|photo credits: eggsbenedictchan|
Fatherhood must be a strange leap into the deep darkness.
You did not have nine months of preparation time, morning sickness, bouts of unexplained exhaustion and a strange kicking within you. Neither did you have the experience of birthing the baby. But suddenly a crying infant is thrust upon you and ta-dah you're a dad.
Despite this, you've been a wonderful father, I'm more than grateful humblet has you.
Watching J.G. as a dad has been a learning journey for me. In the past seven weeks, he has taught me more about parenting (as well as marriage) than I've learnt from any parenting book. I've shortlisted a few of my favourite lessons below -
1. It's about us
From labour ward to confinement food, I never had to feel like I was doing this alone. He was the first to carry her and change her diaper. He learnt to boil the longan, red date herbal drink as well as the bath water which were compulsory during confinement.
The best part was helping me with some of the confinement dishes I could not bring myself to swallow.
Now that confinement is far behind me (woot!), the best part how he wakes up after a night feed just to hug me back to sleep and whisper a simple thank you in my ear.
2. It's about the present
I hear fathers tell their pregnant wives at the woman's clinic all about their grand plans to teach their incoming kid swimming, cycling, soccer and the like. Or to bring them on yearly holidays after the child's third birthday. J.G. bragged about these too, except that basketball was the first on that list.
But more than the future, he wanted to be a father to humblet the moment he could. I have a feeling he would have carried her for nine months if the option was open to him.
He confidently carried her from the moment she was born and asked the nurses in the nursery to give him a live demonstration of the bathing process. The senior nurse obliged him, no doubt very amused.
I thought the new-dad enthusiasm would soon die down, but he's been bathing her ever since. To top it all, he fights me to change her diaper whenever he's home. 'You spend at least four hours with her everyday because you can feed her, but I can't. So I'll do whatever else I can to have my time with my daughter', he tells me matter-of-fact.
3. It's about me
Social media points us inwards. Selfie. Iphone. My status, my feelings and my opinion.
J.G. turns the entire 'me-first' phenomenon on it's head. When we moved home, I thought I would be overwhelmed by having to care for humblet whilst balancing the household chores and meeting his needs as well.
That was the only time I had to worry about it. I'm not sure how he does it, but after work, he comes home and rushes around doing the chores he thinks are the 'toughest'. Mopping the floor, hanging up the clothes and sometimes even cooking dinner on days he can get time off.
He's taught me that in the giving of yourself, you gain so much more. I'm sure humblet will really appreciate that when she is able to, I know I am. Tears well up in gratitude even as I think about it.
4. I chose to marry her
People ask, 'do you think you will love your kids more than your other half?'
This poignant answer works wonders -
I will love my children, but I will always love my wife more, after all - I chose to marry her.
Here's a big thank you to all your dads out there. Your wife / children love you more than they say they do. Thank you!