Diapers and wipes run out, toys and snacks get moved from place to place. It’s important to refill the diaper bag to ensure you have everything you need before you leave the house. Make sure to also include a backup outfit for baby in case of spills.
Lifting things is an absolute certainly in Dad life. Whether you are picking up the car seat, reaching down to grab dropped items or holding baby in one arm, strengthening your back and hips will provide you with critical support for these everyday activities and reduce back pain. If you can’t make the gym, consider resistance bands, dumbbells or doing at home exercises like side planks. Consult a doctor, trainer or medical professional before trying new workout routines.
Story time is almost often the most peaceful time of my week. You sit there with your kid bouncing on your knee while everyone sings wheels on the bus, the itsy bitsy spider, and the librarian reads a few books aloud. It’s a great way to get your child out of the house and it’s for me, it’s oddly relaxing. From my experience, the kids are smiling, fully engaged and the babies rarely seem to cry or fuss. At the conclusion of story time, they usually bring out a box of toys. The good libraries clean and wipe down the baby toys, but I still recommend using a baby wipe to wipe down your child’s hands before and after each session. Keep an eye out for the monthly event calendar as many of the libraries have family programming or story hour sessions during flexible times, including after work.
When the family is preparing to head out and you are scrambling to grab the right toys, put the baby in the car seat/stroller, find the blanket, wipe up the unexpected spit up, it’s easy to lose track of time. In order to arrive at your destination at a reasonable time, plan for an hour of prep time before you leave.
If you find yourself saying “I’m just picking up something off the floor,” or “It’s OK, he doesn’t know how to roll,” or “I have her strapped in the car seat, I’ll just put her over here while I wash my hands”, please keep in mind that babies are constantly learning and making new movements. If you need to put the baby down, make sure it’s safely in a crib, pack & play, or on a low, steady and flat surface.
Top 100 Dad Tips Series
A half-finished job isn’t helpful. Don’t pull out five loads of laundry if you only have time to complete one load from crumpled to closet. Don’t start making food if you leave out all of the plates and have unwashed pans on the counter.
With your attention moving in so many directions, it’s easy to get distracted, but remember this phrase: There is no later. Starting multiple tasks and leaving them unfinished makes you feel increased anxiety and leads to resentment with your partner. Consider completing several small tasks and then waiting until you have a block of time to get other stuff done. Don’t wait for the “later” that will never come. Do it now!
My daughter had just started to crawl and was having a very wiggly and cranky morning. Did I mention that she was also teething? We had just taken a stroll around the neighborhood, and I put her down for her nap. This gave me a chance to make a customer service call that I had been trying to make for a few days. Now, there are two of the things I truly hate in life:
- Customer service calls
- Wasting time
It took me several minutes to reach an operator, and when I did, I was sent back and forth to different departments. About halfway through the call, my daughter woke up from her nap, much earlier than normal, and started crying for my attention. I continued the call as I picked her up and changed her diaper.
When I finally reached a supervisor who was ready to resolve my request, my daughter began to crawl into the kitchen. I ran to catch her, with the phone in my hand. That’s when she used her baby ninja skills to reach up and press the bright red “End Call” button on my phone.
I was ready to scream
I was ready to scream, as I realized that I had lost over 30 minutes without getting my service issue resolved. Looking around my cluttered living and dining rooms, I thought how I would have to be “on” again, with no parenting breaks. I put my daughter back in the crib, let her cry, and called my wife. I told her that I didn’t think I could do “this” anymore.
Thankfully, my wife talked me off the ledge, and the rest of day was fine between my daughter and me. But that singular moment was the only time that I’ve ever regretted my choice of staying at home with the baby. I shared this story with another parent at a public library Story Time session. This wise and experienced parent mentioned a feature on my phone called “Guided Access”.
Guided Access simply means that you can disable the touch feature on your iPhone (there’s a similar feature called “Touch Lock” on android devices). It not only prevents touch from being enabled, but it can also be customized to block out specific portions of the screen, and not others. In other words, this feature could have modified the phone controls and prevented my daughter from ending my customer service call.
I’ve come to realize the importance of having these conversations with other parents and how sharing our experiences and guiding others can save us time, stress and money. I found the solution I was looking for, because a Guy Did Ask.
Here is a link to my YouTube walk through about how to prevent your child from ending your calls by using this feature. And here is an article with overview of how to enable Guided Access.
Let’s keep the conversation going.