Originally posted on Liquorstore Bear:

My parents think I don’t understand them (at least I think they think that). So today I’m making an effort to get into their brains. [Full disclosure: MY PARENTS ARE TOTALLY BORING. FEEL FREE TO SKIP TODAY’S POST.]

 ♦  ♦  ♦

After seven years of parenting, my mum and dad aren’t doing so well in the social department. While they were never so outgoing that they had to fend off friends, prior to this millennium they at least hung out with people, phoned people, and found themselves in mingling situations more than once every two years.

Simultaneous nap. As rare as a blue moon. (I think they’re faking.)

Parenthood changes the way you make friends—profoundly. No longer do you make connections casually, gradually, or naturally. The intense first year with a newborn, during which you get an immediate burst of attention and then withdraw into diapers and mush, effectively destroys whatever spontaneity…

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You know you are a new dad when…

What is it like being a new dad?

Well, this is the million dollar question. The question that is asked by most Dads-to-be, or those just contemplating the thought.

But it is one of the hardest feelings to describe. One sentence cannot do it justice.

So for the purposes of trying to encompass all my thoughts and feelings about becoming a new dad I have complied a list.

Here we go.

You know you are new dad when…

…every waking second of every day you think about your child.

…you can’t imagine life without your baby, even after only a few hours of their birth.

…you are overwhelmed by a sense of responsibility and protectiveness for your little one. It’s a primal urge that tickles every last nerve in your body. You know you will die for your child. That goes without question.

…all of a sudden you become a one-handed expert at most household tasks.

…you stare at your child in awesome wonder at their perfection and the miracle of life.

…you start crying at the beauty of your new born.

…you no longer need to set an alarm, because you are already awake at rediculous o’clock.

…your child falls asleep on your chest. You know you should put her down to sleep but can’t bring yourself to because she looks so darn cute!

…you feel entirely inadequate at not being able to breast feed and yearn for the day when you can hit the bottle (of milk, that is) to feed your baby.

…your eyes fill with water because your child has just smiled at you.

…you see teenagers in the street and think, “I hope my daughter won’t mix with that crowd!”

…trips to Legoland and Disneyland no longer require an ‘excuse’ or the adoption of a friend’s child. ;-)


Ok, so there is my starter for ten (well, it is eleven actually).

Feel free to add your own in the comments below.

3 absolutely essential gadgets for the new father

Ok, my tongue is firmly in cheek whilst writing this post, because we all know that all a new father needs to provide for his child is:

  • Somewhere to sleep
  • Something to eat (technically that is mum if breast feeding)
  • Something to wear
  • And a whole lotta love

But I am taking that as given. And given that there are tonnes of baby-related products out there on the market, I thought I’d share with you my absolutely essential gadgets for the new father. These all qualify because I’ve used them lots during the first days of having a new child. One is wonderfully practical. One gives you peace of mind. And one is just plain indulgent.

With that in mind, here’s the list:

1. Night light

We went for the Babytec Autofade Bedside Lamp that retails at about £15.99 on Amazon. It’s amazingly useful for night time feeding, nappy changing and entertaining baby. It has adjustable fade, timer and touch button operation. It’s a doddle to use and if you live in a house that has limited dimmer lights, it’s a God send. So much so, we bought our second one three days into baby being at home.

2. Digital Ear thermometer

The stresses and strains of being a new father come with bucket-loads of anxiety. “Is my baby too hot?” is one of the FAQs in our household that add to this anxiety. Knowing for sure whether or not your little cherub has a temperature goes a long way to appease the new father’s anxious mind. Introducing the Braun Thermoscan 5! It is dead easy to use and takes a couple of seconds to read your baby’s temperature via the ear. Awesome!

3. iPad with subscription to Netflix or Love Film

Ok, admittedly I am pushing the realms of necessity to the outer boundaries of the envelope. But hey ho, if ever there was an excuse for buying an iPad, then having a baby is one. I mean how else are you meant to entertain yourself whist being awake at all hours of the night? Precisely. Time to catch up on the entire back catalogue of CSI Vegas, Miami and New York.



Wow – I am a dad

So, at 1043 this morning my world changed. Our world changed.

Natasha Amelia Jane entered the world.

And I am smitten. First nappy changed. First feeds done expertly by mum.

Next stop: the rest of our lives.

What an amazing day!


It’s the final countdown…to fatherhood

Da-da daa daaaaa…da-da-d-d-daaa…. the final countdown!

*does air guitar*

Yep, I am as excited as an excited thing on excited day in Excitedville. Tomorrow is D-day. D standing for ‘delivery’!

Waaaaaa – I am going to be a father and our (me and my wife’s) lives are going to change – forever.

If I was on a roller coaster right now, we’d just coming to the top of the first rise, the chain chink-chink-chinking away as the car is winched to the top. Ready for that point of no return. Ready to throw my hands in the air and feel the cold hard adrenalin rush of the first drop.

The first drop is tomorrow. My wife goes into surgery for a planned c-section due to medical reasons at Frimley Park Hospital.

Wish us luck and I will post on the other side.


6 important lessons from my NTC antenatal classes

If you’re like me and your post code means that you don’t get the free NHS antenatal classes, then the National Childcare Trust (NCT) might offer an alternative. We went for it. 6 classes spread over 3 weeks totalling about 14 hours of class time.

Here’s are my 6 most important lessons from participating:

1. You don’t spend that much time on ‘how to breathe during labour’

Almost every TV programme that features a pregnant couple going to antenatal classes focusses on the ‘how to breathe during labour’ activity. You’ve seen the clip: room full of couples, woman on bean bag, man in backgroud, both are panting like maniacs. In reality, we spent about 5 minutes on this topic. Why? There isn’t that much to know, and quite frankly there is tonnes more interesting stuff to learn about.

2. Most blokes try the gas and air, too

During one class we discussed the merits and demerits of different drugs. It transpires that most birthing partners try the gas and air at some point during labour. Rock on!

3. Breast feeding is more complicated than it looks

After a “how to breast feed” demonstration by the men to the women (I kid you not) with knitted breasts (I kid you not), I have a new found respect for any woman who tries and / or succeeds with this most amazing of activities. It is no mean feet. Congrats to Matt who actually put said knitted breasts up his t-shirt for extra realism. Bravo!

4. It’s the conversations during the break that are the most revealing

During one such coffee break, one of our tribe said he heard a friend of his describing being at the business end during labour (from a man’s perspective) as “watching your favourite pub burning down!” Now that is comedy gold.

Talking of comedy gold, watch this…

5. There are at least 21 ways to sooth a crying baby

Handing the fake baby around the group we managed to conjour up 21 ways to sooth a crying baby. I know, we were obviously a gifted group. Then our NCT teacher pointed out that our ‘passing’ of the baby from one person to the next was less than desirable…possibly fatal in some cases. Oh dear.

6. Sharing stories, fears, anxieties and questions with a group of people in a similar situation to you is very reassuring and supporting in itself

Just being in the class has developed our support group. It’s going to be really cool meeting up again when we are all new parents. That’s where the real value lies in choosing to do an NCT antenatal class.

On a lighter note here’s a funny song about antenatal classes: