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Parenthood is a learning curve, right? So, you can’t begrudge me for making some mistakes along the way. With that said, here are a few clangers I’ve dropped which I don’t recommend you repeat.  Here is some wisdom based on my failings. You are welcome…

1. “Can I go to the toilet now?” 

Sometimes, I am amazed by my dedication for my wife.   Here I was sacrificing valuable toilet time just to make sure she goes through labour with someone next to her, which incidentally provided her with little to no additional comfort, but there comes a point when you just need to go. Apparently, that time is outweighed by the long and intense contractions she was having.

2. “This chair is so uncomfortable” 

Look, sitting and trying to sleep on an upright chair for five days in hospital is beyond uncomfortable. I suspect this is what they did to prisoners in Guantanamo. It became so uncomfortable that I had to sleep on the hospital floor in the end without a pillow or cover, using my coat as an inadequate survival blanket.  All this whilst the missus was lying comfortably on the bed eating her delicious hospital food, whilst I had to leave intermittently to get my own food. Okay, so, she had just given birth to child number one, and her food looked pretty terrible, and I did get to leave the hospital to get decent food and fresh air. But, that’s not the point.

3. “I think that you are having some big contractions now” 

I was looking at the little polygraph thingy that measured contractions in the hospital on the day Wifey was due to give birth, but apparently she didn’t need my help in keeping her informed about progress. I was excited, what can I say.  What’s that saying about being pregnant “together”, I know mothers love that phrase… some people are never happy…

4. “How do I go to the toilet if the kids are playing in the soft play area?” 

Okay, so it is tricky to know what to do when caught in difficult times in public and the kids are occupied doing something. Do you leave them there and risk their abduction? Do you put their shoes back on and take both children to the toilet with you? I still don’t know the answer. So, you would think there would be no harm ringing home to ask a reasonable question, especially when I was taking one for the team and looking after the kids. Well, by “home” I mean the hospital where Wifey was staying the day after giving birth to our third child.  I don’t recall her response being very helpful nor polite, must have been the gas and air…

5. “Do I do it in the hospital? Like, in the toilet?” 

Okay, so you might think my questions are largely toilet related. And, you’d be right.  I’d like to think it’s coincidence but I can’t even convince myself of that.  So, when Wifey and I met with our GP pre-kids to confront him on referring us through to a fertility clinic, we were actually surprised by his willingness to do so when we had anticipated iron resistance given previous visits to a different GP. But, when he informed us the first step was a sperm test, then apparently my questions were misplaced – judging by the disgusted look on his face.  For the avoidance of doubt, his answer was a resounding “no”.

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I am a father of three young children (boy, girl, girl - in case you were wondering). It took a while to get to this stage, spanning around five years of trying for children and suffering the heartache of miscarriages before having our son in 2012 via IUI and subsequently "naturally" conceiving our two daughters in 2014 and 2016. It's been quite a trip. From my experience so far, the path of fatherhood has had its mix from silky smooth to belligerently bumpy. Some days, I feel like a parenting titan, successfully conquering all child generated challenges with ease and deflecting all awkward child queries effortlessly. Other days, it feels like I am a tired and superfluous man-thing who, at times, struggles to repress an inner Hulk-like rage and urge to sell the children to my in-laws. Irrespective of how smooth or bumpy the parenthood path is on any given day, the one thing that is always a constant is that I know I am ridiculously lucky. Having kids is a privilege and an absolute blessing. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that these little alien creatures are just exploring and testing out the boundaries of the world and it's not anything personal. Even if, at times, they drive you to the point of questioning whether being waterboarded with Calpol would be more preferable than having to endure the kids' incessant nagging. I understand it might be.​ So, about that vasectomy...

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