So here we are then.
I knew this moment would come. I’ve been building up to this for over a year, but, as with many things in life, I can’t say that I’m ready.
Have I ever been ready for anything? Probably not?
Don’t worry I’m not talking about the birth. We’ve done that. Finished. My son Sam is now just under 7 months old. He’s a lovely little ball of liveliness – going through the screeching phase. If you don’t know it, this is the bit where the baby just screeches, for hours on end, for no other reason than to hear the sound of their own voice. It makes scraping your nails on a blackboard sound positively relaxing in comparison. Trust me. I do not exaggerate here!
So what’s all this precipice nonsense? Good question.
Let me explain my set up. I’m a writer, by trade – cue the “Couldn’t tell by this!” gags.
OK. Are we done?
Well that’s what I am, my partner is a scientist, and analyst with a proper job. So the plan was always that I was going to take over a lion’s share of childcare when she went back to work. It’s by far the most sensible thing to do.
It’s just… well… I never really thought that her maternity leave was going to end. And, well, it’s about to and I’m suddenly going to be responsible.
It’s a horrible word, isn’t it? ‘Responsible’. I’ve never really been the type to embody it. If the word in question was ‘sarcastic’ then, traditionally, I was your man. But ‘responsible’… I’m not so sure.
Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not being thrust into childcare unwillingly, I’m not. In one way I’m looking forward to it – there will be a nursery involved too, so I’m not doing this alone. It’s just my other half is so good with Sam and I’m… more than a little bit nervous.
I’m sure there are other dads out there that can feel my pain? You see, I’m part of a generation that somehow sees being ‘a dad’ very differently to how my own father did. I’m a different kind of bloke to my old man and his peers – I don’t have a mustache, pipe, Ford Sierra or mate called ‘Roy’ (who has all 3).
I spent ages in education and then went to the work in the media – God I do sound like a bit of cliche! No, I don’t spend all my time in Hoxton – I live in Devon these days. I’m not what you’d call ‘handy’, I’m useless at DIY. I don’t spend my Saturday’s playing football, I can’t stand the game. I’ve never lent my next door neighbour jump leads – I don’t have a car (I am learning to drive at 37). Basically I see very little of my father in me. When things go wrong I still look for a ‘grown up’, I tend to forget I’m already one myself.
So when it comes to taking on long term part time parenting (while my partner works) I do feel a little out of my depth.
An Out of Depth Dad… about to go over the precipice.
I’m sure it’ll all go well. It’s just I can’t help feeling a bit nervous.
Don’t worry. I’ll keep you updated on what happens. Warts and all.
The Out of Depth Dad.