So you’re going to be a Daddy, huh?
Have you passed around the cigars yet? No? Not your thing? What about the round of drinks to all of your mates in the pub? It’s something I would have done after celebrating with my wife. Alas, when Alex’s birth was announced I had stopped drinking by then, and social gatherings were a thing of the past. But, I can dream!
Basically I was asking if you had celebrated yet? Because if I were you I’d savour these nine months of your partner being pregnant for as long as you can because it’s going to get a whole lot messier! Your life, that you’re standing right here, right now, will change inexplicably and in ways that you had never imagined. You won’t have any free time anymore that’s for sure, and doing the things that you enjoy won’t come along for a long time. Sleep will be your best friend, and you’ll feel like you’re empty inside for a good few years as you try to juggle being awake during the night and your day job. It’ll be hard, but so, so worth it.
Nothing compares to when you finally get to meet your child for the first time and you get to hold him in your arms. Or late night snuggles whilst you let your partner get some well deserved sleep. Late night snuggles were always my favourite. I’d sit up, with Alex swaddled on my chest, watching junk TV until 2am until his last feed of the night, whilst Natalie would sleep. That was amazing. And it doesn’t stop there – My Son and I had so many moments of bonding over the years, weekend walks and car journeys. I would always take him out at the weekend to free up some of my wife’s schedule.
Yes, having a kid together is both tiresome yet equally amazing. They will never cease to amaze you in more ways than one, and beforehand in life, when you only thought that everyone existed to serve you, your kid will turn that on it’s head and you’ll place them above yourself. Sounds strange right? Like scratchy head type strange? But you have to experience it to believe it, and it’s coming.
So, you’re about to be a Dad, and by now you’re realising that you have literally zero experience with children and the only time you had held one was when your cousin let you hold her kid whilst she went to the toilet, and that was an awful experience. It’ll start to dawn on you that all through your childhood you were taught to KILL and DESTROY and smash the shit out of things and break things. Even your own mother would smile with pride as you grow up only doing boy stuff. Yet nothing has ever prepared you for what’s coming. Babies and all that shit are for women, or at least that’s what you thought until your partner just showed you her pregnancy stick.
You’re definitely not the first man to go through this and you won’t be the last. I went through it, as did my friends, and their friends and their Dads et al. They all turned out fine, yours will too. Coming to terms that I was going to be a father, for me, was the hardest. I sort of brushed it all under the carpet for nine months and sort of lived in a constant state of natalie being pregnant, I didn’t want to live up to my responsibility, I mean, I was only starting to be responsible for myself by then.
And I had no clue whatsoever about children. Like no clue. But luckily it’s all my partner wanted in her life so she was ready and in the know about what to do. She educated me on everything in that respect, and there came a time, before the birth where I felt comfortable enough to fly on my own. We had everything bought beforehand. Car seats, prams, cots, beds for when he’s older, clothes, hospital bags, the lot. Natalie was nothing but prepared, and it sort of made my life a lot easier, that I could just watch what she was getting up to and soaking up all the information, I learned as I went along really.
They really miss a trick when it comes to us men and learning about children. We get a nine month squash course! Hah.
You’re also going to quickly learn that your needs will be pushed to the back of the family. Your needs will become last in the queue and it’s going to be a tough readjustment if you were like me, and had everything sorted for myself before I even had to ask. Yup, you’ll suddenly find that your childs every move will dictate whatever you do, and you and your partner will have to go rushing regardless of whatever you are in the middle of. Having sex? Sorry, baby waits for no-one, and that includes even if you are on the brink of the point of no return
But nothing, absolutely nothing will compare to when the first time your child outwardly declares that they love you, or gives you a big squishy hug for absolutely nothing. They’ll also come to you for cuddles when they hurt, and embrace that, teach them that mummy isn’t the only one that gives out soft squishy hugs when they’re hurting, you do too! And you’ll learn a lot about yourself during your journey. Hell, I’m still learning. I learned through observing Alex that I’m Aspergers, and I also learned a lot about my patience levels, and my boundaries.
I also became a lot grumpier from time to time. But that comes with the territory of being a Dad and getting older.
Be an awesome Dad
Much love, dude.
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