Dad Struggles | 1

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The past few weeks have been hectic to say the least.  Kait and I decided to put our house on the market, and in doing so our lives have become incredibly busy.  Though it is by far one of the most exciting times in our lives, it is also one of the most stressful.  

In order to put our house on the market at the price we feel it is worth, we had to do a lot of “light” construction work.   This included a whole lot of decluttering, cleaning, painting, power washing, packing, donating, and also included getting rid of a huge pile of wood in our basement.  It’s amazing how difficult it is to find people who are willing to take great reclaimed 100 year old oak wood beams.  None of the places around us that are in the reclaimed business would take the wood for free.  One of the companies said the interior beams have too many nails, which granted, they do, but it still surprised me as I think that gives the wood so much character.  I actually finished one of the beams and it looks awesome. Anyway, we ended up having to get a junk company to take the wood, which we don’t love.  We hope they do something with the wood and don’t just throw it in a landfill.  That’s not good for any of us.

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I also can’t believe how difficult it was to find someone to do some power washing, actually pretty impossible for a reasonable price.  The two companies that actually did respond when we reached out quoted us at $400 and $700. We had someone do it for $200 about three years ago, so I don’t quite understand the drastic increase in price.  We couldn’t justify spending that so I ended up renting a power washer from Home Depot.  It took me about five hours including pick up and drop off — what a pain in the ass — but besides the time, it only cost $98.  Again, so much waste of water.  I feel very conflicted with all this stuff we do to make things “look” nice.  The power washing was to wash all of the moss off of our house.  So I used countless gallons of water, gas, and oil to destroy nature so this man-made thing that we place value on looks more appealing, so we can sell it for this man-made thing we call money that we say means something.

Anyway, with all of this house work, writing/editing/photography for Observing Experience, website and client work for Logan Kinei, being a husband, father, and with the fair amount of weekend traveling we’ve been doing, I’m left with little to no time for anything else.  

IMG_1252With the amount we have going on, I feel as though I have been slacking on the father front, to Weston and Avett.  Avett takes a back seat all of the time, unfortunately.  He is so good and self-sufficient right now that he just doesn’t demand our attention like Weston does.  As I had mentioned in my Cape Cod post, Weston started sleeping so well through the night – at least to start the night.  He’s slept six to seven plus hours straight most nights now. It’s wonderful. It makes such a big difference for all of us, however, he is not napping as long or regularly throughout the day.  He is requiring a lot attention, as in being held, for hours and hours.  It’s great, but it’s also challenging.  I end up missing a lot of time with him because Kait will take him while I change lights fixtures, outlets, paint, power wash, do work, etc.  Then I’ll try to give her a break, but then Weston will need to eat and he’ll have to go back to Kait. Then I get something else started to not waste time, and then it feels like I spent about ten minutes with Weston throughout the entire day.

Weston is doing great overall, but he does baby things like crying for reasons that we don’t really know.  Sometimes with all of this stress, for lack of a better word, I get frustrated when he is crying.  I think he has started to really cry and be quite fussy when he is tired and approaching his sleep times.  This is a little different and has really seemed to pick up in the past couple of weeks.  Kait thinks there is gas involvement too, which is likely.  However, as any parents know, when he is in this state there really isn’t too much else you can do.  We do not abide by the cry it out method, instead we provide love and comfort.  We believe this is the best approach, but when doing this he requires 100% of our attention.  Take last night for example, I was able to calm him down but any time I tried to then multitask in any possible way – any possible way, like even move to grab a pretzel – he started back up again.  Trying to use the phone or computer during this time is the worst.  He really hates that, somehow he knows. Or maybe I’m projecting that because I think it’s the worst, but he truly does seem to know and doesn’t like it.

As Deepak Chopra says, “Any time you look at the world, you are looking at a reflection of yourself.”

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This past weekend was much better because I didn’t have to leave my family at all.  It was the best. Kait and I could work more as a team to figure out this whole parenting thing, as well as  helping each other in every other aspect of our lives.  Kait has been working on getting her own blog started (LittleFootLiving.com), so I was able to help her put some finishing touches on that.  We were actually able to meal prep for this week, which is something we love to do but haven’t had the chance with traveling and the small kitchen renovation going on.  We ordered/ate out wayyyy more than we typically do. 

Another positive in all of this….I love the de-cluttering we did and the excitement for all of the new changes to come in our life.  Living in a house that is having any kind of construction is always challenging – we did it last year for about two months during a major renovation.  This time is different, since we have Weston and we are doing it to make the house more appealing to sell, but it’s been difficult in its own way.  It always seems to take longer than we think it will to finish.  I am writing this on Wednesday, and we have to have the house ready for the listing photos to be taken tomorrow, and then open houses are on Saturday and Sunday.  The majority of the construction should be done today, but that doesn’t leave us for much time to get things in order.  Plus we are going to Charleston, so we also have to pack and have everything in the right place since we won’t be around.

IMG_1242I need to work on being more present, especially when I am stressed.  I continue to be aware of these things and continue to make Kait, Weston, and Avett a priority.  I do not feel like an absent father because I feel like I have to be something that I am not being, it’s because I want to be involved.  I don’t want to feel annoyed by Weston or Avett, or even Kait.  I want to spend my time with them and deal with all the shit.  I don’t want to do the other stuff as much, the stuff that feels important but isn’t as important.  That’s the ego and conditioned mind pulling hard, but the more I am aware of it, the more I can brush it off.

Our flight to Charleston will be the first time we fly with Weston.  I’m a little nervous for the process of it all. I get nervous over those things for some reason, but I am typically good about letting it go.  I also do a little research and learn from others so I have an idea of what the best approach may be.  We are looking forward to getting away from all of this craziness for a bit.  

Sometimes we get caught up in the ego conditioning.  Best we can do is to continue to work on being as aware as possible so we don’t get caught in the shit for too long.

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As they tend to do, these challenges for me have proven fruitful.  I have been more aware and am doing a better job at handling the stress and time “limitations”. I have learned. I have been spending more time actively present with my family, and Weston continues to progress too. He slept almost eight hours straight the other night, only waking once before 6:15am. And he’s fitting and seemingly liking his stroller seat, no more bassinet, which makes it way easier to fly to Charleston. The house is ready to go too. Fingers crossed for a good weekend of open houses 🤞.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

If you’ve been following along, you know I have taken a break from podcasts and books. BUT, I made an exception for this one!  I highly recommend listening to this.  Listening to Scott and Seth Avett talk is like listening to a lot of my own thoughts.  They are incredibly spiritual, talented, and insightful.  This is why we gave Avett his name.

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