Becoming a dad
Fatherhood

Becoming a dad: anxieties and opportunities in becoming a father

Becoming a dad is an interesting dilemma to have.

On the one side you have learnt to enjoy your current situation. Thirty years of slowly learning from my many mistakes has finally provided me with the illusion of knowing what I am doing with my life.

On the other hand, you understand that having children is meant to be life-affirming. It is within that mixture of excitement, nervousness and apprehension that I find myself.

Much like a contestant in Takeshi’s Castle, I find myself optimistic with a sense of realism about the reality of becoming a dad.

Myself fighting through parenthood!

 

Myself, today, not a dad yet

When I say I make fewer mistakes than I used to, please take this with a pinch of salt.

I am still partial to a good old-fashioned drinking binge (my wife says I don’t have an off switch). I am still addicted to cheese, in all formats (I wrote a blog about my weight anxieties). I still struggle with my work-life balance, my career and managing life my expectations just like everyone does.

However, I don’t worry so much about who I am, my friends or what to wear anymore. I don’t use others to benchmark my progress, and I am far more comfortable in my skin now than I was in my twenties.

Appreciating the past

Appreciate what we have, before time teaches us to appreciate what you had.

Writing this blog makes me realise quite how good the last few years have been to us. Meg, my wife and I have had a lot of fun, and we have a lot for which we can be thankful.

Having a baby, becoming parents isn’t negative, but it does bring this stage of our lives to a gentle close. It’s not like we can return to sender once the baby arrives. In six weeks there are three of us instead of two, five if you include the cats. I am still secretly campaigning for a dog to be added to the mix.

Myself, future, dad.

In a few weeks time, I will become a father, and then everything will have to be adjusted for the new member to our family.

We will have to adapt to a new routine. Learn new tasks such as change nappies and wiping bottoms. I’m going to have to become a pro at wiping someone else’s bottom, not just my own. Our slow mornings with croissants for breakfast will never quite be the same again.

The anxieties I will have as a parent will likely dwarf those I had a few years ago. These new stresses will make my past fears seem trivial. Luckily for me, I still have cheese to fall back on. Cheese never fails me, never.

Becoming a dad

As parents, we will have new memories to forge, new problems to solve and new challenges to address. Hopefully, we will have even more fun with this than we did with the last few years. Everyone tells us how hard becoming a parent is, only to say they wouldn’t have it any other way.

I think this point is an important one. Our lives are made richer by becoming parents. Parenthood is an experience where your values and ideals get tested on a daily basis. One way or another, you learn more about yourself through parenthood than you realise. Hopefully, becoming a dad will make me a better human too.

Let’s get started!