New dad, Attie, tells us more about the first six weeks of being a new dad, life on the farm and the new love in his life!
Tell us about your family?
Its me, my beautiful wife Karen, Karlie our 11 week old daughter, two cats Phantom and Shadow, one Dalmation Lilly and two Border collies Tinka and Fitz. Karen and I have known each other since school and got married on 22 June 2013. Karlie was born on 16 March 2015.
Tell us about life on the farm?
Our farm, Rhenosterfontein, is just outside Witsand next to the Breede river. We plant Wheat, Barley and Canola and we also have Merino sheep and Black Angus cattle.
In five words – describe the first 6 weeks of being a new dad?
Tired, stress, exciting, love and AWESOME
What was the scariest moment so far?
During the C-section, I was watching the doctor work. Suddenly he grabbed a pair of tongs and pulled something black from my wife’s stomach! I can remember thinking – what is that?! Then I realized it was my daughter’s hair! I got so upset thinking – what the hell are they doing to my child? The doctor later explained that he had to do it to get her out quick enough. The moment I heard her cry and saw her face, all the fear went away!
What was the best moment so far?
There are too many! The first time I held her, her first smile, when she falls asleep in my arms. Too many to choose from!
Did you read parenting books beforehand? How did you prepare for having a baby?
My wife read a few, but I didn’t. I believe all kids are different and every parent has their own way of doing things and making it work! Everything is new to me – it makes everything so exciting! I will make mistakes but I will learn from it!
Give us some tips: as a new dad, what is the best way to help you wife?
A baby is a lot of work for a new mom! She gets so tired and irritable! That is when the dad must step in and be calm, supportive and help in every way he can! Whether it is taking the 4am shift, babysitting for a few hours so she can do something fun or change the nappies! I love changing my baby’s nappy! That is when she is the most responsive and friendly and she makes the sweetest sounds! Dads often misses out on these special moments because they believe changing nappies is the mama’s job.
What do you want for your daughter in life?
I just want her to be herself and to grab life! And to always respect others.
What do you do to stay calm and relax in the midst of having a new born and being a farmer?
My child relaxes me! There is nothing better than seeing her smile after a long day! My heart melts! Also fishing, surfing and golf, but they are second best to Karlie!
Any tips for dads to be?
Enjoy every second and try to be present. It is amazing that now at the age of 31, I suddenly experience this new love – stronger than anything I have ever felt! Don’t miss out on the small things!