Becoming a First Time Dad in a Pandemic
Heading into the city hospital, the roads were empty…
Even the hospital on arrival, normally bustling with staff, was eerily quiet — making things both easier to move around but like a ghost town.
It was mid-April in the UK at the peak of the “first wave” that we welcomed into the world our little baby boy, Otto, 3 weeks earlier than scheduled — but gratefully here all safe and sound.
There’s been three things that becoming a new dad in a pandemic has taught me and maybe it’ll help any new dads out there.
The first few days were at the hospital with all the support we needed, but when we arrived home, boom — like most parents, thrown in the deep end.
The most un-natural thing was, not having anyone into the house, the first month onwards was seeing close family members, every couple of days through panes of glass in our kitchen.
All for the greater good of course, but definitely odd — and whilst it was completely different to a traditional birth — it really threw us into the deeper end of the deep end.
Normally, you’d get a little rest-bite between the both of you when someone can come and watch the baby, but sadly and understandably, this was the case. Even for a 30-minute nap this became very difficult.
In reflection, the experience at the time was challenging, but really has helped to make better parents.
The deep end is sometimes the best place.
I was very fortunate to take 2 months of paternity which gave me a pretty immersive opportunity to learn more about the world of babies.
I wouldn’t have changed this for the world.
Being someone who worked from home beforehand, nothing really changed for me during the pandemic (aide from having more noisy neighbours when trying to film aha), but now that we had a new lodger — everything did.
The best thing about being at home was I could pop downstairs and enjoy moments that you might not traditionally if inside of an office. For example, taking Otto at lunchtimes is sometimes what I’m able to do and these memories are the best or doing his morning routine has been a blessing.
Working from home will probably throw me some curve balls when he’s up and about for sure, but these early memories are just perfection.
Sometimes blessings are in disguise.
It’s also hard to say this, but 2020 has been one of the most challenging but best years yet, naturally, I’m sure you can understand why.
Productivity & Work
One of the things, naturally being in the productivity sector, I worried about is how the new arrival would affect my own workflow.
Selfish as it sounds, I was curious — as until now I’ve been a relatively “productive” person when it comes to career progression — moving at a decent rate that I’m comfortable with.
To be honest, I think having a little one has helped to clarify everything.
Decisions are now much clearer, self-improvement is now always in the fore-front of my mind and the way that things actually happen understandably doesn’t have to be perfect.
Embracing imperfection has been the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from other fathers and those who work in the sector with children.
Much like the Bruce Lee quote (below) — I’m very lucky to have found this approach early on — although I probably do need to continue to improve to make this even more seamless.
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”
All in all, whilst at the start, I thought this little miracle would slow me down, but he’s actually sped me up.
Imperfection and imbalance are a healthy part of life.
Thanks for reading, hopefully if you’re a new dad these musings might have helped.