Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.
Hello, My name is Lee and I am a new dad to a lovely daughter called Ava. Now, what I do – I suppose I could give you the typical answer and give you my vocation, but to be honest that’s boring. I work in IT and no matter how you spruce it up, IT is IT. The things I do however that I find interesting are: Working out and keeping fit and healthy. Going out with my family on long walks and stopping to refuel with copious amount of cake at some obscure and unknown little farm cafes (they always serve up the best cake!) I also like to relax and eat pizza while drinking wine and I like to get up first thing in the morning before anyone else is awake and sit in peace and quiet for at least 5 minutes before all hell breaks loose! I also eat chocolate. A lot of it.
How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a father?
It’s tough. It’s hard and sometimes it’s overwhelming. But with a bit of time and patience you’ll learn to keep everything in balance (eventually!). Being able to rely on the support of others is also key and having a strong support system definitely helps too. Really though, if things get hectic, just take a step back and talk it out with someone. I do that every single day with Ava’s mum and it really helps both of us stay focused, calm and keeps us both from going completely insane.
What makes you, as a dad, happy?
I’m the happiest when Ava is in her playful moods and just laps up everything I throw at her. There are a few things she loves but it’s so rewarding when I try something new and she’s completely receptive to it. I was banging a toy off the floor the other day and she was in tears of laughter. It was a new thing for us and it just make me happy. So all these new things every day are really the things that fill me with joy.
Im a dad and….?
What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?
The most favourite thing is the increasing interaction you get from your child on a daily basis. Every day as she ages, she grows and matures and her personality begins to shine through and the interaction between father and daughter grows. Little silly things like just now – we lift her up and now she’s starting to grip in with her legs and heels around our waist. It’s great because she’s adapting and becoming an actual little person!
The least favourite thing – the smell of bad nappies. Those nappies where you don’t even bother trying. You just scoop up the little one and whisk them away to the shower room for a proper hose down. The smell though. I just can’t handle it.
If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?
Johnny Bravo. I just don’t think there’s a cooler cartoon character right?
Tell us something mummy doesn’t know, something that happened during a ‘dad on duty’ moment.
I dropped Ava walking down the stairs once. Joke. I accidentally gave her cat food instead of baby food once. Again, another joke. It’s pretty boring and un-dad like not to have a secret up his sleeve but in this case, I actually have none.
What advice would you give a first-time dad?
It’s ok to feel out of your depth sometimes. It’s a natural thing. But treasure every single moment because as cliché as it sounds, time does indeed pass you by. Also, the nappies get worse. So if you can somehow work out a deal with the missus then do it. You do the first 6 months, and then she does the next 6 months. You’ll thank me soon, trust me!
Share a top tip with your fellow dads?
You can never have enough wipes. You can also never have enough nappies. Also take precaution when changing your baby anywhere that isn’t the changing mat. Even then, be careful. Projectile poo is a real thing you know!
What does fatherhood represent to you?
It’s made me stand up and take responsibility for my life. It’s also made me reflect on what’s important and has made me a lot more proactive and forward thinking. Yes I still have my lapses of laziness but who doesn’t right? It has made me enjoy things I never thought I’d ever enjoy. Little moments in time and moments that soon become memories. So yeah, life is now all about the memories and sweet little moments. Yes I still like the feel of a nice expensive sharp suit (who doesn’t?) but these things aren’t important anymore. The important things are those two girls at home (and the cats.. They’d be pretty pissed if I never mentioned them at least once throughout these posts).