Up until the birth of my first child, I politely smiled and nodded as well-meaning people kept trying to prepare me for fatherhood by telling me their personal stories or filling me with old school clichés, like, “You’d better sleep now!” Seven kids later, and I can honestly say fatherhood is the most life altering event a guy can go through (and I should have listened to the stories and advice from other dads!). You learn really quickly that life is no longer just about you. My new web series called, My Life As A Dad, is the first show of its kind and asks celeb dads to answer important questions like: how they feel about being a dad; what their parenting philosophies are; how they balance their family life with their professional life, and in some cases how they relate their unique upbringing to being a dad today. We want to know what their favorite activity to engage with their child is; their best piece of parenting advice, and even their first thought following their child’s birth. Here’s what a few of our favorite celeb dads had to say about the rewards and challenges of fatherhood:
Numb3rs alum Alimi Ballard, dad of two, ages 8 and 5: “If you’re going to really get in there with your kids and get on their level you know how to compromise; you know how to put yourself second.” He also advises, “If you’re nervous all the time, that’s normal!”
DWTS alum, actor and US Army Vet. J.R. Martinez is a proud dad to a 2-year old daughter: “It’s crazy how the time flies. As a parent you have to enjoy the moments. When you’re catching up to one thing all of a sudden she’s learning something else and she’s doing something else and you’ve got to catch up to that.” He also shared, “As long as you’re preparing and learning you’ll be fine. If you make a mistake it’s not the end of the world. Children are resilient, they adapt, they just make it work. There were a couple times when I put the diaper on backwards!”
Soon-to-be Dad & NCIS Los Angeles star Eric Christian Olsen: “When I was a little kid my dad always read to us, and my mom would read to us every night. We started that tradition now, so we put these little ear buds on the belly and I read Goodnight Moon every single night.”
Actor and Comedian Tom Arnold, dad to 1-year-old son Jax: “This is for real. This is a lifetime commitment. Everything is different now. You are going to make mistakes. I know I’ve made mistakes. We can be very selfish beings, and you really can’t be selfish anymore.” And his last piece of advice is, “Relax. Babies don’t break so easy.”
Although your life changes drastically, it also becomes so much better. Take the time to cherish the little moments and to be the best dad you can be. Hop on over to My Life as a Dad or click on the celebs above to watch their full interviews on You Tube (plus many more!). Find out how these great dads are just like us—celebrity status aside—a diaper is a diaper and baths and bedtime come every night for all of us. You can follow My Life as a Dad on Twitter and Facebook.
Good Luck Dads & Happy Parenting!
Robert Nickell (aka Daddy Nickell) is a father of 7, parenting expert and the founder of Daddy & Co., delivery room duds and daddy gifts and apparel for every stage of fatherhood, along with the Daily Daddy Blog. He is also the creator and producer of “My Life as a Dad” groundbreaking new web series that showcases celebrity fathers offering their personal experiences and parenting tips.