The Babymoon

A babymoon has become a new, vogue concept for parents-to-be. The idea is that you have one last hurrah before you crank out a little one who will make considerable demands on your time for quite awhile. Trips to the spa, vacations to tropical resorts, jet-setting for a bit. That sort of thing. I don’t think that Janelle and I will be planning any specific babymoon action. We were able to take a trip to Italy earlier this year, and I think that covered us for major travel for at least the entirety of this year (which is, admittedly, drawing to a close).

My concept of what will comprise our babymoon is a bit different from the intended definition. To date, a lot of my commentary regarding the baby has been guarded. I profess my excitement over certain matters, but what I’m really discussing are the things that preoccupy my mind. It’s created a bit of a skewed perspective. I’m not really that terrified. I’m looking forward to a renaissance for myself. I’ve talked at a fair length on the blog about my concerns regarding having enough time to fulfill my semi-professional, personal and social concerns. My babymoon should help take care of that. I may not be traveling the world, but I will be taking a lot of time for myself.

Part of why I’ve decided that 2010 will be a big year for me (baby, home, writing projects galore, etc.) is that the introduction of your baby to the world can afford you a lot of free time that you never had before. Yes, babies are demanding and require near-constant attention when they are awake—but that’s when they are awake. Adults likely sleep about eight hours a night, as a rough average. A baby will put you to shame in this category.

Newborns sleep around 17 hours a day. Between 1-6 months, around 15 hours. 6 months to around 2 years is about 14 hours. Babies get a bad reputation for sleep because they don’t rest through the night in a consistent chunk. It’ll be tough for both parents, but moreso for Mom, if she’s breastfeeding (more on this in a later post). As a Dad, take advantage of this time to continue to sleep. It’s better you be sharp and ready to help out during the day so that Mom can catch some rest when she can manage.

You’ll also want to learn to nap when your baby is napping, but my point is that babies sleep a lot. It’s one of the only things they know how to do. When they sleep, though, it’s time for you to get in touch with your hobbies. Board games, video games, reading, writing, drawing, DVDs, television. The general assumption is that these are all things that need to be given up once a child enters into the picture. But why? You’ll be busier and you’ll have more errands to run, but there is downtime and you should to fill that with the things that you enjoy doing.

Naptime aside, there is a fair amount of free time to be found with a young child. The time leading up to the birth date will incapacitate the mother more and more. She’ll get tired more easily, joints will be stiff and sore. Depending on the overall quality of her health, she may end up bedridden for weeks ahead of time. This places a fairly large damper on your usual social plans, so you’ll likely be at home a lot, taking in a quiet evening. Try not to spend all that time just zoning out.

The same goes for after the birth; you’ll be hanging out at home a lot. Friends will come to you, relatives will drop in to visit. It’s important you are spending time early on with your baby to bond, but as the child gets older and you have friends and family who are available and willing to help you should take advantage of that help. It’s good for the kid and it’s good for you.

Try and think about the number of things that having a child will help you start doing (even if it just gives you a good reason to finally start watching Saturday morning cartoons again) and don’t think of how you might not be able to stay out late as much.

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