This week our brilliant dad feature is Harry. He lives near Bristol and is a first time dad to a toddler. Harry vlogs and blogs about it to try and make sense of it all. He has been blogging on and off since 2013, but recently took the decision to take a part time job so he could spend more time on new business ventures like The Little Bedroom Company, and of course blogging at Dads Diary.
Thank you to Harry for taking part.
1. Have you always wanted to be a dad?
Definitely. Ever since my own dad used to bowl cricket balls at me in our garden it was never in any doubt.
2. How did you feel when your child was born?
It feels so long ago it’s hard to remember accurately. I wrote a mentally in-depth blog about it at the time right here. Looking back, it was an insane experience. This is probably the first time in two years I’ve read that blog and it’s making me cringe with all the details.
I would summarise the birth story as fear, then frustration, then relaxation, then frustration, hilarity and suddenly losing my temper in a full blown over-protective state and causing a hugely awkward moment with the doctors and nurses. Then, later, more relaxation leading into difficult-to-watch and extremely scary moments, and eventually amazement when he came out.
When I was left alone with him for the first time I felt the surges of love I was expecting all along but also scared and really stupid because I was worried I’d hurt him if I put him in his baby grow – the midwife had to instruct me how to do it!
This was the first picture I ever took of him:
3. What have been your most rewarding experiences so far as a Dad?
I think that these have come in recent times. It wasn’t easy in the first two years and because of work commitments I wasn’t seeing much of my son and he was often going to bed around the time I got home during the week. So I decided a couple of months ago I wanted a complete change in my lifestyle so I could spend more time with him and play a bigger part in his life. The results have been amazing.
He’s nearly three now and able to have a conversation at long last. He says things like “you’re my best friend.”
It doesn’t get more rewarding than that.
4. What are some of funniest moments to have happened to you as a dad?
During the birth, my wife saying that he didn’t deserve a middle name was pretty funny and everyone in the room lost their sh*t completely over that comment.
There’s loads, they happen all the time. He likes to shout “banger” at the top of his voice whenever he hears a decent dance music track and that never gets old. But I always laugh when I read this memory about how my mum wanted to baptise him.
He’s a natural comedian. Some of my favourite moments are when we roleplay together and he pretends to be my dad. He will say things like, “You’re only getting two books tonight” and basically remember loads of random sentences I’ve said to him weeks ago.
Really specific stuff, like, “I’ll put your bottle in the corner of your bed.”
I’m actually laughing as I write this. He’s a very funny kid.
One last one: he can’t say words beginning with S. So he gets funny looks when we’re in the woods and he says “I’ve got a big dick. Look at my big dick, daddy!”
5. Have there been any situations with your children that you have found difficult to cope with?
Definitely. The first two years were extremely hard going, he was a demanding baby, very clingy with his mum, and the relationship I had with him was tough because he was so attached to her.
It’s really hard as new parents, we argued a lot because he made life so stressful – it put a huge strain on our relationship.
Luckily his personality is really changing now, he’s becoming a lovely kid. Life is getting so much easier, and everyone’s feeling good!
6. What are your dreams and hopes for your children?
I want him to be happy. I’d love it if he’s doing something creative. I see traits in him that he’s a natural entertainer and very funny – he’d be very good on a stage.
But if he’s a professional tennis player or a famous DJ or electronic music producer I’ll be over the moon.