Thursday, November 5, 2009


It has been said that having children will change your life. Well whoever came up with that little chestnut was a master of the bleeding obvious. Of course, we all know that the arrival of a little bundle of joy is going to alter your experience and understanding of the world, we’re just a little unsure as to how. And as David Bowie sang,

Pretty soon you're gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

I remember in the first few weeks after My Sweet and I brought Baby James home. We were both on leave from work, me permanently, and the whole baby thing seemed like a piece of cake. Our son seemed to sleep all the time, nappy changes weren’t too horrendous and as he was being bottle fed, we could both take a hit for the team when it came to middle of the night feeds. In fact, one of my strongest memories from the time is when My Sweet and I were sitting on our front verandah, both reading the paper, drinking coffee and enjoying the early summer weather and as Baby James stirred we quibbled over who’s turn it was to attend, not as it is at times now, but instead we were debating in order to be the one to have a turn with the new play thing.

So there it is, confirmation from another new parent that life has changed. That, I’m sure maintains a 100% strike rate for that particular survey. Again, Bowie sings,

Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

(Although, I think the ‘different man’ in this chorus was a reference to his own sexual confusion or transvestism or something of that nature, but nevertheless, taken at face value, I think the lyric is appropriate for the change facing a house dad.) Anyway …

So, here’s a list of changes that have either already happened or that I’m working on. In no particular order, I…
- Walk lightly around the house when Baby James is asleep, trying to avoid the loose floor boards that squeak incredibly loudly, or so my brain tells me.
- Refer to My Sweet as ‘Mum’.
- Use a firm grip and open the door to Baby James’ room slowly to minimise noise when checking if he’s still asleep.
- Am trying to become a patient person, remembering expressions my own mum uses like, ‘there’s more than a dozen ways to cook a chook’ or ‘what’ll it matter in 10 years time’.
- Stopped smoking. Well, technically I did that before Baby James arrived. But I did it for the thought of him and for My Sweet and the rest of my family as well as myself. (Wouldn’t mind a bunger from time to time though)
- Share meals with Baby James, moving on from scrambled eggs, baked beans on toast are pretty good at the moment.
- Sing nursery rhymes and kiddy songs all the time and if I can’t remember one of those to help ‘soothe the savage beast’ that is Baby James at dressing for bed time, then a few lines of any Beatles tune will do.
- Am trying to stop using bad language (little ears you know).
- Used to find myself standing in the nursery looking down on Baby James checking that he was breathing.
- Now find myself standing in the nursery looking down on Baby James and I smile.
- Look forward to being able to bowl to Baby James in the nets and kick a footy with him.

So, there you have it, some of my changes. I could’ve added heaps more to the list, but I think you get the drift. I’m betting too, that if you’re a new parent, or an old parent for that matter, that you’ve found yourself doing some of the things on the list too and that life is not as recognisable to you as it once was.


  1. maybe Bowie not best person to quote in post on parenting, as Zowie changed name to Duncan and doesn't speak with either parent these days.

    Hospital nurseries are really noisy places and the babies sleep, so stop tiptoeing. You know you have slept soundly in front of a blaring TV.

    Good luck with sweet baby James.

  2. You are the newest blogger I've encountered in the blog world. I'm fairly new to it myself.

    We are at opposite ends of the parenting divide. My youngest is 15, my oldest has a two year old.

    It's good stuff parenting, but it takes it out of you, needless to say.

    I'd like to say it gets easier and in a manner of speaking it does, but these ealy days are the stangest days. For me, especilly with the first they seemed to last forever and then they were over in the blink of an eye.

    More power to you as a father-at-home. Little James will thank you for it.

  3. Thanks for the comments, they are gratefully received and appreciated. I was dubious about using a Bowie reference, hence the qualification about the likely interpretation of the subject matter. I tend to laugh at myself a lot vis a vis the irrational behaviour I sometimes exhibit. I hope you'll continue reading and find some enjoyment as I am enjoying writing them.