Tagged With fatherhood

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I’ve spent the past year interviewing men about their experiences as fathers, and one question consistently looms large for almost every dad. How can a man pass on the good lessons his father taught him, and also improve on the areas where his father came up short?

And what if his father came up way short, leaving little or no template for how to be a good man, stay emotionally engaged, and raise kids who feel loved by their mother and their father? It isn’t always an easy task.

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After his third daughter arrived, Matt Villano was trying to keep his career afloat while helping his wife manage her emotional transition to becoming a mum of three when he suddenly found himself “completely underwater.” For the 42-year-old freelance writer in Sonoma County, California, it felt difficult to even get a full breath. “Everything was upside down,” he says.

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After having kids, Nick Firchau says he spent his days wondering what the hell he was doing. He needed some guidance, but found that parenting wasn’t a topic that men commonly discussed. So the veteran sports journalist decided to launch the kind of “dad podcast” that he wished he could hear.

In Paternal, Firchau has frank, in-depth conversations with all sorts of fathers, including a US soccer star, a pioneering Seattle DJ and a New York Knicks barber. Discussion topics have ranged from raising black kids in Trump’s America to protecting the emotional complexities of young boys to fathering without a father.

While recording the interviews, Firchau says he’s always thinking about how he can apply the lessons and insights to his own family. Here’s how he parents.

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One evening, while his three-month-old son Charlie slept, Matt Coyne opened Facebook and typed a post listing his observations as a new father - how he's basically like a Formula One pit crew when changing diapers, how buttons on baby clothing are just evil (he'd much prefer tear-away velcro "based on strippers' trousers"), and how the only literature he's been able to read lately is half a pamphlet on breast pumps ("I keep falling asleep during the paragraph on 'nipple confusion'").

The hilariously honest post went viral, which pushed Coyne to start a blog, Man vs Baby, which led him to write a book based on the blog. Coyne, who now writes full time, talked to us about how he parents.