Dad & Baby: Back To Life, Back To Reality

Mike Schaffer

Posted By: Mike Schaffer

Your eyes are not deceiving you! Mike Schaffer is here to provide our first-ever male breastfeeding perspective.

It was a hectic summer, capping off a super-hectic year. And now that Labor Day has come and gone, we are settling into a somewhat normal routine. Hava is sleeping longer at night, which allows my wife and I more time to rest, which is helping us be more focused at work during the days. Taking Hava to daycare everyday has been so much easier than I anticipated. A few weeks ago, I discussed how sad I was about starting to let her “go.” That aspect of my emotional set has not changed one iota, but getting to know her teachers, her fellow babies and their parents has eased the transition. Leaving her in the mornings is bittersweet, but my train ride home, knowing I’ll get a full report on her day from the daycare as I squeeze her tight is 20 minutes of happiness. Both my wife and I have started back with work travel. Before Hava’s birth, we were on the road a lot. From January through early May, we probably combined for 40-50 nights away from home. But we shut down our travel about a month before she was born. As business trips resume, we have instituted a family policy: if we have to go somewhere, we are either going to go for the shortest time possible, or make sure a longer trip is worth being away from home. For instance, I was scheduled for a two-day trip to my company’s main offices. My mother-in-law flew in to spend that week with us. With her in town, I extended that trip a few days to get much more done on one trip, instead of taking more, shorter ones. With Hava at daycare, bottle-feeding is now a huge part of her life for the first time. Instead of getting food directly from it’s…ahem…source, there is a bit more distance involved. My wife pumps at least once or twice a day at work, in addition to at least once in the middle of the night. The bottles may be the biggest change in Hava’s life, but perhaps the biggest change for us is bottle washing. Our life is run by bottles. Every night, at least a handful of bottles need to be carefully washed to prevent sickness and bad reactions. While my wife was home, she did all the feedings directly; we probably only gave her less than a dozen bottles before my wife went back to work. In our division of duties, my wife does the vast majority of the washing, which is good for my hands, I guess. But I compensate by doing more of the general household maintenance. One thing that makes us a bit sad is that, at nearly three months old, Hava can finally go places and do things, but now that summer is over, there isn’t as much to do, or nearly the same amount of daylight to get stuff done in. Now that she’s able to interact more, we want to give her regular happy experiences – she won’t remember them, but we love seeing a smile on her face. Overall, we’re like the classic Soul II Soul song: We’re back to life and back to reality. But we’re creating our new life and dreaming up our new reality – since we’re sleeping now! 9:00am on Wednesday September 21
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