After the great reactions we had received for “Being A Mom – By Moms” (and its second part) we wanted to also show the other side by giving the dads an opportunity to express their thoughts, so enjoy!
It means always being there for my family. Whether it is coming home to a big smile and a hug after being at work all day, or spending all night in the ER when my son was sick. It also means being there for all of the great memories as my son learns new things and grows up. It means giving my wife a break and giving my son his bath and putting him to bed with his Teddy Bear as often as possible. And finally, it means loving my family forever, and being loved by them.
Being a dad means seeing your life as you know it turned upside down and learning on how little sleep you can function. No matter if you think you are ready or not (if it’s your first time), things are going to come different than you thought, but all it takes is one smile to show you that it is all worth it. It means being loved unconditionally and in a way that you would never have been able to imagine and loving in a way that you would never have thought you could.
What’s it like being a Dad? This might sound odd but from my perspective its hard being out with a baby or toddler in public by myself. I can really feel people staring at me. Folk still think its odd when they see a man looking after a baby. Now with twins that’s magnified as EVERYONE stares at you. Big kids are easier. They cry. You ask them what’s wrong. They tell you. Babies cry. You ask them what’s wrong. They cry more. I felt relieved when I found out the twins were girls. I know what to do with them. I must admit getting the odd pang not having a boy though. I’ve had to give my star wars and transformer figures away to my nephews. I won’t get to read them Batman comics – I know I could but despite what anyone says, it’s not the same. And would I do it again? Don’t be ridiculous. We’re horribly outnumbered, our belts can’t go any tighter, we haven’t slept properly for years and our house is at bursting point as it is. Plus if we did have any more it’d be another girl. Or two. Or three. Most of all though, I feel our family is complete the way it is. Although hard work, we have three extremely beautiful and lovely daughters that I am thankful for everyday. I just wish they’d sleep.
“Second Hand Dad” – How blessed I am. At 63 years old I was able to retire. And be living in the same town as my children and grand children. And have good health so that I can be active with Henry and Honor. I have a different perspective as a grand parent then as a parent. No concern for the future, more in the “here and now”. How blessed to be able to participate with my grandchildren.
The Journey of a Lifetime: (of Being and Daddyness) So, when I got married I “thought” I was on unique path that while many experience something similar it’s something all it’s own. And while this is mostly true it’s unique-ness falls far short of a far more complex journey than making sure your wife is happy and thereby having your life be happy (Happy Wife, Happy Life). This added joyous burden is the Journey of Daddy-hood. Don’t get me wrong, “Happy Wife, Happy Life” is still a very intricate part of this Journey yet now you must learn when to violate this tenet to keep everything running smoothly. The reason why this Journey is far more complex than Marriage isn’t due to adding more personalities into the equation. You are used to dealing with multiple people and their foibles your whole life. No, No. This is due to the fact that you get to help shape a new life or lives. Beings that are, for a period of time, COMPLETELY dependent on you and your wife. You get to deal with new people learning to be people and developing their own personality. You get to TRY to make sure that once they leave your care they are as capable, or more so, of surviving and succeeding and loving than you have been. If you do this part right the rest seems to fall into place, at least as far as I have been able to gather given my limited experience to date. Now, Being a Dad, which is far better and far more than just being a father, has it’s less stressful points, too. Your son trying to show you, in many ways that you don’t immediately fathom, how he looks up to you by imitating or doing things that to him are similar to things he sees you do. The unabashed love of a child that allows you to comfort them when no one else will do. The gleam in your wife’s eye(s) when she sees one or more of them cuddled, or piled, upon you for play or rest. Your daughter wanting to hold your hand or get a hug just because you are there. The love of a spouse is something that’s grown through two people coming to an accommodation. While each of you care greatly about the happiness of another it’s an intentional thing. I’m not trying to say it’s not natural or that it’s artificial. I’m just saying that it’s something that’s developed and worked on between two people. The love of a child is really the effort of only one person, that person is you and in my case, the daddy. You’re child develops their love while you are nurturing them, disciplining them, feeding them, and even sometimes ignoring them. In some ways it’s a far more complex love and far more simple love that never seems to go away or even diminish. I know I don’t always show it as I should, or as often as I should, but I’m immensely proud of my children even when things don’t develop as I’d hoped. I got into this daddy thing by first being engaged. My wife made it quite clear before we even really started dating that if we were to start dating I needed to be willing AND WANTING, to be a father. So I got married and after many year I became a father. Now, during the beginning of being a father that’s all I really was, just a father. We all called me “daddy” but in reality I was still only a father when my son was born. When my daughter was born I was her father but by that time I’d become my son’s “Daddy”. Now I am “Daddy” to them both. And it’s great!! My journey of being a Daddy, sometimes shortened to Dad especially as they get older, is far from complete but has been fraught with many a peril and joyousness to date. I have been a Daddy for probably about 5 years for my son and 2 to 2-1/2 years for my daughter. I learned a lot from my son about becoming a Daddy so that I was able to become one much faster for her. I can’t say I know all the steps as you don’t recognize them when you do them and it’s not any single step. As in the movie “What About Bob” it’s a slew of baby steps and they’re not always apparent. I guess all I’ve really done for the last 6 paragraphs is beat around the bush. I really know nothing about becoming a daddy. I just became one one day. It was magical in that I had no clue it happened until I had accomplished it. It wasn’t like a video game where some Master Computer Program told me I “Leveled Up!”. And I think my wife knew before I did that I had achieved this goal before I even knew it was a goal. In fact, I had incorrectly assumed I was a daddy on the day of my sons birth. Boy was I mistaken. A Daddy is finding the strength you need to hold them for hours on end if necessary. A Daddy is learning when to not blow your stack when the pressure is already overwhelming. A Daddy is loving them even more than you knew you could love even when they are trying their hardest to make it difficult. A Daddy is missing some of their greatest moments because you have to work and that’s your job. A Daddy is buying them something they absolutely don’t need, didn’t ask for, and don’t know about simply because you think they’d absolutely love it even though you KNOW your wife is going to just look at you and shake her head. A Daddy is doing the things that need to be done because there’s no one else to do it. A Daddy is being over-protective at the right time and not over-protective at the wrong time. A Daddy teaches lessons rather than punishing when possible. A Daddy is so much more than all of this yet also much more basic. A Daddy is me. And now that I am one I can never repay my wife for helping me become one. You may have noticed that a lot, if not all of the above, applies to being a Mommy, too. It does. In Laura’s case, she’s a Mommy. In my case, I’m a Daddy. And to me it’s all the difference in the world. And I’m grateful everyday of my life that I’m a Daddy.
I love being a Dad. I love my little girl with all my heart. She’s the little girl I always wanted. In the last 4 years she changed me more than anything or anyone else. Her arrival into my life is an awakening to myself. After a long day of working, I can’t wait to go home and have dinner with her;play with her and listen to her stories which she would be repeating the nth time, but I still enjoy it with full enthusiasm and energy. This is … I can’t explain the fulfillment of that, but it is everything and is very satisfying!! This is something I dreamed about and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
Modern fatherhood is an odd mix. The constant amazement that I am responsible for this bundle of mayhem. The fun of seeing an oversized caterpillar transform into a little person with opinions. The chance to climb trees and play with lego without anyone thinking it is odd. And accepting that despite parents being ostensibly equal, the rest of society hasn’t quite caught up with that idea.
Alex is is taking most of the photos (which is why you don’t see much of him) and from time to time he will also post about some of the activities that he’s been a part of. He also acts as editor for posts, technical troubleshooter and messes around with the WordPress behind-the-scenes stuff. Other than spending time with Nico and Valerie, he enjoys Heavy Metal, writing reviews about it, football (the European kind, the one here in North America he calls “handegg”) and trying out new twists on food.