Our Baby’s Milestones: Terrified of Missing Out

It is Monday morning on August 10, 2015. It is 9:50 am.

My iPhone buzzes on my desk beside me. The buzzing sound that is all too familiar to me now. It is letting me know that someone has sent me a text message.

I unlock my iPhone and as I click into my Messages app, a video pops up on my screen. A video that Renee has sent me of our little Jesse. The video that you can see below.

It’s not the first time I’ve received a video or photo of Jesse from Renee, and I know it won’t be the last. And I will say this… I love getting sneaky little text message or Snapchat updates from Renee showing me what they are getting up to throughout the day. I actually really look forward to it, receiving photos and videos, so I can see our little Jesse while I am at work.

However, after receiving the video of Jesse from Renee on that Monday morning, something really terrified me. And that something has been constantly pulling at the back of my mind ever since receiving that video. Something that I haven’t been able to articulate, but will attempt to with this blog post.

I am absolutely terrified of missing out on important milestones in Jesse’s development and in his overall life.

Let me say this, I know that I’m not the only working dad/parent out there. And I know that I’m not the first, and certainly won’t be the last, to feel like this.

But that doesn’t make it any less real for me.

I was sitting there watching back the video of my first child, my son, my little Jesse smiling away and almost letting out his first giggle. I had a smile on my face from ear to ear and little tears were welling in my eyes at the pure joy I felt watching him smiling and being so happy. But then this wave of fear washed over me.

What if I’m not there for the time he let’s out his first little giggle? What if I’m not there the first time he laughs or to hear his first word? What if I’m not there when he rolls over for the first time? Crawls for first time? Takes his first steps?

Kaine and Jesse

I was terrified and angry and disappointed and sad, at the very real chance that I may not be there to witness some of these milestones. That I may be at work and have to watch his first giggle through the screen of an iPhone. Or that I may be held up on public transport and have to witness the first time he crawls on the screen of our laptop when I get home.

As far as milestones in the life of a baby, some of these might only be small ones. But to me, they’re all important. Jesse’s first giggle to me, is just as important as his first word. And the first time he rolls over is just as important as his first step.

Now I know that work is where I need to be right now. I know that I need to step up into the role of being the provider for our family. And I know that Renee is forever thankful that I have taken on this responsibility, as she has conveyed in her blog post ‘An Open Letter to Dads Returning to Work’.

But at the end of the day, even though I know I won’t entirely miss these milestones (that is the beauty of technology these days), I still can’t seem to shake that distant feeling of disappointment that I may very well not be there to witness some of them first hand. All I can say is that I am extremely thankful that we are in a position that has allowed us to extend Renee’s time away from work so that one of us will be there to witness and capture these amazing moments in Jesse’s life.

It makes me think however, that I feel sorry for all the new parents out there where both mum and dad had to return to work early. As there is a real possibility that they may both miss some of these special times in a baby’s life.

Like I mentioned earlier, I know that I’m not the only working dad/parent out there that has felt like this at one stage during parenthood, and I know I won’t be the last.

But maybe, just maybe… by writing down these thoughts someone, somewhere, might realise that they aren’t alone in feeling like this. Let’s all cherish the time we have with our children, because there will be moments that we will all inevitably miss out on.

First Week of Work Wrap-Up

So I officially made it through my first week back at work after my paternity leave.

Was it tough? Yes and no…

That very first Monday morning was the hardest. Having to get up at 5am for the first time in 7 weeks was hard. Having to leave Renee and Jesse for the day for the first time in 7 weeks was even harder!

But I must admit that it didn’t take me long to get back into the groove of working life.

What made the transition easy is the fact that I work with a great group of people. The team at work made me feel amazing getting back into work life, and it was a real pleasure having everyone come up asking about Jesse and how he is going.

The biggest surprise was that I never really felt tired while I was at work. Toward the end of the week, Thursday and Friday, I was feeling tired earlier in the night. But I seemed to cope fairly well while I was at work. I have to send out a huge thank you to Renee for this fact, as she is the one who gets up during the night to tend to Jesse so that I can get a good nights sleep for work the next day.

It is nearly 12pm on Sunday, and I fell like I am definitely making the most of my days at home by spending as much time as a I can with Renee and Jesse. This is more important than ever now, considering my time with them is somewhat limited during the week.

It makes me wonder how other new dads cope trying to get the best work/life balance they can with a newborn.

If you are a new dad out there, what are your experiences in trying get a good work/life balance with a newborn?

I will say this, one of the biggest things that gets me through my work day is knowing that at the end, I get to see this little guy again!

Work Post

Thoughts On Going Back To Work

So it’s Sunday 12 July, 2015. Tomorrow, I head back to work after having the last 7 weeks off for the birth of our little Jesse Jack Barton.

Oh dear… To say I am a little unprepared for my return to work is probably an understatement.

The past 7 weeks have been absolutely amazing. It’s been nothing but an absolute joy getting to know our little Jesse and getting used to life as a new family of 3. It’s been 7 weeks of getting out of bed when my eyes open… Sitting back and watching Jesse all day everyday… Being able to do what we want as a family during the week…

But come Monday, it’s back to the daily grind.

It’s going to be tough getting back into the routine of heading off to work early and coming home late. It makes me wonder how other new dads out there have handled that transition of being on leave with a new baby to going back to work.

The one thing I am going to miss the most, is being able to spend so much time with Renee and Jesse. Spending time as a new family. Especially because Renee has the rest of the year off. Which also makes my transition a little easier because I know that she will be there for Jesse while she continues her journey of being a new mum.

I will say that heading back to work won’t be too hard (despite the early mornings, as I said before), as the people I work with are great. I’ve built some good relationships with my work colleagues. And I’m not one of these people who hates where I work.

Work

I know that I will have plenty of support and sympathy from my work mates during my first week back. Many of my colleagues have kids, so I know that the first couple of days will be full of catch ups and photo sharing and sifting through emails. I also know that if I fall asleep at my desk, I won’t get in too much trouble. They may even just let me nap.

In all seriousness, I know that I need to go back to work. While I love being at home and spending time with my new family, I know that I now need to take on the responsibility of providing for my family. I need to be the one that works to make sure that Renee can spend as much time at home with our little Jesse as possible.

I know that Renee won’t mind that I am heading off early to work and getting home late. Because in the end, we will be able to spend important time as a family down the track.

Just don’t talk to me when I wake up on Monday morning at 5am!!! Maybe just give me a couple of hours…

An Open Letter to Dads Returning to Work

Next week Kaine will be returning to work and I am nervous to say the least.  I am wondering how I am going to handle things on my own without someone to share nappy duty with, without the chest which Jesse loves to fall asleep on and without someone to keep up the housework and bring me things when I’m breastfeeding.  But most of all how I’m going to cope without my person with me, my best friend, my husband.

But as hard as it will be for me, I know it will be even more difficult for him to leave us every morning and spend a large part of the day away from us.  Especially after enjoying such precious family time over the last 7 weeks.

So here are my words to my husband about his returning to work. Perhaps there are other women that feel this way about their spouse also so this is my open letter to working Dads.

To My Dear Husband,

The time we have spent together recently has been so special. The opportunity to be together every day as a new family while we navigate the challenges and joys of being parents has been incredible. I didn’t know I could love you more than I already did but seeing you as a Dad and the way you are with our baby, and with me, has deepened my love for you in ways I could not have anticipated.

But soon you will be returning to work. I know this will be difficult for you and that you will wish you were at home with us but I want you to know that work is exactly where your family needs you to be, at least for now.

Each day you leave our house please know that we love you and appreciate all you do to provide for us and ensure we are happy and healthy. We will miss you and the moment you arrive home will be our favourite part of the day.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to continue staying at home to care for our son. I know it is incredibly important to the both of us, and to us as a family, to be with him as much as possible and provide him with the best start in life.

So until a time when we are able to spend all of our days together again; we thank you.

Lovingly yours,

Wifey for Lifey

letter to dad