Dad is one of those titles, that once you have been given it, it is yours for life, no matter what. You will always be a Dad! There are however good Dads, bad Dads or indifferent Dads.
From a moment your children are born the pressure is on to be the protector, provider and role model. No one gives you a manual how to do it. If your role model wasn’t the best it can be challenging.
The 10th April 2000 was the day I became a Dad. If you are a Dad you will always remember clearly the day your Children were born. It all started on the evening of 9th April when we went to the maternity hospital as planned for Lisa to be induced. So Lisa was induced on the Morning of the 10th, by the evening Ben was not willing to come out and by late evening he was becoming distressed so it was decided that he would have to come out via the sun roof so Lisa was prepared for theatre. My head was spinning. See the thing is nothing ever feels straightforward. When I got into theatre srangley I felt quite calm, as I knew quite a few people in the room, and the environment felt more familiar (coming from a clinical background). I remember the radio was on and the news gave a out the score for the evening football match. Manchester United had beaten Middlesbrough 4-3. Sounded like a good game.
I digress, seeing your child come into the world is the most amazing experience you will ever have. Holding them for the first time and introducing yourself is so special, and something that I will never forget, for Ben and Jack.
Taking Ben home and those first few weeks was terrifying. I thought I should know what to do, being a Children’s Nurse. Trust me that did not happen. It was difficult and disorientating. In the end you just work it out between the 2 of you.
2 years laterish we repeated the process and Jack was born on 29th May 2002.
Second time round was easier. We were both a lot more relaxed about it all.
With regards being a Dad, once I had started to calm down I tried to be the role model I wanted to be. I look at my boys now and I think yeah I was in the whole a good role model. Myself and Lisa have brought up 2 kind, caring, and friendly young men.
Being a parent can feel like a minefield at times, but there is one thing I learned from experience and later confirmed by the wonderful Brene Brown, and that is be the adult you want your children to become.
There have been days when I wanted to wring their necks. There have been occasions when I have wanted the earth to swallow me up normally in a supermarket or on the bus, when one or other of them have been having a tantrum. But now I look at them and feel so proud of who they have become.
When I think back to all the pressure I put myself under to be the protector and provider. I realise that it was unfounded and based on a society norm that is no longer relevant. We are not Cavemen. We need to equip our children to survive in the modern world.
Being a Dad is a job for life so there is no rush, play the long game, learn from your mistakes and don’t forget to enjoy it and collect those memories.
I am moving into the next stage in fatherhood, as my boys become adults. Learning to let go is hard. I will say there is still a lot of familiar ground, like sleepless nights, and this fear of them hurting themselves. But then see who they have become and it is all worth it.
So remember there is only one secret to parenting. Be the adult you want your children to become.
If you are a Dad and want to work through, being a parent, husband and successful at work, without compromising on any message me.