What A Dad Loves

by Bryan Friedman in Daddy's Corner

I’ve been a dad for exactly two months now, and thanks to my amazingly talented writer of a wife, you know that so much has already happened. In just these two short months I’ve learned so much. Yes, I’ve learned a lot about babies and parenting and diapers and bottles, but I’ve learned a lot about myself too.

Becoming a dad fulfills a dream for me and so far it truly has been an amazing experience. Although we’ve had a bit of a tumultuous ride if you look at things from a certain angle, I think that having a child seriously makes you put things into perspective and view everything that happens in a bit of a different light. It’s funny — I’ve hardly stayed angry or felt negative about much of anything for more than a few minutes. One look at Madelyn’s face, even if she’s crying, makes me wonder what there really is to be upset about.

It all sounds cliche and perhaps a bit too rosy, but for me, so far, it’s true. What I’ve loved about being a dad so far are all the moments I get to observe and the family time I get to enjoy. Here are the things I’ve grown to love in my early tenure as a father…

Watching Alison Be A Mom
One of the things I was excited about throughout the whole pregnancy was the chance to see my wife become a mother. Watching the woman I love transform into the mother she has become has not disappointed. To see her in action truly inspires me. It’s really amazing to watch those mom instincts kick in as she tackles a diaper rash, picks out an outfit or rushes to feed the baby. When I walk in on her holding Madelyn, rocking or bouncing with her and singing songs to her…well, I pretty much just completely melt. If it’s possible to “fall in love with someone all over again,” I think I probably have fallen in love with Alison again about ten times in the past month alone. Plus, I don’t care what she says, she’s never been sexier to me than she is now. (Okay, maybe on our wedding night…)


Taking Care Of My Family
For the first few weeks of our parenthood, during Alison’s rough recovery and the tough nights taking care of both her and the baby, I sort of had to go on autopilot. I was doing so much during that time that when I look back at it, I am seriously not even sure how I was able to do it. I guess it was my own dad instincts that helped me get through it. (Well, that, and also some seriously super grandparents!) Anyway, I’m happy to have gone through that experience because it helped me become a calm and confident parent. Now that I’m back at work and Alison and I are both running at full capacity, it’s such an enjoyable experience…even when it gets crazy and insane. Alison and I have always made a great marriage team but now to share in parenting duties as a team, I can honestly say I’d put us up against any other parents any day of the week. 😉 It’s fun when we just get into that mode where we barely have to talk to each other but we are reading each other’s minds and we orchestrate a diaper change or a feeding together. I think we may be more efficient at getting out of the house with Madelyn now than we ever were at getting out of the house just the two of us. It is really some kind of awesome.

IMG_7621Photo by Sara Marie Photography

Coming Home From Work
After three weeks of being home just after the birth, I finally had to go back to work. I had originally planned for three weeks just because I was lucky enough to be able to take that much, but it turned out I really needed all of that time. I was not too happy about going back, but luckily we had fallen into something of a routine so I felt okay leaving Alison at home…it was just that I didn’t want to miss anything! So of course, there is nothing like walking in the door around 6pm to discover what state things are in. Sometimes Princeton runs to me to greet me and I come in to see a calm household with Alison quietly enjoying Madelyn. Other times Princeton runs to me for help as if to say, “Make the chaos stop please,” and I hear the screaming upstairs where I find Alison wrangling with a tough diaper change or some squirmy tummy time. Either way it’s a lovely surprise for me — I join the peace or help calm the crazy.

Taking Pictures
You already know I feel it’s my duty to document this kid’s life story. She changes so much every day and every moment is so fleeting it seems impossible to keep up. This commercial practically made me cry when I first saw it on television for exactly that reason. I just feel like I can never get quite the right picture like I want. I wish I could capture more moments and make every picture better. Still, I guess I’ve been doing a pretty good job so far.


Sharing Experiences
Getting to share all these new parenting and baby experiences with Alison is of course a huge thrill. But it’s even more fun to watch so many of our close friends go through the same experiences at almost exactly the same time. We have at least a dozen friends that are experiencing the first few months of either their first or second baby, and it’s so fun to “network” with them…people we’ve known for what seems like forever, and we are now all having kids. It’s so crazy.

Spending Time With Madelyn
It’s pretty neat how quickly you get to know your child. Within a few weeks we already figured out what Madelyn liked and what would help her sleep. (Of course, we had a little help from Dr. Karp.) Even when I’m annoyed at 4am when she starts to wimper as if to say “Okay guys, I’m hungry now,” or when I’m just about dressed with hands washed and sooooooo tired at 4:05am when she is wailing like “Why the *$&^*% aren’t you guys feeding me already?,” once I get in the room and pick her up, I just don’t really care what time it is anymore. Then there’re those evenings when I sit by her crib and soothe her to sleep…I feel so victorious when I get her to finally fall! So rewarding! And of course those mornings, right after feeding her, when I bring her in to hang out with the whole family and she coos and stares at the ceiling fan after Princeton tries to lick her and give her even more love than we do. I mean these are the moments. I love it.

Daddy and Madelyn

  1. Ellen/Grandma
    10/10/2011 7:17 AM

    It’s been pretty amazing watching you, Bry. You are a natural. Who knew? So proud!