By: Jorge Buergo-Hernandez
Before we all jump to conclusions and start sniping at the inconsiderate dad, hear me out. My wife and I are the parents of a wonderfully healthy, beautiful, funny, intelligent and playful little girl named Sheikha. My wife is currently expecting our second bundle of joy due to arrive September of 2015 and we could not be more excited. Since we became parents 18 months ago I stopped doing some things for my wife and here they are.
• I DID NOT GET UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FOR FEEDINGS.- Now after reading that, I can almost picture the look in some mother’s faces. Wishing not very pleasant things upon me. I did not get up in the middle of the night for feedings “FOR MY WIFE”. I got up every time because my baby girl was crying and needed her parents. I got up because when she opened her eyes to feed she needed to see her mother and her father. Even though my wife exclusively breastfed, I wanted to look into her eyes every night and make her feel loved. Even though she may not remember it, I will. My wife getting to stay in bed after recovering from birth while I brought her our baby was a bonus for me, not my reason for waking up and taking care of her.
• I DO NOT CHANGE DIAPERS AFTER I GET HOME FROM WORK- I often times get home from work and find an 18 month old behind the door running towards me, same 18-month old is often times packing heat if you know what I mean. I do not change diapers after I get home from work, “FOR MY WIFE”. When I get home that moment when she runs into my arms makes my entire day regardless of how good or bad it has been. My little girl screaming “paaaaapiiii” at the top of her lungs and sprinting to hug me with her 14 teeth out in the open is THE moment. That moment is the nucleus of my day, everything else revolves around that moment. If I find her with a loaded diaper I immediately take care of her, no exceptions. I will not hand her off moments from getting home and sharing our daily date to my wife for her to change her. She has changed plenty throughout the day, of that I am sure. I don’t clean my little girl up for my wife or because she asked me. I simply do it because my little girl needs to be clean. It leads to her pulling on my beard as I change her and we laugh together and she, in her own way tells me about her day.
• I DO NOT GIVE MY DAUGHTER A BATH EVERY NIGHT- Every night my daughter gets her bathroom routine right before dinner and I do not bathe her “FOR MY WIFE”. My wonderful wife spends her entire day with our baby, they share so many fun times while I am at work. When daddy gets home it is his turn. I give her a bath every night obviously because she needs one, stinky little thing and two because she has an absolute blast in the tub with her toys, with the water and most importantly, with me. We play every night and this is not a favor or a request from my wife. She is my daughter and our time together for me is indispensable. Once again during this time my wife gets a half hour of kid free time which being 39 weeks pregnant, believe me she appreciates and this is a bonus.
• I DO NOT, EVER PUT MY DAUGHTER TO SLEEP- Every night after dinner, we all go brush our teeth. My little girl lets one of us brush or should I say attempt to brush her 14 teeth and then “bed time”. I do not, ever put my daughter to sleep “FOR MY WIFE”. Bed time is a great time for me and my baby. We usually spend about an hour in her room. Just her and I together. She lays on top of me and I read her three books. Usually her three personal favorites Baby says good night, Goodnight Moon and On the night you were born. After I read her the three books she spends about another 15-20 minutes talking to me, playing with my face, pulling on my beard, etc. Eventually she doses off on top of me. This happens almost every night. Some of you might say she should be sleeping on her own, etc, etc. But this is just the reality of things. More often than I would like I end up passing out as well and then my wife comes in and finds us both passed out on the chair in her room. What makes you think I do that every night for my wife. I do that completely for my little girl and for myself.
• I DO NOT PUT DIAPER BAGS TOGETHER- I do not put diaper bags together, let alone carry it “FOR MY WIFE”. Okay, the carry part I do mostly for my wife…LOL. She’s very pregnant. When we are out and about it is very important to have everything you could ever need in that bag. Diapers, Wipes, Water, Extra clothes, First Aid, etc, etc. If my baby ever needs any one of those things and we don’t have it that is simply unacceptable. I make sure that bag is stocked and complete every time before we head out because my baby deserves that and much more from both of us.
• I DO NOT MAKE SURE MY DAUGHTER IS DRESSED PROPERLY- Regardless of what we are doing I do not make sure my daughter is dressed properly “FOR MY WIFE”. I always make sure she is dressed appropriately. If we are going somewhere nice she gets the dress, the nice shoes, the head band. I may butcher the color schemes or fabric tones or whatever else is wrong in fashion, but I always make sure my little girl is dressed for the activity, her hair is brushed and she is comfortable. I don’t take this upon myself for my wife to not have to do it or because she asks me to do it. I do it for my baby girl, so she looks pretty, so she gets compliments, so she can be comfortable.
In closing, becoming a dad for me was milestone that could never be surpassed by anything else. I cannot imagine anything greater in my life. My daughter defined to me the true meaning of perfection, love and complete selfless adoration. This and many other reasons are why I do not take care of my baby for my wife or as a favor to my wife. I need my little girl to always remember and know without a shadow of a doubt, that her daddy was the best friend, caretaker, teacher, man, husband, and father she will ever meet. I know I am not the only dad that feels this way. There are many men who care and adore their children. Who choose to be a protagonist in their child’s life not a sidekick. Who choose to be Batman, not Robin or worse The Joker. Loving my children is supreme, them loving me back is paradise.