A Guide to Surviving Fatherhood
What advice can you offer a new dad who feels a bit left out in the early months of fatherhood?
This is one of the main themes I touch on in my latest book Diaper Dude The Ultimate Dad’s Guide to Surviving the First Two Years.
My answer is: get involved.
Step up and change some diapers, take on some bottle-feeding and bond with your newborn while rocking him to sleep. The more activities you can participate in, the more natural you will feel in no time. Sometimes we need to overcome our fears by facing them head on.
How are fathers more involved in the day to day family duties than previous generations?
I, for one, can speak from experience. I love getting up with the kids before school, cooking some breakfast and getting on the road to drop them off at school.
First time dads are doing the same by tag teaming with their partner on diaper duty, feedings and bathing. Reading at bedtime and putting their little one to sleep is also a task that more dads are now taking advantage of. In fact, with the increase of stay at home dads recently recorded (as many as 2 million as of 2012), many of the traditional parenting roles have now fallen into the hands of dad.
It’s exciting to see this shift occur and awesome to witness more dads welcome this new role.
Can you share any of your tips for balancing work and family life?
This is one of the most popular questions I hear asked today, and honestly I don’t know if there is one answer.
All I know is, for me, the priority is my family. So when it came time for work (which by the way was inspired by my family in the first place) “slow and steady” was my mantra. So I wouldn’t spread myself too thin.
At times it was as challenging as hell. But prioritizing your family will help direct you next time you need to make a decision that may cause you to miss a milestone that can never be repeated.
There is always a way to make things work out. If it has to do with work, you can always ASK. Even the toughest of bosses would appreciate the request especially if it involves your family. You have a full life ahead of you to achieve your goals. Take the next few years to make your goal committing to your child’s growth and appreciate all the lessons you get to teach and learn from this amazing experience.
It all goes too fast. Savor each moment.
Was there an evolution in your role as a father from when your oldest child was born to the youngest?
Absolutely! But please don’t tell my children.
I think the biggest ”TRANSFORMATION” was the comfort level I felt with our third as a newborn compared to our first.
It’s amazing how vulnerable and scared you feel as a first time dad. Newborns are so delicate, which can be intimidating as a man and as a first time dad.
As a seasoned dad, that intimidation is no longer an issue, which is awesome. I can remember Cole (our third) in my arms hanging out while I would multitask and take care of our other two children as if it was no big deal. That was a moment I felt like, “Wow! I can’t believe I was once nervous about taking care of one child- no less three.”
It’s a great feeling as a dad to feel like, “I can handle this!”
What do you think fathers want most on Father’s Day?
It’s hard to speak for all dads but I can say when I hear the words, “I love you, Dad” it melts my heart.
Gifts acknowledging dads are always appreciated but I think most dads really love hearing from their children how much they are loved and how much their family appreciates their efforts.
Bonus Question: Worst dad fashion fail? Dad jeans or socks and sandals?
Ha! Ha! Great question. I’ll just say I do not own a pair of dad jeans but I have been guilty of wearing socks with sandals.
Actor-turned-father-turned-author and designer Chris Pegula is the creator of Diaper Dude, America’s most high-profile line of hip gear for dads as well as a best selling author. After the birth of the first of his three children, Pegula noticed that most diaper bags and accessories were designed with women’s sense of style in mind and created the Diaper Dude for dads. In addressing a simple need, Pegula revolutionized an industry. He has since been featured on Rachel Ray, Ellen, The Nate Berkus Show, E! News, HGTV’s Gotta Have it!, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and numerous other TV and radio Spots. Since the launch of Diaper Dude, Chris has emerged as a lifestyle expert on all things family, parenting and partner related.
The Mother Company aims to support parents and their children, providing thought-provoking web content and products based in social and emotional learning for children ages 3-6. Check out episodes of our Emmy award winning series “Ruby’s Studio,” along with our beautiful children’s books, music, and more.Posted in: Family, Parental Wisdom