Things I Won’t Miss About Being a Stay at Home Dad to Babies

Now that his kids are a little bit older, Jeff Bogle can say it:  there are things he won’t miss about having babies.

It isn’t sweaty 2nd-anniversary sex, broken condoms, or failing to pull out in time. It’s iPhoto, it’s the hundreds upon hundreds of goddamn Kodak moments in folders with names like “Jimmy’s 1st Birthday Party” and “Olivia At Disneyworld – 2008″. That is where babies come from.

We parents are suckers. We reminisce, we look into each other’s eyes with nothing but a candle flame and a shared plate of bruschetta between us, we hold hands and indulge in conversations scrubbed by revisionist historians. We remember only the gummy first smiles, viral video chuckles, indistinguishable first words, early morning weekend snuggles, and heavy, helpless, thoroughly unconditional love.  Then we close the door tight, quietly turn the brushed brass lock from vertical to horizontal, and proceed to muss the bed.  Less than a year later, we’re forced to remember-through-reliving the tar-black shit, 2AM feedings on the morning of an important meeting, and the non-stop crying.

Suckers. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

We’re done at two. I will not be greedy or push our luck. We’ve got our lot and we are very happy.

Here’s what I won’t miss about being a dad to children younger than mine are right now, in no particular order:

  • The kids eating everything, solid or squishy, that comes out of their noses.
  • Back pain putting them down in their cribs.
  • Back pain giving them baths.
  • Back pain getting them out of the rear-facing car seats.
  • Rear-facing car seats.
  • Buying disposable diapers.
  • Washing the cloth diapers we used for the Bear.
  • Caillou.
  • Cutting monthly checks to a daycare center.
  • That daycare center smell.
  • Everyone who works at, or shops in, Babies-R-Us.
  • Crying without the ability to talk it out.
  • Strollers.
  • Stoller parking lots.
  • Living my life in the same sphere as parents pushing around those obnoxious Cadillac Escalade-style strollers.
  • Strangers attempting to touch, hold, talk to, or look at my babies. Especially those scary Japanese ladies outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris that nearly had me spending time in a French prison.
  • Making awkward conversation with the strangers attempting to touch, hold, talk to, or look at my babies, while slowing backing away from them.
  • Washing and sterilizing dozens of AVENT bottles and nipples and pieces of breast pump equipment. Every. Single. Night.
  • Sharing my wife’s breasts.

What won’t you miss about the baby days?

 

This was previously published on Out With The Kids.

Read more in Real Fatherhood on The Good Life.

Image credit: navets/Flickr

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About Jeff Bogle

Jeff Bogle is a stay-at-home dad who writes about parenting and All Things Childhood: kindie music, books, toys, gaming, & culture at Out With The Kids. He is married to an adorable redheaded gal and has two lovely little ladies under the age of 10 who provide him with countless hours of humorous in-home entertainment, and who get to do, hear, see and play with more cool stuff than you can possibly imagine. He considers himself one of the luckiest guys in the world, although he needs to be reminded of this fact from time to time. Jeff also blogs for The Good Men Project.

Comments

  1. And when you have grandkids …. It starts all over again. I should also note that non-stay at home dads experience the same things …. It’s just that they get to go through it before and after work.
    Didn’t use day care so “Cutting monthly checks to a daycare center.””That daycare center smell.” didn’t apply to us

    • No doubt working parents experience the same types of things; however, frequency and monotony play an important part in the overall baby submersion experience. A working parent saying that to a stay home parent is kind of like telling the park ride attendant helping thousands of families a day in and out of boats at Disney that you have experienced the ride and understand it’s annoyance, especially that dreadful music (It’s a Small World After All ) That’s when the guy looks at you with crazed eyes and says, “You have no effing idea”.

  2. Great piece. I would add to that, the absolute lack of a moment’s peace and quiet, so you can think clearly and plan your next move. Not to mention doing things like reading the news and going to see movies! People without kids are always amazed at how out-of-touch new parents are with recent movies. It’s just a near impossible task to set up, plan and prepare an evening when your children can get suddenly sick, start teething, or any other if the multitude of reasons you can’t (or shouldn’t) hand them over to a babysitter when they are going to be inconsolable for the entire time. My children turning into toddlers is one of the happiest events of my life.

    • You nailed it, Ed! And lest people think we selfishly want these things — a moment’s peace, a hit movie, the Sunday newspaper — instead, think of all those things as a vital part of keeping yourself alive and interesting and worldly, which will actually help you be a better, more aware parent.

  3. Quick comment … when I scroll the GMP site and I see that picture ….. every time I see it, it makes me smile. Great decision to use it!

  4. Great article, Jeff. I’m right there with you. We lived in a two story house with laundry in the basement. Stairmasters? Please. Who in god’s name would ever intentionally get on a stairmaster?

  5. Haha, sharing the breasts & strangers trying to touch my babies is a huge pet peeve of mine. I’m just like you two is enough and we are not pushing our luck for a third. I will not miss potty training which I’m currently trying to accomplish with number one right now.

    • Oh! Potty Training, how did I leave that off the list? Yes, not being responsible for wiping the ass of another human being is a huge step in a positive direction!

  6. brindafella says:

    I fully agree, Jeff.

    A corollary to your very last dot point ( ■Sharing my wife’s breasts): I did not marry my children. Instead, I married my wife, who also happens to be their mother.

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