The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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For the first two years that new father Greg Barbera stayed home to care for his son while his wife returned to her job, he didn’t refer to himself as a stay-at-home dad (SAHD). He wasn’t ashamed—Barbera knew that his was an important, challenging and rewarding opportunity. But the arrangement didn’t sit as well with a lot of people the Durham, N.C.-based journalist encountered, so it simply became easier for Barbera to say, “I’m staying home right now and freelancing while I look for another job.”
The playing field might be a hut or a hospital. Training is encouraged but won’t guarantee better performance. The rules change fast. It’s usually a marathon, and you have to go the distance even if you’re exhausted. Childbirth is the ultimate team sport. Let’s go through the lineup so everyone is clear about his or her position.
Baby = captain First-round draft pick, quarterback, shortstop, point guard and trophy all rolled into one. Babies aren’t team players: They call the shots, appear only at the finish line and cry whether they win or lose.
Our little family becomes a lot bigger on vacation: at the Jersey Shore this week, there are up to 15 adults and six kids in the house at times. It’s always the most intense in the afternoons when everyone’s up from their naps and done with the day’s activities. The grown-ups are all interested in sitting on the patio with a cold drink and a salty snack watching the waves. The kids are all…over the place.
When you hear the word, “parent,” who do you think of first, Mom or Dad? I’ll bet you thought of Mom. That’s natural. It’s how we’re culturally programmed to think about parenting - as a girl thing. Take a look at any magazine rack’s parenting and pregnancy section and it’s almost all about Moms. Fathers get a page or two but Mom is the cover girl.
The Mutsy 4Rider Light, demonstrates that sometimes, with good engineering, less is more. This buggy stands out from the crowd of high-end strollers like a Porsche Cayenne in a sea of Honda Odysseys.
Mother’s day is this weekend and for many of you, it’s your first. Sweet. You’re in for oodles of homemade cards and crafts, sticky breakfasts in bed, brunches, pedicures and presents, presents, presents. That is, if your husband/partner does his job right.
I’ve received quite a few emails lately from parents wondering about bonding. Readers want to know: is bonding a specific thing, moment or process? If you don’t do it immediately after birth, do you lose your chance? Does everybody bond or only women who breastfeed? What if you have a c-section? What if you don’t feel it when it happens? Can you fake it?
We’re both working full-time. Leo is in preschool full-time. This week, I’d like to deliver a state of our family address. By which I mean, this week, I wanted to throttle my husband and call in sick.
“You have been away, our childcare fell apart, I had a weeklong-stomach bug, Leo developed the habit of trying to piss me off and you were anxious and distracted whenever you were around,” I’ll point out pleasantly.
Overheard at a barbecue:
Dad # 1: "I changed 14 diapers today. I've got a diaper callus."
Dad #2: "Dude, that's nothing. I've got three kids under three – that's 20 diapers and three Pull-ups on a good day."
Dad#3: "Add one toddler with diarrhea and a teething six-month-old and welcome to my world."
Dad #4: "Are you guys joking? Please tell me you're joking. My wife's due with our first next month."
Dads 1,2 & 3, in unison: "Duuude!"
I haven’t always been a fan of Hallmark holidays, for all the usual reasons (they seem forced, and mostly inspired by capitalism). But this Father’s Day cannot pass without fanfare. Aaron has worked so hard this past year, and loved me and Leo so steadfastly, and grown so much as a Dad and husband, that the only regret I have about celebrating Father’s Day is that I should need a reminder to shower my husband with appreciation. But I do. I definitely do.