Becoming a father is the best job in the world but also the hardest, McFly drummer and former Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd told HELLO!. "You have to be selfless, as you are not number one any more, it is a real shock to the system, but it is ultimately a beautiful experience," said 33-year-old Harry, father of three-year-old Lola and Kit, one, who shared candid and reassuring words of advice for dad-to-be Prince Harry and other new parents.
"You would be hard pushed to find anyone who isn't finding it difficult. I had to dig really deep in moments when I needed to find new levels of patience. It tests your ability to function on next to no sleep. It doesn't matter how many people have done it, when it happens to you it is foreign and new and unknown, and it is okay to feel pretty shell-shocked. You can only do the best that you can."
Harry and Izzy married in 2012
Harry and his wife Izzy, author and former Escala violinist who he married in 2012, believe parents should follow their instincts when it comes to making decisions. That sentiment extends to Harry and Meghan's decision not to follow recent tradition by emerging from the Lindo Wing to present their precious newborn to the world. "Don’t get me wrong I will be sad not to see the royal baby appear on the steps as it is such a lovely moment," said Izzy. "But so many people will be telling you different things, and your instinct as a mum-to-be is powerful. Just do what feels right for you and for your baby."
Harry added that the royal couple are: "going through what every other new parent is going through. Hopefully it means they can enjoy some peace and quiet."
Harry - who is currently starring in the West End in Rip It Up along with fellow Strictly favourites Jay McGuiness, Louis Smith and Aston Merrygold - and Izzy are passionate about showing parenthood as it really is rather than the picture-perfect moments that are so often shared on Instagram - "Parenting is hard enough without the wealth of pressure from others, and the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves" - which is why they are supporting a new global research project and documentary #ThisIsParenthood by WaterWipes which aims to share the experiences of parents and inspire others to have more self-belief.
"If we'd had the opportunity to hear from other parents like this it would have helped so much," said Izzy, 35, as the research reveals how more than half of parents worldwide feel like they are failing within the first year with those in the UK among the highest . "I certainly felt like that sometimes," Harry told us. Izzy did too: "All of a sudden you have this tiny little human being who you don’t know at all and you are trying to understand them at the same time as managing your relationship, I can remember just being in this complete fog, and it felt like everyone else seemed to be coping better."
Harry and Izzy have two children together
Harry wants to reassure those new parents who don't immediately fall in love with their babies, revealing he struggled to bond with his son. "Some of the parents in the documentary talk of not feeling that huge surge of love we are told we will experience when our child is born. The truth is it can take a few months to really feel connected. I was fortunate that the first moment I laid eyes on Lola I felt such euphoria it was overwhelming but surprisingly with Kit it took me a good few months to really start to connect with him, and now the love is just as strong."
With so many saying that the royal prince is going to be a natural hands-on father, what kind of dad does Harry hopes he is to Lola and Kit? "I think I am fun dad…I love to make my children laugh. I love them more than anything. Becoming a dad is the most incredible experience of my life by a long shot."
Harry and Izzy Judd have partnered with WaterWipes on the #ThisIsParenthood project that aims to inspire self-belief in parents after research revealed half of parents globally feel like they are failing in their first year of parenthood. Join in the conversation via #ThisIsParenthood and watch the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH7DfP-lcio&feature=youtu.be
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.