My wife and I are in the process of adopting a baby girl, known affectionately as ‘Squish’ here at the Daily Dad until her adoption is finalised.

I am now writing a weekly column as we learn the ins and outs of parenting a newborn, and as we navigate the joys and challenges of adoption.

Enjoy this week’s edition of ‘The Adventures of Squish’.

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Before having children, my morning routine was… well… whatever I wanted it to be: wake up when I like, so long as I allowed enough time to get ready for the day. Toilet, shower, coffee, Bible, in approximately that order, but with plenty of room for flexibility.

Now that Squish has come along, the day begins with a newborn cry.

Her cry is like a ticking time bomb. It begins quietly and intermittently, but soon builds towards a crescendo. The longer Squish has to wait for that warm elixir to be dispensed from a bottle directly into her hungry mouth, the louder her cry becomes.

The thing is, bottles don’t fill or warm themselves. And as much as Squish might hope otherwise, getting one ready for her first thing in the morning is not an instant process.

My wife and I have an agreement that if one of us is on Squish duty, the other one gets to sleep. We live in a small apartment, so Squish duty includes keeping the baby as quiet as possible so the other can enjoy their sleep.

Last night, my amazing wife fed Squish through the night, and I had a great sleep.

So this morning, I had one simple task: keep Squish happy long enough to get a bottle ready before she woke Angie up with her full-blow wail.

Easier Said Than Done

There I was, juggling Squish in one hand, and with the other hand, trying to warm frozen breast milk in a bowl of hot water while assembling a bottle with all its associated parts.

At this point, I hadn’t even relieved myself, which was the only thing I really wanted to be doing in that moment!

I also hadn’t made a coffee yet. So while the milk was warming, I used my spare hand for that task — all the while bouncing Squish and assuring her that food was on the way and the world was not about to end.

My next big challenge was to put Squish in her bouncer for just a moment so I had two hands free to pour the milk and screw the bottle lid on.

But before I even reached that point, Squish exploded in a loud, piercing cry.

Within moments, Angie appeared in the kitchen to witness me fail in my one simple task.

Graciously, my wife took Squish without a complaint, and we teamed up to get the little munchkin fed.

(Side note: how do single parents do it? Much respect to you!)


It is moments like this morning that I wish I had three arms, or the perfect charm to keep Squish from screaming, or Superman’s laser gaze to instantly melt milk.

But God hasn’t given me any of those things, and I don’t expect He will.

That can only mean one thing: all God requires me to do as a dad is my best.

Next time you are stuck in one of those Catch-22 parenting moments, be encouraged.

All God requires you to do is your best.

All you can do is your best.

Perfection isn’t necessary. Your best is enough.


Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko.

Published On: August 31st, 20231 CommentTags: , , , , ,

About the Author: Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Research and Features Editor. He hosts his own blog at Cross + Culture and is also a contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce. Kurt is also a published author. His book Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? provides a rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society and how Jesus provides the answer to the challenges before us. Kurt has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same. Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years in remote South-East Asia, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel. He is married to Angie.

One Comment

  1. Leonard Carroll September 25, 2023 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Adoptio0n takes a very special heart. May God bless you both for being so selfless.

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