Bringing home baby, a very 2020 perspective

Bringing home baby, a very 2020 perspective

Parenting in 2020 involves digging into resilience, commitment and communication skills that many of us didn't know even existed. But the joys, as we all know, are boundless and the bond it forges in families, unbreakable. Case in point Sam and Rob, aka From Dudes To Dads, who gave birth to baby Harper this May via surrogate in the US. Now back home in Melbourne after a starting out life as a unit together in hotel quarantine, this modern family took some time to share with us their very 2020 perspective on fatherhood and how they're getting it done.

The Father’s Day we’re most looking forward to...
is Father’s Day this year. Despite everything happening around us at the moment there is nowhere else in the world we would rather be than waking up to Harper’s face. Without sounding cliché, we have waited for this moment for our whole adult lives. As a same-sex couple, the prospect of becoming Dad’s was a dream for us and one that we didn’t think would ever happen. We found out we were pregnant a week after Father’s Day 2019 so we’ve had 12 months of excitement built up for this year.

How we bond with our baby...
Bonding for us has been important right from Harper’s birth as we wanted to make up for every minute we missed during the pregnancy. One of our biggest fears coming into fatherhood was that because we weren’t around every day to speak to Harper during the pregnancy or feel her as she was growing in the womb, she wouldn’t have that innate connection with us. Sam is currently the stay at home parent so during the day I make sure that in between each sleep I spend some time telling her what I got up to while she was down and talking to her as much as she’ll listen, telling her stories about our lives before she joined us.

Rob is back at work so only has an hour or so on weekdays with her. He spends his time bonding over bath time, her nightly feed and a bed time story every night. As she starts to get older we’ll introduce new things that will only make our bond stronger. For now, whilst she smiles at every goofy thing we do and while she still thinks we are coolest Dad’s in the world, bonding with her is the most important thing for us.

How we support/supported each other after birth...
As most first time parents can relate, the first three months were the most challenging for us. In addition to all the new things you are trying to learn, we had to do this whilst in a foreign country, cooped up in a hotel room with no family or friends. In a way this added pressure and the uncertainty of what each day was going to bring (we had no idea when we would be able to fly back into Australia or how it would work) made us stronger. After Harper’s birth we promised each other that we would not only communicate more effectively but also make sure to ask for help from each other when we needed it. There is no room for pride when you're raising a newborn. Although we were both consumed with Harper and the joy of becoming parents we made sure that we shared Dad duties!

How fatherhood has changed us...
Fatherhood has not only changed us individually, it’s brought us closer as a couple. Together we are calmer, have a better perspective on life and are appreciative for every minute we have together. Despite being confined to hotel rooms for 3 months and now in stage 4 restrictions back home in Melbourne, we no longer sweat the small stuff. The biggest change we’ve noticed in ourselves and our relationship is that we think more about our purpose & values; knowing that one day we will pass it all down to Harper.

The best advice we’ve received about fatherhood is...
To get as much sleep before Harper’s birth as possible! Little did we know how true this would be!!! This would have been great advice if he had actually listened LOL. On a serious note though, although not advice given to us but rather advice we gave each other, it was to never be ashamed of our modern family and that there is no such thing as smothering our daughter with too much love.

How we manage our paternity leave...
At the moment paternity leave is a lot different to what I (Sam) had planned. I had pictured coffee catchups and midday Spritzers, retail therapy and lots of play dates. Rather it’s been spent confined to our home with the occasional stroll around the block. Although it might not be as glamorous as we’d hoped, it’s a haven compared to where we have come from. We know the day will come where we will get to do everything we planned, but for now it’s all about getting Harper into her routines (which has worked a treat) and trying to keep ourselves busy at home. Let’s just say there’s a lot more baking happening at the moment.