I never wanted to be a parent. Having kids, getting married – commitment in general, were things that I just didn’t get on with. I’ve changed jobs / cities that I live in more times than I can remember – because I’ve always strived to have “something” else, something new, different, fresh.
Until I met Ashleigh. Things changed. I mean, ok, so after only being a couple for a few months, we relocated to Liverpool, but it was the best move for us both, I don’t regret it one bit.
And time flew by, before we knew it, we were engaged, and not long after, we found out we were expecting G.
No one knows how to be a first time parent. You can’t learn these things. I mean, you can read around and try and plan, but nothing can prepare you for it all. I started to think about how my / our lives would change when G arrived. And you know, a lot of my concerns were based on misconceptions – all the things you worry about that actually, don’t happen (or don’t happen as you’d expect).
So here we go, my top 5 Dad misconceptions….
1: You’ll lose your social life
Not true. It changes, of course it does. I’m lucky that my core group of friends are very flexible. We all live around the country, and meet up maybe 3 or 4 times each year. The past couple of times, they’ve come to visit us, which takes out the guilt of me not being around (and they get to see Grayson and Ashleigh, which is always nice!)
Ok, so we don’t have drunken nights out as much as we used to – and when we do go out, we enjoy the evening and normally return home, sober, and in bed by 11pm! But that’s fine, neither of us really enjoy drinking like we used to, and it’s just nice to spend time together.
You won’t (shouldn’t) lose your social life, part of being a team should ensure that you allow each other time to do the things you used to do, either together, or individually.
2: I’m not ready to be a Dad
Well, no, no one is! And the first night after Grayson came home, I remember standing in the shower just thinking “how the hell do we manage this!”. But, you know, it just happens. Your body adapts to the lack of sleep, you find comfort in those 20 minutes between early day feeds and nappy changes. You learn to adapt to having a toddler clinging on to you. You get used to the stench of poo and the risk of being pee’d on. And, believe it or not, you get used to wiping the endless streams of snot away when colds hit the household!
3: It’ll be hard work
It’s not hard work – I mean, it *is* hard work, but not in it’s true sense. It’s so rewarding, seeing this little human grow in to their own personality. To hear their first words, or appreciate when they randomly walk over and give you a cuddle. You can’t call it hard work – it’s just rewarding.
4: Our relationship will change
You know, this is the one I was most fearful of – Me and Ash have always just got along with each other – we don’t argue, we don’t fall out (we annoy each other, but I do that just for a laugh most of the time). As I mentioned before, we don’t have the drunken nights out like we used to, but that was a different time in our life. I don’t think our relationship has changed much, if anything, we work even better as a team now.
We don’t play on the Xbox any more, that’s my biggest upset – I mean, I was always crap at the games we played, it wasn’t a standard night in unless I was shouting “Ash, I’ve died, come and revive me!” – but that’s more so since we moved house and never really set it up until a couple of weeks ago! Maybe we’ll play again soon, who knows!
5: I can’t do it
Yes, yes you can. This is coming from a mid-30’s man who never wanted kids, wouldn’t hold babies when they arrived in the family. A man who has very little self belief in his own abilities most of the time.
You can do it – you’ll be amazed at how quickly you learn new things. Prep machine? No problem. Shit everywhere? Easy. 3am bed change as the nappy leaked? Walk in the park.
You can do it