You can read every child-rearing book on the shelf and interview all the parents you know, but you can never be fully prepared for all of the life changes that come with your first baby. New mom Caroline Olling Andersen, however, found a brilliant way to deal with them. Writing poetry. (Facebook cover image: Monkey Business Images)
Image credits: Caroline Olling Andersen
“My husband is a fantastic dad,” Caroline told Bored Panda. “He is an amazing primary school teacher, and he has always brought a lot of fun and humor to our relationship, which he now also brings to daddyhood.”
Image credits: Caroline Olling Andersen
My latest 4 a.m. poem titled, “Daddy’s Asleep:”
I love your daddy, I really do,
After all, without daddy, I wouldn’t have you.
But from midnight till sunrise, it’s just you and I.
And as each hour passes, I’m not gonna lie:
Mommy’s love slowly fades, becomes angry and weak,
Because no matter what, your dad is f*cking asleep!
It all starts out lovely. We kiss each other goodnight.
We look lovingly down at you dear, such a beautiful sight.
An hour later, mommy wakes with a start.
You’re twisting and turning, you’re starting to fart.
You’re gesturing for food. Mommy is there
with a bottle or breast
Daddy is snoring away, the way he knows best.
Mommy burps you, and holds you and rocks you with care.
You spew foul smelling yogurt on mommy’s freshly washed hair.
As mommy changes her shirt, and mops vomit off the floor.
Your daddy farts, rolls over, and continues to snore.
Mommy’s maternal alarm goes off, it’s not even three!
You’re stirring again, you’re hungry and staring at me!
“I think she is hungry” your daddy offers, pulls duvet over his head,
Mommy sends him a death stare and rolls out of bed.
Mommy comes back, tired and drained and what is this I see?
Your daddy has taken over my side, doesn’t give a f*ck about me!
Mommy kicks him and pushes him angrily away.
“What’s up love?” He moans in a lovingly way.
Your daddy has no clue he is under attack.
He wraps his arms around me and kisses my back.
And just as my love for daddy is back on the rise,
You start to coo in your crib and open your eyes.
And daddy gently nudges me to attend to your need.
I give him the finger as I prepare for a feed.
But as the sun starts rising, the slate is wiped clear.
I’m back to full love for your daddy and for you my dear.
I forget that daddy sleeps while you cry and you poo.
It’s back to kissing and hugging and doting on you.
Soon you’ll grow up and be daddy’s little girl.
You’ll not remember me cleaning up sh*t and vomit hurl.
Whilst you sit on his lap and he sings you a song,
You’ll love him and think daddy could do nothing wrong.
But my sweet love, here is a poem for you to keep,
So you know that all those long nights, dad was f*cking asleep.
The poem quickly started making headlines on the internet and attracted all sorts of attention. “After the poem went viral, I’ve read a lot of comments which have shamed him for not being more active at night and me for complaining about his inactivity,” Caroline, who also finds the time to manage a parenting blog called The Mommy Poet, added. “Truth is, we made a deal during my pregnancy that I’d take the night shift, because I’ve been blessed with long maternity leave. [This way,] he gets to sleep so he can be ready for his 10-12 hour day teaching 10-year-olds. That said, tiredness will still cause you a lot of passive aggressive feelings in the early hours at night – hence my poem, which was written at 4 am on a particularly tiring night (everything I wrote in that poem happened on that one night).”
At first, however, the sleepy dad wasn’t amused by the poem. “When I read the poem out loud to him the next morning, he didn’t find it particularly funny – though he was simultaneously trying to soothe our fuzzy daughter, so I might have chosen the wrong time to read him a mockery poem. It was only later that day, over ice cream and a sleeping daughter, that he read it out loud and laughed and said it was brilliant. He since suggested that we get a laptop for me so I have an appropriate platform to write during my early morning waves of creativity.”
“Parenthood is tough and rough and can really strain a relationship. We make a solid attempt to place our relationship very high on our list of priorities. My parents (happily married for 29 years)- have taught me that a marriage should be prioritized above the children. As my mother said – “Happy parents results in happy children”. As per the airplane instructions – “attend to yourself before helping your child.” So that means making sure we have date nights and take time each day to put the baby down and kiss and hug each other. A lot of people have misunderstood the tone of my poem as anger towards my husband. It’s meant to be read with humor and love for both him and my daughter.”