One of my fondest memories is when my husband argued with our gynaecologist about the sex of our unborn baby. During our twelve-week scan, our doctor hinted that we might be having a girl, but my husband would have none of it. He confidently told her that she was wrong and at our gender reveal party, he beamed with pride when he bit into a baby blue cupcake. I knew then that he would be in a whole other category when it came to fatherhood.
It took both of us a few days to realise that the black haired new born that the nurses brought to my hospital room every three hours, belonged to us. But as soon as we got home, and real life started, he became someone that I didn’t know he could be. He not only became a father, but also a dad. When William was only a few weeks old and my husband couldn’t do much for him, he cleaned the house and changed diapers and made tea and dinner. He talked me down from racing to the emergency room every time our new born made a funny sound and he forced me to sleep on the far side of the bed when exhaustion set in. He burped and bathed and rocked a barely-there little human for weeks and sometimes he did all of the above for me too.
When our baby finally turned into a little boy, my husband changed again. He became the discipliner; something I still struggle to be. He became the carer and the soother and the very best friend. He changes more dirty diapers than I do, and he has a magic touch when it comes to putting our baby to sleep. He is the only one that can make William laugh from his belly.
The reason I love and adore this man so much is not because he helps me co-parent our child because when you were there with the making of it, you should be there for the taking care of it too. No. I sometimes count my lucky stars and stand back in awe of this man, because he does this parenting thing so well without dropping the ball anywhere else. Mothers sometimes immerse themselves in their new role to such an extent that nothing else seems to matter anymore. But fathers can’t do that.
They still need to be the provider and the protector. They still have to take out the trash and fix the car. They still need to worry about a mortgage and mow the lawn. They still need to rock up at work and be the best and be a friend. The roles of both mothers and fathers have changed dramatically over the last few years. But a fathers’ responsibilities have increased all the while. Both my husband and I have great dad’s that have set the bar extremely high when it comes to fatherhood. They were the example my husband chose to follow when he finally became one himself.
Since becoming a dad, my husband has set even higher goals and standards for himself in every other aspect of his life. He wants to do more and be more and achieve more, and he wants to do it all for the little life that has been entrusted to him. I take my hat off to every co-parenting, loving dad that still fulfils every one of his other responsibilities without so much as a complaint.
I am thankful that he is my partner in this silly thing called life because his excitement and commitment inspire me to be better too. I am thankful that fatherhood has allowed me to see him in a whole other way and I’m thankful for all the moments, both big and small, that will give me the opportunity to fall deeper in love with the man I chose to marry.