Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day at Home Dad

Hard to believe, but in the six months Cam has been on the scene I've never once had to look after him for a whole day on my own.

There was the day when Mrs L went to a friend's wedding, and we decided we didn't want to inflict our noise-mongering son on a congregation of nearly five hundred Hindu wedding guests. But that turned out to be just a half day in the end. Also it was entirely uneventful, so not really worth mentioning.

No, I've been spared the arduous early days of colic-y screaming, the endless hours stranded at home with no company other than Cameron and the inane warblings of daytime television. I've had mixed feelings about it, I'll admit that. Sometimes (when Cam has been sleeping well, and until a reasonable hour) I've bemoaned the early morning hauling of arse from beneath our toasty duvet. The daily routine of traipsing to the office and enduring yet another 450 minutes of work which I have very little love for seemed like a cruel alternative to spending time with my beautiful new son.

Other times, it seemed like going to work was just the break I needed, and I felt bad that Mrs L didn't have the same option.

We're just starting to get into the fine detail of how we'll be arranging childcare and work once Mrs L returns to work in January. We can't afford for either of us to be a full time stay at home parent. Short of a lottery win it just isn't feasible. We're lucky to have one set of Cam's grandparents within walking distance and willing to take him for a couple of days a week. We've booked him into a local nursery for one day a week. The rest of the cover will (hopefully, because neither of us have actually had it formally agreed by our employers yet) be done by us both going from a five day week to a four day one.

All of which massive preamble leads me to last Thursday: Mrs L's first "Keeping in Touch" day. Which is a grand way of saying "going to work even though you're still on maternity leave" day.

Finally, I would have a taste of the SAHD life!

Which was great, although I'd have preferred it not to start at 3:30am with a scream of teething related pain. Bah.

No matter, we got up properly at about half seven and commenced with all the stuff which goes on in the world of a six month old being looked after by a parent: throwing lumps of spittle infused pear around the living room instead of eating them, being decidedly disinterested in a bottle of milk, vomiting on various textiles around the house. You know. The usual.

Then he had a nap. I had a shower. I felt a little tired from the early start, but this was going well. I'd managed to fit in my own breakfast. I was clean and dressed. I had prepped his next lot of bottles. I was ON FIRE. I was kicking parenting arse. I was winning.

So I decided to go and do a Tesco shop.

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. We did the shopping. I realised about half way round that getting back in time for his next bottle was going to be pushing it. So I rushed. He had a bottle as soon as we got home.

The shopping stayed in the boot of the car for the duration of the feed, plus its immediate, sicky, shouty aftermath. Some of the food which should have been refrigerated looked a little bit, erm, limp.

Some other stuff happened. I forget. I think probably at least a little bit of my brain had fallen out of my ear by this point in the day. I was certainly having to think pretty hard to accomplish even simple tasks. But I thought I was coping okay.

We took a trip into Bristol to meet up with @jbmumofone. Cam got a bit stroppy after a while. I wasn't sure why. We got in the car and headed home. He napped. I felt pretty good. Mrs L would soon be home and I could tell her all about the day's events.

Which I did. Which is when I discovered that I'd forgotten to give him one of the four bottles he's meant to have in a day. Whoops.

Please, dad, stop taking shit photos. I could do with some food.
So, here's my top tip for anyone having a stab at staying at home with their baby for the first time: don't forget to give the baby 25% of its sustenance for the day, or you'll feel like a bit of a twat, even if you did manage to do everything else right.


  1. I think I have forgotten how many Whoopsies I have made will looking after the wee man!

  2. Awww poor babies (both of you) and well done you both survived xx

  3. ha ha that really made me laugh :)

  4. Haha! It gets better with practice. Why should the mums have all the fun?

  5. This post made me smile, it's quite interesting to hearing what a dad thinks about being left with baby. I'm trying to build my husband up to this but I think he's a little nervous at the minute.
    I'm now following :)

  6. Excellent, really made me chuckle. It's nice to get a dad's perspective as it will always be different.

    Pretty sure my ex never ever did a whole day of parenting of a young baby (or even not so young baby!)

  7. Well it was lovely to see you both and I thought you appeared to be doing a grand job of it mister!

  8. Ah, one day isn't enough for you to get into the swing of things, you did fine :) You just need to master "self feeding of bottles whilst in shopping trolly" and you'll be sorted :)