Paternity leave is the greatest idea the human race has ever had
If my hazy concepts of “day” and “night” are still reliable, then we’re about to spend our third night in the hospital. Kate and the little one are recuperating nicely, and chances are good we’re heading home tomorrow.
I’ve taken a few weeks off, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m glad in a way that this happened on a weekend, because on weekends there’s less of a schedule to shatter with constant baby needs and intermittent pockets of sleep. I know we’ve only been parents for a day and a half, but it starts at full speed, and already I don’t feel confident about my chances of easing back into a regular schedule. I’m certainly glad I’m not supposed to be at my desk at 9:00 AM tomorrow morning.
Mind you, there’s also a certain freedom in that. I like to get a lot done in a day, and as a result I do tend to subject myself to a pretty heavy level of routine. It’ll be nice to shelve any need for a sense of structure in my day, and simply tackle the demands of the moment. We’ll still be busy as hell, but the things we’ll be doing are things we’ll genuinely need to do, instead of just habits we’ve adopted in order to feel productive.
People are already telling us to enjoy every moment, and we certainly hope to try, although I know there are bound to be plenty of moments that won’t be at all enjoyable. Maybe it’s better to simply try and be present in every moment – to focus on what’s happening and do what we need to do, instead of worrying about a bunch of unrelated nonsense.
If I can develop that kind of attitude, then great. If I can take it back to work, or into other aspects of my life, so much the better. If I can be at work when I’m at the office, be a dad when I’m with my daughter, and be relaxed when I’m on my own, I figure I’ll be living a well-rounded life without too much stress or sacrifice.
Easier said than done, I’m sure, and big talk for a guy whose kid was literally born yesterday. But I’m lucky enough to have a few weeks to focus on my family and set all the rest aside. Let’s start there, and see how it goes.
What do you think? If I’ve learned one thing this weekend, it’s that we’re lucky enough to know plenty of parents who are happy to share their advice and experience. What do we need to bear in mind as we take this baby home?
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