Diary of a Dad: Week 7 - Take the Wins

by Adam Riches

Taking the wins when you get them is so important as a parent. The past week or so we’ve had a good week (dare I say it, a great week) with the baby. He’s slept, fed, smiled, interacted and been an absolute angel.

We know this will be short-lived, I think the teeth are on the way so the sun is setting on this short period of calm, but I know it’s just going to be a phase and the proverbial sun will rise again and we’ll have another chunk of dream baby time.

The thing is, you have to get used to change. Since the baby was born, he’s gone through so many phases of change and along with that so have we. Emotionally, mentally, even physically, having a baby is a test of your ability to adapt.

There is something almost sacred about success with your baby. Sometimes it feels like it’s all going wrong and suddenly, you get a few days where things go to plan. It’s enough to recharge you for the next phase of potential destruction.

Going from smiles and more than a few hours of sleep and then back to oblivion again gives you the scares a bit. Like I know what it feels to not sleep and I’m not looking forward to it...but for the time being, we are getting more sleep. It might just be for a week or two but I’ve learnt to take it when it’s offered. It’s like being in the military in a way, sleep when you can as you don’t know when your next test might be!

Parenting is a rollercoaster, especially with a baby. What I’ve remembered since having a newborn is that you need to make sure you don’t close your eyes (metaphorically) when the upside-down bits come. You need to focus on the baby and not get caught up in how hard it is. The main reason is that if you close your eyes, you’ll miss the ride. Even during the worst bits, your baby will be doing fun things and you don’t want to not see them because you’re fixated on how tough things are.

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We’re lucky because our first boy was a bit of a weapon so we realised that everything is a phase. That made things hard at times but we really relished in the calm times. We’ve carried that over to this baby and I swear it’s kept us sane, especially in the middle of the night on the 10000th wake-up and you’ve forgotten whose turn it is!

Seeing your baby smile or gargle at you when you walk into the room or make noise when they hear you and realise they are with their favourite person is priceless. That feeling of your baby being so happy and content (or potentially exhausted) that they fall asleep in your arms is something that I never want to forget. Those kinds of things are the things that make the sleepless nights and the repetitive routine worthwhile. And you have to slow down sometimes and take them on...because one day they won’t be doing it anymore.

For now though, I’m going to enjoy the smiles and the gargles and the extra few hours of sleep because once those teeth come, we’ll be in for a bit of sleep-deprived fun (yay!)


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Written by

Adam Riches

Blogger & Teacher
Being a parent isn’t something you can ever truly prepare for (no matter how many things you read about!) I don’t think I’ll ever really get it right, but that’s what being a parent is all about for me - effectively winging it and being totally ok with just doing your best at being a dad. I’m stumbling through life as a dad of one and between extracting coco pops from my son’s nose and trying to persuade him that dinosaurs aren’t going to get him at night, I write a bit and I teach a lot.

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