Being a Dad of two is a challenge, even with a second child you can still find yourself wondering if you’re doing the best for them – it’s a very steep learning curve at the best of times, and hellish at the worst. I’ve learnt a lot about myself along this 12 year journey; here are five things I’ve learnt so far as a Dad.
I could punch a woman – Okay, that sounds terrible, and I’ll explain before the authorities are called – the first moment I really felt like a Dad was just after G was born. They needed to take some blood from her to test, the nurse took a tiny amount from her foot, G let out a horrific cry and my body filled with adrenaline and my mind thought ‘THAT COW IS HURTING YOUR BABY!’. I could feel my fists clench, and a red-mist descend – she then handed G back to me and said ‘There we go, all done!’, I instantly calmed, but for that split second, the rage I felt for someone inflicting pain on my child showed me that I would do anything to protect my baby.
My emotional range is wider than I can imagine – Children will test you in many ways, but the emotional range they can make you feel in such a short space of time is like nothing else. The frustration of a baby that just can’t be calmed, or pacified for seemingly hours on end, the screams cutting right to your core, nothing you do helps, and it’s so horribly upsetting for everyone. Then, the little one is asleep, and a wave of ecstasy and joy that sweeps through is just utter bliss – until they wake again!
I will happily hold faeces – Something that I never thought I’d do, but weirdly found myself doing with both children. If they ever continued to ‘go’ as was changing a nappy, instead of letting the mess fall on the the nice hygienic, wipe-able surface of a changing mat, I’d instinctively try and catch it with my bare hands. It’s amazing how hard it is to open a packet of wipes with a handful of sh*t.
I can just about function on very little sleep – This could be a leftover ‘skill’ from my gaming days, but over the years I have accrued a brilliant ability to have very late nights, or extreme amounts of disturbed sleep and still get up and function in the morning. I say ‘function’, because it’s getting harder to deal with James when he decides 5am is DEFINITELY the time to wake up and start the day. Those early few hours aren’t my most productive, or display my amazing parenting abilities, but I’m generally functioning as an adequate parent, which leads me to..
We’re all better parents than we think we are – Having G when I was 22 was terrifying, I’d looked after plenty of children in my teenage babysitter years, but I’d had no experience with babies. I remember G filled her nappy just after she was born, and I sheepishly asked the nurse for help changing a nappy, it was something I’d never done. Flip forward six months and I was a nappy ninja, stuff like that becomes second nature, and when J was born it all came flooding back. You learn so much about your kids in such a short space of time, and can slowly and surely build up a mental database of how to care for them. Of course you’ll make mistakes and not get it right ALL the time, but your children have the best parents – YOU. Never compare yourself to others, or beat yourself up when everyone seems to be handling parenthood better, we’re all fantastic parents.
Kip Hakes is a 34 year old Daddy, Blogger and Designer from Essex. He has two children Georgia (12) and James (3). He’s been blogging at KipHakes.com since 2008, and subjects include – Parenting, Technology, Reviews, Photography, Rants and Raves, and more.