It's weird choosing your other half, the person you want to start a family with because you don't really choose them. It's very “right place, right time” - well, it was in our case anyway! Who knew a drunken Christmas party in 2014 could lead to 5 years later our first home and first child together. We definitely didn't think our lives would turn out like this at the time, but here we are!
10 months in to parenthood no one has really asked Connor about his dad-journey. It's all very mum focused, "how was your maternity leave?" "When are you going back to work?" so it's time to unfold the last 10 months of Connor being a first-time dad…
How did you feel when you found out you were going to be a dad?
Absolutely ecstatic and terrified in equal measure. We had been trying but it definitely happened sooner than expected. It’s quite a big leap going from “Yeh, let’s have a baby” to “Oh my God, we are actually having a baby”. It took a while for it to sink in and to feel normal saying “we’re having a baby”
How did you cope with the pregnancy hormones?
You actually weren’t too bad! The only thing that really stands out was at the end when you got really big and it was super uncomfortable. It sucked to not be able to help.
What are your first impressions of parenthood?
It’s the toughest, steepest learning curve imaginable. But also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ll never forget the sleepless 48 hours when Bobby was born. It really made me realise why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. I was dreading feeling like that for months on end. Lucky for us, B’s been a pretty good sleeper since then - parents of babies who don’t sleep, I salute you.
Do you see anything in Bobby that reminds you of yourself, other than the fact you look exactly like each other?
Lucky boy, eh! Seriously though, how can he have brown, loose curls and green eyes and yet still look like me? It’s amazing. I guess it’s early days but he’s already pretty strong-willed - if he wants something he’ll keep going till he gets it! Seems to like the sound of his own voice too...maybe he gets that from both of us.
What's it like being a full-time dad and trying to juggle work, socialising and having enough time to yourself?
It’s a huge adjustment. I’ve never really had a solid routine for this sort of stuff but I’m quickly learning that planning is essential. With us both trying to juggle all these things we’ve needed to lay it all out as a schedule, but not get too caught up when it doesn’t go exactly to plan! It helps to have a solid support team too, grandparents are lifesavers and you do so much too. I’m learning a lot from you about being more organised
Are you the dad you always thought you would be when you were younger?
I used to have this idea that parents were super organised and knew exactly what they were doing...I assumed that I’d be just like that. But no. I wing it every single day, totally making it up as I go along. One of the main things I wanted to do was make sure I spent lots of time with B during the early months and I’m glad I’ve been able to spend lots of quality time making memories.
What's been the biggest challenge so far?
Getting used to juggling so many different things and getting into a routine has been tricky. Going from having all of the free time to then having very little time to myself has also been an adjustment. I don't know what I did with all my time before Bobby came along but I’m definitely noticing a lack of it these days!
What is your favourite memory of being a dad to date?
It’s got to be our Lanzarote holiday. Bobby had an absolute blast and I was super proud of how well he took to it all (including being trapped in an airport for 11 hours!).
Do you have any hopes or dreams for Bobby?
SO MANY. I don’t even know where to start...I guess beyond all the hopes that he becomes a premier league footballing-astronaut-genius, I just want him to have the best and happiest life we can give him. He’s got his whole future ahead of him and the sky’s the limit (unless he does become an astronaut)
What are the three things you wish you’d known before becoming a dad?
1. How exhausting labour can be for the dads. Firstly, let me be really clear and say that I am in awe of what women go through in pregnancy and childbirth and I’m in no way saying this comes close! However, I had absolutely no idea how mentally draining it would be. Particularly when you had your epidural and fell asleep through some very strong contractions, whilst I was sat next to you an absolute nervous wreck the entire time!
2. It isn't going to be what you expect it to be. We spent so much time when you were pregnant, talking about how we wanted to be as parents and how we would go about things. Some of those chats did help us prepare for what was coming but everything is completely different from what we expected.
3. Time really does fly - I know people do try and warn you that time goes super fast but I didn't quite realise how fast it actually goes. It seems like it's taken no time at all for B to go from our tiny blue-eyed boy to this absolutely crazy crawling little man who you can't take your eyes off for one second. I turned my back for just a moment this week and caught him on the 3rd step of the staircase. Needless to say, we’ve ordered some stairgates.