Chris Pegula is the founder of Diaper Dude, a brand of diaper bags and accessories for dads. His second book, Diaper Dude: The Ultimate Dad’s Guide to Surviving the First Two Years was recently published. Pegula recently shared with us his thoughts about dads' roles in parenthood.
Why did you want to write a book for dads about parenthood? I felt that if there was something geared toward men it would help them feel more secure and confident in wanting to be prepared. Both of my books were written about approaching parenthood from a more emotional point of view and preparing men emotionally for the journey ahead. I give tips on how to not lose your identity when you become a parent; you throw yourself into this parenting world but it’s still important to nurture yourself and your relationships. There are plenty of books that tell you how a baby or pregnancy is developing, but I didn’t feel there was something that addressed the emotional things that men go through or how to be there for their partner or how to feel secure enough as a father for the first time or how to put on that dad role and still maintain your individual role as the person that you were.
How have dads’ roles evolved? They have changed dramatically, and I felt that when I became a parent myself. I thought, “Why wouldn’t more dads want to be more involved?” So many women have gone back into the workforce after having children and solidified their positions as more powerful and financially stable than their counterparts, so there are more stay-at-home dads today. It’s exciting and tremendous to see that shift happening.
What was the most challenging thing for you in your children’s early years? I have so much love for my children that it was almost to a fault. The love can confuse and alter your decisions as a parent; you just want to do anything and everything for your children. But I feel like being able to be strong with your discipline and set boundaries and establish your role as a parent is important so that you can set an example for what you expect from your children. It was challenging for me because I was kind of a pushover. My wife would be the first to say, “You need to be more stringent as a dad.”
What are some ways dads can feel more involved? Having something that gives you confidence is so important and a great way for dad to get more involved in parenting. That’s where the ideas of the diaper bags came from. It helped to establish the connection that dads belong. Pregnancy can be especially difficult to connect to your baby because, after all, it’s growing inside of your partner. She’s experiencing everything and everyone is falling over her and congratulating her, and until you actually hold that baby in your arms, it can be very difficult to feel connected. I think products for dad that get him involved absolutely give him the feeling that he has a purpose and that he can be involved early on.
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Main image: Diaper Dude Founder Chris Pegula