I’ve always had an interest in childrearing, and what better way to observe and participate in the experience than to immerse oneself. So thanks to the financial support of both grandparents and the enduring patience of the boy’s mother, I’ve been able to stay at home with my son for the past three years.
I am by no means a spectacular parent, as the boy’s mother does the bulk of the work — I’ve been more of a helper and cheerleader. In some ways I probably get in the way more than I help. But having no previous experience around babies or little children, I was eager to witness the process.
I suppose the most surprising aspect of babyhood is the amount of strain placed on the parents. A lot of energy is directed toward the practice of remaining calm. Rest is reduced while stress is increased. And while under strain, the parents must perform without faltering, all with a pleasant attitude — which is difficult even under ideal circumstances.
But of course, there are many moments of reward. A smile, a little guy falling asleep in your arms, a sleeping face, a tearful boy comforted, the milestones such as talking and walking, plus there’s the constant conversation with the wife about our little one.
It was quite an all-pervading experience and one I overall enjoyed — although I would not be keen on repeating it. Now on to boyhood and beyond….