Happy Father’s Day to all the #smashtessdads out there! This day is about us and the bond we have with our children. That doesn't mean it’s always easy, but I can’t think of a better journey to be on!
To celebrate Father’s Day, I spoke with two fellow #smashtessdads about all things DAD! Meet Mike (GREEEAT name*wink emoji*) and Albert!
Mike (@everydaygirldad) is a father of two who inspires us daily with their words. Albert (@icytouch) is celebrating his first Father’s Day this year and also happened to be the DJ of our dreams at our last S+T Birthday Bash.
XX Mike, Resident #smashtessguy
My role as Dad is the jokester. What would your role be?
Mike: Ooooh, this is a great one to start on. My youngest daughter definitely loves to remind me how weird I am but ultimately I love filling the role that my kids need at any given moment.
I really love late night talks just before bed. It's a nice opportunity to talk about anything really. In our house we're really open about everything. We talk about mental health, sexual and reproductive health, and are really trying to talk about anti-racist ideas right now. So it's good to have a relationship when one night we're joking about a YouTube video but when we also have the chance to change the subject if they have any questions they want to ask.
Albert: My role as a dad is the poopy diaper changer, and when my daughter is tired she usually wants me to rock her to sleep.
What does your ultimate Father's Day consist of?
Albert: My ultimate Father’s Day would start with a big breakfast, playtime and nap time.
Mike: Pancakes and sleep and cuddles and maybe watching Thor Ragnarok on a backyard movie setup. Fewer than usual fights between kids would be really amazing too but there are only so many miracles that can happen on any given day.
What has been your fave Father's Day gift (so far)?
Albert: It’s my first Father’s Day so being able to celebrate that blessing is my favourite gift.
Mike: One year I got a pair of kid-drawn tattoos from my daughters. One of them drew R2D2 for me and the other drew Wonder Woman and then I got them tattooed on my leg. That’s a pretty darn memorable one that I’ll get to carry with me forever.
How has your life changed since becoming a dad?
Albert: Life’s got more exciting now. I’m not the most important person in my life. This little cutie runs my world now and I love it.
What is your favourite thing about being a dad?
Mike: I love the opportunity to learn and unlearn things with my kids. It has been a really amazing thing to watch them grow up and get to do the same thing myself. They have helped me learn things about myself the same way I have helped them understand things about themselves.
More than that, we get to learn about ways we impact the world around us too. All the little interactions we have each day are all part of that and it’s really important that we take that parenting responsibility seriously.
I really like role modeling for my kids as well. I get to be vulnerable as someone with borderline personality disorder, as a queer person, and as a non-binary person. These are all things they understand completely and that they love me for. And they are so unconditionally accepting of those around them because they see these things in their lives. I love this part of parenting.
How are you dealing without Sports?!
Albert : It’s fairly easy to deal without sports thanks to YouTube. I can search for my favourite sports highlights! Plus we mostly play The Wiggles now, so you know...
What is your go-to way to ROMPresent in your romper?
Albert: I’ll be ROMpresenting by keeping it chill and laid back just like my style.
Mike: I have wanted to wear a romper for a while now and I love to present my romper as a nonbinary dad who is now trying to live more openly as themself. My kids and partners have been so amazing in giving me the support to learn more about my own identity and it’s been so freeing to be able to wear clothes that I’ve always felt my body belonged in.
It's really amazing to remember that clothes have no gender and that wearing what makes you happy and comfortable is really damn empowering. It's a great feeling to be able to do that with my kids too!
I'm about to have my second daughter, what advice do you have for me?
Mike: One thing I absolutely love is watching my kids grow up to be so completely different from one another and to nurture that in them as they grow. Our kids fight all the time and it's really difficult to stay patient all the time (and my goodness, I definitely don't), but watching kids grow in this way is really cool.
Don't be hard on yourself when things suck and wow will they ever suck sometimes. It's ok to acknowledge that without feeling guilty. Being a parent doesn't always have to be sunshine which you’d know because you mentioned this is child number two.
If you could pick one song to describe fatherhood, what would it be?
Albert: If I could pick one song to describe fatherhood it would be: Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Lauryn Hill.
Girl Dad is such an amazing title to have, how do you rock this title?
Mike: By learning new things all the time I hope.
I started with this as a way to talk about the way dads should be actively talking about social change as a baseline and not as something that's exceptional.
It's been really amazing to be able to learn new things along with my kids. Watching my kids realize how strong they are is so empowering for me and I'm so fortunate to get to see that.