The first day alone with Emma was one that I will not forget. Up until that time she was doing just fine with Momma being home. She took her naps every 2-3 hours and pretty much just ate and slept. She was a happy baby and would always be smiling and laughing.
I think that I was lulled into a false sense of comfort during this time.
Little did I know that the Mommy-Daughter bond would be so strong…
I think it had lots to do with the fact that she was breastfeeding. Not only was this for her nutritional needs but it was just as important for her emotional needs. Daddy just isn’t equipped for this.
I remember thinking that Melissa going back to work would be a challenge that I knew I could handle…I did have 4 neices and a nephew! Well, I experienced a shocking and exhausting eye opener that I am sure most stay-at-home Dads experience….
So, potential Stay at Home Dads take heed of this…..
The first day started out like any other day. I woke up early and said goodbye to Melissa who was off to work. Emma was still sleeping and all was calm. I had my coffee and cereal and remember thinking to myself, “This is not that bad.” I could stay home, relax and watch TV. Don’t have to deal with psychopath police chiefs or drunk vagrants. I was indeed the King of the Castle. I even thought of what movie I would watch later. Then Emma woke up.
She woke up in her cute baby way. She smiled at me and made all the baby sounds and movements that stay in your memory forever. I changed her diaper and brought her downstairs in expectation of an easy day that I could be proud to have handled….That is, until she got tired again.
Now, we had fun for a couple hours before she got tired. We played in her bouncy chair while she smiled at the bee and the bear that are attached to each side. She loved watching the mirrored musical mobile spinning above her while I bounced her chair. We also played on her soft play mat that has numerous soft toys hanging over her.
When it came down to her getting tired and hungry the fun really began. For one thing, she was breast fed by Melissa. This first day alone with Daddy would not be the day when she would gladly accept the Baba. And the positioning of her on Daddy would not be the same as it is when she is eating from her Momma. These are important factors in the problems I had on this day.
Emma did not want the bottle for the reason that it was not as comforting as the closeness she felt when she was with Melissa. She drank from it but would not go to sleep for anything. She cried and fussed and cried and fussed. If she could talk she would have been calling for her Mama…. I had to hold her as if she was going to feed from my chest. This would help in the short term but then made her frustrated when she pushed her face into me looking for the magic comforter….
All the rocking, soft music, rubbing of her head, etc… did not get her to sleep. I had to sit on the edge of the couch, push my feet up on my toes and vibrate my legs while rocking my upper body from side to side to get her to sleep. This gets very tiring after awhile and when I would stop she would start crying again. Doing this for hours was very stressful and made me think that I was in a world of trouble from here on out.
The biggest relief that I had felt in ages was when I heard the garage door opening. It was unlike any relief that I had ever felt. Who would have thought that a little baby could have this type of control?
Of course as soon as Melissa picked her up to feed her Emma was as content as a little angel. I was just not good enough. I remember thinking that I had better get a high paying job very quickly in order to save myself from this kind of torture…
It was unlike anything I had expected.