Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy daddy

I have really started to get into the groove of daddyhood. Part of that is because this provides me a balance for the chaos that is my work week. It tips the scales toward sanity. It is also due in part to the prevailing cuteness that is a 5-month old boy. Sacha has become so much fun, I cannot help but love every minute I spend with him. In the spirit of education, I shall now attempt to educate future and present fathers on the joys of fatherhood, and what can be done about some of the not so joyful aspects.

If you truly want to be wealthy in life, forgot about material and economic wealth. Consider instead the achievement of emotional, spiritual, and mental wealth to be your true calling. Take it from me that not only is this much easier to attain, but it is infinitely more rewarding. Furthermore, it is eternal, unlike material wealth which ceases to exist when you do. However, I have discussed this before in my blog “Paternal ambition”. So I shall discuss the more practical aspects of such aspirations.

I hear often from other men, and also repeated in the lay press, in popular media, and in film, numerous complaints about fatherhood. “My kid doesn’t like me. My wife doesn’t pay attention to me anymore. She never cooks for me anymore. My wife and I never make love anymore. I work all day and then when I come home my wife wants me to just take the baby. Doesn’t she know how tired I am?” Let me offer some solutions to these problems one at a time.

1. My kid doesn’t like me.

This is a common problem experienced by the absentee father and is related to another complaint (I’m tired when I get home). It is little surprise that if you come home everyday and sit on your ass and watch the football game that your child wants nothing to do with you. You never spend any quality time with him. He doesn’t even know who you are. Now if you spend as much time with your child as I do and he still doesn’t like you, then maybe you should try some deodorant. After that, I can’t help you.

2. My wife doesn’t pay attention to me anymore/cook for me anymore/make love to me anymore.

Well, this may have numerous explanations. For one, if you are not helping out around the house and with the child, your wife is so incredibly exhausted as to be incapable of paying attention to anything but staying awake and mobile. Furthermore, lovemaking is for women a very emotional thing (unlike men, for who it is predominantly physical, evidenced by the fact that we could be openly weeping and sick as all hell but still willing to have sex). So if you are never helping out and leaving your wife to fend for herself, she will rarely be in the mood. As well, she is unlikely to want to positively reinforce your laziness. Unfortunately for her though, punishment does not work either as it just creates resentfulness. So the solution lies with you. And it will also solve the cooking problem. Learn how to cook, man! Seriously. There are numerous benefits to this. First of all, you have no idea how rewarding it can be to see your family wolf down one of your culinary creations to the point where they are sick from overeating. It brings a new meaning to putting food on the table. If all you do is “bring home the bacon” in the money sense, your wife still has to fry it in the pan. So get your hands dirty and start cookin’. Although I cannot guarantee this will lead to more sex, it will certainly lead to more appreciation by your wife and general peace in your home. Besides, if you don’t get more lovemaking out of the situation, you will be able to satisfy part of your needs by watching the likes of Nigella Lawson, Anna Olson, and Giada de Laurentiis on the food network for culinary inspiration. It’s a start anyways. One word of warning though: once you start eating again, try not to let your physique go as I see happening to so many new fathers. While your wife will still love you for who you are, you cannot expect her to retain her youthful physique while you let yourself morph into beer belly daddy. Women appreciate beauty too.

3. My wife wants me to take the baby as soon as I get home. Doesn’t she know how tired I am?

Never verbalize this to your wife. Ever. You will pass from this life very quickly. But for your sake I can help you solve this problem. Live with it. Being a 24-hour-a-day mother is infinitely more exhausting than working 40 hours a week at ANY job. What’s that? Oh, your job is harder than most? No, it’s not. It can’t even compare. If you wish to keep your testicles, I suggest you seal your lips and take that baby with open arms upon return home. Not only will this lead to quality time with your child which will be endlessly rewarding and important for him, but also extremely good for you. You will realize all the wonders and magic of being a father, and your wife will reward you handsomely with appreciation and love. I still can’t promise you’ll get sex out of it though. But at least she won’t hit you anymore. Oh, another tip. When mom and baby are sleeping during the day, no matter how tempting it may be to relax and do nothing, find SOMETHING to do in the house. If your wife wakes up after a 2 hour nap and the kitchen floor and living room are still as disastrous as when she fell asleep, you will pay. Maybe not now, but later. That I can promise.

So there it is: my plan for a more harmonious and rewarding life at home. I’ve implemented it and I can tell you it works. I get a huge paycheque every day in the form of a smiling son that reaches out for me when I walk through the door. And every few weeks I even get a bonus from the boss.