The Learning Curve – By hubby, Andrew Craske
Fatherhood is immense. It’s has been my singular greatest accomplishment, because the reward is unlike anything I could have comprehended. The last two years with my son, Luca, have been the best of my life.
It’s always been difficult to describe how remarkable parenting can be to those friends and work colleagues who do not yet have children. Not least because they have spent the last two years counting my eye-bags, reminding me that I’m wearing mismatched shoes in the office or kindly identifying the vomit stains down my shirt.
But I can’t recall experiencing the same levels of happiness which I get today, before my little guy arrived. I’m sure every other Dad reading this can agree, it’s the most incredible and rewarding job you will ever have, and even the most stoic amongst you will experience emotions that you didn’t even know existed.
Personally, my moments of weakness tend to occur at the most inconvenient times and I’ll find myself crying during the middle of a Health & Safety briefing, or randomly becoming terrified when I’m trying to choose a sandwich. These are the emotions of fatherhood which, when bottled-up, vent themselves when you least expect it.
With this in mind, I have compiled 3 top tips for soon-to-be fathers, based upon my own experiences:
1. You WILL be a spare part during labour. Deal with it. Be there when you are needed (and disappear at times when you aren’t) and most importantly, just do what you’re told.
2. Speak to your own Dad. There’s nothing like impending fatherhood to make you truly appreciate your old man. He’s been in your (mismatched) shoes and come through the other side, and you’ll realise you’ve probably never actually asked him about how he coped in your early years.
3. Finally, I can confirm that the stories are true and you will not get any sleep for the first few months, unless you are one of those intolerably fortunate people, and I hope you are. Sleep-deprivation is tough when you work full time, but you WILL learn to cope and function through sheer adrenaline. So take responsibility for the midnight feeds, change nappies at 3am and be a man about it. Most likely your partner will be the one in need of emotional and physical repair, so these early months are your time to shine.
You’ll get used to working in odd shoes.