<![CDATA[Moreland Print- Vancouver, WA Screenprinting and Graphic Design - The Unprepared Father]]>Mon, 16 Nov 2015 17:53:19 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[We've Moved]]>Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:06:55 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/weve-moved

I recently decided to publish my blog using Wordpress so that I'd have better control over the content and structure.

If you've been wondering where my new posts are, here you go:

The new and improved TheUnpreparedFather.com!

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<![CDATA[Synchronized Snoozers]]>Sun, 04 Jan 2015 04:32:41 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/synchronized-snoozers

A couple nights ago (I think...time is all blending together lately) I was sitting on the couch and I looked over at Meghaan at Lela.

It was late in the night and they were asleep. I didn't think I'd see too much.

This is what I saw.

Mercy.

This is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Look at Lela.

Now look at Meghaan.

Now back to Lela.

Seriously. How cute are these two?

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<![CDATA[Anyone Else Hate Wearing Pants?]]>Sun, 04 Jan 2015 00:29:46 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/anyone-else-hate-wearing-pants

Today I left the house so I could meet with my long-term sub, the incredible Marla Koch. She's a good friend and an even better educator.

Before I left the house, I made the conscious decision to put on pants.

What are these things?

I can't remember the last time I wore real pants. It's been all sweatpants and hoop shorts.

They're so constricting.

I bet I could eat 2 pieces of pizza with these on. No more than that.

The pockets are a nice touch. But they require a belt to stay up. That's inconvenient.

Is this what people wear in the real world?

I'm not sure I'm ready to return to civilization quite yet.

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<![CDATA[Myths vs Realities of Early Parenthood]]>Fri, 02 Jan 2015 23:50:38 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/myths-vs-realities-of-early-parenthood I found this great article from The Conversation about what we think parenting will be like and what it really looks, sounds, and feels like. Thanks to The Conversation for allowing us to share.

A lot of this resonates with me, and probably Meghaan too. We felt prepared for this baby. Turns out, like the blog title says, we are unprepared. 

And that isn't a bad thing. We are in good company, as most of you were probably unprepared as well.

Here's the article:

'I didn't know who I was anymore' – myths vs realities of early parenthood

By Kate Johnston-Ataata, Monash University and Renata Kokanovic, Monash University

Becoming a parent is commonly imagined to be a joyful and “natural” life event. The reality is often very different. In the early weeks and months of life with a first baby, parents must master new skills including nappy changing, breast or bottle feeding, and “settling” a crying baby, usually while experiencing considerable sleep deprivation.

New mothers have to recover from labour, childbirth and/or caesarean delivery. Primary carer parents find they need to re-orient their lives around their baby, at least in the short term. And partnered parents confront a changed dynamic in their relationship and the need to accommodate a third family member.

For many people, these challenges are unexpected, either in nature or magnitude.

Australians today are having fewer children than past generations and are often starting their families later. This reduces the opportunity to learn informally about infant care through raising younger relatives or being around friends with babies.

New parents are also burdened by the way our society romanticises early parenthood, especially motherhood. Played out in media imagery, this contributes to perceptions of instant bonding, instinctive breastfeeding and “perfect babies” being cared for by “perfect mothers”.

Overly optimistic expectations and a lack of preparation can cause significant distress at a time when new parents already feel vulnerable. For some parents, this may impede bonding with their baby, shade over into postnatal depression – which affects up to 16% of new mothers and 5% of new fathers – or strain the relationship with their partner.

Expectations and experiences

Settling a newborn takes patience. Stacy Benton/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

We recently interviewed 45 parents in Australia about their expectations and experiences of early parenthood. The parents came from varied socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. They included single parents, adoptive parents, parents through surrogacy, same-sex attracted parents, parents in blended or step families and parents who had experienced IVF.

Most parents we interviewed described having “unrealistic” expectations about baby behaviour, particularly in relation to crying, sleep patterns and feeding.

As Susanne, a mother in a same-sex relationship, said:

… I thought my baby would come with me to the café and I’d sit there and stare lovingly into her eyes and people would say, “Oh, she’s gorgeous,” and I’d be like, “Motherhood’s wonderful” … And yeah, she’d cry a bit at night and I might be a bit tired but my life would essentially be the same with a baby. No. The reality was I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Some parents talked about self-imposing standards that were “too high”. And a few mothers believed this contributed to their experiences of postnatal depression. Melanie, a mother of one who experienced postnatal depression, said trying to “do everything perfectly” had exhausted her and made bonding with her baby difficult.

Parents were often surprised to discover a new baby placed their relationship with their partner under strain. Tina, a migrant mother from Iran, said bridging the unexpected and “very deep gap” between her and her husband in early parenthood took time and effort. While most couples’ relationships recovered after an initial period of difficult adjustment, a few ended.

Many parents were distressed by the difference between their expectations and experiences of early parenthood. Some described feelings of anger, anxiety, resentment towards their babies, guilt, or a sense of failure. Those for whom becoming a parent held few “surprises” described less distress, though they still found early parenthood challenging.

Many felt that, as a parent-to-be, they had been too focused on pregnancy and childbirth and this was reinforced by their antenatal classes. Sara, a parent of two children, questioned whether “half an hour with the crocheted breast and the doll” was adequate preparation for breastfeeding.

Shorter hospitals stays mean less time to get used to feeding, bathing and settling while help is on hand. Amy Bundy/Flickr, CC BY-NC

The trend towards shorter hospital stays after birth was also considered unhelpful. A few women who were able to stay in hospital up to five days appreciated being able to gain infant care skills and establish breastfeeding before going home, where often they had very little formal or informal support.

Bridging the gap

Based on our research and previous studies, we suggest the following three avenues to prepare expectant mothers and fathers for early parenthood:

  • better antenatal education
  • a greater willingness by parents of older babies or children to be open about their experiences with expecting parents
  • the development of credible online resources to share experiences of early parenthood.

Antenatal education provided through maternity hospitals is an obvious opportunity for assisting parents to prepare better. Past research has identified a number of shortcomings with antenatal education, including relevance to expecting parents’ needs, reach, teaching style and cost-effectiveness.

Classes could be re-designed to include greater balance between labour and birth and early parenting, and could also involve more peer-to-peer learning, including through inviting new parents to talk about their experiences.

In an attempt to recreate the informal learning about early parenting that is no longer as available through family networks, experienced parents can help counter some of the myths of early parenthood by sharing their experiences with expecting parents or those with younger children.

Many concerns can hold parents back from speaking openly with one another. These include a desire to not scare expecting parents with “horror stories”, or a fear of being judged a “bad” parent if they share feelings of doubt and ambivalence. In fact, greater openness can help expecting parents be better prepared for what lies ahead.

Sharing your own experiences of parenting can help expecting parents prepare. James Laing/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Finally, the internet is an increasingly important source of information about pregnancy, labour and birth, and early parenting for expecting and new parents. Hearing other people’s experiences online is particularly valuable.

Maternity hospitals should offer expecting and new parents a guide to useful, reliable online resources on these subjects to counter the sense of “information overload” and the desire for credible information.

If you’re a new or expecting parent, you can watch the interviews from the Emotional Experiences of Early Parenthood project here. The site contains a rich array of experiences of every step on the journey to parenthood, from people from a wide range of backgrounds and circumstances.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The Conversation
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<![CDATA[Best Rose Bowl Ever]]>Fri, 02 Jan 2015 05:21:44 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/best-rose-bowl-ever

Today was the best possible scenario for me and my family.

The Ducks won the Rose Bowl.

This has been a big deal since we found out the Ducks would be playing on New Year's Day.

New Year's Day.

Lela's expected due date.

I was afraid that I'd be in the hospital, mostly watching Meghaan give birth and partially tracking the game on my phone.

I'm not a caveman, mind you.

I understand that my wife giving birth takes precedence over a football game.

But I went to Oregon and my family is a Ducks family and this is a big deal to us.

Well, good news- Lela was super early. So instead of sitting in a hospital room, we sat on our couch.

And she got to sit with Mimi.

That's my mom, by the way.

Lela loves her Mimi.

And she loves the Ducks.

Lela wore Ducks gear and slept and cried and ate lots of breastfood.

And the Duckies won 59-20 and looked amazing and now they're playing for the national championship on January 12.

We'll be watching it from home. No distractions and no conflicts and nothing but us focusing on what's important.

Our baby.

And our Duckies.

And delicious beer.

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<![CDATA[New Year]]>Thu, 01 Jan 2015 19:40:24 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/new-year

Last night, Meghaan and I had a New Year's Eve unlike any other year.

We sat on the couch and I held Lela as we watched a movie and then Meghaan fed Lela and I drank a beer and we had nachos and fell asleep right around 12:01.

That's pretty different from any other year that I can remember.

When my friends and I were in our late teens we started renting beach houses and partying at the coast. And since then there's always been a big celebration to ring in the new year. Lots of food and drinks and dancing and a bit of madness.

The party was different this year. And that's not a bad thing.

As long as you have good company, the party is still fun. And I couldn't ask for anyone better than these two ladies to share my NYE celebration with.

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<![CDATA[To My Students]]>Tue, 30 Dec 2014 23:55:17 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/to-my-students

For the past 7.5 years, this has been my view at the start and end of the day.

From the front of the room, I would look out and see and feel a few different things.

Sometimes hope. Occasionally excitement. Always a mix of pressure and exhaustion and curiosity.

You never know what's going to happen in the 7 hours you're at the helm of your classroom. That's one of the things that makes teaching such a great profession.

It's also what makes it so demanding and frustrating.

I have wonderful students. They're high achieving and interesting and kind and they do their best to give a damn about the math that I think is so interesting.

It isn't interesting to them. But they fake it, and I love that about them.

They're nice kids.

But they aren't my kids.

So I'm leaving them for a month to be home with my own child.

It's sort of a temporary retirement. I'm stepping away from what has been my life for just shy of a decade, in order to try my hand at something new.

It's a weird feeling, knowing that I won't be back at the job that has defined me as a person until February. Teaching has changed my outlook on life and the future of our youth, mostly in a good way.

These kids aren't as bad as people seem to think.

They use their cell phones constantly. But you know what, they're still socializing. It's just different than what we're used to.

They don't want to do their history or math or English homework. Did you really like doing your homework when you were 15? Be honest. I doubt you did.

Kids today are lazy. Maybe some are. But the ones I know are involved in so many sports and clubs and outside activities, PLUS they maintain their grades and social interactions. They may seem lazy when it comes to doing things they don't want to do. But most of these kids certainly are not lazy.

The kids are alright.

And I'll miss them. But this is what's going to define me moving forward. Who I am as a father and husband will depend on how I handle the changes we will experience this year.

I want to start off the right way, so I am saying goodbye to my students.

Not forever. Just until February.

Hang in there, guys. Pretend to love math and I'll pretend to love changing diapers.

We can do this.

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<![CDATA[That Was Not Cute Lela]]>Mon, 29 Dec 2014 21:53:45 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/that-was-not-cute-lela

I was just changing Lela's diaper, which was full of poop.

Double diaper bombs, you could say.

As I was changing her, she farted and blew some poo my way.

I dodged it, but still. It was a close call.

That was not cute, Lela.

But earlier this morning you were the cutest baby on the planet.

Here's evidence.

I want to remember you looking like this. Not launching a mini poo rocket into the stratosphere of your nursery.

POOston, we almost had a problem.

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<![CDATA[Beers After Baby]]>Mon, 29 Dec 2014 04:28:57 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/beers-after-baby

Shoutout to Loowit Brewing Company and the lovely Korrie and Nina for spending some time with us tonight.

To make things even better, the incomparable Glenn Hess made a special trip to come and see us and meet Lela.

And now I've got a growler of Shadow Ninja at home, so my beer situation is looking good.

New parents- there seems to be life after having your baby. Granted, it's different. You have one beer and then go home. But when you get home you get to take your baby out of the carrier and hold him/her. And that's the highlight of the night.

That seemed impossible a week ago. I thought we'd never leave the house.

But we did and it was a great way to spend an hour and we will be back to Loowit soon.

Cheers!

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<![CDATA[Join The Pack]]>Sun, 28 Dec 2014 17:09:11 GMThttp://www.morelandprint.com/the-unprepared-father/join-the-pack

The dogs continue to move in and jockey for proximity to baby Lela.

Alfie took to the blanket on the couch. We had Tom and Marilyn bring this back from the hospital a couple days before we came home so the dogs could learn Lela's smell.

Alfie learned it. And then he moved on. Baby blanket? More like dog fort material.

Lola, on the other hand, already had a chance to meet Lela this week, so she's gaining momentum much faster.

Her bed is below Lela's crib. This way she can either protect or maul the baby, depending on her mood at that moment.

The dogs know there's a new pack member. I'm just not sure what they think about it.

Are they welcoming her by trying to be a part of the things that belong to her? Or are they defending their turf and letting Lela know that the blanket and crib belong to the gang now?

Only time will tell.

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