Daddy Redux: Awaiting Baby #2
Expecting baby number two can be exciting and daunting all at the same time. Read on to learn how a Chicago dad is getting ready to welcome the newest member of the family!
Becoming a dad means becoming comfortable with change. After all, you go from being a free-spirited newlywed to a frantic, diaper-in-your-back-pocket worrywart in the blink of an eye. Instead of having happy hour at Bar Louie, my wife and I are now regulars at Bubbles Academy and Little Beans Cafe.
And simple tasks like running to the grocery store are no longer simple. Pre-parenthood, my wife and I would grab our hoodies, wallet, and keys in one smooth, continuous motion on our way out the door to grab some grub. Now we have to prepare snacks, pack an extra onesie for that inevitable blowout, time the trip around nap schedules, wrestle with an overcomplicated car seat, and pull a U-turn for that must-have toy we managed to forget at home — and that’s hours before the check-out line is even in view.
How are we possibly going to do this times two?
My wife is now in her fifth month of pregnancy with our second child. And to tell the truth, I’m thrilled! Being the oldest of five, I’ve always dreamed of having a big family of my own. With two babies almost down, we’re nearly halfway there. Having siblings allows kids to grow up with best friends right in the house and teaches them so much more than my wife and I could do alone.
The birth of your first child is surrounded with an almost impenetrable aura of mystery. With the second one, we now know the newborn drill, so we’re feeling confident about the basic mechanics. The baby can’t get to sleep? No worries. We know just the trick. He’s having trouble latching on? We, though more my wife in this case, have got it covered. We’re old pros.
Yet even the experts feel daunted by the prospect of the unknown at times. If our hands are totally full with one child, we can’t help asking ourselves how we’re going to manage two. Needless to say, we want to have as much time as possible to spend with both of our kids, so I’ve already decided to hire a cleaning service to come in twice a week as well as a dry-cleaning delivery service. As I see it, the more hands on deck, the better.
I’ve heard that having a second child is not twice, but ten times as hard, so I’m aware of the challenges that lay in store, if unsure of how they’ll play themselves out while my wife and I coordinate our “zone defense.” I’m sticking to a few basic ground rules, which have stood me well with baby number one and that I think will work for any dad, no matter how many pairs of feet are pitter pattering around him:
- Keep it real: My wife assures me that I am the most monotone storybook reader and tone-deaf lullaby singer alive. Sure, I could work on my voice modulation and singing on key, but my little guy digs his daddy just the way he is. So I’m not stopping.
- Do daddy duty your way: If you feel the urge to throw a diaper in your back pocket and drag your child to the local pub, do it! After all, we need to accept the fact that we will not do things the same way as our wives would. That doesn’t mean our way isn’t the right way, though, so just do your thing, dads.
- Go on man dates: Hey, we all have to have our man time. No one gets what you’re going through like other dads, so ring up your dad friends and schedule a man date every once in a while—as long as it coordinates with nap schedules.
- Designate couple time: Becoming a parent will always involve an element of guilt, but it can’t always be all about the kids. Remember how you got to this point with the lady in your life to begin with. So make time for those date nights, even if that means booking a hotel for the night just to catch up on your ZZZs.
- Go with your gut: We all hate the thought of being judged by other parents, so who cares! Don’t be embarrassed to grab that binky if you need one, even if your son is 18 months old.
Dads, you can take on anything as long as you stay true to yourself and do what you know. In a few months from now, I might even be able to change two pairs of diapers and make a trade on my fantasy baseball team, all at the same time. I am Dad, hear me roar!
About Urba Baby
Urba Baby is a dynamic retail venture that sells out-of-this-world baby products while also acting as a hub where Chicago families can connect, learn, and grow. Urba Baby is committed to making Chicago a supportive neighborhood community for urban parents.
The cutie pic comes from parent24.