Being unemployed with a family to take care of is a nerve-wracking situation. I was laid off from my job late in 2015. I didn’t think it would take that long to get back into the work force but was I wrong. I was wrong by a lot. It ended up being about 10 months before I was able to find my new (part-time) job, which I just started in the past week. They say everything happens for a reason, and certain things are meant to be. Although I’m not working full-time, I believe this opportunity is a great fit given the way things have evolved.
As a parent, I’m sure you’ve heard or read the saying, “You can’t spoil a baby,” or something to that effect. For me, this was a common theme every time I read about sleep training for babies. Since it was plastered all over the internet by e-parents and other anonymous people, I figured it had to be true. So for the first three months of parenthood, I cuddled my daughter at every opportunity. I cuddled her to sleep at bedtime, when she woke up in the middle of the night, and for naps. For the most part, she slept through the night but all babies evolve, for better and worse.
Around the thee month age, she was waking up several times a night, so of course one of us had to go in there and help her back to sleep. Apparently you CAN spoil a baby, because they want/need you to help them back to sleep from all of the non-spoiling love you’ve been giving them. It was exhausting. I couldn’t wait to start sleep training at four months old.
My wife and I both have skin conditions. I had acne during my teen years and my wife has eczema. With both of us having some type of skin condition, I’ve always worried about what we would pass on to our daughter. The eczema appeared within a few months of her being born, and I guess I have a decade before I have to worry about the acne.
For baby eczema, we tried a bunch of different over-the-counter lotions and creams. Baby Aquaphor is too greasy and we didn’t see enough results to warrant continued use. Within minutes of applying baby Aveeno lotion and cream, her skin was dry again. With all of these products for baby eczema not working, our pediatrician recommended CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, which is also over-the counter. They don’t advertise as being for babies though. This CeraVe product is approved by the National Eczema Association.
Everyone has heard about the terrible twos, but I think it’s more of a catchy name than a real thing. I braced myself for the terrible twos and I was met with an obedient, well-behaved, and fun-loving child. I thought we dodged a bullet. I thought we had the perfect kid. I laughed in the face of the terrible twos. Cara is the best kid ever! Then she turned three and I was left wondering how I, the father of the most awesome two year old, went wrong. There’s no way I’m the first person to think this. If you think you’ve been lucky so far, you still might be because every kid is different. But man….the sass and the attitude on this daughter of mine. If you want to brace yourself for what might be on the horizon, then let me share a few ways that we got duped:
THEN: Cara was great when it was time to drink milk or eat. She used to be able to finish 8 ounces of milk in just a couple of minutes and then ask for more. She also used to inhale her food and then ask for more.
NOW: It can take up to two hours to finish that same 8 oz. milk, and eat four mini waffles. If she’s not playing with her food, she’s singing songs or looking at a spot on the chair. When she actually does manage to take a bite, it stays in her mouth for a couple of minutes while she looks around for something to play with. We try to bribe her with a nice dessert if she finishes quickly, but it doesn’t work. She’ll get excited and then go back to playing. Then after we tell her she lost her chance, she starts to whine about how she really wanted the dessert.
My wife and my daughter have food allergies. I don’t have any food allergies, at least nothing major or that I know of. Having a kid with food allergies is rough, especially when the allergies are to common ingredients like cow’s milk, egg white, and peanuts. We can get by without the peanuts but it’s hard trying to avoid the first two because they’re in almost every thing. We’ve been cleared to try milk in baked goods, but egg is still off limits. It sucks that she can’t try all of the food we eat but I think we’re pretty lucky. Even though she’s only three years old, she understands and accepts when we tell her she can’t eat something because of the allergies. She doesn’t whine or get sad. She just says, “Okay,” and then offers to feed us. Then she continues not eating the food we prepared for her.
Back in college when I was apartment hunting with friends, one amenity we got excited about was an on-site fitness center. We pledged to work out all the time and get ripped. Then we proceeded to visit said on-site fitness center about 10-15 times throughout our year-long lease. After college when I had a job, I looked into gym memberships with the thought that if I’m actually forking over money for a membership, then that would motivate me to go work out and get my money’s worth. In the end, the cost of a membership was too high for me to want to find out. Then I had a kid. What better motivation? If you’re not going to do it for yourself, do it for your children. Well, Cara was born and I found myself with a whole new set of responsibilities and once again, no time for working out.
As we all know, these are just excuses. With each annual checkup or random visit to the scale, I found myself creeping towards 200 pounds. I didn’t want to hit that number. It was time to do something. Anything! I turned to my friends, who all actually work out, for advice. After consulting with them, I finally found an exercise program that works for me. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Just walk.