The Dad Interview
I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now – it’s The Dad Interview!
I sat down with my husband, Phil, and asked him a bunch of questions about parenting and how he felt.
A little background on my husband first: he is the eldest of 3 boys, raised by his parents here in South Auckland. They’re a hard working family who are market gardeners – which meant Phil grew up knowing what it meant to work the land, and to work hard.
Phil is a night owl (while I’m a morning bird). So he often stays up late at night (which was great when the kids were babies). He is someone who has no problem waking up, being a zombie (i.e. rocking a baby to sleep) and then going back to sleep. Whereas I always struggled to get back to sleep because I thought I could hear a baby awake.
He is not a complicated man, and doesn’t over think things – which you will notice in his answers. What became apparent to me afterwards, was the fact that his views on our experience so far with parenting, are so different from mine.
I complicate my entire world by thinking about a million things, whilst he keeps his world simple by focussing on only a few things … It was very interesting for me to do this, and highly recommend you doing it too!
Had you ever held a baby before we had kids?
I can’t remember (which probably means I didn’t)
Do you remember how you felt when Chloe was born?
I didn’t feel anything when Chloe was born, and that’s the honest truth. I feel different about our kids now, but when they were first born, I just didn’t feel anything.
When we brought Chloe home, do you remember feeling like it was difficult?
No not really, I just felt that I didn’t know what I was doing. Definitely not difficult.
How was the sleep (or lack there-of)?
Oh it wasn’t that bad. I never had a problem with waking up, and going back to sleep.
Were there moments where you thought “oh god what have we done?”
No, I never felt like that
At this point Phil said “I don’t think I think enough about it”. “I never thought about it like that”
What’s the hardest part about parenting, in your personal opinion?
*he couldn’t think of anything*
So I tried to re-word the question
Was there anything that stood out as making you wish you could leave for work sooner?
Everything has it’s own thing that makes it difficult. Nothing’s ever easy – but nothing stands out.
Did you find parenting all night, and then going to work, hard?
No, I didn’t find it hard
Some days were you relieved to be able to go to work?
How did you feel when I started going a bit crazy?
I found it hard to understand, but I just had to think “I can’t see what you’re going through, so I have to trust you”
At this point we had a pretty tearful conversation about how much I appreciated him and what he did for me. I think I said “I know you were a great Father before I was diagnosed, but when the pills kicked in, it was like I could see clearly, and I really appreciated all you did for me”
Do you think that parenting is a hard job?
Yeah, there’s lots of pressure to raise your kids right
Do you feel that pressure? (I was genuinely surprised he felt that way haha)
How do you feel our relationship has been since we’ve had kids?
Good. I feel like we’re the same as we were before (again, I was so surprised at this)
Do you miss our life before kids?
We never really did anything before kids, so no.
If you had any advice to offer a new Dad, what would it be?
I don’t know how other Dad’s feel, and they might be different from me, so my advice might not mean anything. I guess just do your best.
I want you to know that EVERYTHING written above (that isn’t in italics) is verbatim. I typed everything as he said it.
You will notice that he doesn’t over complicate things – even his answers. It truly was amazing to know he felt this way, and afterwards I did ask “would you have answered differently if someone else had asked the questions” … to which he answered “no” … and I do believe him.
So there you are – the Dad Interview! Not as in depth as I thought it would be, but still very insightful.