Fatherhood. This is not something that I, nor most men, would be prepared for. Of course I had plenty of fears when I heard news that my wife was expecting. This came at an unexpected time–in our fourth year of marriage–and we had just come through a difficult time as I had just come out from a round of clinical depression. The news came as a surprise to me.
All kinds of thoughts came into my mind. Would I be able to support the child? Would I be a good father? Would I make big mistakes? In fact, towards the end of Yvonne’s pregnancy, I began to feel unwell once again as I really didn’t know what to expect. I began to have bouts of anxiety almost daily. I can totally understand why it is common for many women to suffer from prenatal or postnatal depression. Especially so if you are a new parent. We can read, talk to friends who have kids, but parenthood is like an extreme sport. It can be described in a few words (I’m going skydiving/deep-sea diving/climbing Mount Everest), but there is nothing like experiencing it yourself. You can never be prepared enough.
The day of Marc’s arrival finally arrived and when I held him in my arms for the very first time, I could almost feel ripples of fear and joy running from head to toe. It was a surreal feeling: never did I expect to be a father so soon, at age 33. In the days and months that followed, I found that the presence of this little boy gave me hope for the future, and that something good does come after a storm.
These days, I look forward to coming home after a long day of work. Going to the playground, telling bedtime stories, visits to the zoo, these have become a new part of our life together. It has been a very satisfying journey so far. Especially so when you know you are your son’s best friend.