I’m feeding Finn right now and dictating this as I hold him in a bottle in my other hand.
I got back late last night from a business trip to Portland. It was my first night away from him. It was hard, I missed him very much, but I also got a full nights sleep for the first time since he was born. I felt amazing the next day. It felt like that moment when you’re no longer sick with the flu.
By that, I mean I was wealthy. My time was mostly my own and I could easily predict how long a given task would take or when I should leave the house to make an appointment.
I knew that becoming a father would change all of that. But there are different types of knowing. There’s a conceptual knowing — a fact you picked up from a conversation or something you read — and there’s an experiential knowing that brings home the new reality.
I’m back to work now, so my time is at a very expensive premium. There are things I will have to give up — some I have already given up. It’s difficult and kind of sad. I have a commute, work and parenting on top of housework, eating/biological functions and sleep. Oh, and there’s relationship time.
I think the first thing to go will be entertainment. I just don’t have as much time to watch TV any more. After that, movies, too. I’ve already got a shoulder-high stack of rentals waiting to be watched. I might be able to put them on my phone and watch them during my commute hours, but that’s when I’m writing.
Work will have to narrow for me, too. I’ve been working 50 hours a week or so. I need to scale that back and say no to more meetings and tasks.
Here’s where it gets painful: hobbies. I might have to scale down my garden plans. No big, long bicycle trips this summer or training. Fewer baseball games. Fewer computer projects. I’m not going to build a kayak or a bicycle any time soon.
And, believe me when I say, that’s ok. These are sacrifices I make joyfully. This kid is wonderful and he is the new center of my life. I want to be the best dad I can be.
Do I even have time to write this blog? Well, I make time to write it because it’s important to me. Someday, years from now, I might have the time to go back and read this.