Can you put the baby to bed tonight?

Dads, whenever that question is asked, your answer is always, “yes.” “Absolutely,” “You got it,” and “Would you also like me to change his/her diaper?” are also acceptable answers.

Here’s why. As challenging as it is to be a parent, it’s always exponentially harder to be a mom. How do I know this? To be completely honest, I don’t. I can never know what it’s like to be my wife – to feel what she feels – but I try as best as I can to empathize (not easy). I see how hard it is for her to balance work and family life – to spend time with our son, Jack, while staying on top of her work responsibilities. As tired as I am, I know that she’s even more exhausted than I can imagine.

Somehow, whether it be luck or instinct, babies are 10 times tougher on their moms than dads. When its time for me to eat, Jack is a dormant volcano. When my wife, Cathy, lifts her fork, he erupts, leaving her no other choice but to stop eating and hold him close. Putting Jack to bed is no different. He can already be passed out, but as soon as it’s time for bed, you best be prepared for a slumber cage match! Not surprising, he’s always a greater handful for Cathy, so when she asked me tonight to put him to bed, I said yes.

Now, so that it doesn’t sound like I’m some sort of saint, the full disclosure is of course I didn’t want to put Jack to bed. No one wants someone screaming in their face for 30 minutes. Seriously, try it sometime if you won’t take my word for it.

The kicker is I put Jack to bed and in less than 30 seconds, he’s already asleep. All I had to do was lay him down in his crib. I go into our bedroom to get ready for bed…my wife’s eyes lock onto mine.

“He was already asleep for you wasn’t he?”

“Yes.”

[EXPLETIVES]

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Breakfast of (parent) Champions!

I eat right; I exercise. But sometimes, when you have two crazy dogs to walk, a babysitter to pick up and you’re already running late for a 9 a.m. meeting, you make due with a granola bar, Diet Coke and coffee.

And that pretty much sums up what it’s like being a new parent: making due. Like when you would love to take the time to grind the coffee beans and brew a fresh cup, but instead, you make due with a watered-down Keurig. Or when you’ve had a long day and would like an even longer, hot bath, but instead, you make due with a 5 minute sprint / shower.

Adaptation and acceptance are the best friends of any parent. Every day, my wife and I accept that the routines we had before baby won’t necessarily work anymore. And the quicker we come to terms with it, the faster we adapt to our new lifestyle.

It’s not all bad; we celebrate our little victories when it comes along. This past Sunday, we finally watched “Inception.” I had rented the DVD from Netflix – five months ago!  It felt like we would never have the time to watch the movie, particularly one with such a complex plot. So six hours after starting the movie – after stopping three times to feed the baby, make dinner and walk the dogs – the end credits came on the screen, and Cathy and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Not only did we finally have our first movie-night date in forever, but we actually finished a movie. And yes, our egos were feeling rather large knowing that we actually understood it! Nothing like a quick minute of feeling normal to make you appreciate all those other moments you don’t.

And the Red Bull is now wearing off…