Thursday, July 31, 2014

Everything Will Be Different?

One of the things that I have heard again and again is that everything will be different now that I have a daughter. The long version is something like "You won't be able to do what you like to do, you won't be able to sleep, you won't get to eat well, you will not get good time with your wife. Oh, and it's worth it or something for some reason."

The great advantage of having a first child at an older age such as mine is that I have done more. When one has a child at 22, they still have all manner of things they wish to do in life. Perhaps education is still in progress. They are trying to develop a career. They want to hang out with friends and go out.
People claim to read the Koalid Blog for the articles, but I
know that in reality, they do it for the pictures of babes.

At 34, I've been there and done that. My degree is well and completed. I've owned a business. I've done many things to be proud of and plenty of things not to be proud of. When the Koalid was announced, I realized that I had already done most of the things I really wanted to do. Having a child was the next great adventure. It wasn't a distraction from what I wanted to do. It was what I wanted to do.

In December, I parted ways with the Volkswagen dealership I was working for, and after a brief stint in January with another company, I realized that any job I might be qualified for would be the kind of job with long, night and weekend hours. If the Koalid was truly to be my priority, then I could not be working nights and weekends. I considered my resources and decided to make a go at building my own business that I could work from home so I could take care of the baby and work at the same time.

I've been working from home since February, so, in some ways, the transition was not dramatic except for the fact that rather than being at home alone most of the time, I am now home with my daughter and recovering wife. Indeed, for the past few days, I have gotten a lot less done than before the Koalid was here, but, since the business exists to accommodate the Koalid, one cannot really be upset about that.

Those yellow trucks in the background are tree trimmers with
chainsaws. LOUD chainsaws. In the foreground, is the
Koalid blissfully sleeping next to the chainsaws.

I have enjoyed life more since we have come home from the Hospital than the previous few months. This is not because of some vague fatherly euphoria. (As I mentioned in my last post, I don't really have that sense of fatherly awe.) It is because these last few days have just been nice. The baby has given me a focus for my activity and attention. Far from having less time with Amy, she has been much more attentive, and the time we have spent together these last few days has been wonderful. We are really bonding as a family in a way that was very difficult while she was still pregnant, grumpy, exhausted, working and uncomfortable all the time.

We have had time to sit on the couch, she and I and the baby often sleep on one of us. We have talked. We have worked side by side, teaming up and watching out for each other. Both Amy and I are making sure that the other is sleeping and eating enough, as much as possible. I'm keeping an eye on her to make sure that she doesn't overexert herself as she recovers from her C-section, and she wants to make sure that I am adjusting well to my new daddy role.

As for social life? I haven't gone out much in quite a while. Much of that changed when I moved to Connecticut. I am, however, a very social person. Thanks to the Koalid, everyone wants to hear about her, see pictures of her, talk about her. As someone who loves to talk to people, I'm more than happy to field that attention.

Are things dramatically different than they were two weeks ago? Yes and no, but all the differences are better.

Besides, I was ready for this. I practiced with cats.

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