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Celebrating the Modern Father

Together, Hunter Lab and The Father Hood sat down with five dads to learn how fatherhood has shaped them, how they practice self-care and what they believe makes a strong dad in today's busy modern world

Andrew

What Makes a strong Dad?

I think what makes a strong dad today is what has always made a strong dad and that is a dad who is strong in themselves and secure in themselves. This role that we have is so important, that is shaping children’s minds and shaping their dreams. A strong dad is a dad that wants to be there, knows they’re born to do it and is confident to do it their way and not compare

How has fatherhood changes you? 

It has taken a huge toll on me as an individual and a person. It’s unrelenting and you have no choice but to bend and grow and you just get stronger and stronger. I feel infinitely more resilient for my six years of fatherhood

Does being a dad make you feel older or younger?

Fatherhood makes you feel epically old. It really does make you feel ancient and wise. For me personally, there is a lot of wisdom that comes with the selflessness of fatherhood and putting other people ahead of yourselves every single day

 

Luke

Does being a Dad make you feel older or younger?

I saw my son sitting in the baby seat and I was like, whoa, I’ve got a kid. And that was weird. I was like, I must be old cause I’ve got a kid

Do you have any advice for new dads?
You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think it’s going to change. You just have to have more adventures with the kids. If you want to be a active, go to the park and run around with the kids. Enjoy the path you’re on, not the path you used to be on

How has your daily priorities changes since having kids? 
Well your children are clearly at the top. It definitely means your not as good to yourself.  For me, once we had kids, it was so clear cut. They’re at the top of the tree. All my decisions are based on if it will be good for the children

 

Jeremy

What does a strong Dad look like today?

I think strength for dads of today is born out of flexibility. In in this day and age having the guts to be emotionally vulnerable, firm sometimes and then really soft at other times. So for me, strength is born out of flexibility

Do you have any advice for new dads?

I remember when I went to a class for dads before my first daughter was born, it stuck with me. This guy that was running the class just said, if you want to be a good dad, just show up. Just try. And, and it struck me because I thought, oh, I can do that

Why is it important to look after yourself? 

It’s so important for dads to look after themselves; physically and mentally. If they’re focused on creating the best environment for their families, a way to do that is to make sure they tale care of themselves in the process

 

Toby

Do you have any advice for new dads?

The first six to eight weeks, it feels like you’re running a marathon; it’s just nonstop. My advice to other parents is it doesn’t necessarily get easier. You just sort of get used to it. So in that respect, the stress levels are still there. You just have an amazing ability to learn, to cope and to live life

Does being a Dad make you feel older or younger?

I still feel exactly the same as I did the first day I took my oldest son, Zach home from hospital. I felt like I shouldn’t be having all this responsibility. Why is the nurse letting me take this brand-new thing home with us and giving us all this responsibility? Where’s the instruction manual?

What makes a strong dad?

I think it’s being much more involved in your kids’ lives and understanding what they’re up to. Workplaces have really changed in recent years, giving people flexible working hours and so on. I get to drop my kids off at school every day and I try to leave early sometimes and take them to basketball and swimming. Those sorts of things definitely weren’t there a generation. It’s a modern style of parenting. I feel really connected to my kids and I feel that I’m part of their journey and part of their growth

 

Elliot

What has fatherhood taught you most?

I’m going to spend more time with my dad. I think  that’s the key takeaway. I probably took for granted all the work that goes into raising a child, certainly at this age. So I’m going to spend more time with my dad and then hopefully it’ll translate down to Louis

What surprised you most about fatherhood? 

The thing that surprised me the most is being a little bit helpless. Not having the boobs means means I just have to be a support. So when he’s screaming in the middle of the night, I can’t help as much as I would like to. That’s probably been the biggest surprise; I wasn’t expecting that

I didn’t expect it to feel like this, to be honest. The selfishness inside of me is just completely gone. It’s an amazing feeling to come home from a day of work or to wake up and to get that little smile or to have bath time… it’s very hard to describe. It’s an incredible feeling and something that I kind of wish I had in my life a bit earlier, to be honest