Have Coffee, Will Parent

It is remarkable how busy the life of a full-time parent can be.

These last few weeks have been full. That may seem like an odd way to phrase it, but it’s the most appropriate word I can think of. The days are just full of things to do.

There are things like shopping and housework, looking after our newborn daughter, or ensuring our son remains active and engaged enough for a developing toddler of his age.

(This is what happens when you turn your back to a toddler) 😛

Some evenings I find I’m simply too tired to shower and shave.

And yet I’m absolutely delighted to be able to do this for my family… to be a father whenever they need me, not just on the evenings and weekends. To be free from the pressure and time constraints of work. To be able to even visit the dentist without worrying about recovering my work targets.

And as for the times I feel drained… well that’s what the coffee is for 🙂

The mornings and evenings are usually the busiest, but my brain has a tendency to view it as a checklist to be taken care of efficiently and hastily. It’s almost like my body is at home and my brain is still at the office.

When I come downstairs each morning to make a hot drink, my brain instantly goes into ‘work mode’ with a list of things to do. Put away everything that was drying on the dish rack overnight… then put away any additional items on the drying mat. Remove baby bottles from the sterilising tub and place those on the drying rack, then drain away the steriliser tub and replenish it with a fresh solution. Empty the dishwasher and re-stack it with the newest baby bottles used overnight. Check the laundry to see if it’s dry etc etc.

This is all in addition to making breakfast and appeasing the quickfire thoughts and requests of my two-year old son, who sometimes wants three different things for breakfast in addition to having toys and/or video to occupy his attention.

Sometimes, two hours can go by before I even have a sip of tea or coffee and I just think to myself “How…? How did THAT much time get away from me?”

The Evening Routine (yes it requires capital letters) can also be challenging. Getting an energetic toddler used to a routine varies from easy to remarkably difficult. I also take the ‘first shift’ looking after my newborn daughter so my wife can get a few hours of solid sleep (or at least rest). This shift approach worked really well for our son when he was a newborn, as my wife tends to get her deepest sleep before midnight and I tend to get mine after.

So all in all… it has been a busy but happy time. I’ve started looking for a full-time job as I’m ready to return to work, but until I find something I’m going to enjoy this precious time I have at home.

I just wish I could turn off the ‘work stress’ in my brain that tells me “These things need to get done!” It really is wonderful to have such an opportunity to be with my family like this. I have to remember that 🙂

Thanks for reading, folks!

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