Saturday October 1st 2022

Dads Anonymous

Now that I’ve come to terms with the impending baby, I turned to a man who has Been There and Done That in a remarkably breathtaking fashion, to share his wisdom. This is how he learned that women rule the world, and he’s a headless chicken.

My name is Brian. I am a Dad. I have a one year old. Once upon a time though, this was not so. I was expecting. A fairy tale was about to happen. A whole lot was about to happen…

Let me say from the outset. Women RULE! There is no doubt in my mind of this now. I may have had a different opinion of this before the D-day landing of my little girl. But no more. They rule…

The picture goes as follows… On a dark and stormy night, mum quietly stomps up and down the passage. I am sound asleep until the summons arrives. Get used to this, everything is done as a summons. In between being bent over double by the vicious contractions your lady has very little time for being patient. Short, sharp, to the point. Even a little cursing at you will not go amiss. Your role is to run around like a headless chicken making sure EVERYTHING is perfect. There has to be one headless chicken during the event, and it has to be you!

We had ours as a home birth. Spectaaaaaacular! If your lady is brave, if you are brave, don’t deny yourself this opportunity. If the birth is uncomplicated THIS is what you want. 50 candles burning through the night. The slight haze from the warm water of the birthing pool above your lounge furniture. The gentle light of morning on the tops of your windows; on your home; on your new arrival. As romantic as a birth can be, this is it! What’s more, it all blurs into one moment, one single in-breath of your child, but you will remember the blur for all the moments of beautiful memories you have around you.

Next up. A water birth. DEFINITELY the best way to slide into this world. Apart from little sprite’s warm world not being shattered by cold morning air, it also gives Dad a certain satisfaction that he built the pool in the middle of the lounge! You know, for those of us keen on feeling useful and left with more than a sense of chickenish.

There is a lot of time spent waiting. Waiting for the next contraction, waiting for the next request, waiting for the swearing at you that may or may not appear! Being still, waiting, exuding confidence that all is good and ‘God is in his/her heaven’. This is dad’s role. A seemingly impossible task when you are clueless and feel like a rabbit caught in a stadium lighting rig.

And so our girl swam into the world. Opened an eye. Squeaked at the bright lights and then nuzzled mum. Wow.  I’m breathless. THEN…Mum gets up…yes, gets up and walks over to the couch! Shocked, astounded, amazed. These are the words which describe the event of the birth of your first child from a man’s perspective. Any man who tells you different is lying.  They are living under the illusion that they somehow had everything under control. They didn’t. Their lady folk did. Mine did. This is why they rule!

What was missing: 1. not enough photos – my job, 2. not enough towels – my job, 3. not enough warm water in the bath – my job. What was perfect: everything that mum was up to, including the tiny beautiful girl that arrived.

My advice: give in to the women! They know what is going on, and as long as you smile dumbly and nod you head at the right moment, you will be doing perfectly. In fact more than perfectly.

Because, simply being there is enough. You are the rock. A clueless rock perhaps, but the rock they need to hang on to in the middle of the hurricane of child birth. A still point in the middle of the most overwhelming experience of their lives. Of your life.

It’s beautiful to have the privilege of being this for your wife and child.

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