These Fathers Prove That Behind Every Great Woman is a Great Man
Without a doubt, we wouldn’t be anywhere if it weren’t for our mothers. Brave, caring, selfless, multitasking, strong, and thoughtful, our mums help to shape us into who we are. However, since having my daughter Sunny late last year, I can’t help but want to celebrate the dads too—mostly, my husband, Josh, because he does equal to, if not more than I do, when it comes to raising our child and I feel like there’s still a huge divide when it comes to equal parenting.
When I was a kid, my dad used to come home from work, pat us on the head, ask what time dinner was then sit on the couch and reach for the remote. In our household, Josh is the key settler. He is softer, calmer, and protective with Sunny—it’s clear that he makes her feel safe. I often turn to Josh for guidance, support or direction, because as a first time parent, I only know as much about this parenting gig as he does.
Dads now share the physical and emotional load of parenting. He worries when Sunny is unwell, he knows when she’s not herself, when she needs to be fed, changed, burped or bathed. He races home to be part of the bedtime routine and he feels guilty if he doesn’t make it.
Admittedly, for this generation of dads, fatherhood is much tougher than it was for their fathers or their grandfathers because the expectations are much higher. My granddad waited in the hall while my 18-year-old grandmother gave birth to my mother; my own father passed out during my birth; and yet when I brought our darling daughter earthside, my husband whispered words of encouragement in my ear as he held my hand and told me through tears that he could see her head.
As the definition of being a dad continues to evolve, read on to hear from four hands-on dads to be inspired by modern day parenting.
“Seeing my wife give birth was the most emotional thing I have ever been through. It’s a wave of emotions where on the one hand, the person you love the most is in a lot of pain and discomfort followed by the arrival of a human you created! It’s overwhelming and from that moment, you just want to be the best dad (and husband) you can be.
Like any new parent, I’m doing something for the first time and it’s a massive learning curve. I try to be fairly relaxed with Sunny, because I think babies pick up on your vibe, and if one thing doesn’t work I’ll try something else. Sometimes it’s my wife’s way that works best and other times it’s mine. We only know as much as each other given we’ve never done this before so we try to work as a team,” — Josh Muller, husband of Kelly Muller and first time dad to Sunny, 7 months old.
“I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out Nadia was pregnant. I was on the way to the Cricket World Cup and from the moment she called me, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face—so much so I couldn’t focus on the cricket game. All I could think about was how happy my life was about to become.
Seeing Nadia give birth was Inspiring and mind blowing—the admiration and awe I have for her went to an even higher level. Now that Aston is here, we have a daily routine where at 5.30 p.m. every night, it’s just the two of us for bath time. ” — Jimmy Bartel, husband of Nadia Bartel, AFL footballer, and first time dad to Aston, four months old.
“Create a routine and just get involved. Make time where the kids are your priority. You can be tired after coming home from work but I always try to have good energy when I walk in the door and I’m ready to start family time from that moment. I help with cooking dinner and getting the squad cleaned up and in bed every night. It’s a team effort. We also read a book together every night. When I am not working I like to do the pick-up or drop off at school and kindergarten as well.
There are a few things we [wife Erin Maxwell] and I want the kids to have, and one is good manners. Second is to be good people. Always treat others well. And the third is to work hard. We tell them never to give up and the more you try and practice, the better you will become” — Nick Maxwell, husband of Love Shop Share blogger, Erin Maxwell; Commentator at Channel 7 and SEN Radio, former Premiership Captain at Collingwood FC, and father of three.
In a recent interview with My Domaine Australia, Ted O’Donnell explained his reasons for splitting time between Sydney's Eastern Suburbs and the Blue Mountains: “A big part of [spending time in the Blue Mountains] for me is going away to commit a bit of time to Vicki’s art, as she supports me a lot here and has to spend a lot of time looking after Yokie. It’s about pulling back so I can take a bit more of that role and Vicki can have some more time to do art”. — Ted O’Donnell, partner of Vicki Lee, photographer and father to Yokie, one.