Papa Weighs In on Self-Care

Dear Madelene,

I shared your post with my husband last night. He tries to keep up with Connect Shore, but we are truly prolific bloggers despite all our talk of wishing to write more. We’re a bit of an overachieving crew, I suppose.

But this one I showed to him. I was curious to get his take on the issue of “self-care” and to find out if your advice could be applicable to the Papas too. Or, at least, this one Papa.

I asked him a few questions, and here are his responses. And come to think of it, your post was a response to yet another blogger. And so it goes as we all try to figure this parenting thing out.

-Marta B.

How do you like to spend an afternoon off?
I like to listen to music, catch up with friends, read magazine articles on new music and sports, and workout. Exercise is probably the best way to clear your mind and recharge your batteries.  Madelene wrote about knowing what “your core” is, or what’s most important to you as a person, and for me, that’s the easy part. Music and sports are key to who I am.

What are the challenges to enjoying these activities?
I struggle to find the time. Sometimes, I’m just too tired. I come home from work with the best intentions to go to the gym, but once I get home it can be hard to motivate myself to head out again. The weeks pass. Maybe we could be better organized and write things down on a calendar, like she suggested in the blog, but then things always come up at your work or mine, or other errands need to get done. Stuff happens.

Sometimes I’ll skip a yoga class or local art show because I feel guilty about working away from the home. Do you ever feel that way?
I am glad that I am able to spend Monday with Ilan. It is my day with him. I think it is really important, and if I didn’t have that day for just the two of us, I would feel like I was missing out on time with him. Sometimes, when I consider applying for a new position to advance my career, I pause, because I would not want to lose those Mondays.

Did it ever occur to you that you might lose your own personal identity when you became a parent? Or that you might change in some significant way?
No. Completely not. I have more responsibility and I am a little more stressed. But I am the same person. Maybe people don’t feel like themselves because they haven’t found a good rhythm or routine yet. This is especially true with a newborn in the house. You might feel stuck or overwhelmed, but things have a way of settling down. It only takes a call to an old friend to find myself just the same as always – the same jokes, the same guy.

I can’t wait for my son to get a little older so that I can share my interests, and who I am, with him. We can have fun together now — we play guitar together, listen to music together (mine not his), kick the soccer ball outside at the park, go for bike rides. But in a few years, he’ll be capable of understanding and doing more. I guess that is what Madelene meant by “having your cake and eating it too.” You can be yourself and share that with your child.

Sledding

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2 responses to “Papa Weighs In on Self-Care

  1. This is really great to read as a guy who’s about to become a dad. I’m looking forward to having a little buddy to share the world with and learn it again through his eyes. Thanks for sharing.

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