We’ve all spotted the new first-time Dad before. Pale-faced, nervously clutching his newborn infant’s carseat like the slightest stumble or trip might end in disaster. All Dads start out that way.
Add some time and a few more kids, and Dad becomes a pro.
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management, and Pampers was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.
Here are 10 ways to spot an experienced Dad:
He carries a newborn like a football, not a crystal vase.
First time Dads hold their newborns like they may break on them at any moment. The experienced Dad is confident in his baby juggling skills and thinks nothing of tucking the newborn in one arm while using his free hand to get a coffee for Mom. Everybody wins!
He can walk around carrying all his children at once.
No child left behind! When one kid gets a piggy back, all of them have to pile on Dad. Who is he to deny access to one? Even if you’re 70 pounds, he’s an unstoppable Dad so HOP ON.
He knows how to make diaper changes fun.
Standing diaper change, floor diaper change, or car diaper change… the experienced Dad has done it all.
When his squirmy tot turns into an octopus at diaper changing time, he knows how to distract them into submission so he can get the dirty work done.
He’s also learned that using Pampers is a must! Their Extra Absorb Channels mean that baby can sleep for up 12 hours at night and stay protected from wetness. He isn’t fooled into thinking a bigger, bulkier diaper makes a better diaper!
He’s not ashamed to play princess.
Girl Dads unite! An experienced Dad does whatever it takes to bond with his kids, and if that means becoming a princess, that’s exactly what he’s gonna do.
He knows when to give Mom a break.
The veteran Dad recognizes the look on Mom’s face when she’s hit her breaking point. That’s when he steps in and offers to take the kids for a hike and out for ice cream. It doesn’t need to be Mother’s Day for Mom to get herself a pedicure and an hour of silence to herself.
He can single handedly organize a baseball game when all players have no idea how to play baseball.
What’s harder than herding cats? Trying to get a group of distracted tikes to play a pickup game of baseball. In a small yard. When none of them have any idea how to play.
Let’s just hope Dad stays at the pitcher’s mound. Otherwise this venture will likely end with a broken window.
He can turn himself into playground equipment.
Who needs the gym when you have a gaggle of kids happy to help you with your ab workout? The pro Dad can turn himself into all kinds of playground equipment. Here is ours as the human see-saw:
Dad’s shoulder makes the perfect napping place when you’re out and about. And his arms don’t get as tired as Moms so the little one can get their full nap time in.
He has a superhuman sense of when his little one’s in danger.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen Dad jump up out of nowhere and catch one of our kids that I didn’t even realize was falling. It’s some kind of Dad-sense that puts cat reflexes to shame.
Given the events of the this week, I’ve been walking around with a dark cloud over my head as I’m sure most Americans are. Everyone says to spread kindness in the wake of tragedy but it can be hard when you feel so heavy and gloomy.
Because I think we all need to lift our spirits for a few minutes, I decided to do another roundup of the funniest parents on Twitter. Kudos to these people for spreading a little joy through their clever and/or sarcastic use of 140 characters.
Feel free to follow anyone on here and make your twitter feed 1000% more awesome.
When a sales clerk asks if you need help with anything, this does not include kids.
Growing up as an introvert, there were plenty of times I wished for a hole to open up in the floor for me to crawl into. My birthday? Sure, I liked a party, but having all my friends sing to me and watch me open presents was bordering on traumatic for me.
One of my earliest childhood memories involves being tortured by my own shyness. I was in preschool and a musician had come to visit our class. He sang a song that went around to each child making a rhyme with their name. As I realized that it would eventually come around to me, I waited in horror while counting the number of children I had before me. By the time he sang “willaby, wallaby Waitlin, and elephant sat on Caitlin”, I thought I would just about die from humiliation.
In school I hated any project I had to do that involved speaking in front of the class. I also hated group projects where the group members were assigned, forcing me to talk with people I didn’t know.
While growing older in some ways forced me out of my shell, my natural temperament has always been to keep my distance from people I don’t know well and to uphold a measure of privacy.
Then, motherhood came a knocking.
With it, a barrage of unwanted attention from family, acquaintances, and strangers alike. Here are 5 times parenting was pure torture for me as an introvert.
1. Late pregnancy
Why is it that common societal norms of politeness and personal space go out the window when a woman is growing a child?
Suddenly, people who would never give me more physical contact than a handshake now think it’s ok to touch, grab, even rub my belly. The exact place where I’m feeling the most protective and vulnerable! Who decided that’s ok to do?
Then there’s the comments. Pointing out parts of my body that are changing, as if I’m not acutely aware of them myself. Making comments about how big or not big I am, picking me apart like I’m a piece of livestock for sale.
By the end of pregnancy I dreaded ever leaving my house because I felt like I made a scene everywhere I went. The icing on the cake was a grocery store cashier who asked me how far along I was. When I replied “38 weeks”, she came back with “better have someone else do your shopping for you, you look like you’re about to break your water right here in the store!” So sorry my big pregnant existence is stressful for you!
2. After giving birth
The torture doesn’t stop for introverts once the pregnancy is over. Actually, it’s only the beginning.
After you give birth, everyone wants to know the story of your hoo-ha. There is no such thing as privacy when birth is involved. “C-section or vaginal? Did you need stitches? DID YOU RIP ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO YOUR BUTT???”
Or another classic: “Did you poop when you were pushing? No? Oh you probably did but you just didn’t know it.”
Not long after all vagina and excrement-related questions cease, it will move to your breasts.
“How is breastfeeding going? Are your nipples cracked? You know you’re supposed to pull on them and toughen them up before giving birth.”
If you ever felt like you had privacy and dignity, kiss it goodbye because that’s all over now!
3. The toddler stage
Nothing is more attention-grabbing than an adorable, loud, and mobile toddler. From the young toddler wrecking displays in the grocery aisle, to the older toddler demanding an answer to “WHY IS THAT LADY SO FAT?” they are constantly drawing attention to themselves in public. And all that attention quickly turns to Mom.
Then there are the dreaded toddler activities. As much as my homebody self would love to stay home with my little ones, my toddlers were way too active and had to be kept busy. But at that age they are too little to do activities their own, which means I have to join in. Sitting in a circle of parents singing itsy-bitsy spider finger plays is exactly the type of thing I find humiliating.
4. Birthday parties, sports games, and school pickups
Pretty much anytime there’s a group of parents standing around waiting, I’m going to be awkward. It comes from being forced to stand near a group of people that I only know as “Ella’s mom” or “Probably Jacob’s Dad”. I might know who they are, but I don’t know them enough to have a meaningful conversation with them. And I’m an absolute nightmare at small talk. I either over-share or can’t come up with a thing to say.
Since I avoid small talk, people perceive me as being cold at best, or snobby at worst.
5. Parent-teacher conferences
Even when my kid has the kindest and most personable teacher, I dread parent-teacher conferences. This person knows my child well, which feels like the equivalent of knowing the contents of my underwear drawer or medicine cabinet. I’m fully aware that they know quite a bit about me, but I don’t know exactly what they know. This state of vulnerability makes me uneasy.
Another part of the awkwardness involves my children not following the rules. Inevitably, the teacher is going to tell me about times my child misbehaved. I never know the correct response to this. “I’m sorry”? “He also doesn’t listen at home“??
My last parent-teacher conference went something like this:
Teacher: Your child only seems to put effort into classwork when he decides it’s interesting to him.
Me: Yes, it can be difficult to get him motivated.
Teacher: Do you have any ideas of how to keep him engaged?
Me: Umm.. you could try to make your lessons more interesting? *facepalm*
Children are also curious and inquisitive. Parents are constantly barraged with questions, sometimes the same ones over and over. Unlike some people, *cough* my husband *cough cough*, I don’t tune them out and not answer their questions. I reply to every last one. By the end of the day I feel like I have not stopped talking for the last twelve hours. It’s exhausting for anyone, but especially for introverts who need quiet to reflect.
Lastly, your love for your children will compel you to do things you absolutely hate. Starting in preschool, my children’s school has invited parents to surprise their child’s class on a random day by coming in to read a book, aka the “mystery reader”. I would be happy to help the class in a way (seriously ANY other way) that doesn’t involve 20 children and three teachers listening to me read out loud. But my oldest child gets so excited at the thought of me coming in to her class and surprising her, I feel guilted into doing it every year.
My children are still young, so I’m sure there is more torture on the horizon for this introverted mom!
Are YOU an introvert parent? What has been a struggle for you?
Traveling with kids is never really a vacation for the parents who still need to do all their regular tasks just in a different place. In addition to that, I pretty much ignored all of my own travel advice, threw the kids completely off their schedules, and overstimulated them. We did make some pretty awesome memories through all of that too. We got to visit with extended family and make a few fun stops on the way back.
Check out our family vacation through my crappy cell phone pics!
(And lest you think these are just the outtakes and we have some pretty looking album full of nice pictures somewhere… NOPE. These are it.)
John and the girls drove, while I flew down with those-who-can’t-handle-long-car-rides. Use your imagination about the other plane passengers passing by the open seat next to us. Us being the lady with the baby and hyperactive little boy. The first 50 people to pass us by smirked as if to say “NOT IT!” and the unlucky winner (with no other option) reluctantly sat down next to us. I almost felt bad for the poor sucker, until I realized the only worse seat on the plane was MINE.
Zari, as the plane is ascending into the clouds: “wait, are we gonna see GOD anywhere up here???” (To buy a minute of quiet I told him “maybe if you look really really hard”.)
We were visiting family for a baptism, so you can see how delighted the kids were to be spending their vacation going to church.
I dressed the kids cute, so I get faces like these.
“Here Dad, let’s play that fun game where I take my shoe off and then you have to put it back on. How else am I supposed to spend an hour in church???”
That sweet family photo where Mom and Dad are trying their best not to lose it on the one kid who keeps ruining the picture.
I told them to look like they like each other and I’m pretty sure Tiana’s giving me the kid-version of the middle finger.
That time I sat there taking pics of my kid without even realizing he was playing with a DIRTY CIGARETTE BUTT. Still waiting for that Mom of the Year trophy.
How did I not notice that my son has the gangliest arms on the planet before taking this picture?
That picture where Tiana is trying not to pee her pants because she needs to go and there are fountains everywhere.
“Hey Mom, anytime you want to stop forcing me to smile while being blinded by direct sunlight, that would be greeeeeat.”
Apparently kids really can sleep anywhere. The trick is you need to sleep torture them for three days first.
Vacation day 4: Baby wakes up with a suspicious rash, and we realize he hasn’t just been tired and miserable from traveling but because he has roseola. (Where is that trophy, anyway?)
We still need to make this trip fun for the non-sick kiddos, so let’s just go ahead and get them ice cream cones bigger than their heads and hope for the best.
Water park day. No idea why Tiana thinks she needs to hold her breath while sitting on a giant tube in the open air.
All of my kids love lazy rivers, which is proof that they take pleasure in seeing their parents in an extended state of panic.
Water park trip: great fun for 3/4 of the my children
Looking into the lake… T:”Look, a fish.”
Z: “Wow, a turtle too!”
E: “Well, I see a shark…” 😆
Science center fun! Sicky boy is feeling much better and would like to spend the entire day driving this pretend ambulance.
Why is it that being sick so unfun, but pretending to be sick is super fun?
“Sure Mom, just keep sitting there taking that picture while I do all the work around here!”
Thanks to this fun simulator, the kids are now wishing for our house to get hit by a tornado.
Vacation came to an end, and we all made it back in one piece. 82 loads of laundry later, life is back to business as usual. I’ll get around to putting those suitcases away one of these days.