Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Dad Brain

As much as I like to believe that motherhood comes completely naturally to me, I had a substantial head start. I was a big sister at the age of 7, babysat through high school and college, and went on to teaching. I've spent the better part of my life around tiny humans. And while nothing can prepare you for pushing out your baby and then caring for your baby, I had already changed thousands of diapers and sat with my mom as she breastfed my brothers. I'd been warming up in the minors and was totally ready when I got called up.

Tim, on the other hand, was a rookie. Never really held many babies, attended a cloth diapering class but had never changed one himself. He would watch kids on the playground from a distance but would lose interest quickly. But as my belly grew, he did lock in more, started noticing family dynamics, and even engaged with a few kids in public. He was making an effort, loosening up.

So, imagine this: one of the few times Tim had ever held a newborn was when he caught his son. Incredible.

While I was busy taking what I knew to another level, Tim was running laps around me. 6 months ago he'd never changed a diaper. Now he can pretty much do it with his eyes closed. 6 months ago he'd never soothed a crying baby. Now he doesn't even waiver. 6 months ago he didn't know what 'tummy time' was. Now he is fluent in parent-speak.

I've read about what the 'mom brain' does, how it rearranges knowledge in order to make room for a new set of priorities. But what about the dad brain? I'd be willing to bet that Tim's synapses have been firing far faster than mine.


I stood in Target yesterday looking through Father's Day cards. Between Papa, Grandpas, and Great-Grandpas, I bought 8 - yes, 8 - cards. Finding that many cards that aren't sickeningly sweet or lovey dovey or gross is exhausting. I managed to get just about all I needed but when I started picking up the cards for 'husbands', I started crying out of nowhere. I don't particularly care for mushy cards with lots of words, but I stood there, with Eddy in a sling, reading them all, and trying to keep the tears from spilling over. Every one referenced watching your husband be a dad. Gah. I am a sucker.

Father's Day is days away. I can't wait. I've got a few tricks in my diaper bag.

Until then, I'll be preparing mentally so that I can keep my emotions in check. That's a tall order.





1 comment:

  1. Such a beautiful tribute to your hubby. Our experience in parenthood has been similar, with me being a "pro," and hubby never having even held a baby before I was pregnant. It is such an amazing thing to have been witness to him becoming a father. And, yeah, the Husband cards for Father's Day totally make me a sap, too.

    (Visiting from the SITS Sharefest)

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