A whole year into fatherhood and it seems to be as good a time as any to take stock of what I have learned from my status change.
The following list is what I have noticed about myself, and changes that I had not prepared for. As always, I welcome any feedback.
This seems to be the Pareto rule in reverse; I buy more food but eat less; my son fulfilling the role of some kind of culinary Robin Hood.
The good news is that the family paunch I inherited is in a slow decline, and the Christmas jumper may well just last another year or two… every cloud eh?
I hope this is the toddler years only, but time is most definitely a premium for me. Strangely, the first thing to go when time is tight is showering. Of course, not having the responsibility of a job helps, and as personal hygiene makes way for a hairy, homeless wino look, it won’t be long before I peel myself out of bed to discover I only have one pair of usable pants left.
I guess I know what my 2014 resolution will be.
Weekends have less meaning
I would love to hear from other SAHDs on this. Friday night: No longer popping a beer in excited anticipation of two whole days with no responsibility. It simply means that I have two days with a more concentrated effort of help. It is nice, just not quite the same.
Just to add to this point – that feeling of closing the year off on Christmas Eve, and looking forward to two weeks of alcoholic bliss has all but disappeared.
Having said all this, I am not complaining – last Thursday, the three of us danced around in the lounge, had a cup of tea, and a slice of cake. How many families get to do that every Thursday morning?
A percentage of blame here is being apportioned to the lad’s foster carer. It was her, after all, that even before pleasantries were exchanged during the introduction period, would thrust a cup of rich, flavourful coffee in my hand… every morning.
The irony has not been lost on me. The whole point of introductions was to ease the boy into a new routine. I never once thought that easing a coffee down my neck before I said hello to anyone would become part of my routine.
So it is now a staple part of the routine for all of us; everyone up, daddy puts the kettle on.
Referring to myself in the third person
This has caught me off guard a few times. At the age when your children learn to speak, you refer to yourself as ‘Mummy’ or ‘Daddy’ to encourage the use of the word, and familiarity within the family dynamic.
What has become hard is dropping the whole third-person thing. He knows I am Daddy, I don’t need to continue it, yet I still say things like
“Ok, Daddy needs a cup of coffee now, he is tired.”
“Daddy doesn’t want you to throw his keys in the toilet; he would much prefer it if you just gave them back.”
As a stay at home dad, this perpetual faux pas has landed me in little trouble, but what happens when I return to normal functioning society? I can just see the job interview now… when asked how I could help the company what am I going to say?
“Well, Andrew would really like to envisage a new paradigm for the company branding….”
Who is going to hire that knob?
For stay at home dads it may seem like a slippery slope, but I would still never change it. As I look back at 2013 and reflect on what was an incredible year. I also look to the future; to what is likely to be another big year.
I wonder what I will learn next?