Real Talk from Jonny Kern, Dad of one year old Lily : Falling asleep to Disney songs, lunch from a bottle, dinner through a sippy cup, changing out of clothes at a rate you never thought possible, finding YouTube videos of cartoon owls hilarious, chewing rubber animals, explosive diarrhea, awake till whenever, sleep till whenever, not being able to sleep because you can’t believe that the caterpillar is still hungry! These things used to mean I had an awesome weekend. Now they still do, but I experience them in a different way since my baby girl Lily was born.
It seems unfair that after nine months of carrying around more than 10lbs of human, I met Lily seconds before Mum did. But you get to realise that a lot of this is unfair. Mum does a lot of the hard work and you really just need to make sure you take care of all the things you can, because Mum’s body has been through a lot. At times you feel redundant, stressed, guilty, relieved, and guilty again for feeling relieved. But overall you’ll feel ecstatic because you have this new little person to help grow, that is half you and half the person you love.
I’m a husband, police officer and a new father. My wife Deborah, owns her own business. My only advice to new parents – don’t take anyone’s advice, all babies are different and you don’t know what’s going to work until your new human gets here.
12.03am Lily is asleep, but I’m not. I woke up because of new parent anxiety and had to go and check on her.
12.08am Lily is awake and so is Mum, Mum has to feed her so she’s awake for at least the next 20 minutes.
4am Anxiety again, but we’re fortunate as Lily is a good sleeper compared to some of the stories you hear.
6am Lily’s getting another feed from Mum. I feel guilty that I can’t do much, but then I feel relieved that I can sleep. This makes me feel guilty again.
6.45am My alarm goes off and I now put my uniform on in a much more delicate way than I used to. I sound like a field mouse in cotton wool with all the practise I’ve had trying not to wake Mum and baby.
7.38am Back from walking Stanley (he’s our dog in case you were wondering), I have to go and check on Lily one more time. A goodbye kiss on the forehead for her and Mum, I never leave home without it. I have a risky job and when Lily came along, the risks were magnified. Whenever I leave them it has to be on good terms.
8.15am I’m in a briefing, but my mind wanders and I’m wondering how Lily and Mum are.
10am Anxiety is real! I have to check in at home. I don’t know what I’m hoping for but if she can’t answer the phone it’ll only make it worse.
12.08pm-4.30pm Spend intermittent periods (sometimes at inappropriate times) thinking about how they’re getting on. Mum takes Lily to work with her, so she has double to contend with.
4.30pm Home time and I can’t wait to get there. I’m excited just thinking about cuddles.
7pm Dinner and Netflix (yes, I still watch Netflix but now I have to be careful not to wake the baby who is snoozing on my chest!).
Meet new Dad Jonathan ‘Jonny’ Kern! Constable Kern is recognised locally for the work he has done to implement strategies which focus on the care and safety of the Islands, as well as the special needs community.
Read A Day in the Life of a New Mum to find out how the cheeky musings on motherhood compare!
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