Hi! I’m Jake. I’m a sort-of writer – I was a journalist for the best part of a decade writing for all kinds of publications. If you’re a regular reader of a major national newspaper or women’s magazine (think Chat, Bella, That’s Life etc) then the chances are you have read some of my stuff. Some I’m more proud of than others!
With this in mind, you might think that blogging would be something that I have done before, or at least know how to do. The truth is: I don’t. I sat down to write this inaugural blog for the Birth and Baby Network and didn’t really know where to start. So, instead of thinking about it, I just started writing, and what you have read in the last 20 seconds or so is the result. Hope you like it so far! Please read on.
So here’s a bit about me: I’m a proud husband to my wife Frankie and even prouder dad to my wonderful daughter Matilda – I suppose I’m prouder of being a dad as I have had some sway in the development of my daughter’s personality and values, whereas my wife is sort of the same now as when I met her. Except now she likes blue cheese and has some idea who Arsene Wenger is. So I suppose I have impacted her life for the better.
There are some big changes going on in both our lives:
- Last summer I quit my job as a teacher in a primary school as my work-life balance and stress levels were becoming intolerable. I spent too much time wading through mountains of red tape and not enough time with my family. With that in mind, I left and joined Frankie in running a PR business, which I am enjoying. Warning: I may or may not try to plug said business in future blog posts.
- Our daughter, Matilda, has started proper nursery school, which she loves (even if she complains about it when I am waking her up in the morning and insists on wearing a princess dress there EVERY day). Now, instead of rushing her in for 7.30am on the dot (when her last nursery opened) so I could get to school early to prepare for another manic day of teaching, and picking her up at5.45pm (just before her last nursery school closed), I am able to stroll in for 8.30am to drop her off and swing back at 3.30pm to pick her up. Every day. This makes me happier than it probably ought to.
- We found out recently that we are expecting baby number two, with Frankie 18 weeks pregnant! ‘Baby Thierry/Mesut/Arsene’ if it’s a boy (hopefully you are noticing a theme here) is due in summer. I imagine said baby (suggestions for Arsenal-related girl names welcome) will feature heavily in future blog posts, as he/she will for the remainder of this post.
Pregnancy – it is a bit rubbish, isn’t it? I mean, sure there are brilliant bits to it as mum (and dad, to an extent) begin developing a bond and relationship that will last for the rest of their lives. But it is a bit of a rollercoaster, with more ups and downs than my heart rate when I’m watching Matilda consuming a cup of blackcurrant juice while sat on our lovely new sofa.
I suppose it starts well (conception is usually pretty fun) but then the madness, and questions, start: When do we tell people? Can we definitely afford it? What are we going to do about work? Then, the real nightmare begins: Sickness. Dreaded, awful, horrific sickness. I felt so sorry for Frankie as the nausea she suffered early on with Matilda reappeared, lasting several weeks, when something so small as a mention of a food she didn’t fancy could send her hurtling towards the bathroom, hand-over-mouth. Thankfully, that period is seemingly over after 12 weeks of terror and we are well into the second trimester. Now it’s the tiredness. Of course, primarily, hers, but therefore also mine as she is unable to do much of what she could manage pre-pregnancy, though of course mine doesn’t compare with the flat-out fatigue she suffers (I am definitely not looking for sympathy! Perhaps I should delete this…). The growth of the bump is now accelerating, as time seems to be too, as we hurtle towards the second scan and eventually the third trimester, where comfort becomes such an issue. And then there’s the whole birth thing…
I am so, SO excited to be a parent again, but pregnancy does seem to be a long, drawn-out, nine month battle, where really all us dads can do is be a helping hand, whether it be through reassurance, finding and cooking foods which somehow disobey the laws of chemistry by not giving off any kind of smell, or rubbing a spasming back as our other halves arch hopelessly over a toilet bowl. It’s really the least, and sadly, the most we can do.
Still, at least we’ll get something great at the end of it – a (hopefully) happy and healthy second child for us, and a little brother or sister to our daughter…who may or may not be named after an Arsenal legend.
Jake Rusby | Rusby Media