Monday, January 16, 2012
Daddy Bootcamp - Dispatches From the Frontline
Well, it turns out Daddy Bootcamp is pretty useful. This parental powwow was held in a conference room at a local hospital. Six expecting fathers listened and asked questions while three new dads led the proceedings. No one talked about the “spiritual role of the husband during the birthing process” or any similar nonsense.
I lucked out and didn’t get stuck with a group of sad sacks or the inevitable windbag offering five-minute-long anecdotes to each of the topics discussed. Everyone was pretty laid back and not self-serious.
There was lots of practical discussion, like what to buy for your baby, what not to buy and what not to buy used. (Mattresses. Who knew?)
On the whole it was fruitful to hear these guys voice their concerns and the challenges they’ve run into as they marched along side their wives through pregnancy and into parenthood.
Some of the top concerns voiced and opinions offered:
- Your pregnant wife requires extra attention and help. This would seem apparent to all but the most brain dead of husbands. However, some anecdotes from the dads conveyed that some husbands really are brain dead. Not me though. I’ve been helpful, sensitive and attuned to all of my wife’s needs. Just ask her when she’s finished moving the furniture into babies’ room.
- Get an excellent car seat and then get the local police to install it. Cops are certified at installing car seats (yes, there is a certification for it and being “handy around the house” doesn’t qualify you for it). Besides, the cops do it for free. One less thing to worry about.
- Once the kid(s) are born, establish clear boundaries with friends and family. Sure, neighbors, grandma and grandpa and Aunt Mildred can come for a visit to see the kid(s). But not everyday and scheduling visits is a must. The “pop by” is officially dead.
- If you’ve got a two-story house, be sure to have a baby-changing station, clothes, food and all necessities both upstairs and down. This was an important one to me as walking up and down stairs with a baby sounds pretty scary right now. I’ll be doing my best to avoid it as much as possible.
New and expecting parents are often on the receiving end of a never-ending stream of advice. Some of it’s useful, some of it’s not and most of it you couldn’t tell because you’ve tuned out. That said, I recommend Daddy Bootcamp as it can address a lot of very practical questions.