Mackenzee and Me
I’m actually not sure if all of you (the 3 people who still read this blog) know that I went on a 3 month long parental leave. I started my leave in April 18th, and it just recently ended. I’m very sad to be away from my little baby girl. However, during this 3 month long process I did accomplish quite a bit. Some business stuff that is still in progress, but mostly a lot of learning.
When I started I tried to do a bit of research on activities to do, its surprising how many tips people had on Maternity Leaves but not much for Parental or Paternity Leaves. I just wanted to write and reflect on what I’ve learned during this (very short) time off. Hopefully it helps others.
Plans are made to be broken. Yea, for someone who like to schedule things and to-do items in to his calendar this was the first big rude awakening. I’m very InBox Zero and GTD OCD. Mackenzee is a very good sleeper, and takes very scheduled naps but things change and being flexible is key to surviving this time. Make plans around her time, but make sure that you don’t get frustrated when things change without notice. When you’re taking care of baby, you go by their schedule and unfortunately not yours.
Day 5 of Eggos for breakfast? Probably not a good idea. Unfortunately, the creativity stops at the computer for me. Unless I have some sort of cooking show as inspiration or a friend to help out I tend to stick with a few staples and Eggo waffles were easy to prepare; especially when you’re half awake and baby is hungry. Need help cutting it up into bite sized pieces? Use scissors! But do some surfing before hand and get some ideas for some quick meals that you could either prepare the night before or quickly in a half woken state.
Play dates are great. Why? Because baby can interact with other babies. Plus, you get to have an adult conversation and possibly a decent cup of coffee not one that you managed to piece together through used coffee filters.
Community centers and libraries are a great source of activities, but be prepared to be the only man in the pool / room. Mackenzee and I took some swimming lessons. It ran for 6 weeks, twice a week. It was a really nice way to get her used to the water and get me used to being the only man in the swimming pool. All mothers and nannies with their babies.
Learn your nursery rhymes before you go to any of these activities. I learned something about myself. I actually don’t know / don’t remember a lot of nursery rhymes. So when you’re asked to go into the middle of the circle in the pool and do “Red Rover”, you won’t look as scared as I did (actually, it was more like a deer infront of the headlights of a screaming 18 wheeler truck) and blurt out some non-sensical babbling that kinda sounds like what Barney would sing.
And lastly, enjoy it! This time is precious. Realize that not everyone gets to do it, and just be in the moment. Get down on the floor, throw toys around, eat breakfast with them, talk and play with them. Try to just watch them interact with the world and see things from their eyes. It’s actually pretty amazing!