I would say my greatest achievement in life right now – my greatest achievement period is – and I’m still trying to achieve it – is to be a wonderful father to my kids.
I’m pretty lucky. I have an awesome Dad. I am a proper Daddy’s girl. He had an awesome dad too… my Grampa, who some say I had wrapped around my little finger too. But I’m not here to talk about them. I’m here to talk about the Dad I chose for my child.
When I found out I was pregnant, Derek was obviously the first person I told… his response was muted to say the least… it was pretty early in the morning though haha. Anyway the journey to fatherhood had begun.
While pregnant he was a bit of an emotional punchbag for me. My hormones swirling and I was on an emotional rollercoaster. He put up with it all. The meltdowns because I was hungry and the burgers were taking too long to cook, the anger because he hadn’t put them on to cook soon enough, the happy tears, the sad tears, the puking, the heartburn… he put up with it ALL. He’d cuddle me and tell me it would be ok.
I was sure he’d get fed up or freak out. He didn’t. He was ready to be a Dad. I will never forget the first time we saw our little squish on that scan. Not because of the picture but Dereks face… the amazement. The pure and utter excitement. The love.
He spent a weeks holiday painting the nursery in preparation. He came to classes with me. He came to every appointment he could. He was the rock when I was the flaky pregnant lady.
Then when Isaac arrived it was another huge step up. Derek never got to cut the cord (more about that another time), but he did tell me we’d had a boy. Then he was the one who spoke his name first. Never seen him so proud.
Dads have it rough when babies are little. I was working on feeding so he had to take on other duties. He backed me to the hilt with my feeding. He had 5 weeks off when Isaac was born. In those 5 weeks he fed me, he changed nappies, he cuddled Isaac to let me get a 5minute pee break. He never pushed me to express or give a bottle (although it was the plan in time) as he knew I had to work at it and Isaac had to get his order in. He admitted he felt useless at times. There ‘was only so much he could do’ he’d say. However he never knew how much that he helped in those first few weeks.
When he went back to work, he hated missing time with his boy. He got all the cuddles at home time and Isaac was always excited to see him. He even got his first giggles (still jealous of that one!). We started giving him a bottle of expressed milk so he had that time with him and I had a break to make dinner/sleep/shower.
Then at 6months of fatherhood came the biggest jump… he went from working dad to stay at home dad. Nobody could do a better job of this. As I’ve said before I couldn’t stay at home full time…. its not who I am. Financially it made no sense either. Derek was made for this. Isaac and him are two peas in a pod. Derek is both the fun one and the strict one. He teaches him things and makes things fun. He’s had to put up with sickness and exploding nappies. And people asking him ‘why cant your wife stay home?’ (omg the judgement… I will leave that for another time). He wouldn’t change it for anything though… well except maybe a lottery win and neither of us working!
I don’t know how he does it. I chose well. Isaac is a lucky boy whose dad is always going to have his back.