Author: Iain Schofield
For me, fatherhood spelled fear.
I’d always known my partner wanted children. I locked that knowledge away in my mind, filed under ‘Distant Concerns’. The idea brought up too many issues, too many worries which I was afraid to face head-on. So away they went.
For years I was able to dodge the subject while we got our ducks in a row. The timing had to be perfect. Stable relationship, check. Good jobs, check. Own home, check. The ducks were forming an orderly line. Damn ducks.
When the time came and I could hide no longer, all those worries I’d filed away came back with a vengeance.
The decision to have a baby is huge. Its scale is equal parts terrifying and exciting. Well, maybe more 60/40. No amount of research and reading can prepare you for the enormity of this decision. Some people get lucky and have this stage removed by fate, the universe or whatever. But for us, we sat down to make a choice. One that eclipsed all choices we’d made in our lives to that point. We decided the time was right to try.
In doing so, we’d decided to make life. Together we would create something inexorably tied to each of us forever. Formed of our flesh and blood. Cherry picking the very best our DNA’s had to offer (I have a feeling most of the cherries are on my partners side). In the short-term, our choice will make a baby. In the long-term, this choice is far more startling and complex. Or is it just simple and yet no less scary?
We will soon be responsible for something precious, more responsible than we’ve ever been for anything. With our patience, our nurturing, we can give a whole new person a whole new life. Who we are, the choices we make and the advice we give now carry an extra significance. Everything we do, and some of the things we don’t, will all be added to this new persons collective experience. Everyday, in a million ways we can’t even see, we’ll be shaping this person, making them who they will be. This is huge
My wife is an amazing person. I’d always known that. I have never doubted she will be a mother of the highest standard. She cares, she listens and she loves with such intensity. She will be an incredible mum, I know beyond doubt.
Me on the other hand, I’m not convinced. I’ve never been convinced. Hence the fear, the filing and the procrastination.
I’ve always seen my own father as something of a hero. He’s struggled through some difficult times but he’s always been there. Growing up, he was the voice of reason, an example I could follow.
Do I have what it takes to be a hero? Will I be a father to idolise or loathe?
For now, I will file these psychoses under ‘Distant Concerns’. I’ve decided to take on this challenge and I won’t be giving up anytime soon.
I will be a father. What kind? The best one I can be.
Read more posts in The Fatherhood Series:
- Fatherhood (Part 1)
- “I’m pregnant” | The 3 Stages of Understanding (Fatherhood series part 2)
- Spreading the News (Fatherhood Series - Part 3)
- Preparing to be Unprepared (Fatherhood Series - Part 4)