A few months ago I was talking amongst friends. The topic of conversation was how we had all become used to being busy and fallen into a day to day rhythm to get things accomplished. As we talked, a friend told me bluntly “If you think you are busy now, you aint seen nothin’ yet. Wait till that baby comes.” All the fathers in the group shook their head and snickered like I didn’t know what I was in for.
The baby hasn’t arrived just yet but I already know that friend was correct. Over the last couple of weeks I feel as though I’ve been working around the clock. I rise at 4:30am for work and spend all day at the office. While a desk job may not be labor intensive, it is highly stressful with no outlet for frustration aside from a keyboard.
Over the past couple of weeks my routine has been similar. When I arrive home from work, I let Syrus out for a bit and I get changed into work clothes. I spend the next four hours working around the house to prepare for the baby. This lies mainly on demo and construction so that there isn’t any banging and lingering dust when the baby joins us.
After a much needed shower, I make my way to the computer and try to address some of the email that I have neglected throughout the week. Once I’m satisfied, I make a quick pass over Twitter and Facebook before stepping away. Depending on how tired I feel, I consider a cigar while I do a little reading to unwind.
An hour later I’m in bed and sound asleep shortly after my head touches the pillow. When I wake up I feel the pressing stresses of all the tasks that I hadn’t finished the day before. Things like writing Fiction Friday, Writing Adventure Group, or the three book reviews where I have video but no text. Over on Stogie Review I’m scrambling to do last minute reviews because I simply don’t have the three to four hours that I used to devote to them.
I keep telling myself that time is tight because I’m trying to pack in as much renovation as possible, when the baby comes things will ease up a bit. I tell myself that my wife will no longer be pregnant and have more energy to help.
The realization is that finding a spare moment is going to get harder. While my wife will no longer be pregnant, she will spend her maternity leave caring for the baby while I work. I’ll come home to her needing a break and I’ll take over with child care.
I’ve already arranged to take some paternity leave from Stogie Review, so that will ease my nerves a bit. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll find spare moments throughout the day to do other things that I enjoy, such as reading and writing.
In fact, I already told my wife that I refuse to give up reading and that if I must, I will read Epic Fantasy to my child as we hang out. It can’t be any different from the fathers that read the sports section to their child with a soft reassuring voice.
As strange as it may seem to have little free time, I’m looking forward to it. I’ll adapt and find a way to get everything done throughout the week. I suppose this will be a good lesson on learning to be more efficient and productive when a spare moment presents itself.
My apologies if things get a little sporadic around here (I’m sure they already seem that way), but I’ve got a lot on my plate. Just prepare yourself for lots of baby-photos and the quick stories that come with being a first-time father.