New parent, seasoned smoker
I’m a cannabis smoker, and I have been for about 15 years. I’m good at it, and it’s become something I’m sort of known for. I’m also a new parent. I’ve been a father for a little over a month. To say I’m inexperienced at fatherhood would be an understatement. In the last month I’ve been learning on the fly how to properly parent my new child while trying not to lose my canna-cool. When you’re a brand new dad, people tell you of the challenges and difficulties you’ll likely face as you enter into fatherhood: how to change a diaper, how to feed your child, how to put together every rocking chair, mobile, and crib imaginable. But being a new “Pot Pop” poses its own set of challenges. I’ll share my jointed journey into fatherhood in the hope that it helps other new “Flower Fathers” out there.
Sesh while baby sleeps
First and foremost, being a parent who smokes DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BAD PARENT. Society, the media, your parents and friends may have opinions of your cannabis use as a new dad. Those opinions don’t matter. Your responsibilities are to your new child and your partner. As long as you’re there every day taking care of your fatherly duties, there’s no need to feel bad for enjoying a smoke break. I manage to clean my house, cook dinner for my wife, and walk the dogs…all stoned. If you were handling life’s responsibilities before the addition of your child, newborn responsibilities shouldn’t throw you off too much.
Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve found that new fatherhood allows for its fair share of smoke breaks. In the first month of parenting my wife and I have worked out a system where she stays mostly in the bedroom to rest, relax, and feed the baby, and I handle everything outside the bedroom keeping the house afloat. This time away from the baby is prime time to get lifted and handle business. If you’re warming up a midnight bottle, have a quick smoke beforehand. If you’re flipping a load of baby laundry, might as well take a toke while you do it. The beauty of canna-parenting a newborn is that they aren’t mobile. They can’t creep downstairs to see what you’re doing, or sneak into the laundry room to find out what that smell is. Use this to your full advantage.
Change up the routine
An adjustment I’ve had to make in my smoking routine is where and how I smoke. Being a 30-something I’ve grown accustomed to smoking wherever I want in my house, using whatever method I please. Those days are changing. I still smoke in the living room, but only after baby and mom are upstairs and in bed for the evening. And smoking in the bedroom (where baby has set up camp) is now a no-no in our home. I recently made this mistake of smoking while showering in our master bathroom (think Big Lebowski). My wife was none too pleased; she reminded me that the bathroom is connected to the bedroom, and that I should open a window and towel the door (like being back in college), or find another locale. This led me to my new bunker, the downstairs laundry room bathroom. The sweet smell of dryer sheets does wonders for your session, trust me. And I’ve recently found the back porch is a nice place to smoke, no baby and no concern about smell, as long as your neighbors are cool.
The last little trick I’ve picked up my wife and I call “scrubbing in.” After a session you’ll likely smell like cannabis smoke, and as great as you think it smells, you don’t want to pass that scent on to your baby. So before I re-enter the bedroom after a session, I stop in our bathroom and make a quick change of the shirt I was wearing. Then I take a baby wipe (we have enough of them) and clean the smell off my hands, face and mouth. The time or two I’ve forgotten, my lovely wife will say, “why does our son’s hair smell like weed?” So scrubbing in has helped my son continue to smell newborn fresh. I’m considering making the switch to concentrates and away from flowers to cut down on the smell, but that’s another topic all together.
Keep your canna-cool
I’m really looking forward to seeing the joys that canna-parenting brings. Getting to watch cartoons, play in the mud, swing on the swing set, and becoming a kid again with the help of my son and cannabis. I’ve only been a Pot Pop for a month now, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. By being mindful, and making some minor adjustments, I’ve been able to be a capable father without losing my canna-cool.
Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Cranford