This main blog of mine has not had as much input as it usually enjoys and that is in part due to the fact that having become a Father again recently, my time and attention has been spent elsewhere. I decided to write this non-hypnosis-related blog entry because I sit at my desk in my office right now having had very little sleep for a few days, full of cold and flu, yet feeling absolutely magnificent.
Magnificent because last night I rocked my baby daughter to sleep in my arms and sang to her while putting her in her cot. She smelled wonderful, her face was so cute and she snored a little bit, it was adorable. How could I not feel magnificent today after that?
I sat looking at text books, staring at research papers, examining preparatory course notes and slides and found that it was simply not going to get me as driven as usual until I expressed my joy at being a Dad. Rather than propping a ladder up against the house and tying myself to the roof with a megaphone to let all my neighbours know about my internal state, I thought I’d get all self-indulgent here instead. My blog is where I get to do that, right? My work here is a great love of mine, always has been, but I have more love for my wife and children. Those who know my work and I, know that I promote the value of critical thinking, intelligent reasoning, evidence-based theory and so on, yet the experience of being a Dad is something I find to be deeply spiritual and offers me sustenance of a kind that nothing else can or has done beyond the love I have in my marriage and with my immediate family.
It is incredible and yet I find it impossible to sum up or put into words with any real degree of accuracy. It seems to be the ordinary day-to-day actions that make the role of a Dad so extraordinary to me. I find myself considering if everyone else realises how utterly magical it is to do those littlest and simplest of things; push a child around in a shopping trolley, wipe a child’s nose, feed a child, make them laugh, watch telly in the same room as them, ask them for a kiss as they say no and run off… It generates a warmth that I hope will stay with me and that I am recording in my mind to enjoy again and again while I lay awake at night wondering why I am not going straight to sleep while being so exhausted, because my mind is actually switched on and is listening out for the tiniest of shuffles or cries in the night as they sleep and dream.
I get up early naturally each day anyway, but now I get up and I make up my daughter’s bottle for her first feed, I brew fresh coffee and make breakfast for my amazing wife who will be looking after our two juvenile delinquents all day. I pop in from my garden office for a cuddle with whoever is around and apologise to my wife for the crying that ensues when I have to return to the office after a couple of minutes. When I come in and they are all out, my heart sinks and I wander around filling my glass with water or making a cup of tea in silence.
The other evening, I was lying down on the floor with my daughter as she wriggled around and dribbled on the rug. My son saw me going gooey eyed at her and slid of the sofa with his bottle of milk in his mouth and walked backward onto me, lying down on top of me without taking his eyes off his favourite bedtime TV show and all three of us sat there. To this day, very little has topped that moment when Katie (my wife) looked at me with an emotional expression and we both were thinking “aawww.”
My two-year-old son and I have started going to toddler football classes at the weekend. I posted a photo of him kicking a ball on Facebook. My personal Facebook account status updates are just photos and details about what I am doing with my children. I never thought I would become one of those people, but I have… There are other things I think about, other things that I do, but nothing else seems worthy of reporting at this time in my life. I find that lovely.
This is what being a Dad feels like to me. I want to write much more about every moment and everything I do each day with them, but it won’t interest anyone other than Katie and I… It is indeed magnificent to experience. Mostly, it is magnificent…
I say I feel magnificent, however, that changes and oscillates towards being anxious and worried too… Is my son developing fast enough, am I helping him learn enough, am I equipping him for life well enough, do I need to spend more time teaching him football skills, colours and new words, rather than rolling around on the floor making farting noises, roaring like dinosaurs and tickling him until he is red in the face?
I worry if he is coping with having just a share of the attention and if he is going to have behavioural problems as a result of me finding his baby sister so adorable. I worry that if she does not sleep through the entire night that she’ll wake up her brother and I worry that if I do not support my wife enough, she may become too tired, yet she continues to astound me with her patience and energy and I continue to be amazed about how lucky I am to be up to my elbows in kid’s snot, brightly coloured plastic toys, tantrums, screaming and small utensils being bashed against other toys and pots to make the most amount of noise….
With all of this to experience, how can I possibly run my my business, my training school, my online business, how can I possibly train for my upcoming marathons, how can I possibly write my next book and get the next exciting project on the go, how can I possibly read research papers and oohhhh, everything else…. *Throws hands in air before grinning wryly and typing again*
My work is not the only love of my life that has found itself slightly neglected by me. In my garden, the coloured windmills have had more attention than the lawn or windswept (following the storm) shrubs in recent weeks!
Please therefore excuse me awhile as I get myself into shape and organise myself accordingly, stepping back into the fold of my professional field. I’ll need to stop catastrophising and worrying, yet permit myself some fallibility, and I’ll continue to enjoy every single second of this period of time in my life when my children are so small and continue loving the laughter, the emotion and the absolute joy in some of the seemingly most challenging trials….
… With that expressed, I shall turn my attention to this weekend’s diploma course that I am running and finalise preparations for that and new articles and material will be written here soon too… but I think I’ll just pop into the house first…. 🙂
Thanks for bearing with me… (n.b: my Hypnosis for Running blog has new stuff in it if you need something to tide you over).