I admit I do not read a lot of parenting articles written by men. Actually, I do not read any parenting articles written by men. “Your Official Paternity Leave Survival Guide” by Isaac James Baker is my first, and, I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised.
Not only did I enjoy the blog, it made taking care of an infant sound like a downright party.
Here are the points that stuck out to me the most:
This Guy Gets It
This guy is a gem. Not only is he willing to spend three weeks transitioning his baby from home to daycare, he understands the value of getting his wife adjusted to everyday life.
“My wife grew the baby, delivered the baby, fed the baby and then spent three months caring for the baby,” he writes. “I tried to do my best, but she still took the lion’s share of the burden. So I was happy to be able to spend a few weeks taking charge.”
He had me at “my wife grew the baby.” Too many men don’t understand this. Yes, pregnancy is beautiful. Yes, pregnancy is a miracle. But it is also exhausting and painstaking. A husband who understands the process and is willing to speak out to other men? His wife struck gold.
This Guy Gave Me Some Ideas
Now on my third child, I will admit that I am better at adapting to getting things done while taking care of a baby, but Isaac still gave me some great ideas. I especially love his emphasis on working out, which is far easier than us moms have allowed ourselves to believe. He suggests using an exercise ball, going for walks, and doing push-ups, planks and dips.
I will add my own suggestion of putting baby in a carrier and doing lunges, calf raises, or simply bounding around the house. If you have a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, you can tabulate your calories and feel really great about getting something done for yourself despite taking care of your little one all day.
This Guy Supports Entertainment
One thing that I love about taking care of a newborn is the fact that he or she isn’t old enough to require screening, meaning you can sit down (or stand up, more likely) and watch your favorite TV show (Walking Dead, anyone?) or movie. Isaac also recommends reading your favorite book, though sleep deprivation tends to be a problem for new moms, so I would suggest an audiobook instead.
This Guy Supports Drinking on the Job
This “atta boy” is more for his mindset since not many mothers are going to drink on the job, but I appreciate his suggestion of relaxing with a nice beer or glass of wine after the baby goes to sleep, and doing so with a premium-quality product, no less. Unfortunately, though, that whole lactating thing becomes a problem for mothers who may want to drink in the middle of the day, as does the possibility of self-judgement.
I’m glad he included the obvious disclaimer, though, that “you shouldn’t be getting wasted while caring for a baby,” because his credibility would have gone out the window otherwise.
Read our other articles for more ideas of things to do with your baby: