Things You Learn When You’'re A First Time Dad

'I thought I'd be a cool dad. I was wrong'... Sponsored By Hugo Boss


Father's Day is Sunday 19th June 2016. Make a note in your diary.

For new dads, every day is Father's Day. There was life before children and there is life after and nothing will ever be the same again. You're officially the responsible adult.


With new parenthood comes great responsibility, sleep deprivation, endless nappies and infinite joy.

ELLE Art Director Andrew Barlow and his girlfriend, Stephanie had twins, Ambie and Lex, nine months ago. He shares what he's learnt since becoming a dad.


Before I had kids, I thought I'd be a 'cool' dad

I imagined I'd be a lot more relaxed and nonchalant about being a parent. I was wrong.

I'm still learning what kind of dad I am, but I'm pretty sure I'm not cool.

I'd never really put anyone before myself

I also had a lot of free time. It's hard to remember what I did with it all.

My first reaction when my kids were born

'Oh god, there are two of them.' 

Obviously I was made aware we were having twins well in advance, but I'm not sure I was prepared for the reality of two tiny babies at the same time. Once the initial shock had faded (about 15 minutes in) the overwhelming combination of love, fear, and weight of responsibility set in.

I'm not sure if that ever goes away.

The biggest surprise about fatherhood

I cannot help but think about them all of the time. I'm obsessed. I wasn't expecting that.

My focus has shifted

It is hard to explain exactly how, but I feel very different mentally.

I suppose my focus has shifted, which has an effect on everything.

I've learnt that I can be decisive without being impulsive

I can multitask (albeit not brilliantly). And I can be highly organised. Or at least project the image of being highly organised whilst my girlfriend shows me how it's done.

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