In the recent released game Elden Ring by FromSoftware, once you finish the tutorial stage you are lead to a door which opens to the first area of the game called Limegrave and you are greeted with a breath taking view. So was the picture in mind of the three months paternity leave until I walked a bit further and was butchered by the Tree sentinel (A knight on a horse) in my case – fatherhood.
I’m grateful to The Greenhouse Studio for providing an opportunity for this life changing three months dedicated to spending time with my new born son and wife. Not only have I formed a stronger bond with them, it has also taught me many lessons which will help me in life with my relationship with my family.
It was no holiday, come to think of it there is so much a Dad can do to help ease the load of child care at the early stage apart from breast feeding of-course. Changing my sons diaper was like trying to dodge attacks from Godrick the Grafted and after a few attempts we managed to predict the moment before he would pee when changing diapers. Multiple armour swaps because of all of his outfits, he has endless possibilities.
Witnessing the pain my wife had to endure while healing the days after giving birth was the most challenging. From helping her get out of bed, change her clothes and help her nurse the c-section wound. I would have not felt this more connected to her if I wasn’t around to help her go through this all. During the time of the day when the house was silent and all you could hear was the little breathes of the baby snugged next to my wife. I would venture to the backyard with my weapons the peg and clothes basket and spend the next hour hanging clothes and being slaved by Thanos who has silky smooth black fur, few of his infinity stones and his tennis ball which he demanded to be thrown.
As the days went and Hezekiah grew, his patterns changed every week we were learning something new about baby. Unlike video games there are some things in life you can’t try again when you fail. Making a choice to do something now came with careful thinking and not the careless wing it attitude, I am accustomed too. Having a few instances where my wife and I disagreed on certain methods of finishing our objectives taught me to stop, think and act, not run in with swords swinging in every direction.
Now as I return to work I know I’ve just scratched the surface of being a dad and have so much left to discover on this journey. But having these past three months paternity leave gave me a chunk of experience points over some dads and I like to think this has given me an advantage moving forward.
Now the trick is find time to play Elden Ring and games in general but for the moment I sit at the site of grace and plan my next move.