Fatherhood in 200 Words #17 - Gary

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This is the part of our fatherhood series where we asked dads to share a little about themselves, their most prominent memory of their first year of fatherhood, the best parenting advice they have received and a message for dads-to-be. Each answer was limited to 50 words and you find them here unedited and as given.

About:

I'm married to Hannah and we have 3 children; Boy 12, Girl 10, Boy 7. I'm 46 and run two charities supporting people who are close to living on the streets. I'm a Manchester City fan, novice marathon runner and passionate about seeing people reach their potential.

Prominent memory from first year of fatherhood:

Night times were hard, I remember sitting on the bed feeling totally out of control and not coping, wondering how every other parent had coped. But from the moment I saw him I loved him, nothing was too much trouble and I wanted to succeed for him. That hasn't changed.

Best fatherhood advice received:

When we found out we were expecting other people were so pessimistic and said things like 'enjoy your life while you still have one' but we actually felt quite ready. Only one person spoke positively to me as an expectant father he said 'You will love it, and you will be great at it.' It meant a lot to me to hear that.

Message for men expecting their first baby:

Embrace it and enjoy it. It will take so much more than you expect but your efforts will be returned 10-fold. Love and respect their mother and let the kids know that you do. Ask people whose parenting you admire for advice and ignore everyone else. Don't be afraid to admit you're struggling - everyone struggles.