I recently read a post on Facebook which was shared by a friend. They used the hashtag ‘InstantDads’ something I was totally unfamiliar with. As I read the post I realised just how much it related to me.
#instantdads are the ones who choose that life from 1 day to the next. They often don’t have years of planning and 9 months of baking to get used to the idea.
In our case our wonderful Charlie was my best friend for nearly 20 years. There was always something, we followed each other from 1 school to the next and have said ‘love you’ for most our years (reminded by our cringey msn messenger conversations)
But it was never ‘our’ time.
We both had long term relationships and in my case a little sprog. When those relationships ended it was our united friendship that brought us back together. Charlie’s first and foremost priority was always to help me as a single mum. To make sure I had support when I needed it most. And that Ottilie had all the love and care she needed.
Suddenly it was a now or never moment. Risking it all in our friendship we took the plunge to see if we really were soul mates after all.
And just like that…
Charlie became an #instantdad
In our case we were incredibly lucky that Ottilie already knew charlie. We didn’t have that introduction to do as him spending slightly more time around her just came naturally. As a Mum nothing scared me more than introducing another person to Ottilie who had the potential to leave her life. I had to be so sure in my choices that whatever I did was right for her. It was probably one of the first times I felt like a ‘Mum’ as I was in a position that needed me to think 100% about Ottilie.
When Ottilie was rushed to hospital as she had an accident at home and Charlie was in New York he booked the first flight home. Within a matter of hours he was by her bedside making sure she was ok.
In my heart that was when I realised the love he had for her was truly that of a Dad. Seeing their connection and adoration for each other grow daily has opened my eyes to what love is.
I have so much admiration for #instantdads
In our case I feel very lucky that charlie was able to enter her life while she was still so young. However some have to bond with children who are older and already established in what they want and believe. Instant dads have to put aside their idea of ‘perfection’ and instead follow their heart and go with the cards they have been dealt. When I became a single Mum all I could think of was “No one will ever want to be with something with so much baggage”. The instant Dads are the heros that come along and show Single Mums that they are not defined by their circumstances.
Charlie continues to amaze me with his dedication to his role as Ottilies ‘instant’ Dad. Charlie took on the role of night feeds and nappy changes without hesitation. He makes sure she is bathed, creamed and fresh for bed most nights and makes her breakfast most mornings. Charlie is truly my other half when it comes to Ottilie – I never realised quite how much of a team game parenting can be.
Ottilies other Dad
It doesn’t by any means take away from the fact Ottilie also has a blood dad. She sees him weekly and has a good relationship with him. The fact Ottilie also has her ‘papa, ‘dadaaa’ and ‘schaaaliii’ only means she has one more person to love, adore and cherish her. I am a firm believer it is not an adults place to choose what they call their parents/step parents it is simply something they decide for themselves. If Ottilie reads a book which he a mummy, daddy and child – of course she will replicate that. And apply it to her day to day life. I know she loves ‘both’ her Dads to bits and they both have so much to teach her.