My (very) good lady gave me the time last night to go meet up with my friends in Clapham – something that obviously doesn’t happen as much as it used to, but I’m lucky enjoy that she wants to make sure I don’t cut ties with people who are important to me, and perform an incredibly useful grounding function. For anyone who is going to become a parent (because this applies to Mum and Dad), I think it is vital to maintain some sense of connection to who you previously were. As at least part of this will feed into who your baby becomes.
As I was sat there, having arrived slightly early, I was reflecting on a couple of things. Mundanely, that I hadn’t blogged yet this week – mostly because so far this has been a “standard” week of Dads Club, Gymboree and yoga so far, so nothing interesting to report.
And more meaningfully actually how nice it is to just sit somewhere quietly on my own. It was only the train journey and about 5 minutes in the pub before my mates started arriving (The Merchant on Battersea Rise, ok recent refurbishment, giant yet relatively discreet TV screen, good if limited ale selection), but actually something that it is very hard to get when on APL. Because you’re either spending time with Junior, or in the short period when he’s asleep we’re trying to spend time together as a couple.
And both those things are really important, and you never get enough of the latter – but sometimes so is a bit of down time from it all. Recently I’ve been really enjoying train journeys to rugby matches on a Saturday, because it is exactly that, enforced down time when you can’t do very much. (Although I live in Wimbledon I play rugby in SE London/Kent, so some of the train journeys are quite long…)
Added to this is the fact Junior fits into the characterisation by “What to Expect” of an Active Baby, something we identified at about 2 weeks and is still revealing its full meaning. Unusually Junior is very tired and is right now completely sparked out on the bed beside me – allowing me free hands to write this – more usually he is almost constantly in motion when awake, and prefers sleeping on or next to us. Which is cute and lovely and completely understandable (who wouldn’t prefer to spend as much time as possible cuddled up to mum and dad?) but means managing yourself can be quite challenging…this being what I’m learning from my time at home – Mum did much better at getting other stuff than childcare done!
In summary then, my tip of the day – and as the best bit of advice I received before Junior was “don’t listen to any of the advice” a bit of a hypocritical one – is remember to factor some “Just Dad Time” into life. You don’t need as much as you used to have, as cuddles frankly are better, but a small amount just occasionally is important.