I am new to parenting and writing.

Why did I start (writing, that is)? My daughter, Hannah, went from newly-born to six months old in the blink of an eye. What had begun with feeling like a never-ending slog through three-hourly feeds, breast pumps and bottles, forty minute sleep cycles and weird, tar-like pooey nappies, had now developed into interactivity, personality and solids (food and poos). As the initial days of parenthood (not to mention the months preceding) faded into distant memory, I began to worry. My memory has never been the greatest – I struggle to recall most of my childhood and teenage years. Even much of my twenties feels like it’s viewed through a fog. I didn’t want the same thing to happen with my memories of Hannah as a baby.

And so, my writing serves two purposes:

Number one – as a diary to help me remember these days, and so that my daughter can know, when she is ready, how I experienced her early years.

Number two – so that I can share what I have learnt, the pure joy and the overwhelming challenges, what has worked and what hasn’t, with others.

This is a place for dads. New dads, expecting dads, old dads, fathers-in-law grand-dads and uncles seeking information. I hope you will find my sharing of my own parenting experience helpful, humorous, and encouraging. This is also very much a place for mums, grandmothers and aunts. The vast majority of parenting is gender insignificant (yes, there are some very gender-specific moments in parenthood that are unavoidable) and I believe that my experiences will speak just as much to mums as it does to dads. So, in short, anyone and everyone with an interest in raising children is welcome!

In sharing my writing I find myself conflicted. I have a desire to be honest about my experiences as a father, to share with you my true feelings and insights. But I also feel an unwavering sense of responsibility to my daughter. I fundamentally believe she has the right to privacy, that it must be her decision to have a public profile, when she is old enough to make such choices. After all, I will hardly be able to talk to her about the dangers of sharing personal information online, when I have spent all of her life sharing intimate details with complete strangers. So, I have made the decision to use pseudonyms for every character in this story. I realise that this decision may create an sense of disconnect for some, but honestly, I feel like I can talk more freely about my experiences in this way.

Finally, I am not a professional writer. In fact, writing is something I have actively avoided for most of my life. I am also an introvert. So the idea of writing a blog is perhaps a strange one for me. I know that as I persevere with this journey, my writing will improve. I invite comment and constructive feedback, but this is not a place for negativity, aggression, trolling, slander or keyboard warriors. I reserve the right to only publish comments that engage in conversation. This is not a public forum. I am happy to receive and respond to questions and I will happily publish your own personal experiences on this site, if you are willing to share. My aim is to write openly and often, so check back regularly!

James (Dad)

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