April 30, 2020, among all the craziness going on with the Coronavirus, my wife Cindy and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Juliette. When Cindy first gave birth, I had a rush of all these crazy feelings and emotions hit me at the same time. I actually felt like I was going to faint (and I’ve never fainted before). It was a crazy moment that’s hard to describe. Since that moment, our lives have completely changed. In case you didn’t know, having a baby is a big responsibility, breaking news. It’s a 24 hour job that requires a lot of attention and care.
When it comes to having a new born baby, you can never have enough help. If you have family or friends, or anyone who is willing to help out, let them. Even if it’s just for 1 feeding or holding them for a short time. However, at the end of the day, most of the responsibility will fall on the parents. It’s important for both parents to help out and do their part, no matter what the personal circumstances may be. For our relationship, I’ve always been the one who’s worked all day and night to support our family. Cindy has always been the caregiver giving love and support. I think we both expected that Cindy would manage more of Juliette’s responsibilities while I focused on work. So far that expectation has been accurate. Cindy has been managing most of the feedings, diaper changes, cleaning the bottles, (it’s a long list). There have been times when she has felt overwhelmed. Believe me, when your baby is having a bad day and they get into a mood when they won’t stop crying, it can be a very stressful and mentally exhausting experience. Especially when you consider the lack of sleep you’re dealing with. I didn’t realize it in the beginning, but now I realize I need to offer to help more. I wasn’t helping enough, but at the same time, I didn’t realize that Cindy was feeling so overwhelmed. She never asked me for help, not once. And knowing her personality, she’s really tough. But then, one day, she snapped. Which leads us to the next most important point.
Like I was saying, one night, Cindy snapped! She blew up on me. Saying I wasn’t helping enough, I wasn’t being a good dad, and a lot of other hurtful things. But she was right, I wasn’t helping enough. I was working really hard day and night trying to close deals (and not doing a great job of it in my opinion). I was feeling very stressed out with work and I was having a lot of negative thoughts like, “What if I’m not able to financially support our family?” I was feeling the pressure and I was afraid. But aside from work, Cindy said she felt like she shouldn’t have to tell me to help out, that I should just want to help out naturally. And I agree with that. But I explained to her that she can ask for help anytime and I’ll stop what I’m doing and help. I would rather her tell me she’s feeling overwhelmed and ask for help before all of these feelings boil up into an explosion. Since then, I’ve been trying to be more proactive, offering to help with feedings among other things.
Having a new born baby can be stressful and exhausting, so it’s important that both parents communicate their feelings openly with each other. We really didn’t know what it would be like to be parents. There’s really nothing that can prepare you for all of the challenges and all of the things you will learn along the way. And although I’ve mostly talked about the challenges, your baby will also bring you joy and happiness in a way like nothing else can. When you look at your baby in the eyes and you see your baby smile, it warms your heart in a special way. Juliette is only 2 months old at the time I’m writing this so our adventure is just getting started. I’m looking forward to whatever comes next. I’ll be ready with open arms.
This blog post was written by Daniel Pessin. These are thoughts and opinions of Daniel Pessin and should not be viewed as facts.