I had always wanted to become a Dad. I remember in high school, they’d bring in the pretend babies for us to look after, and I knew then that I couldn’t wait to be a Dad one day.
If someone had told me before having kids that I’d be fine getting poo on my hands or having sick on my shoulder, I would have laughed – but since becoming a Dad, these things just seem normal to me and I don’t even bat an eyelid.
Becoming a dad for the first time
The process of becoming a Dad was pretty intimidating. I still remember finding out that I was going to be a Dad for the first time. I was so excited but also incredibly nervous. I’d only ever held one baby and changed only a handful of nappies. I had no idea about any of the other things that being a parent entailed.
Pregnancy groups and online blogs were a great help. I’d find myself searching so many different things so I had some sort of idea about what I was doing. The groups were great and I loved being involved in the pregnancy as much as I could.
The day of my son’s birth
Then came D-Day! The day I’d become a dad! There were so many emotions that day, so much going on – nurses, midwives, doctors and surgeons all coming and going. In the end, we had to go for an emergency c-section.
I remember being in a room on my own putting scrubs on, on the verge of tears for the past several hours but holding it in as best I could. All I wanted was for the baby and mum to be alright. After what seemed like forever, our son Alfie was brought into the world.
I’ll never forget holding him for the first time – his tiny little face looking up at me, his tiny little hands grabbing at me. Until this moment it never seemed real, but now I had a tiny little human that I’d love unconditionally for the rest of my life.
Enjoying all of the ‘firsts’
Although daunting, experiencing all of the firsts was priceless. The first swaddle, the first skin on skin, the first time he fell asleep in my arms, the list goes on. Even the first nappy change was eventful! I cherished each and every first and still do to this day. They’re all wonderful memories that will live with me forever.
Our second child
Fast forward two years and a day since Alfie was born, and we welcomed our daughter Ellie-Grace into the world. After two years of raising Alfie, I felt like a pro. I knew what I was doing and what to expect but they always surprise you with something new that your first child didn’t do.
I can tell you from my own experience that no two children or births are the same. I still enjoyed every moment. Although we missed out on a lot due to lockdown, the pandemic also meant I spent a lot more time at home and was a lot more involved.
It’s truly wonderful to see their personalities start to shine through. Watching them discover the world and everything around us, guiding them and protecting them and helping them to become the best they can be.
Deciding to Co-Parent
Now, writing this today, things are a lot different. I co-parent Alfie and Ellie-Grace with their mother.
In a way, it works a lot better. Their Mum and I get along so much better which is great for the kids. I value my time with them so much more and we have created some great memories together.
Of course, it has its challenges. Not being with my children every day is by far the hardest challenge I’ve ever faced. It’s made easier by daily video calls with them, even if only to say goodnight whilst on my break at work. This is still something I cherish.
I now have a baby on the way with my current partner, a tiny little baby to link our blended family. I still look forward to the first I’ll experience with him or her, and I’m sure there will be plenty of surprises along the way.
Advice for new parents
My advice to any new parent is to enjoy each and every moment, all of the little things. Some may happen only once and it all goes so fast. Take the time to stop and be in the moment, create wonderful memories and enjoy your journey into parenthood.
Aaron is a dad blogger, co-parent and father to Alfie and Ellie-Grace. Together, he and his blended family live in Norfolk.
He started his page Day in the Life of Dad to give him a place to share his experiences as a Dad. He didn’t see too many dads doing this at the time, but hoped it will inspire more to do so.
He says, “Being a dad is truly the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. I love watching my children grow, helping them to discover and learn about the world around us and to go on our amazing adventures and just have fun.”
You can follow his family’s adventures on Instagram.