One year with a baby — how am I holding up?

Pretired Baby had a good Christmas

Pretired Baby had a good Christmas

Today marks the one-year mark from the day Pretired Mama went back to work after her maternity leave. Closing the door and turning around to care for a baby all by myself is an overwhelming feeling.

In the early days, it actually wasn’t that difficult. Milk-sleep-poop-repeat. Milk-sleep-poop-repeat. The weather was even nice enough that we were able to take walks together nearly every day. He slept often enough that I had no trouble getting all my chores done each day, even having food on the table most days when Mama came home from work.

As time went on, we got into a routine. Since he was immobile and very mellow, I found the time to do some part-time consulting and even started a blog! Pretired Baby did his part, being quiet when I needed to talk to a client and exceeding all his growth benchmarks. So one year with a baby so far, here we are: comfortable with each other, hopelessly attached and used to our little routine.

I had grandparents watching him one day a week, which was a great help in my sanity as well as giving me the precious block of hours I needed to do some work. My wife has had quite a bit of time off as well, a few weeks between jobs and quite a bit of free time around the holidays, as well as quite a bit of freedom to work from home. Just recently we added a nanny one day a week to give me a little more bandwidth, which is helping quite a bit, but is expensive.

But all-in-all I think we did pretty well. Although some people think men shouldn’t be the primary caregiver, no one died and I’d even say he’s thriving. His language skills are developing very rapidly, he’s running around like crazy and is a very happy little boy.

That said, things are getting harder now. No longer can I just park him next to me while I work. He is also sleeping much less, cutting greatly into my work and blog time. Plus I’m more worn out now after a day of chasing him around. While I wouldn’t trade my time with him for money, the unrelenting nature of this job is exhausting. Some days I crave a break from him and then I feel guilty for that craving.

He needs more attention now and we run out of things to do on rainy days. I picked up The Toddler’s Busy Book but most of the suggestions are good for kids that are 2+. Hopefully it’ll come in handy a little later.

We’ll try to do our first trip to Hawaii this winter and I’m already dreading how crazy he’s going to get on the plane with no nap. Hopefully it’ll be worth it.

He’ll be two this summer and after that milestone we may look at daycare for one or two days a week to start getting him used to being around other kids. Unless you guys start clicking my ads, I’ll have to take on more work to cover that additional cost, but that could be a nice transition toward the extra money I really need to bank to reach my full pretirement goal.

So it should be an interesting few years coming up. It’s been an honor to be able to stay home and take care of my baby. I wish my wife could be here with me, but we’re both so glad one of us could be here.

I have no idea what the next year will look like, but one thing is for sure: it’ll continue to be an adventure!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

31 Thoughts on “One year with a baby — how am I holding up?

  1. Great to hear things are going well. I had time off during the holidays and watched Baby LRC…definitely very special father and son bonding time. He is only 6 months so no running around yet. But he doesn’t nap for too long generally…well…unless you’re holding him. Oh boy! I don’t get much done, but I do enjoy the time.
    What? I don’t have to confirm that I’m a Seahawks fan anymore? Good luck on the playoffs…
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Shamed For My FrugalityMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on January 7, 2014 at 2:05 pm said:

      Hi Andrew! Yeah, I figured I tortured the non-Seahawks fans long enough. But that may come back in a few weeks if all goes well! (:
      I really enjoyed the 6-9 month phase. It was pretty easy but also challenging at times. But mostly it was fun watching him develop and recognize me, etc. I’m glad you had that time!

  2. It looks to me like you guys are thriving. He’s a little cutie, even if he is cutting into your work time. I’ve been told it’s good to get some adult time too, for expectant parents. Your comments seem to support that idea. Looking forward to another year worth of your content…..and Seahawks comments :o)

    Take care
    -Bryan
    Fast Weekly recently posted…My Opinion of Pepsico’s ValuationMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on January 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm said:

      Thanks, Bryan! Things are already getting easier by bringing in some additional help. I could use a vacation from being a dad, but unfortunately this job doesn’t come with that perk!

  3. Thanks for sharing. We went through pretty much the same thing. It’s funny how much easier it was when the kid is less mobile. I think this is a great time for you and the kid. He isn’t talking back and he pretty much does everything you say. 18 months to 2 year old is the sweet spot. :)
    Our guy is finally settling into his preschool routine. Two days a week is perfect. It’s hard to spend all day everyday with him. He is so demanding.
    Anyway, great job so far. Being a stay at home dad is a lot of fun, but it’s not easy.
    Joe recently posted…Dividend Growth Portfolio for Passive IncomeMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on January 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm said:

      Oh man, I’m dreading the talking-back phase. He’s already starting to show his stubborn personality (can’t imagine where he got that) so I know I’m in for a treat.
      Now that Pretired Baby is running around, we’ll have to get these kids back together again one of these days.

  4. Our precious little toddler turns two in April. I know what you mean exactly. You enjoy the time with him but are torn by the total lack of productivity due to chasing him around all day. We haven’t taken on a nanny and probably won’t do daycare, but it would certainly be nice to have more hours in the day!

    The reality is that in a few years the little ones will be in school all day and then you’ll have a big block of 6-7 hours of unstructured time to indulge your creativity and need for productivity. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. :)
    Justin @ Root of Good recently posted…Enjoying Four Months of Early RetirementMy Profile

  5. Being a parent sounds hard! I was a nanny for many years while I was in school. Spending so much time with kids is hard, and I was getting paid for it. I think kids are cute, and I enjoy playing with them for 20 minutes. But that’s it. Good luck. I hear they grow up fast!
    SavvyFinancialLatina recently posted…How a house is impeding me from becoming a BUMMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on January 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm said:

      Wow, you were a nanny? That’s a job I just could not do. At least not for more than one kid at a time. It definitely is going fast. Weirdly so, actually!

  6. Sounds like a pretty great first year. I’d love to follow in that path a bit when we have our first kid: working a bit and taking care of the little one. Stupidly, I fear a lot of the judgment I might get from the neighbors or friends if I stay at home while the missus goes to work. I’m sure I’ll find a way to get over it though.

    Oh, and I’ll click a few ads, too!
    Done by Forty recently posted…What’s it Like in America?My Profile

    • Maybe I naturally exude an effective anti-asshole repellent, but so far no one has been critical of me staying home with the toddler while my wife works. All I have seen is support and a little light-hearted ribbing for being a kept man. A kept man that happens to change diapers, clean off boogers from everywhere and handle miscellaneous whines/cries/vomits at 2 am. That’s a strange definition of kept man if I’ve ever seen one. It’s a battlefield here at chez Root of Good. And the little ones are slowly winning… :)
      Justin @ Root of Good recently posted…Enjoying Four Months of Early RetirementMy Profile

      • Pretired Nick on January 8, 2014 at 7:56 am said:

        Yeah, most people are delighted for me, although there are a few who think I should keep working and let my wife stay home, I guess because she’s a woman. They seem to think that when a man stays at home, we’re getting a free ride or are taking some wonderful away from our wives. When a woman stays home, it’s THE HARDEST JOB IN THE WORLD. Fortunately most people these days look at things as equal and are just glad a parent can be home, period.

    • Pretired Nick on January 8, 2014 at 7:47 am said:

      Yeah, even though there are difficult parts about it, I’m not complaining. It’s been an amazing opportunity. It’d be so great if you were able to do it. By far nearly everyone has been supportive and excited for me, so it’s pretty easy to blow off the naysayers.

  7. Nice to hear that things are going so well! I don’t think that the traditional ideas regarding raising children are still to be followed today. Men can clearly do a good job raising kids and it’s becoming a trend to so. It gives dads a bigger chance to bond better and I believe it makes family life, overall, better. In my case, although I am not spending most of my time helping raise Baby Romanian, the fact that I work from home and every little break I take goes towards spending time with the little fellow is certainly helping a lot. At least when it comes to my sanity and well being. Of course, just like in Andrew’s case, my son is just 6 months old so he’s not running around yet to drive us crazy.
    C. the Romanian recently posted…How to Trick People into Thinking You’re RichMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on January 8, 2014 at 7:48 am said:

      It definitely changes a lot once they’re mobile. Pretired Baby will break away from whoever is watching him when I’m working to rush over and come into my office. We’ll be moving my office to the basement once our remodel is done so that should get easier soon.

  8. Mad props to you for being the main caregiver for your child. I think it’s great!

    I work at home and my kids go to daycare. A lot of people assume that they stay here with me since I’m self-employed but there’s no way I could get anything done with a 2 y.o. and 4 y.o. here.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Hey Guys, it’s 2014: Saving on WirelessMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on January 8, 2014 at 7:50 am said:

      Thanks! Once he’s two we may follow in your path and add in some daycare. Not just so I can have more time, but also so he can get used to other kids. I’m sure we’ll all be sick all the time at that point, but hopefully it’ll be worth it for all of us in the long run.

  9. Congrats on making it through a year! It’s amazing how much things change in such a short period of time. Although our first born was definitely NOT chill enough as a newborn to allow for much work, once they start crawling and walking I’m not really sure how it would be possible. I know my wife is able to get some things done during nap time, but as you say that time slowly starts decreasing. Currently our big struggle is that it’s cold outside which makes things like going to the park pretty much a non-option. It’s not great to be in the house all day, so we try to get creative with getting out.

    Anyways, that was really a lot of complaining! The truth is that it’s so awesome to watch them grow and turn into a little person. You’re in a really great position to be able to spend so much time with him and it’s great to see how much you truly appreciate it and care about it. Your son is a lucky guy.

    Also, I clicked through and read that comment from Diane about you mooching off/ruining your wife’s life. What is it with some people, huh? Gender biases can be very strong indeed.
    Matt Becker recently posted…Traditional vs. Roth IRA: Some Unconventional Wisdom on Which is Better for Young InvestorsMy Profile

  10. Hi Nick,
    We don’t have children yet but we want them. I travel a lot for work, that’s why I want to grow my net worth where I can eventually become pretired like you and spend time with them.
    Charles@gettingarichlife recently posted…Why Do You Choose Material Items Over Your Loved Ones?My Profile

    • Pretired Nick on January 12, 2014 at 6:39 am said:

      Good plan, Charles! As long as your age and income needs work out, reaching pretirement before having kids is totally the way to go.

  11. Glad to hear things are going well!! Looks like you guys are doing a terrific job with him. Yeah, this can be a more busy age, with him being more eager to learn now, but you can do it. Great job, you guys, and I love that you’re home with him. Kids need their dads just as much as they need their moms.
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…5 Things You Shouldn’t Do To Pay Off DebtMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on January 16, 2014 at 9:22 am said:

      Thanks, Laurie! Having a great time so far, although it’s exhausting at times! Hopefully we can keep this going at least another year!

  12. Troy Bombardia on February 1, 2014 at 7:20 am said:

    Lol having a kid sure is trouble (but it’s worth it!) I have to babysit my brother’s kid every once in a while, and he’s just so darn cute (except when it comes ot changing the diapers).
    Troy Bombardia recently posted…Who Should I Use to Host My Ghost Blog?My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Share last post from my blog?

Post Navigation