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.

This is my weekly column — a place where I am sharing the ins and outs of parenting a newborn and the joys and challenges of adoption.

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

The Graveyard Shift

Tap in, tap out.

It’s as simple as it sounds — a self-explanatory parenting tip about sharing the many new responsibilities of raising a child.

Even so, ‘tap in, tap out’ has been a lifesaver in our household.

My wife Angie is an early bird. I, on the other hand, am a night owl. This can be a cause of conflict in some marriages, but it’s a big blessing for parenting a newborn.

At 8 or 9 p.m. most nights, Angie taps out, leaving me on Squish duty. I feed Squish just before I go to bed, and then, thank God, I get to tap out and sleep right through to morning.

Because Angie is so happy to have had an early night, she’s unfazed about tapping in and tending to Squish during the night, which is normally just once at around 3 a.m.

In fact, Angie loves the night watch with Squish, which she sees as a unique opportunity to connect with our new baby and cover her in prayer.

My wife is already back at work. Since she works as a nanny, she is able to take Squish with her to work, and I get to tap out and work at home undistracted.

But I am very aware that as soon as Angie walks back through that door, she is all babied out, and it’s time for me to tap back in again.

Even as I was writing this article, I received a message from my wife: “Hey! When you get home, are you up for a walk with Squish? She just won’t sleep for me, haha.”

Staying Sane with a Screaming Squish

To be clear, spending time with Squish is more a delight than a duty. Very often — in the evenings and on the weekends especially — all three of us are together and no one is thinking about roles or responsibilities.

But there are times when ‘tap in, tap out’ is so helpful that we’d almost go mad without it.

Neither my wife nor I have a particularly short temper. But let me tell you that a screaming baby who refuses to be soothed is a unique form of provocation!

On more than one occasion, Angie has walked into the room, steam coming out of her ears, saying, “I’m tapping out,” while handing Squish to me.

Likewise, Angie read the frustration in the room a couple of weeks ago when, mid-nappy change — one of the brief moments of the day Squish is in the nude — she decided to pee everywhere. Over the change table, her clothes, her new nappy, and me.

Needless to say, I tapped out, and Angie tapped in.

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Parenting with Angie is easy. But it’s easy because we both put a lot of effort into understanding each other’s needs and responding accordingly.

Like it says in the Bible, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

These words are not just for married couples. You might be reading this as a single parent who doesn’t have the luxury of tapping in and tapping out at a moment’s notice.

But you do have people in your life you can call on. If you haven’t already, make sure you have someone — or a few people — who can tap in for you for part of an evening or a weekend when the going gets tough.

Parenting isn’t easy. It is a high calling. But it’s much easier when we’re in it together.


Image via Unsplash.

Published On: September 14th, 20230 CommentsTags: , , ,

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.

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