Writer’s Block: Preparing for fatherhood and big changes at home

Staff Writer
I cover the cities of Andover, Blaine and Ramsey. I have worked at ABC Newspapers since August 2007.

One month from now, I’ll be away from the office as I help raise a new baby girl.

Eric Hagen
Eric Hagen

Those who have read my previous Writer’s Block columns know that my wife and I are expecting our first baby. She’s due on Aug. 6, but of course that’s just the estimated date. She could come at any time, but I’ve been crossing my fingers that she doesn’t come too early, since there’s a lot of things to take care of at home and work on the next few weeks. But of course, being a parent requires the maximum amount of flexibility.

As a person who loves to schedule out my days far in advance, that will be one of the biggest adjustments I’ll have to make to being a new father. That and the limited amount of sleep!

I’ll be taking one month of vacation after she’s born. I’ve taken time off this year but have been saving up my paid time off. We’ve heard a lot of horror stories about how tough the first month is because the baby is waking up every few hours and you need to try to understand why she’s crying.

We’ve been very blessed to have such a wonderful family who has been willing to help with packing, cleaning, gifts and advice. Our friends and co-workers have also been helpful in so many ways as well. We have a strong support system as we go through all these changes in our lives.

Thankfully, we’ll have a permanent residence in this first month of her life. We’ve been involved with the housing market for the past couple of months to sell our townhome and find a new single-family home to get more space. For a little while, we were uncertain where we would be living in August, but as our real estate agent assured us, everything has worked out for the best. We will be moving to our new home this weekend and are thrilled where we ended up.

Since we have been in an association-managed townhome development, we will be adjusting to a far different reality of having to take care of all lawn maintenance. Sprinklers and a lawn mower are among the first non-baby related purchases we’ll be making. I’ve spent a little time researching the best kind of sprinklers and lawnmowers and will be looking into best practices for lawn care. I know there’s a lot of great resources out there, such as the University of Minnesota Extension Services office in Anoka County.

We’re lucky that we don’t have a lot of major house projects to do. The first project on my list is painting our living room and master bedroom right after we close on the property, which is the day before we are having a moving company bring all the big furniture in from our old house.

An important task on our task list will be finding infant child care once my wife goes back to work around the beginning of November. We wanted something close to home but didn’t know where we would be living until a couple of weeks ago.

At some point later this year I’ll be looking into getting a new camera that can take great pictures and video. Among my greatest childhood treasures are the many hours of footage my father filmed of my sister and me growing up. It wasn’t just the birthdays and holidays. He filmed everyday moments, from playing with friends and visits to family.

Pictures are great to have, but hearing the spoken word enhances the memories. We’ll have so many memories to capture for an eternity.

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