Happy (almost) Father’s Day to all our amazing Bonsie Dads! Dads, we see you changing those midnight diapers, singing lullabies, and practicing skin-to-skin contact with your baby. We see you shifting the narrative, balancing the workload, and taking an active role in parenthood. Bravo!
Bonsie had the opportunity to chat with Paul, a new dad, about the challenges and joys that come with bringing a baby home.
Paul is a Senior Financial Analyst and lives in the Midwest with his wife, Haley, his daughter, Nell, and his newborn baby, Wylie. When Paul isn’t playing play-dough with his toddler or rocking his baby girl, he loves to grill and go to the lake with his family.
Since having Wylie, what has been your biggest challenge?
Learning Wylie and her tendencies, what she needs when she is crying and how to soothe her, has been a challenge. It comes with its share of frustration as well as great reward. There were some early days and nights where it felt like we were trying to solve Calculus problems, but the study guide we were given was for Geometry.
The reward comes when the frustration of feeling like you can’t give her what she needs goes away.
What has been the most surprising?
One of the things that surprised me the most is how much we forgot from our first baby. We are constantly asking ourselves what we did with Nell in similar situations and often will sit there with a blank stare for a minute or two. Sometimes the memory comes to us, while other times we are left wondering. Thankfully, we have great support and all the same resources to consult when our memory fails us.
What has been the best part?
It may sound cliché or cheesy, but the best part is the joy and happiness of bringing in a new life to the world and to our family. In the first few days after we brought Wylie home, I held her on my chest as she slept and it felt like we were melting together. Some of that was just from the physical connection of holding her and breathing together, but it was more than just that, it was a deeper, emotional connection as well.
Lately, she has been starting to give us smiles as we hold her and that is the most precious thing in the world. While I mentioned some of the situational memories have been fleeting, one unexpected bonus is all the memories of joy and happiness that come flooding back from when we had our first daughter. I’m sure there is a scientific explanation for why we forget the stressful moments where we feel helpless and remember all the lovey dovey stuff; either way I’m glad that is the case.
How do you and Haley balance your roles as working parents with a toddler and a newborn?
We have had to find a rhythm that works for us, which has been a challenge in and of itself.
From a work perspective, I usually work from home 2-3 days a week, but was able to adjust that schedule so I’m home 4 days a week for a while to help Haley during the day when needed.
With Nell, one of the best gifts we’ve received was her openness and excitement about having a baby sister. That transition went better than we could have ever expected. She is still a toddler though, and we often tap each other in and out to catch our breath and collect our thoughts.
Nighttime has admittedly been more unbalanced, with me being the slacker. Haley still handles most of the overnight responsibilities, but I like to think I’ve gotten better lately.
Do you practice skin-to-skin contact with Wylie?
Yes, and thanks to Bonsie, it is so easy to do! We really wish we would have had some with our first daughter. After being introduced to Bonsie, we will definitely gift and recommend their babywear to new parents.