Friday, April 01, 2005

Being Dad

So I've been holding off doing the "whats it like being a Dad?" blog, mainly because I didn't want to be the guy who blogged about being a Dad as if this was some great first time discovery unknown to humanity...

But I realised is the first time for me and I do want to reflect on the process in the midst of the inevitable upheaval!

Which brings me to my first thought: people definitely overestimated the adjustment level. Its there but is it any more significant than a lot of things in life? Not for me I think. I wonder whether that has to do with some experiences I've had with family illness in the past which makes it easier for me to juggle my needs around the needs of others. Plus, energy is not something I lack at the worst of times, so its slowed me down for sure but not that much!

So how does the whole "Dad" thing feel? I find, at this point, that my overwhelming reflection is not at the creativity of God (but He did a great job), not at the unassailable evidence of my paternity (mainly cos he doesn't look like me), not at the weirdness of the bump becoming a person (although that is cool), not even at his advanced development (you should see his head control)...actually, I find I just like hanging with the little guy. He's fun to be around. Nice to have a new friend to get to know.

I am very proud of my wife for shouldering the bulk of this journey. Try as I might there are just some things I can't help with...I get to play Bath Technician, Nappy Manager and Wind Facilitator, but it doesn't compare to first playing Walking Incubator followed by Human Food Machine...

I have a peeve. We have some great friends who have offered to help us in really appropriate ways. Doing shopping, lawn mowing, taking small groups for us etc. But then there are those less close to us who create pressure through their "care". An example: we had a steep learning curve day on Tuesday which led to Rhys getting overtired, which led to general stress etc. You know the drill. Well, someone decided this meant we weren't coping and we were then descended upon with well-meaning offers of food etc. Now I'm fussy about food so maybe its just me, but I also resent the inference that we can't have a bad day without it being turned into some kind of mini-crisis. Its like we can't learn to be parents without it being made into some kind of drama. Definitely a learning experience that one - I'm sure its possible to diminish people by "overcaring" for them when they don't need it!

So the verdict: its great being a Dad. And I'll keep working on learning Rhys-speak cos I'm picking he'll stay speaking a different language for some time yet...


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