- Darren Hickling
A Dad? Me? Wow! It really takes getting used to. There are still times my fiancée and I look at and remind each other that we're parents! Us. That's our baby lying next to us, looking adorable and peaceful, a little different to how he was just a few minutes ago.
The sheer nervousness and elation experienced throughout the previous nine months are only further amplified now. Despite your best efforts, and those of a British commando, nothing can prepare you for what happens next, which is good, because I won't miss meconium! If ever there was a way to grow up, this is it.
Everything else pales in comparison to the sometimes daunting responsibility of being a new parent, which has its benefits, as my first week back at work flew by and seemed so much more straightforward than ever before. I'm sure there will be challenges, but I doubt they will ever rival the constant desire to do the best I can for my little guy, and his amazing mother, and concern for their safe and happy futures.
All of this has spurred me on a little more now to make the most of my (now limited) free time. Spending quality and often overdue time with family and friends (all of them, sometimes all at once!) has really helped and rightly been prioritised again. It also includes picking up those languishing ideas and side projects, and doing what I can with them, not wasting them. And that's exactly what I did during my paternity leave, and you'll see soon. Wish us luck!