This week our Brilliant Dad Feature is all about Ryan from Scotland. He is a dad to a 3 year old boy and 1 year old girl. He works for a charity that provides support to families through volunteers and in his spare time he created DadsApp which is truly awesome and I highly recommend you check it out.
Thank you to Ryan for taking part.
1. Have you always wanted to be a dad?
I have always wanted to be a dad. I’m oldest of 10 children including 2 step sisters a half brother and half sister. They all count the same to me. When I was younger I was very responsible for my younger brothers and sisters a lot of the time. It kind instilled a fatherly nature within in me I guess.
I have had 2 different experiences. In the build up to my sons birth I was excited, really excited to be a dad for the first time. My wife and I had pretty much planned this pregnancy and birth and pretty much everything went well. With my second child it wasn’t so smooth. At the 20 week scan we found out my daughter has a CHD (congenital heart defect). It was a massive blow. We didn’t really grasp the full extent at first but what we did know was that live was no longer going to be smooth and we were presented the option to terminate the pregnancy. I didn’t process this well. I didn’t bond with her through fear of losing her all the time. Until her first open heart surgery which she sailed through. She’s still not out of the woods but she’s crazy strong. Which makes me want to be stronger for her.
3. What have been the most rewarding experiences been so far?
I feel like every day I get a little reward from my kids. I don’t find parenting particularly easy as I’m very self critical but I do OK. The kids grow and learn so much everyday from everything that we do for or around them. They are sponges and that keeps me on my toes. They make me a better person as I don’t want them soaking up bad stuff. My son makes me laugh so hard it genuinely hurts sometimes. He’s got such a great personality.
My son makes me laugh everyday so it can be hard. I did hear him say to his mum the other day ‘mummy will you have a pee fight with me’ she replies ‘sorry, I don’t have a penis’ to which he replies ‘ its ok mummy you can pee out of your bum’. He always has a glint of mischief in his eyes but its generally innocent and fun rather than naughty.
5. Have there been any situations with your children that you found difficult to cope with?
My daughters heart condition causes me ongoing anxiety and stress. Pretty much the entire reason I began DadsApp. She has had one open heart surgery and has another scheduled for 3 or 4 years from now and then she will still need a full heart transplant at some point in her life. She’s a trooper and to look at her you would have no idea. The only thing she experiences from it is that she has about 75% energy capacity due to her lack of heart function. I fear the next surgery as she’ll know by then how serious it is. I fear having a conversation with her about her mortality.
6. What are your dreams and hopes for your children?
I hope that my kids enjoy their lives. I want them to explore and learn about this world. I didn’t travel until I was 25 and I regret that. I hope that they feel free. This world is getting crazier by the day and I don’t want them to feel as though they have to just get a 9-5 keep their heads down. Life is short, the world is big and I hope they grow up chasing their own dreams. I just want them to be happy.