What I’ve learned from the first year – a new dad looks back

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This is a guest post by Luke Belsey. Visit Luke’s blog to read more. 

525600 minutes gone by…

FLASH. BANG. GONE. It really does seem a whole 12 months has passed in the time it has taken me to write this sentence.

31,556,926 seconds of heart-melting time that I have been lucky enough to spend with my handsome (I’m biased, I know) little boy. I feel eternally grateful and blessed for the opportunity to become a father, and as well as nurturing the next generation, the impact on me has been profound.

Now, I’m going to lay everything on the line about what I was like before Hux was born. Judge all you like, it’s not something I’m necessarily proud of but it is what it is. If you have taken a gander at my twitter bio (@hux_Life) it reads ‘from an existence of excess and debauchery…’

Since the age of around 18, I became quite fond of the ole wacky backy, something that probably got out of hand to the point where you could say I was quite reliant. Days/months/years lapsed in a hazy bubble. It felt more of a lifestyle than a habit and something I pushed to pure excess. The party lifestyle descended: you name it, I took it. I was a weekend warrior on a quest to get as high as possible, living life to the max with no thought for tomorrow.

You’ll be glad to hear that since meeting the love of my life, I’ve kicked recreational drugs, apart from smoking (tobacco). There have been testing situations when I have been offered drugs and it’s taken all my willpower, but I successfully turned them down. It’s now a thing of the past I have no time for. Standing in the position I am now in, I have no regrets for these tearaway years and firmly believe I needed to get the stage of life out of my system before settling down.

So, as we talk about my life a year on from welcoming a baby boy into the world, the personal journey for me feels massive. The wild, party days were over and now I’ve grown in more ways than I ever thought possible.

There is no good time to have a baby. Let’s face it. My initial thoughts were; Am I ready to give up everything? Social life, freedom, spontaneity? Thoughts that crossed my mind all the way through pregnancy until I saw Hux emerge in the birthing pool. Like a piercing cold shower to the skin these thoughts soon shuddered out of the system, the moment our loving eyes met.

I owe a lot to this little boy for making me a more rounded person (that doesn’t exclude the dad belly!). He has shown me how to love, unconditionally. Love like I have never felt. It’s so hard to explain but you really would give yourself up for them, take any illness for them and do all you can to help them. A loving bond that cannot be seen, yet something so strong and everlasting.

The first year with a baby is testing to say the least. With no previous experience being thrust into this world of nappies, night feeds and teething is daunting. A previous me would have no tolerance for it but I’ve learnt to be very patient and calm. Characteristic that have been beneficial in both my personal and work life. It’s very easy for me to spout on about this but I feel this affect also rubs off onto your child. In the current world climate, raising a child that has a carefree attitude really does show you another side to childhood and its epic to indulge in the pure wonderment of their tiny mind developing.

Lastly, empathy. Before Hux came along, my views on other people were very limited, let’s put it that way. I felt no compassion towards others. Since having Hux I’m now more open and responsive to understand and appreciate others’ feelings. Maybe having a dependant has shown that I’m not alone fighting the dog eat dog world; that I should be more considerate; that I’m part of a society Hux will grow into. If future proofing now can in some way help to make life a little better than the change in me will go a long way.

I don’t doubt for one second that the 2nd year in life as a dad will bring about more changes to me and obviously Hux. Stay tuned.

What did you think of your first year? Did you find yourself changing as a person, or just growing as a dad? Let us know in the comments.



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