Monday, January 23, 2012

A little movement goes a long way

This blog post was written on 11/12/11, but I can’t quite post it yet since we’re still keeping it a secret from everyone, so for now, it’ll go unpublished until the big day after we’ve announced it to everyone.

Let me just get it out of the way now.  HOLY CRAP I’M GOING TO BE A FATHER!  Ok, now that I’ve actually written the words out, it’s very surreal.  I’ve been putting off writing this blog for some time because honestly, I haven’t really felt like it was happening.  We’ve had the confirmation now for about 5 months, and everyone that we come in contact with knows by now (hard to keep it a secret when you’re around them all the time), but we have yet to tell all of our friends back in the states.  When we arrive in December and show them firsthand, then everyone will know.  In the meantime, I haven’t been able to express myself properly because we don’t want it to leak out.

Tonight, while lying in bed, I felt the baby move for the first time.  It was subtle, but it was definitely there.  Once I felt the first movement, it was just a flurry of activity after that for a few seconds.  It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Exciting for the obvious reasons, but terrifying because I still feel like an idiot kid myself.  What the heck do I know about raising a child?  Another person’s life is my responsibility now, and that makes me scratch my head and ask “Who said this was a good idea?”

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always wanted a kid, but the fact that it’s now a reality is kind of scary.  I’ve handled very few infants in my life, and I always feel like I’m ruining them just by being around them.  On top of that, I’m in a stage of my life where I’m completely unsure of what I want to do with my life, and it leads to some important questions that have to be answered, and soon.  How am I supposed to best support this child?  Right now, it’s my wife working, and I’m the keeper of the house.  It’s a complete reversal of gender roles, but that’s not the part I’m uncomfortable with.  The part I’m flipping out about is the fact that I will be the majority caretaker of the child during the day.  I will have to remember to feed, clean, change, and entertain this child for most of the day.  I’m barely capable of doing that for myself. 

I’m only mildly joking about that.  I get so wrapped up in the distractions I have set up for myself that I routinely forget to eat until I’m past the point of starving and cranky.  I don’t think that’s going to work very well once this kid is out.  The only thing I have going for me, at least in the concept stage, is that I’m normally able to adapt to whatever situation I’m in.  So far, I’ve always been able to find the smoothest, most efficient way of handling a problem.  The only issue is that I have no idea how that translates to a baby, because if babies are anything, they’re pretty unpredictable.  I’m pretty sure during the first day that I’m alone with the child for the whole day, I’m going to have a moment of utter panic (likely when I have to change the first diaper by myself) and I’m going to want to curl up into a ball and disappear.  Unfortunately, I won’t be allowed to do that… so who knows what will happen.

I know a lot of this nervousness and fear is only in my head, and there’s no way to know how I’ll really react until the child is right in front of me.  I think the biggest fear right now is whether or not I’ll be a good father.  My dad is not the best example for me to follow, because while he was decent as a provider, he was pretty horrible as a father figure.  Most times, he was just the guy who brought home money so we could eat.  While that’s important, he wasn’t really someone I can look to as a role model.  I look at my brother and his family, and they have a lot of things going for them, but living in this very different situation, I’m not sure how things will work out. 

I always drive myself nuts with these questions, and they usually work out all right in the end.  I guess what it comes down to for myself is whether or not I think I’m a good enough person to be a good father.  I think for the most part, I am.  Any insecurities I feel right now just stems from inexperience with the situation.  I’ll be learning on the job, so to speak, and I’m normally pretty good with that.  I guess we’ll see how things go… wish me luck.

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