Family Magazine

Can I Have My Old Life Back Please?

By Philmonk

After the newness of having a new baby wears off, after everyone has visited and cooed over your little bundle of joy , the reality of being being a dad for me really kicked in and it wasn’t really what I expected.

I had a certain idea of what it would be like to become a dad. I was excited, I couldn’t wait, I had visions of getting out of work and dashing home, sweeping my baby girl out of my wife’s arms and spending every single second I had with her until I had to go back to work the next day. For me at least the reality of this was quite different.

While I had my moments of doing just that, for the most part, in the first 10 to 12 months I hated going home at the end of the day. Staying at work was easy, I even got to the point where I was listening at the front door before opening it just to see if Jessica was crying or not.

No one and nothing prepares you for the impact having a child has on your whole life. I often said if I did know I would never have had a child. I honestly had moments of absolutely hating it.

On more than one occasion I remember thinking how much I hated being a dad, hissing through gritted teeth at my wife about how much I wanted my old life back and how I wish I’d never agreed to try for a baby.

It’s not just the change of routine which in itself is hard enough, for me the change it had on my relationship with my wife has caused the biggest strain on me.

I had expected things would go back to normal after Jessica came along, we’d both said that having a baby wasn’t going to change us (looking back I can’t believe we actually said that) and I rather foolishly thought that once we’d cracked the feeding/changing/lack of sleep thing we’d be raring to go.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. My wife was in full mom mode and at that point wasn’t really interested in going back and doing the things we used to. Well not completely. We managed an odd night out or two but it was an uphill battle trying to convince her to leave baby and let her hair down and have a good time.

This caused and still does cause certain amounts of strain between us. I’m still waiting for the day when she realises that there is more to life than being a mom and she is still a real person who had a life before children came along.

I’ve come to realize that we can’t go off here, there and everywhere at the drop of a hat, I understood that soon after our daughter was born but I still yearn for the days before we became parents. And that’s not to say I resent my daughter, I absolutely love her with every fiber in my body, but for me I am not just dad. I never will be, I am Phil, I like going to the pub and to rock concerts and having an evening with friends where the conversation is dominated by talk of children.

Do I still want my old life back? Yes a bit, and one day I’ll probably get it, only another 18 or so years to go…..


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