Sam Wood: How Being A Step-Dad Prepared Me For the Arrival Of Willow

"When it comes to Willow I’m like every other new dad"

I’ve been amazed at how many times I have been asked how being a stepdad prepared me for the arrival of little Willow.

My first answer to this is that I have always seen Eve as my little girl, rather than me as her stepdad. That being said, I don’t think a 12-year-old (going on 21) has helped a lot with preparing for a newborn baby. For Eve and I, it has always been about developing a beautiful friendship and allowing her to dictate the speed in which our relationship develops. When it comes to Willow I’m like every other new dad, starting from scratch, getting little sleep, changing lots of nappies and loving every second of it.

I know that a lot of parents and parents to be love to read every single book ever written to feel they are truly prepared for the arrival of their little one. This was not my approach as there was something really comforting about knowing Snez had done it before. I also believe every child is so different that as much as you need to know the basics, you’ll learn everything along the way. It’s a beautiful part of your life to learn all of these new things that you never knew before. There is something new with Willow every day that she didn’t do yesterday. As someone who works in the fitness industry, my fascination with the human body and development is quite high so I’m truly mesmerized by how she is growing and changing on a daily basis.

Without doubt, being a parent is the most important job in the world. With such responsibility, it’s understandable that there is going to be plenty of people giving you advice. I’ve had friends, family and many people I’ve never met before (through social media and other channels) provide parenting advice and both Snez and I have been overwhelmed at the amount of support we have received since Willow was born.

At the end of the day, nothing is going to totally prepare you. You have to trust your instincts and know that every child is different. We do our best and we do everything with love. Open communication between Snez and I has also been something that has been really important for our relationship. It ensures we’re on the same page and always looking out for each other, which makes it easier to look out for Eve & Willow.

The most important thing is to try and spend as much time with your kids as possible when they’re young because you honestly blink and it all changes. In fact, one of my good friends summed up parenthood perfectly- long days, quick years. I don’t doubt that one day I’ll blink and she’ll be heading off to her first day of school so I want to be there for as much of it as I can.

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