Six #cooldads on fatherhood

2 September 2016
By Fashion Quarterly

We celebrate Father’s Day by asking six fashionable dads to share their thoughts on fatherhood.

FATHER'S DAY

Jay Reeve, radio host and DJ

What are your children’s names and how old are they?
I have identical twin sons named Oscar and Hunter that are almost two-and-a-half years old.

How has your life changed since you’ve become a dad?
I read somewhere that “a baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bank accounts emptier, home happier, clothes rougher, the past forgotten and the future worth living for”. Multiply all of that by two, at the same time!

What’s something that has surprised you about becoming a father?
I always knew it was going to be an adventure, but I never could imagine it would be as punishing and rewarding as it has been. The boys had colic and reflux for the first 6 months so would only sleep for 40 minutes of every 2 hours, so I found my limit of functionality on little to no sleep. The boys are identical but completely different in most aspects of their personalities, they have equal parts of my not-so-desirable traits which is karma working perfectly to keep the world in balance. I love my wife, family and siblings, but nothing even remotely comes close to the love I have for my boys.

How has your dad influenced you and your parenting style?
If I could be half the dad that my father is to me I will consider myself a success. My father is the kindest, caring, softly spoken, physically strongest person and has intelligence in so many facets of life, he amazes me. His practical skill level won’t be seen in my generation – the ability to fix anything with every trade skill under the sun is something I wish I had and that my boys will have. You name it, he will know how to fix it or build something that will make it work better.

What are you doing to celebrate Father’s Day this year?
Hopefully catching up with the old boy for a brew and get him his 33rd consecutive screwdriver set. I love being able to have all three generations of Reeve lads under the same roof. Otherwise revel in the joys of being a relatively new father myself, ride my bike somewhere, meet the family and make sure I take a second to realise how lucky I am.

Do you ever worry about not being a ‘cool’ dad?
I’m not a ‘cool’ person, so I don’t really have a chance at being a ‘cool’ dad. I will be the embarrassing dad, the ‘don’t think I haven’t done that before dad’ and the ‘when I used to work at MTV…[watch eyes roll]’ dad.

What lessons/values do you hope to instill in your children?
I do what I enjoy for me and no-one else and I hope that my boys do the same. The coolest people I know are themselves. In terms of values – to be kind, have empathy, think of others, be boys, have adventures, break hearts and have yours broken. It’s not a mistake until it happens twice. And don’t be a dick, the world has enough of them already.

What is the best thing about being a dad?
It’s an immeasurable value in a world where everything can be measured. John Steinbeck wrote: “Why do men like me want sons? he wondered. ‘It must be because they hope in their poor beaten souls that these new men, who are their blood, will do the things they were not strong enough nor wise enough nor brave enough to do. It is rather like another chance at life; like a new bag of coins at a table of luck after your fortune is gone.”

I feel like for the first time in my life I am on track. My boys are my everything, the best parts of me, my father, my grandfather and generations before making their mark.

FATHER'S DAY

Dan Gosling, co-founder of Stolen Girlfriends Club

What are your children’s names and how old are they?
I have four children: Oska Angel, 12; Jack Lee, 12; Wilder Stone, four-and-a-half; and Nevada Dali, who is two weeks old.

How has your life changed since you’ve become a dad?
You become a lot more selfless. More time is spent at home and weekends are dedicated to hanging with my kids and wife – you have to pick your nights to go out!

What’s something that has surprised you about becoming a father?
Probably the ability to love something or someone that much. It is such an incredible unconditional love and each child is so different. Also how your traits pass down to your kids though your genes, it’s pretty cool.

How has your dad influenced you and your parenting style?
My dad was very encouraging when I was growing up. He always was throwing me a ball and playing catch with me and encouraged me to try all sports and activities and gave me lots of opportunities to develop.

What are you doing to celebrate Father’s Day this year?
Hang out at home, do the lawns and maybe a cheeky beer in the afternoon with some other fathers and of course, my dad and my father-in-law.

Do you ever worry about not being a ‘cool’ dad?
Not really. I like to be on a level with my kids when they can tell me anything – that’s the most important thing for me, the level of communication.

What lessons/values do you hope to instill in your children?
Communication: looking people in the eye. Not judging people before you get to know them. To be supportive of others. And don’t be a dick.

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What is the best thing about being a dad?
You get out what you put into your kids. I love watching their development as they grow and deal with situations and as they find out their passions, helping them to achieve them.

FATHER'S DAY

Brad Lepper, hair stylist at French Revolver

What are your children’s names and how old are they?
I have one son Rocco who is three-and-a-half and another baby on the way, who is due in November.

How has your life changed since you’ve become a dad?
I feel that time is more precious and now when donating my time to the fashion industry I ask myself, ” is this is worth missing those ‘first time’ moments with my son?”

What’s something that has surprised you about becoming a father? 
The early starts… gone are the days of sleep ins! The amount of love you feel for that little bean and the thoughts on how much we can do to make their lives better in the future and what parts I can help him to understand so he doesn’t have to make the same mistakes we have.

How has your dad influenced you and your parenting style? 
This is hard! My dad finds it hard to show his emotions, so I have made sure that I will be open to my son and we have fun in and out of public – it’s okay to look like a goofball if your kids are having fun!

What are you doing to celebrate Father’s Day this year? 
As it happens, most years I’m overseas on Father’s Day, but we have “daddy and Rocco day” on Mondays which is my Father’s Day every week! Our typical day is a visit to a local cafe (Puff Cafe) in Orewa, then to the skate park or beach if the weather is fine. Or we go to The Warehouse to check out all the toys. Yep,  I’m that dad – a big kid!

Do you ever worry about not being a ‘cool’ dad?
I think there will be a time for that but for now I am milking it. I’m cool some of the time but he is going through the mum stage at the moment so I’m not so cool these days.

What lessons/values do you hope to instill in your children? 
To help him to be the best he can be, be nice to everyone, have fun and dance to the beat of your own drum. We often have dance offs at home, and I want to teach him that life is about having fun and doing what makes you happy.

What is the best thing about being a dad? 
You see things differently, when they capture everything you love in the world in a moment. This is what I love about being a dad. I hope to look back and remember the amazing things Rocco has taught me and  how since having him in our lives I’ve grown as much as he has.

father's day

Simon Pound, marketing director and partner at Ingrid Starnes

What are your children’s names and how old are they?
Ned, Olya and Gertie. The twins are eight and Gertie’s four.

How has your life changed since you’ve become a dad?
Having kids rules! I think your whole understanding of life, relationships with the world and ability to deal with things all change enormously. It’s pretty real!

What’s something that has surprised you about becoming a father?
Leaving the hospital with the twins for the first time and feeling like I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but perhaps no other first-time parent has either. That was quite liberating and also slightly terrifying.

How has your dad influenced you and your parenting style?
Dad is such a sweetheart with the kids, always turning up with books and toys he finds and thinks they might like. He’s a man of great affection and warmth and generosity. He also shares a love for words and ideas and being enthusiastic and going headlong into something new. There are lots of parts of how Dad is that I’d love to inherit, but the only thing I’m sure I’ve got is that I call my kids the same names he called me – lovely old fashioned things that sound funny today, like ‘little love’ and ‘darling’. I’ve also picked up some of the things he said when he has been annoyed too, and I think of him when I do either!

What are you doing to celebrate Father’s Day this year?
We will enjoy a good adventure, and hopefully the weather will hold for a trip up Rangitoto and we’ll catch up with my dad to share a meal. When it’s my pick you’ll probably find us somewhere like Spicy House or Mr Zhou’s Dumplings.

Do you ever worry about not being a ‘cool’ dad?
Haha, being a dad is the coolest thing in the world, but it is definitely not about being cool! I’m concerned I might have peaked in coolness for Ned at three years old when I got a scooter to match his for missions round the back streets. The next 20 years will just be him realising that maybe a 30-year-old on a scooter was not actually that cool.

What lessons/values do you hope to instill in your children?
Before I travel with work I write them notes telling them to dream big, be kind, work hard and be happy. That’s all I’d wish for them.

What is the best thing about being a dad?
Being able to share things you love with them for the first time and seeing them loving it, like taking them to Yum Cha or the Waitakere Ranges, going bike-riding or reading favourite stories and watching classic movies – the things we share and laughs round home. We’re a very lucky family.

FATHER'S DAY

Jae Mills, founder of Commoners

What are your children’s names and how old are they?
My daughter Dylan is three-and-a-half years old and my son Jude is five weeks old.

How has your life changed since you’ve become a dad?
My life is a little less social now than it was prior to having children. I can’t simply drop everything and go away for a weekend surf trip or go out for a meal and drinks with friends. In saying that, I can still do those things, it just means the fam comes along nowadays!

What’s something that has surprised you about becoming a father?
I thought I would lose some of my own youthfulness becoming a parent, but I still fell like a kid myself! It’s cool being a young parent! I am inspired by youth and pop culture so I think that keeps me feeling young. Also, it’s true that parenthood softens you. I feel a lot more empathy towards parents and children in unfortunate circumstances because I can sympathize with situation more now that I am a dad.

How has your dad influenced you and your parenting style?
I’d say nurturing and encouraging creativity is something my father was very good at. Also letting his children follow their passions and accepting whatever life paths they wish to take. My father was good at encouraging me to do whatever I wanted to do in life as long as I didn’t hurt anyone along the way.

What are you doing to celebrate Father’s Day this year?
Unfortunately I have some work commitments so I will be away from my family this weekend, which is a bummer. We might postpone our Father’s Day until the second Sunday of September this year.

Do you ever worry about not being a ‘cool’ dad?
No, that’s not something to worry or care about.

What lessons/values do you hope to instill in your children?
Always having good manners and a smile, understanding the value of a dollar, having good work ethic, finding their passion and being happy.

What is the best thing about being a dad?
Learning selflessness, teaching your kids new things, cuddles and the funny things kids say to you on a daily basis.

FATHER'S DAY

Ben Barrington, actor on Shortland Street

What are your children’s names and how old are they?
My daughter’s name is Harley Morgan Barrington and she’s nine weeks old.

How has your life changed since you’ve become a dad?
For me fatherhood has brought a completely new responsibility and sense of purpose to my life. All my decisions, my behavior and how l spend my time now revolve around the baby. It’s exciting and satisfying to have this little person to consider first in everything that I do.

What’s something that has surprised you about becoming a father?
I’ve found once you become a father that job’s 24/7. I guess I expected that not too much would change once the baby arrived, but for now anyway, there’s always something that needs doing for her, and half my mind’s always on her when I’m not at home. There’s no free time… but all my time is now spent being productive in some way.

How has your dad influenced you and your parenting style?
My dad was always very funny and made my sister and me laugh as far back as I can remember. He was self-deprecating and enjoyed being a clown for us and I want to do the same for Harley.

What are you doing to celebrate Father’s Day this year?
We’re all going out for my first Father’s Day lunch, a simple affair but monumental in its significance! I wonder if at the restaurant I’ll be inducted somehow… a secret society thing, funny handshakes, a cool ring maybe?

Do you ever worry about not being a ‘cool’ dad?
I’ve got cool covered… I’ll still be rocking the roller blades and the banjo when this kid’s well into her teens.

What lessons/values do you hope to instill in your children?
l hope for Harley to love our world, animals and see the good and beauty in people. I want her to have an imagination, be happy with herself and have good friends. She’s already very lucky in that she has a loving family.

What is the best thing about being a dad?
The best thing about being a dad is that I’m lucky to be in a partnership with an amazing woman, and I’m proud that it’s Kristie I get to raise a child with. I feel like together we make a great team.

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift but don’t know what to get? Shop our ultimate Father’s Day gift guide now!

Words: Nathalie Owen.
Images: Supplied.

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