Building better dads

Becoming dad

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Guest post by Dave Hull

Nothing prepares you more for fatherhood than becoming one I reckon. Sounds a bit basic, but for me, this was reality. 

You become Dad; it’s not just a switch that’s flicked.

You can read all the books you want, sit down and have a heart to heart with your own father if possible, take in all the advice under the sun... but when your little bundle of joy takes their first breathe, everything you thought you knew is erased.

All you have is this panic stricken moment of awe.

The dreadful sense of anticipation you experience from labour to birth is excruciatingly beautiful. My wife Sarah has her own unique perspective as Henry’s mother, but it’s taken awhile to articulate my own. 

The 27 hour long labour Sarah endured was intense. It’s a distant memory now 5 years later.

But I’ll never forget the selfless love of a mother willing that child out, with no thought of her own safety or health. The end result of her toil was the most beautiful creation the universe could imagine, our son. 

We struggled for names for boys, but one name came to our minds instantly although rarely discussed prior... Henry. God it suited him. It’s only now that I have researched the meaning of his name ‘Home Ruler’. Henry by name Henry by nature! 

Fatherhood is a massive slap in the face with the reality fish though. As this mini-me man child grew I never thought I would be confronted by so many of my own hang ups! Did I actually sound like this when I was a kid? Damn, sorry mum and dad. 

Looking back, I never really understood topics like cultural programming, nor had I completely understood how I influence the little voice inside his head. But I do now, and it’s not too late to empower him nor is it too late to remove the ceilings I placed for him when I was an unconscious dad and inattentive.

That’s why I tell him anything is possible... even if I’m not so sure myself.

If he thinks he can or if he thinks he can’t either way he is right. 

Like a Goldfish that forgets its previous trip around the bowl, I’m continually reminded never to make promises I cannot keep. Sometimes the greatest thing in Henry’s mind is to go to the park, when I said we would. Be cool, do what you say. Let your yes BE yes. Or you’ll get what you deserve, it’s that simple. 

But by far the greatest lesson Henry has taught me, is never be afraid to love! Be fun, be engaged, and don’t take life too seriously.

Be attentive, be present.
Being Dad is a hard Job, but easily the most natural.

Guest post by Dave Hull
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