I have a good reason for the radio silence over the last couple of months… my beautiful wife and I are expecting our first baby in the next week or so! Perhaps expecting a baby isn’t really a good excuse for not writing but we have also moved house and been busy in every other aspect of life also.
After the madness of the silly season (which really wasn’t so silly this year due to Tara being heavily pregnant) we have spent the last week or two getting back into ‘the zone’ preparing ourselves as best we can for the arrival of our new family member. It is well documented that fathers often feel like a third wheel during pregnancy, and I have to admit that I also felt this way at times. Let’s face it, I played a major part in the 3.5 minutes or so that it took to conceive (errrm what?), but after that point it has largely been up to mum to grow our new son / daughter. Sure, I’ve cooked a lot of nutritious meals, massaged mum’s lower back (a lot) and attended all of the midwife appointments, but there were still times when I felt like I should be doing more…
As the months passed and the baby grew and grew, I began to see my role change from a not-so-innocent bystander to the more useful intention setter. If asked, I’m sure that each new parent has hopes and dreams for their new babies. For me, I envision raising a child that is compassionate, understands their emotions, can engage with people from all backgrounds, has the courage and drive to follow their passions and above all else…enjoys travel! (and perhaps surfing).
OK, so the last point may involve some selfishness on my part but I figure years of changing dirty nappies and being thrown up on entitles me to one selfish expectation. I’ve spent the last few months thinking long and hard about the type of person I need to be to give my child not only the best start but to be the one constant pillar of love and security in their life as they grow up. Sounds like a lot of pressure to put on yourself, right?!
I’m not going to lie and tell you that this process has been an easy one. Pin pointing your faults, and actually addressing them is an extremely tough thing to do in a world where we are encouraged to think that we are always right and it is more than likely someone else who is in the wrong.
For me, my first act towards a more positive outlook was to block out all of the naysayers who find themselves of most use by telling you things like “You will never sleep again” or “Nothing you do from this point on will be about you anymore”. Really people, what possible good is going to come of you telling someone who is going through a life-changing event that their life is only going to get far worse than it is now?! Stepping back and analysing these comments (after my frustrations subsided) allowed me to determine one thing: some people make themselves feel better by dragging others (and their positivity) down. Actually, if you look at how most of these people interact in different aspects of their life, whether it is at work or in social situations, you can see their reliance on quashing all things positive to elevate themselves come to light.
Well, enough of me beating up on the naysayers and onto a more exciting topic: travelling with a baby! First thing is first… I am entirely aware that my days of arriving at the airport just in time to check-in and consume a couple of beers at the bar before boarding my flight are over. Equally, I also know that my days of watching a movie, consuming my mini-meal over a few glasses of red and then sleeping the remaining 12-14 hours of the flight are also over. However, I am determined not to let the grumpy man in seat 47A or the additional baggage requirements stop us from giving the notion of travelling with kids a red-hot go. Maybe check-in again in 12 months and see how this turns out… I’ll either be writing about how persistence pays off or we may all sit back and laugh at my naivety together.
The future of travelling with children is something that I’m realllllly excited about. Here’s hoping that my visions of hiking up mountains with Bubba Louie strapped to my back make their way to the pages of LeftWithLouie in the near future.