Jul 13, 2009

Dissecting Daddy: After the First Month

Here it is, a little late, but nonetheless, completed - gave us something to do on our extra long road trip. I say "extra" because it should have been a 2hr drive to Moncton but it ended up a 3.5 hr as we got 30mins out and I realized that I had forgotten Dan's suit and our dresses! OMG, I've lost it! :p Oh, BTW, also forgot that we had a dog so we ended up having to take Molly with us to the hotel... one word, hell.

Jen: First month down, what has been different than what you expected about being a Dad, our relationship, basically anything?
Dan: I thought it would be harder. Not that it is easy, but I thought there would be a steeper learning curve for us both. We're adapting really quickly. Jane has pretty much been as I expected as far as her behaviour (crying, feeding, sleeping, etc.), actually a little easier than I expected.
Jen: Knock on wood. :p Anything different about our relationship?
Dan: I'm surprised that I'm more attracted to you than ever... not that I expected to be less attracted to you but I didn't expect such an increase.
Jen: Why do you think that is?
Dan: Cause you gave me our little girl. It's a different chemistry and bond now than it was before.
Jen: Yeah, I agree. But I've been really bad at accepting your compliments and ever growing "affection", ha ha ha. (He can't keep his hands off me and I love it and hate it!).
Dan: I like that you're a little vulnerable right now... I don't like that you're feeling insecure but it makes me feel needed that you aren't your regular confident self. That you need me to give you more security about yourself right now.

Jen: What (if anything ha ha ha) has annoyed or angered you about me in the last month?
Dan: I didn't like that you expected me to conform to your style.
Jen: Do you have an example?
Dan: Like when Jane is in her swing and starts fussing. You would immediately jump up and pick her up or get her soother. I'll leave her be for a few seconds to see if she calms herself down, which she often does. You sometimes get upset with me for this because it's not the way you would do it.
Jen: Yeah, I'm learning now that you're right about that most of the time... she often fusses for a second and then goes right back to sleep. It just breaks my heart to hear her cry so I often run to her side before she gets a chance to go back to sleep. You got frustrated with me in the 3rd week because you said I was doing great as a Mom but not so good as a wife, explain...
Dan: You were doing everything perfectly with Jane but you were struggling a little with being a Mom and getting everything else done. You wouldn't put Jane down, even for a second and (as a result) couldn't get anything else done, even though you had the time. I also felt a little neglected, not that I need a lot of attention but just a little affection here and there would have been nice.
Jen: Yeah, I'm actually enjoying the fact that I can cook supper again (I love to cook) and do some cleaning/errands around the house. I'm working on giving you a little somethin' somethin', I've always sucked at the "spur of the moment" affection.
* I want to point out that he had a hard time finding something to answer here, which both shocked me and made me happy :)

Jen: What has surprised you most about me as a new Mom?
Dan: You have a lot of patience... a heck of a lot more with Jane that you ever have with me!
Jen: That's because her brain is 27 years younger than yours!

Jen: What advice do you have for other Dads for the first month?
Dan: Take as much time as you can with your baby because you get so little in the first month. Jane needs her Mom so much right now that if I didn't snuggle with her every chance I got, I'd never see her! You need to show your baby lots of affection, even if it seems it's not having an impact or that baby doesn't notice... I don't get much of a response from Jane at this point.
Jen: She's just starting to smile at me now. I'm sure you'll make her smile soon! What else?
Dan: Tell your wife she looks skinny, A LOT! No, seriously, make sure she knows you are still attracted to her - this is really important.
Jen: What about helping out?
Dan: Do more. Because I can't do a lot of the things to take care of Jane, I feel like taking care of the cleaning and doing some cooking helps me take care of her indirectly because it gives you the time to take care of her.
Jen: That it?
Dan: Oh, DON'T complain about being tired when you're sleeping in the guestroom and unaffected by baby's sleeping habits! ha ha ha.
Jen: Idiot. I want to add something here that you and I talked about last week and you've definitely gotten better at (I think you just weren't aware)... consistently letting your wife know that she's doing a great job and she's a great Mom. I think we're all feeling a little insecure about everything, including our abilities as a Mom. Make sure your wife knows that you notice how much she does and how great she is doing.

Jen: Any worries after the first month?
Dan: I'm worried about making time for each other. Generally we don't get much quality time together lately but I know that it's best for Jane that you stick to a schedule like you do - with bathtime and bedtime and stuff. I'm also worried that your brain will never repair itself! It's like your mommy brain is increasing at an alarming rate! ha ha ha.
Jen: I don't disagree (see first paragraph of post re: forgetting clothes and dog). :p

Jen: Anything else?
Dan: I wish we were wealthy and could give Jane everything she wants.
Jen: But all she wants now is love and boob!
Dan: I know, I just want to be the ultimate provider.
Jen: I'd say that's a typical Daddy concern. But Jane is pretty spoiled rotten and, like I said, no child is more loved!

We will check back with Super-Dad-Dan in a month and what else he has for us... You are the best hunny and I love you for everything you've done this month! I always knew you'd be a great Dad but you are a better husband than I could have ever expected... xoxoxo.

Jen :)

PS - New pics in the slideshow (on the right) from our road trip... Jane looked adorable in her dress from her Auntie Karalynn!

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cstillwagoner said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I am a new mom from Texas of a 2 month old boy. The title of your blog interested me because all too often I use the "mommy brain" excuse. Well, my husband might think its an excuse. I don't. I love your interviews with your husband and may steal your idea for my own blog...

Lift Like A Mom said...

This was actually really helpful for me!! I'm due next month and it gives me some insight I guess as to what is going to happen and what may be going on in their heads. Great post!!