down in his bassinet for minute so I could brush my teeth.

He had gotten quiet for more than a few moments, so I checked on him and found him asleep. I decided to use the opportunity to take a shower, and it felt like a victory.

Apparently, this is what being a stay-at-home parent feels like: small victories during the course of an otherwise unpredictable day.

Today marks an interesting turning point in our family life. Up until now, either my wife, me, or both of us have been with Nugget for every moment of his life. That is, except for about 12 hours total when he wasn’t with us… some visits with the pediatrician, a wedding, and a show at the Meyerhoff spring to mind.

But my wife is not home today. It’s her first day back at work after 12 weeks of maternity leave. I took the day off to help ease her transition to Working-Mom-Life. For the rest of this week, one of our mothers will be baby-sitting Nugget.

Wait a sec… Nugget is cooing over his baby monitor…

Back! He woke up and was not quite pacified by his pacifier, and then he demanded food. A bout of spit-up, a clothing change, and 90 minutes later, he’s now happily sitting in his favorite chair.

Now then, I’m using the rest of my paid time-off this year for the two weeks around Christmas, when I will really be a stay-at-home dad. Then, the Grandmas are helping us for a couple weeks before I use the remaining three weeks of my paternity leave.

Nugget starts daycare in February, and our daily routines center around getting him to and from. But more than that, the next month-plus will be the last time one of us is consistently with him for most of the day.

Daycare… pre-school… kindergarten…

This is a bit of a moment–granted, a moment all families with children face in some form, but we’re bracing for it all the same.

By the way, I took about a six-hour hiatus from writing this post while Nugget cat-napped, woke up hungry, and needed his diaper changed several times. My wife came home, we did some minor things around the house, and now we’re all relaxing on the couch, stomachs full and waiting for one of the Grandmas to show up. She’ll be staying with us for a few days to baby-sit.

It’s been a quiet day, in that didn’t do much other than sit on the couch with Nugget in my arms, asleep or otherwise. I wouldn’t say I envy full-time stay-at-home parents, but it’s been a good day.

Steve D

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