Hi everyone, I’m James and I’m married to Lauren. My name has been mentioned many times on this blog but I haven’t shown my face until now!

I am very close to my niece, Felicity and judging by the number of socks and mugs I have claiming to be to ‘World’s Best Uncle’ I’ve done pretty well at that job. In November though I will take on the biggest role of my life when I become a dad. I already think of Lauren as a mum since she did that very first injection and I’m so proud of her and what she’s been through to get this far. Thank you to everyone who has sent congratulatory messages since we announced our news.

The Rock My ladies have given lots of advice to Lauren already and have been very supportive through the IVF cycles and pregnancy, so with Father’s Day approaching I have asked the Rock My dads to share their wisdom with me. I am trying to absorb myself with as much information as possible on how I can fulfil my new role as a father.

What has been the best thing about becoming a dad?

“Tough question as there are so many things. One of the best though is definitely the free licence it gives you to act like a total goofball. I thought before I was a dad that it would be momentous moments in Ethan’s development but it’s not. It’s the wee things. The smiles, the questions, or him waking me up at 3am to get rid of the massive bogey he picked from his nose.” (Gavin, Dad to Ethan and a little one on the way)

“There are lots of great things about being a Dad, but two that come to mind immediately would be – a true understanding of what’s important in life and the amount of joy it regularly brings you.” (Matt, Dad to Elle)

How has your relationship changed since growing your family?
“My love for Lisa has increased tenfold. She has blossomed as a woman and I’ve seen qualities in her that I never knew existed.” (Rich, Dad to Lyra and Jenson)

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve found about parenthood?
“I think the biggest challenge of becoming a parent is trying to keep all the plates spinning at the same time. Oh, tiredness too. I’m terrible with lack of sleep which doesn’t bode well for me as child number two is only weeks away.” (Gavin, Dad to Ethan and a little one on the way)

What has been the best piece of advice you received about fatherhood?
“The best piece of advice was from my own Dad… “All a child wants is your time”. And it’s so true. Give any kid your full attention and your time (which is harder to do than it sounds) and they light up more than being gifted any toy in the world.” (Gavin, Dad to Ethan and a little one on the way)
“Don’t turn down the volume of your life. We didn’t turn down our noise levels when Mabel came along and now she’ll sleep through anything.”(James, Dad to Mabel and Iris)

Do you think you can ever truly prepare to become a dad?

“No more than you can prepare yourself for the first time you have sex…
In other words it doesn’t matter how much you research or practice (?!), the real-deal feels very different. You could get a dog, to experience the responsibility of having a dependent (and picking up poo off the carpet). You could even try correcting the way your partner speaks, to practice giving them seemingly helpful advice that sends them into a blind rage. But without the connection to a child, a relationship like no other in your life, you’re missing a lot of context.
It’s a context shaped by circumstance and character and even if by some miracle you could ‘what if’ your way into a semblance of readiness, you’d likely be overthinking the fun out of it.” (Anthony, Dad to Leo and Tayo)

If you or your other half have any advice or books you think I should be reading then please do comment in the space below. Thank you.