DIARY OF A NEW DAD: I’ve been putting my back into being a good father

Fatherhood is putting a strain on Ben's back
Fatherhood is putting a strain on Ben's back
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This week I’ve had to put on a back brace to support some new and fascinating aches and pains. I’ll be honest when I say that despite having a job that keeps me on my feet for several hours of the day, my fitness levels are akin to those of an older gentleman in his late sixties.

I am currently on holiday and loving every second of it but I am absolutely exhausted by the time the boy goes to bed after another day of lifting, cuddling, aeroplaning and air drumming so tend to spend the evenings horizontally positioned in front of the television covered in Deep Heat and chewing on ibuprofen. Apparently, this kind of discomfort is common among new mums and dads who are suddenly faced with offspring who would rather be carried than crawl. Sometimes, when I’m holding Tom, my back will suddenly spasm. Tom finds these moments hilarious as his daddy suddenly starts speaking several octaves higher than normal and lands in the nearest chair with all the subtlety of a clumsy sumo wrestler.

When the pain increased substantially, the boy and I stopped at one of those pharmacies that larger supermarkets have for a drive through consultation. The chemist was the proud father of three boys and two girls and his advise to me after doling out the anti-inflammatories was ‘eat more salad’, which wasn’t as insulting as it sounded when you saw how much puff pastry and cake I’d got in my trolley. My next phase of parenting is much clearer to me now and will involve a greater effort on my part to shed some weight and not be so hasty with the pastry.

The wellbeing of my son has been my first priority since the moment we met but my own has been much further down the list up until now. So if you spot a bearded bookseller gazing longingly at pies in your local supermarket please redirect me to the fruit and veg aisle. My lower back would be extremely grateful.