This Week the brilliant dad feature is Olly and he blogs over at savvydad.co.uk, where He writes about parenting, family finance and ways to make and save money. He started his blog in 2016 and has recently been shortlisted as a finalist in the New Blog of the Year category for the SHOMO awards in London.
Thank you to Olly for taking part.
1. Have you always wanted to be a dad?
I have a love and hate relationship with time, being a teacher alongside my blogging means I measure time in academic years and they’ve started to fly by quicker than ever. I hadn’t really considered whether I’d make a good dad until my wife and I made the decision to try for our first child. To put it mildly, we had a troubled time at first with pregnancies, but this made us more determined to succeed and made me even more eager for the arrival of out first child. The pregnancy felt like time slowed to a stand still and counting the weeks down, for me, was an anxious time. However, in June 2013, our first child Max arrived ready to cause immediate havoc!
2. How did you feel when your children were born?
Max’s birth was amazing and surreal. It didn’t at first feel like this little bundle had really arrived. But slowly over a few hours I realized we’d really made this magnificent little boy. It wasn’t straightforward though, as when Max’s final checks for release were being done a transient arrhythmia (slow heartbeat) was picked up. Two weeks of NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive care) observations then begun while specialists did checks on both him and us as parents. Max wasn’t allowed home, and both my wife and I basically lived in the hospital for a fortnight – stuck in limbo.
First day out of hospital saw us not going home, but instead boarding a train to London to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital. As the years passed, and numerous more trips to London were had, Max was finally given the all clear from Great Ormond Street. No arrhythmia had re-occurred on any tests in two years. It was put down to the fact the signal for the QT interval was flexible in the transition between womb and life. Basically it takes a small length of time for the signal to settle. We could have done without the stress, but the staff were amazing and it was a positive outcome in the end.
3. What have been the most rewarding experiences been so far?
First steps, first words, cuddles and laughs – all accompanied by the coughs, cold, nappies and tantrums that make parenting a challenge but more rewarding than any other experience. The arrival of our second little one, Samuel, in 2016 made the tag-team complete and now we’re really in trouble as he’s just started running!
4. What are some of funniest moments to have happened to you as a dad?
My boys are certainly stubborn – so when they learn a new word, how they pronounce it, is how it should be said in their minds. There’s nothing more hilarious than the linguistic gymnastics and amusing sayings kids develop as they grow and develop. Currently Max has discovered my Lord of the Rings chess set and is insisting the ogre is a “Yoga”.
5. Have there been any situations with your children that you found difficult to cope with?
Tantrums aren’t easy to deal with, and just because I’m also a teacher doesn’t mean I have the answers to dealing with them. One of the hardest things to come to terms with was realising everyone needs support with their kids at some point. It’s why I wrote about tantrums on my blog and how you’re never right to think you’re alone.
6. What are your dreams and hopes for your children?
To have a clear understanding and drive to succeed in what they want as a life and career. To be resilient and able to take the knocks alongside the amazing opportunities that life can provide. To find something that makes them happy, and not stuck in a role that stifles them or makes them something they’re not. I’m proud of them whatever they do, and wherever they go. And yes, I’ll be ready to go through it all again if we ever become Grandparents…