I think it is safe to say that in the world of pregnancy, birth and bringing up a child, dads do not get much mention. You don’t hear stories about the experiences the dad went through during pregnancy and birth. You don’t hear about dads moaning and working hard to bring up their child. Yet, they play just as an important part in it all, okay they don’t have to push a baby out their ****** or deal with their changing body and hormone levels but they do get dropped into the daunting world of parenting just as harshly as we women do. I think it is fair that they don’t get their say when they do such an amazing job of becoming fathers.
I have no idea how Olly managed when our little man arrived and in those months we were in hospital. I thought that I had it hard, sitting in that horrible environment all day, watching people prodding and poking our little boy, but Olly had to go to work. He had to continue his normal life as if nothing had happened. He got so little time watching our baby grow and thrive. Yet somehow, he still managed to survive gruelling days where he would be at the hospital at 7am, then go to work and then be back at the hospital until 8pm most days. He still managed to look after me when I was having bad days and he still managed to excel at work.
In this day and age, how is it that men still only get very limited paternity leave? They are just as entitled to time with their child as the mother are they not? Should they not be allowed more time off to create those bonds? It’s safe to say that Olly’s paternity leave (not that technically it was paternity leave, more two weeks off unpaid but we won’t get into that now!!!) went so fast on reflection it seems like it was only a couple of days rather than two weeks. But, in that precious time, I witnessed something that I had been trying to imagine for so long: I witnessed him become a dad. As cringey and sickly as it sounds, during those two weeks, I think Olly learnt so much about being a parent and also so much about our little boy. He got to have never ending cuddles and do bottles and nappies and play with him. He got to choose his outfits and watch him become more alert. It’s the most precious time and we were finally a family, all together at last.
Sadly, this time ended and he had to return to work. Everyday, he gets up at 5am and does a nappy and bottle before getting ready and leaving for work. He tries so hard to get back home by 5pm so he can repeat the process and get as much time with us as possible. The other day, he said to me “leaving you two is the hardest part about everyday.” I love telling him new things that our boy has done, or what his new weight is but I also hate it. I hate it because I know how badly Olly wants to be here with us.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes he comes home from work and completely turns the flat upside down with mess, or cares for the baby in a way which I wouldn’t necessarily do it – and that drives me crazy – but I have to remind myself that he has been working hard all day. Working to provide for us so he deserves this time and to do things his way ( although I do wish you would tidy up after yourself!). He has to put up with me texting him all day photos of the latest outfit or asking random questions when the little man wont stop crying, all whilst trying to teach 25 year 6 children!
I guess the point to this blog post is to put the message across that dads do a bloody good job but don’t get the recognition they deserve. I want Olly to know that I am so proud of him and so thankful for him. I am proud of the dad he has become and everyday I see him grow more confident and sure of himself. I love watching the two boys together when he gets home. I love how much he loves our little man and how he gets emotional whenever the little guy achieves something or does something new (sorry – he will hate me for writing that!). Yes, I would like you to help with the cleaning and to put your clothes away but altogether you are doing an amazing job and becoming the best possible dad you could be.
I am proud of you. x
Sorry for all the gushing lovey dovey stuff. I just felt it had to be said.
Here are two quotes which I think sum up Olly and I:
“Sometimes I wonder how you put up with me. Then I remember oh I put up with you so we are even. “
“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you are the world.”Bill Wilson