For the longest time, having a child and becoming a parent was a completely alien concept to me and, to be honest, something I dreaded.
From the time I left high school as a naive teenager all the way through my twenties, I did not plan for nor could I imagine being a father and having a family.
Then at 29, studying a Masters in London in 2011, I met a Floridian woman who was sassy, flirty, clever and incredible. A year later, we finished our studies and had returned to Sydney to build a life. One day in 2012 we walked along the sandy promenade at Watsons Bay. Julia took in the magnificence of the harbour in summer. As we chatted about our future plans she said, ‘I want kids. This is happening for me. And I want to have them with you’.
Her statement was simple but transformative for me. I thought deeply on it for several years: Having kids, the thing I rejected, can I do it?
Now in February 2016, I am less than 10 weeks from becoming a father to a little girl. The pregnancy has been a thrilling cocktail of contradictions – fast-paced and slow-moving, exciting and worry-inducing, invigorating and burdensome. I can not wait to meet my daughter.
The question that plagued me the most for all my adult youth was, why have kids? Not what is the point of having children, but rather, why me? What would I offer to society by having a child, and what could I instil in a child that was significant to him or her? Ironically the question that plagued me turned out to be the motivating force behind my 180 degree reversal on the whole idea.