With June being a month dedicated to fathers, this is a tribute to my baby’s father who has held my hand since the day we found out I was expecting.
Having being raised by a single mother, it has always been my wish to have a baby when I am married (traditionally married in my case, that counts right?) and I am grateful that my daughter will get to experience growing up with both her parents – even though she is showing signs of being such daddy’s girl.
The pregnancy signs were there but finding out still came as shock. We were scared and didn’t know how our respective families would accept the news, while at the same time we were excited and couldn’t wait to meet our little one. My fiancé and father-to-be made sure I ate properly (in fact he was too strict, so I had to hide chocolates from him); he never missed any of our doctor’s appointments and he was always sure to compliment me even when I felt big and ugly.
“Being a new mom is challenging but having such a hands-on partner has really made the workload manageable.”
Being the typical Zulu man that he is, he established from the onset that he does not intend to come anywhere near labour ward and I understood. But I’ll never forget the day he held our baby daughter for the first time; he still denies it but I swear I saw tears in his eyes – a moment that will stay with me forever.
I was fortunate enough to stay with my mother-in-law for my first few months as a new mom in KwaZulu-Natal, but I could tell that my fiancé couldn’t wait for his girls to come home to Johannesburg. When we did, it was very clean (I think he got someone to clean) and the baby’s cot was ready – it felt so homely.
Night shift blues
We all know the first few months bring with them sleepless nights and having to juggle between work, daddy and I are taking turns to wake up, although I need to wake up to monitor if daddy is warming the bottle or not. At times I’d pretend not to hear baby crying, just to see if he’d wake up, and being the light sleeper that he is, he does.
Under Daddy’s watch
I really don’t know how other moms take care of a little baby, work and do the chores. On the weekend, daddy will look after our little bunny while I do all the house chores and that’s when you get the loudest gurgles from her. I guess she enjoys playing with Daddy more than Mommy – for now!
I’m at the grocery store
I don’t know what fatherhood did to my man, but I love it! He’s become such a responsible person and at times I am still coming into terms with it. The other day he called me from the grocery store (unprompted) asking what size nappies our baby wears? I was impressed! At this rate I’m almost tempted to have more babies – almost.
Did I mention that my fiancé has become so informed about baby stages and all things parenting since our little girl arrived? He’ll tell me about tummy time and all the baby stuff you find on magazines and the internet. Our daddy is the best and we are certainly grateful to Google.
And some things will never change
Whoever told men to stay away from newborns should be run out of town. Like every other new daddy, he was scared to carry our baby when she was only a few days old. He’d watch me from a distance bathing her and would make funny comments about how tiny she was. One day he offered to change her nappy, but quickly called mommy when he realised it was a poo nappy. I still get called when she cries hysterically after their wild playtime (I think he plays with her like he would a son). He can give her a real scare at times, but I know that she loves these times with her daddy.
Being a new mom is challenging but having such a hands-on partner has really made the workload manageable. Even though I might shout at him for scaring our baby or for trying to feed her some of his food, he has really embraced this daddy thing with both hands. He even argues that she looks like him, but this is not the case; her appetite on the other hand is just like his. Being first-time parents is not a walk in the park or something you can master. There will be days when you both feel like total failures, but there is nothing more beautiful than walking this journey together.
To the father of my baby, my fiancé and the best drummer in the world! You rock, Dadda!