The Do’s and Do Not’s of Dadding

25 Sep

As a 9 month veteran of the stay at home dad business I have convinced myself and the old lady who thinks Max is a girl, that I am quite the expert. Join me if you will as I reveal some of the Do’s and Do Not’s of Dadding.

Sleeping

Do: Be a supportive partner, do your fair share of the night shift and treat your partner to plenty of lie ins. Sooth your baby back to sleep with some gentle rocking and a lullaby

Do Not: Pretend to be asleep when the baby is stirring, the fake snore is over-acting and will blow your cover every time. Never become embroiled in a late night debate/argument with your partner about whose turn it is, you may lose more than the argument #case of Bobbit vs Bobbit. Do not show a total lack of will power, renege on an agreed parental policy and return triumphantly with an insomniac baby holding an invite to the sanctuary of your bed.

Eating

Do: Expose your child to a rich and varied diet. Encourage them to try new flavours, to finish their meal and to eat with their spoon.

Do Not: Expose your child to a rich and varied range of fish fingers, yes they are quick, yes he likes them and yes his pooh will develop a fishy odour. Do not leave your child unattended in his high chair, unless of course it’s to take a very amusing picture of the ensuing mess.

Day Trips

Do: Mix your routine up a bit, one special day trip a week keeps both you and your child engaged. Remember that your role is not only looking after your child, you also need to carry out the more practical aspects of staying at home by ensuring things are ship shake for your partners return.

Do Not: Base yourself at the park, the same park, day in day out, park, park, park, nothing but park, parky, parky, park, park – you will go insane. If you do decide to go on a day trip make sure you check the opening times, bring water and food, this way you will avoid spending 40 minutes in a car park with a malnourished, dehydrated child that was expecting to be getting his Einstein on at Scienceworks, for example.

Socialise With Other Parents

Do: Share your experiences of parenting with others who can relate. Stay socially active, happy Dad = happy child.

Do Not: Become a social recluse, shunning the offer of adult company in favour of staying in to compile your Top 10 Favourite Max Moments, boring Dad = bored child.

Toilet Training

Do: Allow your child to guide you, look for them to show increased awareness and a desire to have a go.

Do Not: Try to enlighten your child (who has just learnt to walk) in the delights of using a toilet, there is a very good chance he will walk into the line of fire and you are helpless to stop him……………yes I peed on my son.

Playing

Do: Stimulate your baby’s playful side with a range of environments, toys, music and company. Allow them the opportunity to discover things for themselves and don’t stifle them.

Do Not: Stimulate your own playful side at the park, know your limitations – jumping off a rapidly accelerating swing and landing head first in tan bark will not endear you to your parent peers.  Do not take the puzzle from your baby and marvel at your own brilliance in slotting the circle through the circular hole, just don’t do it!

Child Safety

Do: Devise a strategy to ensure that your house is a safe environment for your child to enjoy and explore.

Do Not: Revel in the brilliance of your dad joke that “it’s too late to child proof the house as one of the little blighters had already got in” whilst leaving meat cleavers lying around at baby height……..yes I did that too.

Bonding with Your Child

Do: Give your child your undivided attention, smother them in love and smiles

Do Not: Give your blog your undivided attention, smothering it with love and smiles.

Transporting Your Child

Do: Ensure that your child is safe, warm and comfortable in whatever means of transport you use, pram, car seat, rucksack, bike carrier, etc

Do Not: Ensure that your child has the sympathy of your local community by transporting him in a shopping bag.

Accept Your New Role

Do: Accept that your life will never be the same again, the sooner you embrace your new role the quicker you will realise that it’s probably the best job in the world.

Do Not: Convince yourself that a night out with the boys is a civilised evening of sparkling conversation, fine dining and camaraderie – you will in fact remember it is a thoroughly uncivilised evening of beer, kebab and being pushed home in a shopping trolley.

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6 Responses to “The Do’s and Do Not’s of Dadding”

  1. Bree @ Twinkle in the Eye October 4, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Well if it isn’t my partner in crime on the Parenting and Birth parenting panel, flashing his wares at Flash Blog Friday! Lovely to have you and all of the advice above – very good 🙂 You are right about the fish fingers and the fake snoring – totally Bobbit worthy. I need more than one outing a week though. I have two words for you: *retail therapy*. Hope to see you flashing your wares again soon. Cheers Bree.

    • daddownunder October 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

      Hey Bree, I was wondering if our blogging paths would cross. That was a lovely article by us if I do say so, go us, we sounded like pros. Retail therapy doesn’t do it for me but my wife is a natural. My wares are being flashed for all their worth at the moment, I’m hooked! See you around Bree

  2. Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions October 12, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    I love this, very good advice! Thankfully Dave is very good at sharing the night duties when he is not on night shift for work. Those night shift weeks are tough on my own, especially when those bitch teeth are introducing themselves to Mia’s mouth, but he more than makes up for it by getting up often, an more than I do when he is on an arvo sift rotation. Literally LOL’d at peeing on your son. Nice on, bet you’re wife was impressed!

    • daddownunder October 12, 2012 at 6:02 am #

      Sounds like you’ve got a keeper in Dave!

  3. richard Taylor October 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    So nice and perfect that it seems improbable that anything could ever go wrong. You do have a great attitude and that my friends will move you in the right direction, but be prepared for the inevitable ups and downs of daddyhood, along with those precarious shifts of mood from your better half chomping at the proverbial bit to mother, showing signs of regret and even some hostility perhaps at the joint decision to switch roles.

    this is not an easy undertaking, be proactive and prepared it will get bumpy. At the same time your level of joy will create a bubble of bliss that you must share with your wife so she can experience all that she has given up for the two of you….

    my best wishes.

    richard

    • daddownunder October 19, 2012 at 8:08 am #

      Thanks for the good advice Richard, you sound like a veteran of this game

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