This article first appeared in the June/July 2016 issue of Your Pregnancy magazine.
TV presenter Ewan Strydom, father to Kean and Dominic
How has your life changed since becoming a father?
I’ve realised the things I used to worry about were never really worrisome! Now, I’m dad to two beautiful little boys, and the responsibility is on me to make sure they grow into good men. My main focus now is making sure my family is taken care of.
What do you think is your best fatherly trait?
I always try to show my youngsters how to act out of a place of love and kindness. That means practising what I preach – they notice every little thing!
Are you a very hands-on dad? Fetching, carrying, changing nappies?
My wife Adrienn is an incredible mother and does so much for the boys. But between my crazy work schedule, I do as much as I can when I’m home. And I can change a nappy; pretty fast as well!
How do you make time for your kids with your busy schedule?
It’s a tough one; sometimes I don’t see them for several days, even if I’m in town. I do try to balance it where I can – when I’m home I make sure I spend time with the boys.
What are your hopes for your children?
I hope they end up being incredible, strong, driven men, who treat humanity with respect, and love what they do. Regardless, I’ll be the proudest father ever.
What kind of father do you aspire to be?
I want to be the type of father who teaches by example, who can build and inspire strong, solid men. I’ve taken fatherhood on board, and try to be the best dad I possibly can be, throughout the challenges of being a parent.
Professional rugby player Elton Jantjies, father to EJ and Noah
How has your experience as a father been so far?
Fatherhood has calmed me, and brought out a much softer side in me, as well as being the most eye-opening experience of my life. It’s no longer about me; it’s about this person I’ve helped bring into the world, and call my own. It has made me more aware of my life as a whole, and has grounded me.
What word will you take with you through your parenting journey?
Dedication. Dedication to being the best dad I can be, dedication to always making sure he’s well looked after, dedication to the lifelong commitment of being a father, and dedication to supporting my child.
What have you found challenging about parenthood?
Being abroad applying my trade in Japan has been very challenging, as I’m often away for weeks at a time. My girlfriend Iva had to move to Japan for a few weeks so that we could spend quality time with our baby. Spending every moment with my son is vital. Building a bond is important to me, and during my weeks off I travel to see him and spend every moment I can with him.
What’s most important to you now?
Trust. Being a parent has built an incredible trust between my partner and me. Knowing that this person loves your baby as much as you do, and is as dedicated as you, is very important.
How did you prepare to become a father?
We made sure we went to all the scans and bought all the necessary products, but looking back, I think it’s a journey in its own. Nothing can truly prepare you for what’s to come, especially emotionally. I try to take each day as it comes and appreciate every moment.
Professional rugby player Lionel Mapoe, father to Zaiden and Zarah
What kind of dad are you?
I'd like to think of myself as a good father. I give my kids a lot of love and attention, even though my career keeps me very busy and demands time away. It can be especially difficult for Zaiden when I’m living in another city. But I always keep understanding, nurturing and kindness top of mind.
How has fatherhood changed you as a person?
I put their needs before my own, and that felt like a sacrifice at first, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m glad to make that change, as it benefits them and their upbringing. I feel extremely protective over them, and at times I wish I could monitor them 24/7.
What are important qualities to have as a father?
Understanding. You've just got to understand your kids, because they’re unique individuals and have different personality traits. Patience is also essential, and something I’m happy I have in abundance!
How has parenthood changed your perceptions?
My children have become my focus, and their needs take preference to mine. I’ve become less selfish in life, too. They are my heart and soul, and they constantly need my love, comfort, help, and guidance.
How did you support Clarissa during her pregnancy?
I wasn't able to attend antenatal classes when she was pregnant with Zaiden, as I played in a different city at the time, but with Zarah I’ve been able to go to classes with her. While in the country I went to all the scans, and when I was in Japan, Clarissa sent me recordings of them to my phone! We’re a unit, and we’re in this together, so my bond with Clarrisa is unbreakable.
Can you relate to these celeb dads? Where you ready to be a father and what were you most excited about or scared of? Tell us in the comment section below or email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we could publish your letter.
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