While Jeff C. may be known as the office prankster, he’s also in charge of site analytics around here. But a more important project popped up this year – his daughter, Adelyn. Here, he talks about the stress about being a new dad on Valentine’s Day.
I became a Dad for the first time in November. My goodness, it’s hard! For the past three months I’ve learned how exciting, stressful, disruptive, and beautiful a new baby can be to a house – and to a marriage. I’ve learned how it can unite us – and still make us feel like we haven’t talked in days.
So I come to you, Care.com readers, seeking advice. See, my wife of 4 years, is also my very best friend of 14 years. And we have always had a pact of never celebrating Valentine’s Day. She hates the holiday. Feels it’s too commercialized. In the past, we haven’t done anything. But this year, I feel we need something. And I say this, because our dates have been few and far between since our precious and amazing daughter was born. Seriously, when babysitters/family come to help, we seek sleep instead of a nice outing. Or, we run necessary errands. Our last "date night" involved Target, Babies ‘R Us and onesies.
And my wife puts up with so much – mostly from me. While she was in labor, I passed out before the first push. I woke up in time for our daughter Adelyn’s delivery, but we all left the hospital with medical bracelets. I was also covered in poison ivy at our wedding. My wife still has to see me covered in Calamine lotion in all our wedding pictures!
I bring all of this up because I also know that maternity leave is hard. It’s our first baby, and my wife feels a little trapped inside during the coldest of these New England winter days. It’s hard to meet other moms, interact with friends, or get some rest. But I’m the one who gets a ton of compassion after one night, in a sleep-deprived state, I rocked a swaddled bundle of blankets to sleep for over an hour, thinking it was my child, of course! And I get to tell my co-workers that story and feel the new dad sympathy.
But she doesn’t see her co-workers. She doesn’t get a daily affirmation and a daily break. But she does get to see so much more of our daughter, and I know that’s a gift she truly cherishes.
So as I mentioned, we don’t typically celebrate Valentine’s Day, and I think it should be honored this year with a special tribute. Maybe I’ll skip the Thursday celebration which she hates, but get her a massage over the weekend. Tell me what you think: Please "Like" this post if you think that’s a good idea, but post a comment if you have a different suggestion.