Quitting reacting, now thinking about the dad I want to be
The last 17 months of my life has been great, but it’s been a reactionary improvised struggle. Figuring out what this squirming little baby woman wants, dealing with lack of sleep, lack of brain, dealing with not feeling like I was a good enough caretaker on the weekdays she was with me, and generally a feeling that all I wanted to do in life was get one night of sleep where I didn’t wake up an hour before I was ready because Maggie was ready.
It’s taken a while to figure out what the toll is… there’s been weight gain (middle,) muscle loss (lower,) muscle gain (arms,) endurance (cardio) loss, endurance (sleep) enhancements, inability to quick-learn, a dark mood that can find fault with sunshine and kittens, and a lot of thinking time at 2-5am while attempting to get a baby back to sleep.
I’ve had some guilt to iron out with trying to maintain who I am with the person that’s (nearly) always there at 5:50am whether he slept or not to get the baby in the morning, or the tech blogger who really loves playing with gadgets but can’t let the baby see them lest an epic struggle ensue, the husband who now expects the baby to cry at any moment, the friend who at this point dreams of going home and getting to bed rather than going out and hanging with friends.
The lack of sleep and general “I survived” smugness has kept me from being depressed about that, plus I spent a lot of time not doing anything as a kid, but during the last all nighter I got to visit the long dark teatime of the soul and decided I probably ought to spend some time and think about things other than sleeping in, which I’ve decided is a negative end goal (although not a bad one).
Early goals are weight, energy, desire for something other than sleep. Whatever I do I’ve decided has to be accomplished either before Maggie wakes, at work, or at home after she’s down at 7pm. It also has to not make me even more ticked off at the world than I usually am with sleep issues, so probably no dieting (which works for me, but I might injure people.) I also do not feel like abandoning family and friends to accomplish this. As such, some may get to watch me jazzercize.
Trying to not be fat dad as Maggie grows up – don’t want to be the guy on the bench because he’s too tired to stand, and oddly I’m close to that right now with lack of endurance, recent re-aggravation of the back injury. and upper body weight (arm muscles sadly are counterproductive for the lower back).
Trying to be dad who has desires and plans other than to sleep and maybe catch the next Avengers movie or something.
Trying to be the employee who shows up in the same clothes he wore the other day because he wants to, not because due to timing it’s lucky he got his teeth brushed before dropping baby off at daycare and heading to work.
Trying to be the me who enjoys reading (I’ve read like two things in the past two years I think that weren’t baby related or instruction manuals,) stupid kung fu movies, playing video games, hanging with friends.
Think what I’m going to attempt to do is get up absurdly early. Unfortunately that’s going to involve a happy light and a timer and some really generic loud butt rock and caffeine. I doubt ITMama will be down with that.
I ran a 5K a couple of years ago. Well, “ran” may be an overstatement… waddled quickly with a sprint here and there was more the actuality… but I think I’m going to start attempting the couch potato to 5k or something around my block. Maybe take up jazzersize.
Maybe just force myself to wake up and go to bed early so I am not eating absurd caloric additions due to the exhaustion I am fighting.
Or if someone want to sponsor me, lipo and cocaine/speed would probably accomplish much of what I need.
Back to some more theITbaby stuff next week, been a week of nonstop work, or recovering from a baby’s sleepless night.