Ready for the pressure?

Reading time: 4 minutes

This week our colleague Sam shares how he’s using the performance pie to get ready for one very special occasion… which since writing this is now a reality! Congratulations Sam and Kate!

Ready for the pressure?

Braxton hicks… … the universe’s way of helping you get ready to perform. The bags are packed, the route to the maternity unit has been mapped out as well as an alternative – just in case. You’ve change in the car for the car park, all your electronics are charged and you even remembered to pack a toothbrush. Sorted.

Or maybe not…

The contractions hit and you realise you haven’t planned for the excitement. Blind panic. Tripping over the dog or running around in perfect circles. If you’re a leader or it’s your role to support someone else in their time of need… keeping hold of all your faculties when the proverbial shit hits the fan is a must. And if it’s a false alarm, consider it practice for the real thing.

My reality, hopes and aims

In roughly 4 weeks my wife and I will be welcoming our first born [wrong there eh, Sam!]. Eek.

I’m told raising a child is a marathon and not a sprint. I told myself when I last ran a marathon I’d never do it again (probably best to put that thought to one side). Clearly, I’ve been thinking…

If I was actually running a marathon I’d be thinking about what winning looks like for me. When it comes to raising a child I probably can’t expect a podium finish or a bar of chocolate. What I am hoping for is that my child is healthy and leaves the world a better place than how she found it. Failing that, no worse a place!

My role

It’s my job to provide my child with the love, skills, tools, and cognitive abilities to navigate the world independently. I hope to instil a moral compass that leads them to do good stuff… and have the better sense to avoid the bad…

My first goal is just to get through the first few months. Weeks of nappy changes, feeding, sleep deprivation and constant worry that something I do will irreparably damage this very cute and helpless being….

My performance

Clearly I’m in a supporting role at the birth, but this is how I’m using the performance pie to get ready to play my parent part….

Technical readiness – how sharp are my skills and what’s my knowledge around newborn babies? Not the sharpest. But I know that and I’m ready to learn fast. I know my sources of information, I’m doing lots of reading, we’ve done antenatal classes and I’m keeping up with those weekly emails.

Tactical readiness – how well can I apply my skills and knowledge? We’ll soon find out! I can put a nappy on a Jack Russell and that’s almost the same thing.

Mental readiness – what’s my attitude and mindset like? A few reality checks later and I think I’m mentally ready as I can be. No-one says it’s going to be easy but I’m ready to enjoy it. Don’t laugh at my misplaced confidence but I’ve gone through as many of the what if’s that I can. I feel I’ve got a plan to combat the “oh shit” situations.

Physical readiness – for a new Dad this one is going to be a challenge. I’m eating more healthily and doing more exercise. It’ll be keeping this up through the sleepless nights because that will be when I get most benefit.

Emotional readiness – who’s my support network and am I ready to use it? – My boss is round the corner and she’s already volunteered herself for baby sitting duty – she loves kids so that’s handy.

Contextual readiness – I’m in my prime here! I have 2500 of the 5000 nappies I’ll need. I’ve got and know how to use the bottles, the sterilisers and the breast pump. Though I’m told I won’t be using the breast pump.

So there you are. Getting ready for the first weeks of the most important job of my life. Can’t wait…

Let us know how you’re getting on Sam, with a 4 week earlier than planned start… ‘Everyone starts with a plan and then the baby arrives, well, early!’