Tim Daulby

Becoming a family of three


Small things can have a big impact. Caleb was a small thing, but oh my...

Entering parenthood is entering transition after transition after transition. At first I tried to sail through those transitions without being changed by them. I wanted to keep my hobbies, my preferences, my imagination of the good life. But those things were born before Caleb and they didn't know what to do with him.

I felt like I was running between the two. Either I'm living my life, or I'm pausing it for a bit to look after Caleb. And obviously I loved staring down at our little bundle of joy, but in the back of my mind a small cry would come: 'There's something I could be getting back to'. It wasn't so hard to enjoy Caleb when Caleb was enjoyable. But sometimes babies just cry. And sometimes they just keep crying no matter what you do. And as he kept on crying, another cry got louder: 'This is pointless, when can I get back to that podcast'. It was mentally exhausting, trying to live for two lives. That is just one too many.

Ironically, it was a podcast that brought me to clarity. "When you become a parent you have to realise it's not all about you now. The ego-self has to die" I heard those words, and something got through to me. The life I had built in my mind was never meant for a family of three, no wonder I couldn't squeeze in a baby.

So, I'm in the process of moving to another life for Emily, Caleb and me. This new one is bigger and better, but that doesn't mean it's easy. I couldn't bring everything with me. But more often now, when I pick up my son, I'm fully present with him. I can wonder, what is it he wants right now, instead of just thinking about me.

There are lots of podcasts I'd like to listen to. Hundreds of books I'd like to get through. Plenty of things I'd like to get on and do. But when it's not all about me, suddenly, they don't seem so necessary.

It might be, that the things that really matter are different now, but I'm really enjoying becoming a family of three.