Being a Papa

 

A few days ago I was kindly asked to help contribute towards TheMamaClub’s blog via a guest post and I thought it would be a good chance to share some more of my thoughts with other parents.

Here’s the link to the guest post Being a Papa, or I have copied and pasted it below. Do check out TheMamaClub’s blog though as she is opening her club soon!

After all this talk about being a Mama I thought it was time to get the male perspective. So here it is, the Papa Perspective according to the author of Debut Dad. A huge thanks to Brendan for writing this Guest Post exclusively for TheMamaClub outlining his journey to fatherhood. Huge thanks to Debut Dad for sharing his story so honestly and passionately. 
 
It’s currently raining outside and it’s given me time to reflect on the journey thus far whilst my little one is sound asleep.
Being a Papa was something I knew I wanted early on in my life. My parents divorced when I was 12 and from that point forward I grew up with my mother and my younger brother who was 3 at the time. He was too young to comprehend the whole life-changing situation so I had to protect him a little from all the fighting. I was old enough to understand that my father was wrong and I didn’t appreciate what he did both to my mother and to our family. It meant that my brother didn’t really get to grow up with a father and so my mother always said that I was his father figure now. I had to grow up quick and help look after the little tiger as he went through his early stages of life. I still very have fond memories of when he was still in his nappies and when I used to play Lego or Matchbox cars with him. Playing with him was some of the most innocent and tranquil moments of my life. I even told my mother that I couldn’t wait to have kids of my own one day. She laughed as I was only 13 at the time. In the few years after though I remember her always saying that I would make a good father and that always brought a tear to my eye as I knew I wanted to give my children what my brother and I missed out on, a dad who was a part of our youth and innocence. I wanted to do it “right”.
Looking back now I think I enjoyed the responsibility bestowed upon me by my mother and believe that it has helped me become a better person, one who is more patient and tolerant of others no matter what the situation. In my social and work life, I am calm and collected and I think kids seem to help put everything into perspective.
Fast forward to 2012 and on my birthday, I was blessed with the most amazing gift of all… my very first child, Jayden.
Besides the day I married my wife, I haven’t experienced such elation and a flood of emotions. The first cry, the first curious look he gave me, the first frown, the first smile… priceless memories which will remain with me for eternity. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face :)
Since becoming a new dad there have been many new experiences which I’m sure would be a real eye-opener for most. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to draw upon some of my experiences of looking after my younger brother though to help me ease into this mammoth responsibility that is commonly known as parenthood. Changing nappies, bottle feeding, burping, and holding & caressing little Jayden has come very naturally to me. There’s obviously more to being a good father than just these things though. It’s a true measure of one’s capacity to love and care for a child over their entire lifetime. It doesn’t end once they can feed themselves and wipe their own bottom. It doesn’t end when they finish high school or university.
I am excited by the thought of Jayden’s first words, his first steps, his first day of school, and many other milestones. Believe it or not I am also equally as excited though by the more unrecognised times of need of a parent like when he breaks something valuable of his mums, or when he gets into trouble at school, or when he fails a subject in high school, or when his girlfriend breaks his heart. I’ll be there for him every step of the way. I’ll be his shoulder to cry on and his post to lean on.
I believe being a good dad also means being there for my wife as well as a happy marriage cascades down to a happy family. I believe kids can sense and so somehow know when something is not quite right with the relationship of their mum and dad. I’ve talked to my wife about this and even though Jayden is now a major part of our lives now, we have promised each other that we will still be there for one another no matter how straining on our relationship raising a child can be.
These are my values and my inspirations which I believe will help me become the best father I can be.
My experiences will continue to be shared and for those who are interested I write a blog “debut dad” and it contains my thoughts, experiences and opinions as a first-time father. This all came about as I had a lot of trouble understanding what other first-time fathers were going through as everything online seemed to be so mother-centric. I wanted to read about stories from other first-time dads. I didn’t want so called “expert” advice, rules, theories, 25 step plans, do’s and don’t’s or magical formulae. Was it too much to ask to have some down to earth experiences from like-minded first time dads?
The “debut dad” project is what I would have wanted to read as a first-time father. I’ll be sharing nothing but my actual experiences (good and bad), what’s going through my mind, the ups and the downs, and the trials and the tribulations of being a new dad. My blog will be an account of what being a first-time father is like for me. I can imagine it being filled with funny anecdotes and strange discoveries. I am learning more every day and Jayden seems to be the one who is teaching me a lot of the time.
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