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Being a hands-on dad is so much fun!

By Nick Russell

Being a hands-on dad is so much fun!

What can I say about fatherhood? There are lots of things I wasn’t expecting, and there were lots of things I was expecting. What I didn’t realise the most about being a dad however was how much fun it was going to be.

I absolutely love being a dad, and I would call myself a pretty hands-on one. Your role as a dad doesn’t involve as much personal interaction in the first few months but you still have a hugely critical role. I see it as the role of the father to make sure that your partner, the mother, is rested and doesn’t have to worry about cooking or finding time to do anything … except for slipping into the shower if she can! 

For those first few weeks and months, and even now still, I would take over being ‘the parent’ as soon as I walked in the door from work to give my wife a break. The four days we were in hospital, for example, I wouldn’t let my wife change a nappy – not once. The one thing that she had to do (which I couldn’t) was breastfeeding, so therefore I saw it as my role to do everything else. When we got home from hospital for the first few weeks I changed every nappy, cooked every meal and did every load of washing.

One of the things that’s not negotiable since having our son is being home for his bath every night. I would probably miss one in a fortnight, but that’s it. I’m not just home for the bath, I actually get in the bath with our son every night! I have this hour at the end of the day where he lies on my chest and we get to look at each other close up and splash together. It’s so special and so precious.

It’s funny. People that see you have a kid, and are clearly parents themselves, tell you how quickly it goes. That they grow up so quickly. Your life is definitely different, and you can’t do certain things that you used to when you become a parent, but I just want to be there to see everything as they change so much everyday – I don’t want to miss any of it. I’m continually surprised by how fast babies learn things, but equally, I don’t want to rush him and try to be present every day and at every stage. I’m not someone who is just waiting for him to get older so I can kick a footy with him. I just want to enjoy every moment of every age.

Most of my friends don't have kids yet, and as such, don't quite get the magnitude of change in your life that comes with being father. Everyone tells you it’s the best thing in the world that you can do, but I didn’t fully understand just how much I’d love it until I became a dad. I almost can’t remember my life without him. On one hand it feels like just yesterday that he was born when I look at photos of him as a new baby, but on the other, I just can’t imagine him not being around.

Honestly, it’s like having a really cool toy sitting at home waiting for you. It’s like being at school and getting the coolest super soaker for Christmas and spending all day at school just waiting to get home and play with it. I knew it would be rewarding and fulfilling and challenging, but I didn’t realise it would be this much fun.

Nick Russell is an Australian film producer and actor who is thoroughly enjoying being a first-time parent.

Posted in:  A new reality  Baby 21-26 weeks  Dads  Public Figures