This article was supposed to go a completely different direction. I was supposed to talk about one of the first nights at home with both of our boys. My wife was in bed taking care of our one week old Santiago, and I spent all night going back and forth from my room to AJ's.
Adding another child is a difficult transition for everyone. My poor AJ was lonely in his room so every time he woke up, I went and laid on the ground next to his bed to keep him company.
The whole article was already written in my head. I was going to joke about how miserable I was the next morning, but I think this story is a little more indicative of what its like to be a dad with duties.
My wife recently returned to working about 3 weeks after having Santiago. She is a beast when it comes to business. She is really about that paper.
So while she's out working, I'm on paternity leave for another 9 weeks. So as a temporary stay at home dad, I've been adjusting to trying to map out my day. It's hard not to sit on the couch all day and hold the baby. What other time in his life am I going to be able to enjoy him this way? Never, which makes it that much harder.
There was a ton of laundry to fold, all the dishes in the dishwasher were ready to be put away, and AJ's room was a disaster. But my wife had to leave to get some work done around 12 and both boys were getting a little restless.
Obviously the chores were going to have to wait, so I decided to take the boys on a walk to their grandparents house. Mommy was gone for about 6 hours, so there was a lot of time to kill with these two little guys.
We didn't get home until about 9 pm. AJ still needed to get into his pajamas and read his bedtime stories before going to sleep. We read Skippy Jon Jones, The Cat in the Hat, and Coco, literally all his favorites.
He finally went to sleep at about 10. Then I put the books down, and looked at his room. I will never understand how such tiny humans can make such big messes. I could barely see the floor because there was so many books just everywhere. So as he slept, I cleaned it up. Took me a while, but it was worth it.
My wife was in bed feeding Santiago and she asked for some cereal because moms need their midnight snacks too. So I went to the kitchen and couldn't find a bowl, probably because they were all in the dishwasher. So I brought mommy her cereal, and I told her I was going to clean the kitchen and fold the laundry.
She looked at the clock and said "Right now?" I knew she had work the next day too, so I simply asked her "When else will I be able to do it?"
Staying up until 2 am doing chores wasn't how I planned my night to go, but that's what it was. But I actually enjoyed it, which led me to change my mind on the direction of this article.
I got to rewatch the Sixers playoff game while I folded the laundry, so it didn't even feel like a chore. As I sat there looking at all the folded clothes, I reflected.
My wife has a lot on her shoulders since she is breastfeeding. Now adding work into her schedule makes her day even more crowded. So I asked myself what I could do to make her life easier. If staying up until 2 am doing chores allows for her to get some sleep and spend quality time with Santiago, then it's not a chore at all.
I don't know about other moms, but I see how much my wife does on a day-to-day basis and it makes me want to be a better and more helpful dad. By no means am I perfect at it, far from it. But making a conscious effort to make sure all the little things are done for her so she doesn't have to worry about anything but working and taking care of our newborn. And cooking for us too, because everyone knows mommy makes the best food.
The night I never slept was more of a wake up call than a sleepless night. Thanks Santiago, AJ, and mommy for making me a better dad.