Example

Nesting is not a new concept by any means. There is something that turns on inside of a woman once the pregnancy really sets in. It takes her over like a whirlwind and all of the sudden…everything in the house has to change! There is a baby on the way…we have to be ready!

I believe it is nature’s way of making sure there is a bed for the newborn. Without it…we would probably just lay him on the counter.

Nesting From The To Be Dad’s Perspective

While nesting within women is well documented, what is talked about far less is what happens in the mind of the dad as he gets ready to be responsible for another human being. As men, we are wired to provide. The hunt and gather instinct is still alive and kicking even if we are not grabbing the nearest sharp stick ready to stab a big buffalo.

At least for me…the instinct to provide and the need to make sure the heavy lifting is done before the baby was born kicked in as soon as my wife “popped” (sorry babe…I know you hate that term!). Once she was really showing, the pregnancy suddenly became real and my list of things to do increased dramatically.

Financial Nesting

In a first natural reaction, I started thinking about how the hell we are going to afford to care for another human for the next 18 years?! This isn’t one of our two dogs that just needs 2 cups of food twice a day. This baby is going to need diapers, clothes, schooling, college, a car, his own room…and the list goes on and on. We are used to providing for ourselves, but now we are taking on a very expensive addition!

Luckily, other than the diapers and immediate needs, we will take on each event as it comes and try to plan for the future (ie: an early start on the college fund that will probably cost 500 grand by the time he is 18 with the way tuition is heading). But…the thoughts that are running through my head as my wife gets ready for being a mom is what my plan is for income production over the next 18 to 22 years. Are my career goals in place? Do I have a plan if something happens?

As the man, a lot of that responsibility weighs on my shoulders as the mom needs to be able to focus on being a mom for the first years of our son’s life. Is she going to work through the process? Absolutely…she would go crazy if she didn’t, but the reality is that I need to have my plan in place regardless of that.

Structural Nesting

After the shock subsides, I started looking around the house thinking about what needed to happen before the baby was born. We had a room…but it was not ready. So I used the colors my wife picked out and painted/fixed the room so it was ready for furniture. My wife ordered the baby’s furniture and it got delivered. That day…I assembled it (with the help of the dogs of course) and made it ready for decoration.

Baby's Room with Furniture

The way I see it…I am putting the structure in place…my wife will make it home. Heavy lifting…check. Decorations…I wouldn’t know where to start…

Ironically, I also started thinking about what needed to be done to the house that required a lot of construction. The last thing I was going to want is a lot of loud noises during the first 6 months of my son’s life, so if we were going to do anything, it needed to be now.

For awhile now, we had planned and saved to redo the kitchen my wife has hated since we moved in and the backyard. Last month, we found a great father/son company to redo the backyard and next month we are biting the bullet on the kitchen. Whoever thought white on white was a good idea for kitchens should be shot.

Some of these things are coming a little bit earlier than we had planned, but they were going to be next to impossible with a baby in the house…so now was the time to do it.

Life Restructuring Nesting

Like it or not…life is about to change drastically. It will be a great thing and we are extremely excited about it, but there needs to be plans in place in an effort to maintain sanity through the process for both myself and my wife. We are both planners (slightly obsessive about it), so we started talking about our needs and how those needed to be incorporated into life with the baby.

I firmly believe that a baby should not be your life. It is just my opinion and others might disagree, but there is life outside of the house…and without it we will go insane. The beginning weeks of a child’s life are extremely intensive from what we have we and experienced with friends and family. Without experiencing it first hand, I am not going to even pretend to know what it is like, but there is one thing I do know…I do not want that intensity and 24/7 need to parent to take away from who my wife is as a person. I married a wonderful woman and I do not want that to change.

Lately, my wife and I have been talking about what we are going to do when the baby is born. While I completely realize that plans change and adapt once you are in a given situation, we are planning on having small blocks of alone time or time with friends for each other during the beginning stages of parenthood. Even if it is just 30 minutes for lunch with a friend or an hour for me to ride out of the driveway on the bike, we need to be able to decompress to insure our own mental health.

This will be a change from being able to do what we want when we want…but I feel it is necessary throughout the process. I do not want us to feel like we are prisoners in our own house. That will not be good for either of us. So we have a plan! Now we’ll see how that plan plays out come October.

See…We Do Nest In Some Form

If you would have told me I would be having these thoughts today a year ago…I probably would have laughed. If you told me dad’s nested…I probably would have laughed even harder.

But the reality is that we have as much of a role as the mother in this…and it is a partnership. So we have to do our part in making sure the house and our minds are ready for this new addition that is on its way and ready to change everything that we consider reality at this point in time.

It is exciting and stressful at the same time, but we are looking forward to it.

Example

Yesterday was a pretty cool day. While our little boy hasn’t made his first appearance into this world yet, my wife did try to make it a special day together as we eagerly wait his arrival later this year.

When we woke up, she surprised me with a card and a pair of baby clothes around the daddy theme.

Baby Clothes for Daddy

Needless to say…they put a smile on my face to start the day. I don’t know if all guys are this way…but during the pregnancy process…it is sometimes hard to wrap your head around what is really happening. Your pregnant significant other is going through a lot of physical changes that bring her close to the process. As she starts to feel the baby move and grow, she can feel the human aspect to pregnancy when the guy is kind of in the dark until you can feel the kicking external to the stomach.

We do things like painting rooms and preparing the house, but it is little reminders like these clothes that bring the “daddy feel” to the process as we get ready to welcome the new addition to the family.

After our morning together, we went to church and out to brunch with my parents to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad. Following a great breakfast, we took my new “family station wagon” up to the north Georgia mountains to get a little bit of driving in.

Driving The WRX In North Georgia

As if motion sickness isn’t a great excuse to go eat, we ended up in Dahlonega, GA for some food on a balcony as we watched the cars drive by. Later that night, we curled up with the dogs and ended the day with some relaxing couch time.

Yesterday wasn’t my first true Father’s Day as my son is still nestled comfortably and growing, but it does mark the first Father’s Day when it wasn’t just about my dad in my lifetime. I spent a wonderful day with my wife and got to think about how every Father’s Day from this point forward was going to be different. Not only would I be celebrating with my dad, but I will be celebrating with the family my wife and I are starting as a father.

Everything is going to be different from this point forward as my wife and I enjoy a lot of “lasts” without a child. It is going to be a wild adventure and we are going to enjoy the hell out of it. I am looking forward to the Father’s Days to come as we start this much different road in our lives. I am also very grateful to have a wife and best friend that knows how to make days like these feel special.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, grandfathers and to be fathers out there.

Example

The weeks leading up to the end of the first trimester are pretty much a roller coaster emotionally for you and your other half. It means a lot for the safety of the baby and your percentage chance of going the distance to get past that pivotal date. All focus is on getting past that point…and getting to tell everyone about it.

So what happens to the brain of a guy once that is complete?

For me…without even really realizing it…my brain went into major “I want” mode. I’m not kidding either. It is as our subconscious suddenly realizes that several months from now is the end of our gadget/fun car/get anything we want stage.

It’s not that it completely goes away…as I know plenty of dads that get to fill their hobbies and gear needs still, but you get hit with a brick wall that it is no longer a priority. The baby and the mom now take center stage and you have a few short months to get in anything you can while still be able to provide for the new member about to join your family.

Ironically, it wasn’t until I sat back and really thought about why I was having these feelings that I realized what was really going on. I can’t speak for all of the other expectant fathers of their first kid out there…but it was and still is really weird for me.

So what do I want to try to get in before the baby is born?!

Wicked White Mitsubishi Evolution X

A wicked white Mitsubishi Evolution X…and why do I want it?

  • I want to be the fastest dad in the carpool line.
  • I am on my second truck in a row so I really want something fun that is easier to park.
  • It has four doors and a nice backseat (along with about a million airbags)…so it is baby approved.
  • And most importantly…my subconscious is telling me I will never be able to have anything like this ever again!

Now I just have to convince the wife that a lower car payment and more power is a good thing. How do you think I will do? “Hey babe look! I can even get a Recaro car seat to match the seats in the car!”

The Reality…

What I am going through is probably pretty normal. I am pretty sure that when it comes to this kind of stuff I am not the first nor will I be the last. Do I have to have a fast car right now? No…but I want one.

The reality is that everything will be fine and priorities are going to shift away from stuff to family. These are all good things but the testosterone in me does not want to let go of all things fast, technical and mine.

 

Example

There were certain changes that happen around the house as soon as I found out my wife was pregnant. I was preparing for doctors visits, looking around the house for what we had to change in preparation and even started getting some of those chores done that had been on the to do list for years. All of the sudden, you have a purpose behind everything as you know the 9 1/2 months are going to go by pretty quickly. Everything is changing and changing quickly.

I Will Protect What Is Mine

What I really wasn’t prepared for was how quickly my mindset changed about my wife. Of course I started looking at her like a future mother and enjoyed the fact that she was now carrying my kid, but the protection angle turned on almost instantly.

Last night, over 6″ of snow dumped on Atlanta and we have a city that is not prepared for this kind of weather. We woke up checking the weather and emailing her boss to make sure her office was closed, but almost instantly after my eyes opened for the first time…I knew I wasn’t going to let her drive to work. In the past, if she really had to go to the office I probably would have given her the “be careful and call me when you get there” speech and sent her on her way, but this time around it was different. She was not leaving our house and I would talk to her boss about it if I had to.

When I told her the news, she almost stepped back for a second. “What do you mean?”

“You are not going in to work today. I don’t feel comfortable with you two (it is really small at this point but still counts!) out there. You are staying home no matter what.”

“Ok…let me make sure everyone that works under me is ok.”

Luckily, the roads and weather were so bad that anyone that couldn’t walk to work didn’t end up going in, but my stance on the matter was a new one for sure. Technically, I should be just as worried about my wife driving in those conditions regardless if she was pregnant or not, but now I really felt the need to put my foot down. It was a crazy realization and I guess that is just something that kicks in as future fathers realize the consequences of dangerous actions.

Snow Walk With The Dogs

So what did we do instead? We watched movies, drank hot chocolate and took the dogs for a walk in the snow. It was a great, safe day in a winter wonderland that only comes around once in a blue moon for Atlanta. Judging by the look of the roads right now, I have a feeling we are having the same conversation tomorrow morning as well.