Well, not too sure where on earth the past two months has gone, but somehow my little girl is two months old! 😲
She has grown up sooo much! I can’t believe she is the same little girl that arrived a little over eight weeks ago!
It has been a bl**dy hard two months. In some of my earlier posts I’ve eluded to some of the more difficult points. One of the ones that has hit hardest recently is just how lonely it can be to be a new Dad.
Sounds odd right? A whole extra person joining the family and you feel more lonely? Let me explain.
As mentioned in a previous post, you can begin to feel like a useless parent in the opening few weeks. This is a complete fallacy and as long as you are being there for the mother of your child in any way possible or required you’re smashing it – keep it up 💪🏻
However, as little one becomes ever more “all consuming” (yes – that happens!) they occupy even more of your partner’s time and mental strength, leaving little time and energy for you. Who can blame them… two hours of looking after Little H leaves me exhausted, let alone a whole day! Fact of the matter is that it leaves you feeling quite lonely. Your little one knows you but is quite often screaming (!) and your wife is in the middle of it trying to strike a frankly trapeze-artist style balancing act between bringing up your child and making sure you still feel like a husband, who has a wife. It’s an unenviable position for Mrs Heatho to be in and it results in me feeling a bit guilty… guilty for longing for the days where it was just the two of us and Fern again…
You see, the thing is, as time goes on, you go back to work, and mother and baby develop a bond. Mother and baby can’t be separated, especially if breast-feeding or even combi-feeding, so frankly you start to feel a little on the edge again. My daughter is becoming a little person and not only am I not there to see it, but I’m losing my wife to her needs in the process.
Whenever you get home your little one has either been a right monkey all day and is fast asleep, or they have been happy and smiley all day and saved their screaming just for you! It’s an inevitability of parenthood. Problem is, you’re not there. So you aren’t “in the club”.
Does it feel like that? Yep – did for me too. It’s complete rubbish.
One very simple thing you can do at this stage. Bathtime & bedtime! Bathtime can be done by Daddy. Bedtime can be done by Daddy (although not yet successfully 🤔). Timed right, this buys you time. Typically these days we are being able to get Little H down to sleep by 9pm… meaning we get an hour before our usual bedtime. Sometimes we watch TV together, sometimes we go to bed early and catch up on some sleep. Mrs Heatho has taken on the bulk of this recently because I’ve had a sh*t week at work that has resulted in me working in the evenings, but there is time for that to change.
Little H knows who her Daddy is. Maybe she does play up when I get home. Maybe she doesn’t settle on me as quickly as Mrs Heatho… but today I spent the whole day on the bike (with permission!), left before she was awake, and the first thing she did when she saw me in the afternoon was smile the biggest and most beautiful smile. That’s when all your frustrations, concerns & the loneliness melt away – because as far as I’m concerned, her smile would warm the coldest reaches of the world. That in itself should be enough to remind you that you are a part of the club. A very special part, and an integral part. Loneliness will come and go – being a Daddy and a husband is permanent and is a positive that far outweighs such a fleeting feeling.