Thursday, 13 June 2013

My Father's Eyes

In celebration of Father's Day and all things "Dad" I went out to a number of fathers: rookie to veteran to ask them some questions and words of wisdom on fatherhood.  Below are some thoughts on becoming a dad and early days of parenthood, including thoughts from my husband Chris and my own father.  Enjoy and check in later this week for the next set of quotes in the series.

When I found out I was pregnant it felt surreal, we had just started trying and after I was two days late something felt "different". I somehow knew I was pregnant, so I took a test and my intuition was confirmed. Here's the dad perpective:

Initial Reaction to Finding Out You Were a Parent

"Ecstatic. We had been trying for a while and out of the blue it was happening." - Mike, Father to two toddler daughters

"I don't believe you!" Then went to the store and purchased three more pregnancy tests. -Chris (my husband), Father to infant toddlers Molly & Jack

"A potent cocktail of fear, joy, excitement and disbelief. If it could be synthesised in drug form it would be a great recreational drug." - Ben, father to infant son

Chris and Molly, 4 weeks old.  Back when she looked like the worm from The Labyrinth.

SaraBeth says: I was plagued with a double dose of pregnancy hormones almost instantly. As I trudged through winter throwing up in every snow bank in the city it felt VERY real.*

When Being A Father Felt Real

 "The second he was born it felt real. Not a second before that, however. All points leading up the birth were completely abstract for me." - Ben, father to infant son

"When we got home for the first time, we both looked at our baby and said…um, now what?"  -Jake, father to two child daughters 

"It felt real with each of you the first time I got to hold you – and confirmed the first time I changed your diaper." - My Dad - Father to three grown children, four grandchildren

"Once we got home from the hospital. I knew afterwards that i couldn't return her, or get a full refund." - Chris, Father to infant daughter

SaraBeth says: The unsolicited advice was the most rampant in the first six months. I think I've perfected my "Don't even talk to me about how insanely ridiculous my children are" face since then.  The woman at our local convenience store felt it was her obligation to criticise the way I dressed the minions for the weather.

Weirdest Parenting Advice You've Received

"Put a head band on your babies ears so their ears don't stick out." - Mike, Father to two toddler daughters

"I never really got any, everyone saved it up for you." - Chris (my husband), Father to infant toddlers Molly & Jack

Advice for New Dads

"It's a big commitment. A lot of late nights and no free time for all the things you used to do. It's all worth it but just don't be surprised when your not doing all the things you used to so frequently." Mike, Father to two toddler daughters

"Tell your kids you love them and are proud of them every chance you get."
Jake, father to two child daughters

"Be Patient."
Chris, Father of infant daughter

SaraBeth says: The best advice I ever received was from a fellow twin mom. It read, "Having twins gives you the permission to be the parent you want to be, not the one you think you should be."

Best Advice You've Received

"You're going to get a lot of advice as a new parent. Nod and say 'uh huh' and be nice when you're getting it, then pretty much ignore it and do whatever feels right."
 Ben, father to infant son

"If mama isn't happy, no one is happy."
Chris (my husband), Father to infant toddlers Molly & Jack

The Best Parts of Being a Dad (so far)

"Enjoying all of the little moments. When we were potty training my oldest she insisted on standing up when she went because she was peeing like daddy. Those little moments make every bad moment forgettable."
Mike, Father to two toddler daughters

 "One of my jobs is bath time. I love it when she holds my hand during her bath."
 Darcy, father to infant daughter

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*Little did I know that all of the pregnancy vomit was nature's way of preparing me for pukey toddlers with a penchant to upchuck on mom.

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