Meet Our Modern Fathers
With Father's Day fast approaching, we asked everyday dads what being a father means to them
with Zara, Rosie & Will
So Mike you’ve got three beautiful kids, what was it like becoming a father for the first time?
I had mixed emotions. It was the best thing in my life but it was also an overwhelming feeling of responsibility and thinking “Oh gosh this just got real!” Then you go into this real care-giver mode and try to be the best father you can be. I’ll never forget that day Zara came into our lives
What has fatherhood taught you about yourself?
That I’m capable of looking after three little human beings. That I’m capable of creating something so special. It’s taught me about the capacity to love. Each time a child comes along, you can’t believe you could love someone as much as you loved the first and that love just keeps multiplying. It’s taught me everything
Is there a most memorable moment that stands out about being a dad so far?
One of my pivotal moments was when Zara came home from kinder with a present for Father’s Day and it was a hammer. On the hammer it had her reason for why she loved her father. I had seen these presents come home for Mother’s Day over the years and the answers were things like “mum cares for and loves me”, “mum brings me happiness”… Mine said “I love my dad because he works so hard” and that was quite confronting at the time and caused me to change my life. I want to be remembered for more than how hard I worked
Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like when you first found out you were going to be a Dad? And then what it was like when you met this little man
It’s a bit of shock at first when you find out, but it’s what you are planning for so it’s pretty exciting. Then when he came along its pretty much just cloud nine, it’s a feeling that you’ve never felt before and it’s the best fun yet
What are the different roles that you take on as a father?
From the time I get home from work, usually bath time and bedtime is all up to me, getting ready for bed and a bottle. Saturday mornings we hit swimming lessons at eight o’clock for half an hour and that’s probably my main role for him. My wife and I do tend to split roles as much as possible though
Do you think men approach fatherhood differently today, compared to when you were growing up with your own Dad?
I would say that dad’s these days are a little bit more hands on and trying to be a lot more involved. Besides that it’s all the same sort of attributes
What do you think is the biggest difference between fatherhood now compared to when you were a kid?
From what my mum tells me, it’s getting out of the mould of the dad works and the mum stays home. We both work on our own business- admittedly I work longer hours, but I’ve found in comparison to our mates, we’re both contributing more to parenting in general
What has your own dad taught you about fatherhood?
I’m a lot like my mum. My mum is a lot busier than Dad, just personality wise. Dad is just out of control levels of relaxed. I was a bit of a naughty kid, and if dad got angry it was like “Oh no now I‘ve done it!” It took a lot to get him angry, he’s very passive. It’s just all about being calm and nice. I’ve got a lot of that from him growing up. I was a pretty crazy kid, had a temper and all that sort of stuff. The way he looks at life and how calm he is definitely played a part in the best way to go about being a father
What would be your one piece of advice to Luke pre-kids?
Just chill out. Just chill out and let it go. I’m a control freak so that’s the hardest bit, just letting go. They feel your stress, until you get your head around that and go who cares. They feel what you’re feeling, and all of a sudden, they are smiling at you and having a great time. I would just say, relax
with Mia & Billie
What was that feeling like when Mia was first born?
It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It’s like the best present you could ask for. You get presents and all these things growing up but once you’re an adult… presents don’t really cut it. A child is the best gift. It’s absolutely phenomenal. We loved it. I loved it
Is that the main difference you’ve seen growing up with your dad compared to your style of parenting?
Regardless of how my Dad brought me up, I always wanted to be very hands on. That’s the whole point of fatherhood. Being there to show them your experiences. Teaching them, walking them through life. My dad taught me that as well. We were camping, fishing, hiking, doing outdoor things all the time. I took that with me for my children… I try to do that a lot. Take them out camping, travelling overseas
Do you have any dad specific roles?
My work hours can be quite unpredictable so whenever I’m home I jump at the chance to pick the girls up. Take them to activities. If I get the chance I absolutely jump at it
Because we’ve got two and they’re very close together we split everything. It’s one child each! We’re a duel force and we work together. We split when we need to. Good cop bad cop works really well. We’re a duel force to be reckoned with when we’re together. I’ll read to Mia, and Jayde will tickle Billie’s back and vice versa… it’s a partnership
with Frankie, Will & Ted
What was the feeling like when you found out when you were having twins?
I was really pumped about it for the first twelve weeks. I think as Jess’ pregnancy started to get more full on, we started to realise that there is actually two humans in there so it was going to be twice the effort and it was going to be interesting! But we were really excited to have three kids all in such close ages to each other, so they can be really good friends with each other when they grow up
What has been one of your most memorable moments that stands out to you so far?
It has to be taking Frankie out on the long board out in the surf for the first time. She was less than three years old, so we made sure it was nice and shallow because she couldn’t properly swim. But grabbing her and dropping her on the board was probably one of the most memorable moments that we have had
What has been the thing that you were really not expecting about fatherhood?
The difference between the twins. I think they are totally different people, both physically and in personality and it is so interesting to see them grow up in exactly the same environment and have such distinct personalities