Little ones don’t arrive with a how-to manual and don’t we know it! Luckily, a little advice from those who have been there and done it can go a long way when it comes to surviving the early days of parenthood.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro, still expecting your little one, or celebrating your first Father’s Day this year, we wanted to take some time to celebrate all the fab father-figures out there!
This Father’s Day we’re chatting to Dave Berry about what being a dad means to him, the highs and lows of parenthood and the best ‘dadvice’ he’s been given over the years!
Hi Dave! Please tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Dave Berry and I am a TV presenter, the host of The Breakfast Show on ‘Absolute Radio’ as well as the ‘Dave Berry’s Dadpod’ Podcast. I have also written for the Guardian and The i Newspapers.
I live in London with my wife Sarah-Jane and our daughter Evangeline, who is two and a half years old. My radio show sees me up at 4:45am each weekday morning however if there is nothing else to do work wise on any given day I can be home and in full Dad mode by lunchtime.
To me, being a father means…
Giving my child the love, support and confidence that they need to give it their best shot on whichever path they chose to walk in life and in turn become a decent Global citizen, all round good egg to others and feel her own worth.
The best thing about being a dad is…
Making your child laugh. Building what are effectively “in-jokes” between just you and them. Evie’s go to gag at the moment involves offering me one of her wooden toy cupcakes and only after I have taken a bite does she confess to me that it is in fact a “Poo-Poo cake” - cue hysterical fits of laughter. I was not a fan of toilet humour until I became a parent!
The hardest bit about being a dad is…
The struggle I have with getting the balance between warning Evie that something is potentially hazardous and allowing her to climb and run and roll and jump.
My partner is much better at setting the tone on this and I have been working hard at taking her lead. I feared that if I carried on with constantly warning her of perceived dangers she may grow up to be scared of everything.
If you ever see Evie at the playground and she is making her way across a wobbly bridge on the climbing frame, I’ll be the Dad biting his lip and desperately trying to play it cool.
My journey to fatherhood was…
Surprisingly quite a practical one. I was of course overjoyed when my wife first told me the news and from that moment we spent every second getting everything ready as best we could. Sarah-Jane was so impressive during the pregnancy, I understand that everybody has different journeys and faces different challenges but her pragmatism, thirst for learning about all aspects of baby and positivity throughout the pregnancy was extremely impressive and truly inspiring.
Something I really wish someone had told me before I became a father is…
That toddlers have the ability to bend time. They are like some kind of tiny human black holes.
There is not a parent in the World reading this right now who hasn’t, at some point been absolutely, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT certain that they have been playing a game or doing a puzzle with their child for an hour and half only to look at the clock and discovered that only ten flipping minutes have passed.
The best piece of advice I’ve received about fatherhood is…
Spend as much time as you can in the bathroom!
On my Podcast ‘Dave Berry’s Dadpod’ I ask each of my guest parents to give me their one piece of ‘Dad-Vice’ and comedian Rob Beckett said just that, and he is right! The time a parent gets to spend alone in the bathroom on his or her ablutions is golden!
Chris and Rosie Ramsey from the Podcast ‘Shagged.Married.Annoyed’ were also guests recently and they both advised “Your children are still going to love you, even if you tell them off” - Which I think is also worth us all taking note of.
How will you be celebrating Father’s Day this year? Do you have any traditions?
This will only be my third Father’s Day and one of them was spent in a National lockdown.
But a nice tradition from the previous two Fathers Day’s I would love to see continue for many years to come is a homemade card and a delicious bottle of red wine waiting for me on the dining table when I get home after my show.
In fifteen years from now I am very much looking forward to my daughter treating me to a nice lunch. “I’ll get this one Dad” are going to be five magical words.
Lastly, do you have any advice for new dads and dads-to-be who may be feeling a little nervous about their new arrival?
Feeling a little nervous is exactly how you should be feeling. Make sure you are looking after yourself the best you can because that way you will be in the best possible condition to look after Mummy and your baby. Please also realise that you are not the first to do this and you certainly won’t be the last.
If you are fortunate enough to have a friend who is already a parent then give them a call or if possible meet for a drink and talk about your concerns. And above all, trust me on this one... YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT!
*Oh and do not forget to buy your partner a bunch of flowers!
Thank you, Dave!
You can find more of Dave’s ‘dadvice’ over on “Dave Berry’s Dadpod” Podcast