This time last year my feelings towards Isabelle were very different to what they are now. But unbeknown to me, they were about to change. On my first Father’s Day, a day that I really didn’t care all that much about, was when Isabelle smiled at me for the very first time.
The Day That Kick Started My Recovery From Postnatal Depression
It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I realised that this smile was captured on Father’s Day. I was scrolling through my Facebook to see what I said this time last year, and whether I mentioned Isabelle at all. I saw that Father’s Day was the exact same day that we went to Weston to watch the Weston Air Show. This was always a day that I have said kick started my recovery from postnatal depression. But I had totally forgot that it was ironically on Father’s Day.
I still remember the moment quite vividly. It was swelteringly hot. We had just come back from the Grand Pier in Weston after burning in the sun watching the odd plane fly around. It was the first time we had taken Isabelle away overnight and we spent the majority of the time panicking and being totally paranoid that she would either scream, poop or want a feed. She wanted the latter. Rachel had to battle with a cover in the Pier whilst Isabelle sweated all over her due to the heat. By this point we had had enough and wanted to be back in the relative safety of a private hotel room.
Back to the Hotel
When we got back it was still absurdly hot. If any of you ever watch my Instagram stories you might notice that it doesn’t take a lot for me to be topless. I really don’t like the heat. And apparently neither does Isabelle. So there she was all propped up on the little nursing pillow, in nothing but her nappy. I was likely trying to deal with the clostraphoic nature of a small hotel room with a one-day-shy 8 week old baby and started dancing around the room. I’m not quite sure why I thought that might help, but for some reason I wanted to do it.
As I was dancing around the room Isabelle must have caught sight of me and thought “what the f**k is this pillock doing?” and she started to smile. And that was it. I had been waiting for a moment like that to come. Some sign, some little indication that my daughter actually liked me and wanted me there with her.
What that moment did was show me that I could feel something towards Isabelle. It was such a pivotal moment for me. Just knowing that there was something there showed me one very simple thing. If something could be there for a single moment, then it could be there forever. Don’t get me wrong, this moment didn’t suddenly make everything better and instantly form this glowing, loving connection with myself and Isabelle. It was just a moment that put me on the right path.
All It Takes is One Moment
When you’re in a terrible place mentally, all you need is that one moment to show you that things can be ok. Maybe it’s not much. A smile isn’t really that much of a big deal. But it made the world of difference to me. Every good moment builds on the last, and the more good moments you pile together, the longer they’re able to fight off the bad ones. The bad moments will still come. But when they do you get to think about those moments that meant something to you. One smile here, a laugh there, and before you know it you have something that keeps you going.
If you are struggling like I was this time last year, just keep going. That moment will come, and when it does it will always be with you.
One Year on – My Second Father’s Day
Now that it’s my second Father’s Day things are so much different. What I had in that brief, single moment with Isabelle is now what I feel with her the vast majority of the time. I still have the odd moment where I struggle, but welcome to being a parent. But what I go through most days now is what I think is quite normal for parenting a toddling, babbling 13 month old. It’s not always fun, sometimes it’s difficult, but I always feel like I love her.
I’m still not the biggest fan of Father’s Day if I’m completely honest. But at least this time that has nothing to do with Isabelle. I just don’t really like the commercial side to it. I’m someone who doesn’t really want that much. I would much rather Rachel and Isabelle spend a little bit of time having fun together creating something for me. A little bit like what I did for Mother’s Day. Luckily, that’s what they did. I received a terrible, messy, handmade card from Isabelle.
I don’t care about having a fancy wallet or a nice watch. I’m just happy that on this Father’s Day I love Isabelle. And hopefully she loves me to. That will always be enough for me. And why would you want anything else? I’ve also summed all of this up in a short video. Feel free to watch that below. I really enjoyed making this one!