I thank God for the example I received from my parents about what being a godly, loving parent and spouse looks like. By God’s grace whether we have had a shocking or terrific upbringing we still have the responsibility to choose how we parent. However, it is easier to aim at what we want to emulate, than to just know what you don’t want to replicate.

I thank God for the naivety and bliss with which my wife, Lydia, fell pregnant with Danielle, our first born, with the pregnancy itself, with the birth and raising her (she is now almost 2 years old). Because little did we know that our worlds would get rocked upside down in a matter of days after Dani’s first birthday…. Similar to Lydia’s pregnancy with Dani falling pregnant with Impi (just our in utro name), our second child, went according to plan, but suddenly at Dani’s first birthday party Lyd started having severe back pain. We went for a scan and all looked great (what a relief), but then a few days later Lydia miscarried at home (when Impi was 14 weeks). Simultaneously we found out that our daughter was being mistreated by her carer.

So has parenting been easy? No! I can honestly say life was easier without thinking of children, we were carefree, our schedule’s were our own. Would I change it? Not at all! I love watching a little life bloom. Being a teacher and wanting only the best for other people’s kids, it is a privilege to have our own children. Would I have stopped at one child, now knowing we were to lose our second child? Not a chance! Sure it was painful, there were tears, unanswered questions but we were brought into a deeper reality of God’s love, a closer connection with friends and family and in faith were, and still are, able to encourage other’s out there going through tough times. We have walked our journey open-heartedly and have been amazed how literally every 3rd couple has a story of losing a child, which has fuelled us even more to share our story. Praise God as I write my wife is 30 weeks pregnant with our 3rd child. God gives and takes away, but He is big and we can trust Him.

So what’s it like to be a dad? It is a great responsibility to lead your family, but at the same time there is so much fun to be had. Those who know me know that there is a boyishness in me that will be ever present until I am 105. I love how kids bring that out of you even more. If you put your being schedule aside kids help slow you down and live in the PRESENT like nothing else on earth. I know kids spell love T.I.M.E and that is what I aspire to provide my kids with.  But foremost I want them to see a dad that loves their mom to bits and lives out his faith blatantly before them, taking risks and owning up to my mistakes. BEING A DAD ROCKS!!!

[To read another ‘To Be A Dad’ story, this time by John ‘Zippy’ Benn, click here]

[For other encouraging stories from Parents who have Lost a Baby, click here]