This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
So last night I drove up to Hyannis to attend a “Daddy & Me Pizza Party” at Cape Cod Hospital.
It was a really good time. Although technically I was listed as a speaker, I wasn’t really there for that. I was there to meet some other Dads, talk about some stuff and commiserate. And that’s exactly what happened.
I feel like I should apologize to them all for my lackluster attempt at public speaking. I think I’m a better writer than a speaker. But from the outset, I made it clear I was not there to dispense advice. Because who the hell am I to give advice? I’ve been a dad for 9 weeks and most of them know more about it than I do. My goal was simply to get people talking, and I’m sure all you ladies out there know that sending a bunch of guys to a group to talk about their feelings isn’t the easiest task. So I told a few stories, gave some examples from my personal life about becoming a dad, and from there discussion ensued.
I really liked all of the half-dozen guys who were there. Everyone had different jobs and backgrounds, but it was clear we all loved being dads. Sure we talked about some things we didn’t love (occasionally nutty behavior from our significant others, the high cost of daycare, making ends meet, etc) but from my point of view it was just nice to be with a group of guys around my age, who were going through the same thing. So guys, thanks a lot for putting up with my poor public speaking and thanks for all the helpful advice. It’s much appreciated.
But the real fun started when Will and I got home. When I left the hospital and called MJ, I knew immediately she had taken full advantage of her night off. To make a long story short, she was BLASTED! She had gone to her parent’s house and had six a couple glasses of wine. So I dropped by their house because I knew I’d have to drive her home. She was hysterical. And this is in no way, shape or form a criticism of my wife. She works hard with Will all day and she richly deserved a break. And while I knew she was a little drunk, I realized she was blasted when she looked at Will, sighed, and said “Let’s have another one.”
Plus I think she was a little upset from earlier in the day because she mixed up the date of Will’s 2-month doctor’s appointment. She told me it was today but really it was Wednesday. Even though it’s no big deal (we’re rescheduled for next Tuesday) she took it really hard and I had to keep telling her she was not a horrible mother. That’s one thing that makes me sad about MJ. She’s a great mom but she’s so hard on herself. Moms are allowed to make mistakes, contrary to what they all think. There is so much pressure on mothers to be absolutely perfect, but that’s bullshit. Moms are human and sometimes they make mistakes. I know for damn sure that dads make mistakes, so it’s not the end of the world if you forget one tiny detail. After all, we’d be lost without moms. They’re the glue holding our crazy lives together.
But I do have to give MJ credit for being sly. Because she was tipsy, that meant no breastfeeding because he’d be drunk in a couple of sips. I temporarily nicknamed her boobs “Bartles” and “James” but I don’t think she remembers that today. So that meant I got to take care of Will well into the wee hours of the morning while MJ was passed out and snoring like a freight train. I actually had to sleep on the couch because despite holding her nose, elbowing her and turning her over, she was louder than a locomotive. I’m surprised our new neighbors didn’t complain.
For any interested dads out there, I think there’s a similar group that meets in the Falmouth area. I’ll post some details as soon as I confirm.