Nurture Article | The Portland Hospital Parenting Magazine
Autumn Issue 2012
Dan Husbands, 35, is co-founder of Homegrown Kids with his partner, Kerry, also 35, and dad to Ralph, born September 2011
Before I became a dad, I used to think of fatherhood in terms of the things I’d have to give up, like adventurous holidays and spontaneous nights down the pub. I had no idea what I’d gain instead.
When Kerry and I got together five years ago, I was a jobbing actor who only had to look after myself.
But she was clear she wanted to be a mum, so I knew it was time to man up and settle down.
We’d thought it would take a while to get pregnant, but shortly after Christmas Day 2010 – pretty much as soon as we started trying – Kerry told me she had an extra present for me, and I unwrapped a tiny Babygro. I couldn’t believe it.
Kerry’s pregnancy was a dream, and she barely put on a pound besides the bump. We monitored the baby’s heartbeat with an iPhone app, and I jumped for joy when we saw him doing what looked like ‘The Caterpillar’ at our second scan.
Labour didn’t go quite so smoothly. We’d been hoping for a water birth but Kerry ended up having to have an epidural and 20 hours in, everything ground to a halt. Suddenly, a swarm of doctors and midwives came flying through the door saying, “We’ve got to get this baby out, now,” and my heart just dropped.
After two rollercoaster days, Ralph finally arrived. I’d expected to feel utter joy; instead I was just shell-shocked. I couldn’t believe he was here, he was ok, and he was mine. I placed him gently on Kerry’s chest, and stared at them both, in awe.
The next morning, I drove them both home in stunned silence, stealing glances at this tiny little thing staring out at the world, and wondering what he was making of it all.
Not only has Ralph’s arrival transformed our lives, it has prompted a career change.
Kerry and I recently launched our own childminding company, Homegrown Kids, in Wimbledon, so now I get to work and play with him every day. It's a huge change to life on set, but just as much fun, and even more rewarding.
So far, Ralph’s been as good as gold and I’m looking forward to being an active dad. I’ve already taught him how to throw – although he’s not quite grasped the difference between a ball and the TV remote. Most of all, I just love watching him watch things – whether it’s the leaves on the trees or the washing machine going round. He’s made the mundane amazing again for me too.
I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the love I feel for my son – since he arrived everything has suddenly made sense and fallen into place. Now everything I do is with him in mind – from changing career to getting fit.
Yes, life is very different since becoming a dad. But it’s also better, in ways you simply can’t imagine before it happens to you.”
For more information on Homegrown Kids email email@example.com