Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Sometimes being a dad scares the bejesus out of me

Matilda was 10 months old this week, in those 10 months I have been 100% completely on my own with her for probably less than 10 days. But the lady of the manor is now back at work which means that every other weekend I am on my own from 6am to 9pm both days.

That is a long bloody time.

And to be perfectly honest it freaks me out a little. Don’t get me wrong I’m not like one of those dads on Daddy Daycare this week (or at least the ones the producers made them look like). I have always got my hands dirty so to speak, but its different when there is someone in the background for support.

But this is like going cold turkey, it’s just me, Matilda and Bracken. The lady of the manor at least has her NCT girls to bounce ideas off or see how they have dealt with things. I essentially have no one, family are all a long way away and the NCT blokes aren’t really interested, particularly at the weekends when they’re catching up with their own families.

The lady of the manor has had months to get to know what her cries mean, what kind of routine works, what to do when she’s grouchy/sick/tired and there is just no way she can tell me all these things.

But trial and error is a lot tougher when you have to do it in 2 days and the only 2 days a week when you get more than 30 mins together.

I think that’s the toughest part, given that I don’t see her much during the week I want the weekends to be full of fun and laughter, taking her out on trips, watching her learn to do new things. If I get it wrong with her naps or meal times it can instead be a weekend of tantrums and crying.

Like this weekend. A teething wee girl, 3 changes of clothes due to dirty nappies, a dog walk in the rain, yoghurt the only food eaten at meal times and tantrums at regular intervals during the day. Not quite what I had in mind.

But thank god for twitter, quick, useful, honest advice and re-assurance. You know who you are, you don’t know how much I appreciated it. It’s also the closest I get to some adult conversation all day, Bracken is a clever dog but hasn’t quite mastered polite conversation.


  1. This is what twitter is really for! I have just got through a day of the boy eating ONLY yoghurt. This post helped. We will survive! 😉

  2. I sympathise – but try that x2, with twins! My wife managed to get nearly a year off & the first year is the hardest, but even now I’m flying solo on average 3 days a week. It’s not easy is it? My iPod Touch was a lifesaver for when they had to be held after feeding (reflux), for twitter, web browsing & games, & also for the fantastic White Noise app to help them sleep. Good luck, & hang in there!

  3. I don’t know what I would do without twItter, it seriously keeps me sane somedays…

    I think lots of Dads will be quite jealous of you getting so much one to one time with your daughter.

    & never forget it is always a learning process none of us had an instruction booklet delivered with our children, knowing to ask for help is a huge realisation xxx

  4. Hold on tight Ben, these can be rough times.
    Obviously, a day of tantrums and dirty nappies isn’t the funniest in the world but see it that way: in a short while, you’ll have the routine figured out and you’ll manage to get full days of fun and games!

    In between, I know that there can be quite a bit of teeth gnashing and some hardly refrained cursing. But as The Kitchen Mechanic said, it’s not every dad that can boast of spending so much time with the little ones.


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