When I was visiting the dentist not long before the arrival of my daughter, I mentioned to the hygienist that my wife and I were expecting our first child in a couple of weeks. She told me to be sure to keep up with my brushing and flossing because once the baby arrives, your time is constantly spent with the little one, and it can be hard to find time to do things like brushing and showering. I went home and told my wife and we laughed at the absurdity of not having time to shower and brush your teeth.
We shouldn’t have laughed.
That’s not to say that we go out without brushing our teeth and bathing, but let me tell you, the opportunities to do those seemingly simple tasks are few and far between. Especially when you’re watching the baby by yourself. Every time I get a few minutes I’m brushing my teeth, shaving, making a bottle, changing the laundry, doing some dishes, etc. I had a conversation with another parent about this not long ago, and we were wondering what we did with our free time before we had our kids? Now, every second of my day seems to be filled with a task. It might be baby related, or it might be something else that needs to get done, but I haven’t been able to do it because I’ve been watching and entertaining the baby. That doesn’t mean I don’t still have a game on while I’m doing some of these tasks, but the days of me just sitting on the couch for an entire afternoon and evening watching my favorite teams play are a thing of the past.
So, future Dads, enjoy those relaxing moments when you’re brushing your teeth, or shaving, or showering. Pretty soon you’ll wonder how you ever took those moments for granted.
Here are a couple of books that deal with some of the unexpected, and sometimes disruptive changes a baby can bring to your life:
Cooking For Gracie: The Making of a Parent From Scratch - by Keith Dixon
When Partners Become Parents: The Big Life Change For Couples – by Carolyn Pape Cowan & Philip A. Cowan