Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Impending fatherhood, and the resources we lack

There is a real lack of good resources in the world for new dads. Back a couple of years ago when my wife and I started thinking about starting a family, I bought several books to sort of see what was written about it. The disappointment was palpable. I started calling these “bro-dad” books, because they were all written to appeal to people much younger than me, with no real idea of anything beyond Monday Night Football.

“Dude-bro, that's a baby, dude-bro. Bro, you can't just feed it cheetohs. It's not always miller time.”

I mean, OK. So that's an exaggeration. But still, that's how watered down the material that we're dealing with is.

I may try to jam some advice in here from time to time? I by no means have any or all answers. I simply know what's worked for me, so I'll try and work those nuggets in here and there. I can say so far during the pregnancy the one thing that has worked is this: I do what my wife tells me (for the most part.)

If she asks me to make her breakfast? I do that. If she tells me she wants to take a bath? I draw the bath. If she says she isn't hungry? Well, I go and get her food anyway. I mean, just in case. Let's not go nuts here.

I will admit to being scared of certain things. You never know how things will go, and the stories that come to mind tend to be the ones with the worst and most tragic outcomes. Fortunately I also have a great group of friends who I can bounce things off of. At no point in my life can I recall having a higher level of support that I have right now.

A great concern of mine as we approach the later part of this pregnancy and then having a newborn is my ability to keep up my work outs. I know that may be selfish, but I need them for my sanity. I'm all about being a team player, and this child is thoroughly wanted and loved, but I won't be any good to anyone if I can't get a run in now and then.

As of right now I train about six hours a week, averaging thirty-five miles. I know that I probably won't be able to get that kind of volume in, but I have talked to my wife about it and she thinks at least the time frame may be reasonable. Of course, what seems reasonable now may not seem reasonable later, so we'll have to roll with some of those particular punches.

I also know what kind of runs and workouts I need to keep up a decent level of fitness. I have run through winters now that contained multiple blizzards, and still found a way to train so that I could keep my 5k time in the low-20 minute range. I'm thinking this winter I may also take up snow-shoeing, provided that the time allows me to do it. It has always seemed like fun to me.

I'm a person who has always kept somewhat strange sleep patterns, getting up absurdly early anyway. I'm hoping I can roll that into being useful for 2 am feedings, getting in my workouts before work when my wife wakes up. That will also allow me to cover evenings so she can rest and recover, or so that my mother-in-law, who will be helping us out can get some time to herself, too.

With regards to fatherhood, I am really scared by how delicate newborns are. I'm not a delicate person. Hell, I'm kind of a klutz. I know that I'll be much, much more careful when the time comes to handle the child (they call them 'kid gloves' for a reason, right?) but the unpredictability of it worries me.

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