fatherhood

These lovely photos were taken by The Family Lab in Brooklyn, NY 

My most important tidying project came to a close this week. With sincere gratitude and thanks, I said goodbye to my therapist, the person who has been on the front line of my journey to tidy up my life.

Tidying Up Through Therapy

preparing for fatherhood

When I started therapy in the fall of 2017, I was in the midst of a profound early-30s crisis. My life was anything but “tidy”. After following a straight-lined career trajectory, I was miserable. I was working a job that left me mentally and emotionally unavailable to my wife and children. I found myself bitter, resentful, and wholly unable to process emotions in a healthy or productive way. I looked at the lives of others and was desperately jealous of people who seemed happy. I suppressed my thoughts and feelings for the sake of not wanting to upset others.

Each week in therapy, I have honestly shared and processed my emotional tendencies, my shortcomings as a husband and father, and the reasons why the affirmation of others has been a driving motivator in my life. My therapist helped me navigate my decision to take leave from my job and to reassess my career trajectory. She helped me navigate my decision to step down as a school administrator and return to teaching. She helped me process my complex feelings towards fatherhood and raising young girls. She helped me to understand the connection between my feelings and my actions.

As my therapist and I closed out our final session, I recounted to her the greatest lesson that she has taught me: “very different emotions can exist together at the same time.” I now know how to identify the feelings that I am experiencing, and I am able to process and deal with those feelings in a healthier way.

Expectant Fatherhood Feelings

current family of 4

Sometime this month, we will welcome our third baby girl into the world. My new daughter will never know the father I once was.

I have felt sincere joy since learning that we were expecting our third baby, but at the same time I have felt moments of sadness. In the midst of saying goodbye to therapy for this season of life, I am also preparing to say goodbye to our little family of four.

Finding Out

anticipation

We learned that Emily was pregnant this past summer, while on a date riding bikes in Kentucky. After taking a pregnancy test at Dairy Queen and finishing our blizzards, we got back on our bikes to ride back to my dad’s house. We had always wanted a third baby, but were in shock that it was actually happening. As we rode bikes, Emily and I expressed feelings of love and excitement to one another before our ride was overcome with silence.

A bit of sadness entered my consciousness. I broke the silence by saying, “That’s probably our very last pregnancy test. That’s probably the last little surprise that we will have for a long time.”

Family Planning

anticipating baby #3

Emily and I were married for nearly 7 years before Mabel was born. We had spent so much time thinking and dreaming together about the family we’d like to have someday. We discussed names, how many kids we wanted, and the family rhythms we wanted to make priorities. It felt so strange to realize that the family planning period of our marriage was likely over.

It is surreal to be on this side of our three pregnancies and to think that this is most likely the last time that I’ll be an expectant father. This is most likely the last little baby that I will welcome into our home. I am so incredibly happy, yet also sad to see this current stage of life end.

It Feels Different This Time

fatherhood

This pregnancy has felt very different from the others. For the first time, Emily and I found out the gender of the baby before the birth. For the first time, we didn’t have friends or family throw us a shower or even a “sprinkle”. For the first time, we didn’t set up a real baby registry or set up a physical space in our apartment that is the baby’s alone.

This period of time has also been emotionally difficult for me. I have felt inexpressible joy and excitement, but at the same time I’ve felt worry and fear about adding another baby to our family. 

Worry & Fear

fatherhood - my oldest 2 daughters

I love Mabel and Matilda so much, but I don’t yet know this new baby. I sometimes worry that this new little girl will change the relationships that I have with the older girls. I’m much more realistic this time around about how much time and attention a newborn baby needs. I’m fearful that the lack of sleep will impact the energy and attention that I’m able to give Mabel and Matilda.

baby #1

 

baby #2

I also know, having gone through this twice before, that I am going to fall absolutely in love with this newest little baby. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m having feelings of worry and fear. Before therapy, I would have convinced myself that it was wrong of me to have those feelings. I would have felt shame and guilt. And I would have suppressed the feelings.

Instead, I’ve been using my therapy sessions to process those feelings. I’ve spent time talking to Emily about my feelings. I’ve realized that I’m mostly nervous about how I’ll have enough time and energy to love on each of my little girls. I love being a father with every fiber of my being, but parenting is such an emotionally raw journey.

Maternity Photosfatherhood

Several weeks ago, Emily and I took maternity photos with the girls. As we left our apartment to drive to Brooklyn for the photo shoot with “The Family Lab”, we ran into my sister-in-law, Audrey, in the hallway. She complimented our outfits and said, “Too bad you won’t be able to use these photos for long.” 

I replied with a simple, “Yeah,” before taking Mabel’s hand and walking her down the stairs. While sitting on the floor of the studio and smiling into the camera, I thought more about the comment.

Our maternity photos capture a small moment in time. These photos may not always be displayed prominently in our home, as they may soon be replaced with photos of the five of us. However, they are still important and significant because they capture some of our final moments together as a family of four. This newest little girl will know nothing of that family that once was, or what life was like before she arrived, but Emily, Mabel, Matilda and I will.

Different Emotions Existing Together

fatherhood

I am not the man that I once was, or the father that I once was. I so deeply love this current stage of life, and I don’t want it to end. I know that this new baby is going to profoundly change our family, and I’m scared that I won’t have enough time or energy to love everyone in the ways that they need to be loved. 

To some people, my feelings of sadness, worry, and fear during a healthy and normal pregnancy may seem completely selfish. I’ve struggled at times to fully understand why these feelings continue to creep into my consciousness. But in spite of this, I also feel excitement, wonder, and joy about the arrival of this new little one.

And I believe that it is okay for me to feel, and to talk about, and to write about both extremes of my emotions. Because after all, I’ve learned that very different emotions can exist together at the same time.

waiting for baby #3

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I'm Tyler Moore 

My wife and I live with our three young girls in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


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March 5, 2020

Expectant Fatherhood

fatherhood

These lovely photos were taken by The Family Lab in Brooklyn, NY 

My most important tidying project came to a close this week. With sincere gratitude and thanks, I said goodbye to my therapist, the person who has been on the front line of my journey to tidy up my life.

Tidying Up Through Therapy

preparing for fatherhood

When I started therapy in the fall of 2017, I was in the midst of a profound early-30s crisis. My life was anything but “tidy”. After following a straight-lined career trajectory, I was miserable. I was working a job that left me mentally and emotionally unavailable to my wife and children. I found myself bitter, resentful, and wholly unable to process emotions in a healthy or productive way. I looked at the lives of others and was desperately jealous of people who seemed happy. I suppressed my thoughts and feelings for the sake of not wanting to upset others.

Each week in therapy, I have honestly shared and processed my emotional tendencies, my shortcomings as a husband and father, and the reasons why the affirmation of others has been a driving motivator in my life. My therapist helped me navigate my decision to take leave from my job and to reassess my career trajectory. She helped me navigate my decision to step down as a school administrator and return to teaching. She helped me process my complex feelings towards fatherhood and raising young girls. She helped me to understand the connection between my feelings and my actions.

As my therapist and I closed out our final session, I recounted to her the greatest lesson that she has taught me: “very different emotions can exist together at the same time.” I now know how to identify the feelings that I am experiencing, and I am able to process and deal with those feelings in a healthier way.

Expectant Fatherhood Feelings

current family of 4

Sometime this month, we will welcome our third baby girl into the world. My new daughter will never know the father I once was.

I have felt sincere joy since learning that we were expecting our third baby, but at the same time I have felt moments of sadness. In the midst of saying goodbye to therapy for this season of life, I am also preparing to say goodbye to our little family of four.

Finding Out

anticipation

We learned that Emily was pregnant this past summer, while on a date riding bikes in Kentucky. After taking a pregnancy test at Dairy Queen and finishing our blizzards, we got back on our bikes to ride back to my dad’s house. We had always wanted a third baby, but were in shock that it was actually happening. As we rode bikes, Emily and I expressed feelings of love and excitement to one another before our ride was overcome with silence.

A bit of sadness entered my consciousness. I broke the silence by saying, “That’s probably our very last pregnancy test. That’s probably the last little surprise that we will have for a long time.”

Family Planning

anticipating baby #3

Emily and I were married for nearly 7 years before Mabel was born. We had spent so much time thinking and dreaming together about the family we’d like to have someday. We discussed names, how many kids we wanted, and the family rhythms we wanted to make priorities. It felt so strange to realize that the family planning period of our marriage was likely over.

It is surreal to be on this side of our three pregnancies and to think that this is most likely the last time that I’ll be an expectant father. This is most likely the last little baby that I will welcome into our home. I am so incredibly happy, yet also sad to see this current stage of life end.

It Feels Different This Time

fatherhood

This pregnancy has felt very different from the others. For the first time, Emily and I found out the gender of the baby before the birth. For the first time, we didn’t have friends or family throw us a shower or even a “sprinkle”. For the first time, we didn’t set up a real baby registry or set up a physical space in our apartment that is the baby’s alone.

This period of time has also been emotionally difficult for me. I have felt inexpressible joy and excitement, but at the same time I’ve felt worry and fear about adding another baby to our family. 

Worry & Fear

fatherhood - my oldest 2 daughters

I love Mabel and Matilda so much, but I don’t yet know this new baby. I sometimes worry that this new little girl will change the relationships that I have with the older girls. I’m much more realistic this time around about how much time and attention a newborn baby needs. I’m fearful that the lack of sleep will impact the energy and attention that I’m able to give Mabel and Matilda.

baby #1

 

baby #2

I also know, having gone through this twice before, that I am going to fall absolutely in love with this newest little baby. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m having feelings of worry and fear. Before therapy, I would have convinced myself that it was wrong of me to have those feelings. I would have felt shame and guilt. And I would have suppressed the feelings.

Instead, I’ve been using my therapy sessions to process those feelings. I’ve spent time talking to Emily about my feelings. I’ve realized that I’m mostly nervous about how I’ll have enough time and energy to love on each of my little girls. I love being a father with every fiber of my being, but parenting is such an emotionally raw journey.

Maternity Photosfatherhood

Several weeks ago, Emily and I took maternity photos with the girls. As we left our apartment to drive to Brooklyn for the photo shoot with “The Family Lab”, we ran into my sister-in-law, Audrey, in the hallway. She complimented our outfits and said, “Too bad you won’t be able to use these photos for long.” 

I replied with a simple, “Yeah,” before taking Mabel’s hand and walking her down the stairs. While sitting on the floor of the studio and smiling into the camera, I thought more about the comment.

Our maternity photos capture a small moment in time. These photos may not always be displayed prominently in our home, as they may soon be replaced with photos of the five of us. However, they are still important and significant because they capture some of our final moments together as a family of four. This newest little girl will know nothing of that family that once was, or what life was like before she arrived, but Emily, Mabel, Matilda and I will.

Different Emotions Existing Together

fatherhood

I am not the man that I once was, or the father that I once was. I so deeply love this current stage of life, and I don’t want it to end. I know that this new baby is going to profoundly change our family, and I’m scared that I won’t have enough time or energy to love everyone in the ways that they need to be loved. 

To some people, my feelings of sadness, worry, and fear during a healthy and normal pregnancy may seem completely selfish. I’ve struggled at times to fully understand why these feelings continue to creep into my consciousness. But in spite of this, I also feel excitement, wonder, and joy about the arrival of this new little one.

And I believe that it is okay for me to feel, and to talk about, and to write about both extremes of my emotions. Because after all, I’ve learned that very different emotions can exist together at the same time.

waiting for baby #3

for pinterest

Thanks for Pinning!

March 5, 2020

Expectant Fatherhood

About me

Hi, my name is Tyler Moore. My wife and I live with our three young daughters in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I began my tidying journey when an early-30’s crisis invited me to reflect upon, challenge, and change my patterns of daily living. I quit my job as a school administrator, returned to teaching, and started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


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