You may have noticed that, on this blog, my dear husband goes by the name of GAR. It’s a nickname he gave himself during our wedding planning process, and it originally stood for “Groom-A-Saurus Rex” (he didn’t like it when I called him “groomzilla” – somehow he felt GAR was more manly. I say it’s 6 of one, half dozen of the other, but I humor him nonetheless). GAR was extremely involved in all aspects of our wedding and yet he often felt that the wedding industry was trying to push him to the side. In other words, he felt hus-banned.
GAR is a very passionate person and he cares deeply about decisions that affect his life … even when those decisions involved what kind of boutonniere he’d be wearing on our wedding day or what song he’d have blaring as he walked down the aisle. So, as you might imagine, when it comes to something even more monumental – say, impending fatherhood – he takes this shit pretty seriously and, no shocker here, he is SUPER involved in every aspect of the preparations (I honestly think that if he could be carrying this baby inside of him he would be happy to do so – no, he’d insist upon it – because he’s just that very “special” sort of involved). One might even consider him a Dad-A-Saurus Rex. And, naturally, he once again feels excluded in some areas … he’s feeling ovulate-shunned (I came up with that one. Pretty good, eh? EH???)
Throughout pregnancy we’re constantly reminded that “it’s all about mom.” And, while GAR was frequently known to exclaim “It’s NOT all about the bride! What about me?” during our wedding planning, he has less room to argue, at least during these 9 months, that it’s not all about me. Because it is. It IS about me. Me doing all the right things to grow this baby inside me, to keep him safe, to prepare to bring him into this world … and not being able to be more involved in this stage of baby development is driving GAR (or should I say DAR?) nuts. Oh sure, he’s reading up on how to care for baby, on how to assist me during these times, how to assemble baby gear for the nursery, etc. But it’s not enough. He wants more.
And, let’s face it, he’s going to need more. And certainly, the world is going to have to expect a little more out of him than just the standard “show up and try not to break the kid” minimum standards that we put on dads in today’s still not nearly as progressive as it should be about this sort of thing world. Because GAR is soon going to be spending every waking hour (and most of them WILL be awake) with our little one. He’s going to be the primary caregiver to our rugrat and, whether society is designed for it or not, he’s the one who really needs to know how to play “mom” AFTER the baby is here.
This isn’t to say that I won’t still be a kick-ass mom because, of course, I will be. But after 12 weeks I’m going back to work, whereas GAR, with his fancy professorial job, is able to take the entire first year off on sabbatical. It’s an amazing opportunity for him and our child, and I am constantly overjoyed at the thought our baby spending all that time with his father during these early stages of growth and development. And, naturally, GAR is really (and I mean reealllyy) embracing the idea of being a stay-at-home dad. So he’s doing all he can at this point – testing out our Baby Bjorn carrier, suiting up with his super “manly” diaper bag (called the “diaper bro”), seeking out “daddy and me” playgroups (which will likely end up being him joining a “mommy and me” playgroup, because those actually seem to exist. But I’m sure he’ll fit right in, gossiping with all the other “moms”), practicing his swaddling (a.k.a. “baby burrito” techniques) and, of course, starting his very own blog about his adventures in preparing for (and, before long, being knee-deep in) fatherhood.
His blog is full of humor, insight and ramblings of a “sophisticated” soon-to-be stay-at-home father (mixed with the delusion that, somehow, he won’t be too sleep deprived to keep up with his writing once the baby is actually here). I highly encourage you to check it out: http://ovulate-shunned.blogspot.com/