There is no denying that becoming a parent changes your life but it has also changed my outlook on life as I am now much more fearful of the unknown. I am sure that once I have been through all the first time parenting experiences my anxiety levels will ease and by the time I get to the second, third or even fourth child it will be a lot easier. I hope.
In the meantime I am trying, but struggling to get to grips with all the nasty pitfalls of parenting with the biggest one being when your child gets sick. Before becoming a Dad I would never have imagined I would be one of those ‘Paranoid Parents’ but I am and I think I am getting worse.
The strange thing about my fears are that they only really hit me when I think my boy is getting ill as I suddenly get paranoid about what it could be. Even when he is ill and I know what it is I am still anxious that it will turn into something worse. Luckily in the 7 months he has been around we haven’t had any major illnesses but we have been through two severe vomiting bugs along with the normal coughs and colds.
Watching a five month old baby projectile across the room is never fun but when it happens in public it seems a hundred times worse. This is when team parenting really comes in to its own, as one will be responsible for caring for the baby whilst the other has to be the clean-up crew and move on any rubberneckers from the scene. When our son was hit with his second bout of the vomiting bug it happened in a very public place at a time that was guaranteed to make me look like the worse parent ever.
Yes, as you can see from the entertaining family photo I decided it would be funny if we stuck our unimpressed 5 month’s old head through a novelty cut out on Brighton Pier. Well as soon as we removed his head from the cut out he vomited everywhere and it seemed to be never ending. On a positive note the clean-up of the pier was quicker than expected as luckily Seagulls will eat anything!
If you are a parent you would have probably been told at some point by someone or in our case many people that babies always look like they have thrown up more than there actually is. Now I can’t comment for all babies but when our boy has been sick it definitely looks like the full contents of his stomach.
Anyway 7 days, 14 outfits, 10 towels and a new carpet later our boy was better again. Then after only a week of good health we battled a horrible choking cough that sounded similar to a dog that smoked 80 a day. This then turned into a streaming snotty nose all of which are very common among babies but at the time it felt like it was never ending. I think that particular bout of illness is what is responsible for my increased paranoia levels.
My son is currently battling yet another cold along with teething pains and because I have been through it before I appear to be a bit more relaxed although inside I am still a nervous wreck!
Being a Dad is amazing and it has so many high points but to me the test of trying to be a good Dad is to provide support through the tough times.