Like everyone else I was delighted at the arrival of baby George and relieved to know that all went well.
I admire William and Kate, given the goldfish bowl they inhabit, they handle it well.
William’s obviously a proud dad and I’d like him to leave it at that. No need to tell us about changing his first nappy, we get the drift. Someone has to do it, why not Wills?
I bumped into an old neighbour this week. The last time I saw him he was a kid, now he’s a new dad.
“How’s it going?” I asked expecting a stoic shrug.
“Really, really hard,” he said. “We’ve been exhausted since the baby arrived.”
“We –what’s with the ‘we’ business?”
“I’ve never felt so tired.”
“Yeah, I can see how your involvement in the reproductive process would do that to you.” (I was tempted to add ‘wimp’ but resisted.)
He whined on about his emotional fatigue, whingeing more than the baby who was snoring like a drunk in the buggy. What’s with these modern men? I was a 1970s dad and my role was very clear. Hold the fort, keep things ticking over and shut up. If that meant doing the night shift and bottle-feeding a screaming baby, so be it.
No one asked how I felt. I was only the support act. It wasn’t my gig. My pals didn’t want to hear about me changing nappies, they were too busy doing the same for their kids.
We did our duty and got out of the way when told to do so. All attention was on mother and child. Our job was to hold the ship steady and catch the fall-out, not blubber along with the baby.
No point having two emotionally frazzled parents. Someone has to get a grip. The last thing a new mum needs is a whimpering new dad.
I recall falling asleep in a lay-by on my way to work. Couldn’t use it as an excuse for being late as my boss’s wife had just given birth to twins.
So, my advice to William is look after Kate, enjoy baby George, clean up his sick, bathe his bottom and never whinge. Your time in the limelight will come.