Jun 9, 2015
Read Dave’s blog reflecting on fatherhood as his first father’s day approaches…..
For the majority of the time, people focus on the hardships of having a baby. Yes, you hear about how much a parent loves their newborn, but this is often hidden in-between complaints of endless feeds, sleepless nights and incessant crying. Sometimes it’s just difficult to look at the bigger picture when you’re caught in the moment.
But I try to view things slightly differently. Babies are bloody annoying, there’s no doubt about that, but they also bring unexpected benefits. One of these bonuses is set to land on 21st June. That’s right, Father’s Day.
Up until this year, Father’s Day was always a day for my dad. He got a card, a present and we did something as a family. But this year is different. For now I am a dad too. I get my own bonus day just because I could procreate. For 29 years of my life, my birthday has been the only special day I’m guaranteed each year. However, overnight, the number of special me days on my calendar magically doubled. If that’s not a good enough reason to have a kid, I don’t know what is. I jest. Partly…….
So with my first Father’s Day fast approaching, I thought it’d be a good time to reflect on my first year as a dad and share three of the key things I’ve learnt. Here goes:
1 Time Flies
I lost count of the number of times people told us that time goes quickly when you have a baby. I kind of laughed it off as just one of those things that people say. The truth though is that it proper flies by. Come Father’s Day, the little one will nearly be 10 months old. That’s a whole month longer than she was even in the mothership in the first place! In some regards it feels ages ago as much has changed during this time, but the overwhelming feeling is one of rapid acceleration. Yes, days and weeks blur into each other due to the same routines in a Groundhog Day-esque scenario, but on the whole it feels more like I’ve been thrown into hyperspeed whilst on the Millennium Falcon. Regardless of your circumstances, ensure you spend as much time with your little one – the last thing you want is to miss out when time goes so quickly.
2 You’ll Figure It Out
It’s important to prepare for a baby so that you know your stuff. Not only does this help to ensure that you’re in control of the situation – well, as much as you can be – but it is also a massive support for your partner. During pregnancy, I remember a fair bit of my time was spent reading books and dad blogs, going to midwife appointments and learning at NCT classes. These were all great ways of figuring out what lay in store, but I didn’t have all of the answers, let alone know what all of the questions even were. What I discovered was that something kicks in when your little one pops into the world. Most of the time you don’t know what you’re doing, but you somehow manage. With a fair bit of trial and error, you’ll figure it out and get there in the end.
3 Babies Are All Different
One of my big annoyances is how certain parents like to compare everything to do with their babies. Walk into a baby class and all you’ll hear is “my baby did X” or “has your baby not done Y yet”. My favourite was a new mum at a baby class who claimed that her sprog was a genius as they could speak and sing the words to every nursery rhyme despite being six weeks old. Deluded or pathological liar – you decide! It doesn’t just stop with parents though. Most books also assume that every baby is exactly the same and that they should hit certain milestones by a particular age. Remember though that all babies are unique and develop at different times. Don’t get hung up on the fact that the fruit of your loins might not be doing the same stuff as others. Revel in the fact that your baby is your baby and embrace their uniqueness. At the end of the day, most adults turn out to be relatively normal regardless of whether they developed a tooth at five months or nine months!
Wherever you are in the world, here’s to making the most of your bonus day. Just remember though, having more kids doesn’t mean you get more special days – Happy Father’s day everyone!
Dave – aka The DADventurer – is a UK dad blogger who chronicles the trials and tribulations of fatherhood. He has recently been recognised as the #5 dad blogger in the UK and is often found sharing his random thoughts about family life as he juggles being husband to Hayley, stay-at-home dad to Baby L and ruler of Dax the sausage dog.
The DADventurer – A UK dad blogger chronicling the adventures of fatherhood