Six months in and some sound advice

By Published On: June 8th, 2015

Would you believe it? My tiny baby Ben is now 6 […]

Would you believe it? My tiny baby Ben is now 6 months old!
6 months oldSix months! Where has the time gone? As with all milestones I find myself a little reflective; I mean it’s hard not to be—6 months is a big deal. I mean look at the picture of him. He’s grown so, so much.
Thinking back to the journey from early December to today, the changes have been incredible—not just in him, but for me as well. The reason I started to write this blog was so I could look back at how I was thinking and feeling during the first year of Ben’s life (with all of the highs and lows) when I’m old and gray and be nostalgic. But already I can do this, and I have done so this week. I went back to the beginning, to my very first post “Does anyone have any water wings?” where I was drowning in the idea of fatherhood and read up until more recent posts including his swimming and giggling and weaning.
Reading them, I remembered all of the times I have laughed, cried, stressed and calmed throughout this time. I remembered the first time I felt like a father, the first time he giggled at me and how I blubbed like a baby. I remembered the worry of sleepless nights and meconium poo (which was an odd thing to think about at the same time). I remembered the first time he smiled at me as I came home from work, which was a good day and the harder times of not feeling like I was needed by him. I remembered those horrible but necessary injections which made him feel poorly but keep him well—as well as his first cold, his first food and the first time he rolled over. I remembered all of these and a thousand more because of my weekly babbles on here.
It has also made me realize that despite the chaos that seemed to be a constant with a new born, I have become a calmer person for him being here. I worry less about the things that used to be so important and only stress about the things that are. Normally I’m always thinking forward, but because of him I spend more time enjoying the now. It’s liberating.
I’m so glad I have this permanent record of Ben’s first months as it has gone so fast, and now he is half a year old. He’s gone from being this tiny, little, helpless baby to someone who can sit all on his own, feed himself with a loaded spoon and kick around unsupported in a bath.
It feels like it was only yesterday I was bringing him and my partner home from hospital, driving with more focus than I did on my driving test, terrified of each approaching junction and traffic light as my cargo was more precious and fragile than an antique oriental vase. But it wasn’t yesterday it was half a year ago.
These six months have been the best of my life in which I have laughed, cried, cared and loved more than I have in all of the many six months of my life combined, and the record I have, which will outlive me, is something I can rediscover in the future and makes me feel joyful for beginning.
The past six months have kicked my ass, as I’m sure it will and has for all of you. Every now and then I like to try offer some advice. So to all the new daddies out there, here it is:
I don’t mean create an international bestseller or even something that brings a tear to a reader’s eye. It doesn’t even have to be good or read by anyone at all, but write. Put down how you are thinking and feeling; document these early days with your little ones. I promise you, one day you’ll look at the words you scribed, and a wave of feeling will wash over you, taking you back to where it all began. It’s something I’ve stumbled on because I like to write anyway, and it has been one of the best things I have ever done!