Being a reluctant Dad doesn’t change the fact that my two little people are by far and away the best ‘things’ to happen to me. As I’ve talked about before they’ve brought me joy like I’ve never known before.
Now that I’m single and no longer worrying whether I’ll see the kids or a court case I’ve been wondering whether finding someone new to enjoy life with. At 30 years old though many ‘potential suitors’ will be thinking about having kids and so I’ve been thinking about that too.
What if I do find someone who coaxes me away from the freedom I’m enjoying being single, and that person wants kids of their own?
Since The Boy came along I’ve suffered from depression, and I sometimes wonder how much more I would have enjoyed that first two years had I been in a trusting, loving relationship.
I’m missing out on a hell of a lot with The Girl now, and I think back to how wonderful it was to watch The Boy grow and learn every day. I want to experience that with her. I want to play with her every day and see her learn new things all the time, but that’s impossible in just the few hours I get to see her each week.
While I was a reluctant dad, I’m certainly not reluctant about being a father to my kids. On the contrary, I find it exciting and rewarding and wouldn’t give it up for anything.
But I may even be developing a desire to have more children. The prospect of being in a good relationship with someone I love and can trust and with whom I can raise a child every day and enjoy that incredibly rewarding experience is definitely appealing.
Last week a couple of colleagues were discussing alarm clocks to encourage the wee ones to not get up ridiculously early. It just so happened that the boy had woken up at 5:30am that day so I quickly ordered this toddler alarm clock on their recommendation.
Funnily enough The Boy woke at a more normal time this morning but whereas he usually plays for a bit then finds me to demand milk he took himself back off to sleep! We didn’t get up until 10am!
How to say no to a toddler has a good take on saying no to a toddler.
I’ve tried to be fairly easy going like that with the boy from the start. (Though I’m conscious having read that post that I may have become less so recently.) I cringe when I see the parents who are constantly telling their children not to do things.
Baby B is 14 months though so I think Dad Without A Map might find it trickier to hold back the no as Baby B starts to build his personality and become more assertive, as I’ve noticed The Boy do as he moved up to and past two years old.
Two things I’ve tried and realised are definitely non-starters for us are reason and bargaining…
It doesn’t matter if more Sarah & Duck can be had tomorrow. Dictators live in the right now! And when that toddler sets their mind on something, trying to change their mind is like trying to get them into a pushchair during a full-on tantrum.
“Pick your battles” is a phrase I’ve always kept in mind, because ultimately when you tell your toddler no and they don’t like it, you might as well have declared war! I ask myself “does it really matter?” and guess what… most of the time, it doesn’t.
One thing I learnt from my siblings is ignorance.
Not the bad kind, though. The boy has been having plenty of tantrums and this past weekend involved two fairly significant tantrums at dinner time.
After a difficult time getting him into his high chair, he spent about five minutes having a tantrum rather than eating his dinner. Maybe I’m a bit tough, but I found it fairly easy to just ignore him (it may have something to do with eating my own dinner!) and after a while he finally started eating.
Not only that, but he ate better than usual!
I’ll be honest, it felt like a victory 🙂
Reading this was delightful because I’ve already been using those six words!
Still, there was some interesting thoughts about how we think about did that I’ve picked up.
One thing I’ve noticed that having kids does to a reluctant Dad (in my case at least) is you start being interested in kids.
I often work out of cafes and so I see a lot of Moms with babies. Where I would once be worried that I’d be disturbed, I feel the urge to talk to them about their babies and say hello to those tiny bundles of joy.
Presumably this is partly because I know the joy of having kids and want to share it with the world 🙂 Perhaps there’s also some instinct at play, too.