Saturday 17 November 2018

Life Lessons: Being a dad is the best feeling

Olympic athlete Tom Daley, who is father to 3-month-old Robert Ray, his son with his husband, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, shares what becoming a parent has taught him

Family guy: Tom Daley loves taking his son for long strolls with his husband Lance
Family guy: Tom Daley loves taking his son for long strolls with his husband Lance

Fatherhood was always part of the plan for me

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to have children. Lance and I actually even spoke about it on our first date.

My experience of being a dad exceeds my expectations

Being a dad to Robbie and becoming a family is just the best feeling. It's unlike anything else.

I've only just gone back to training

It takes up about four hours of my day. Once I'm home from training I'm then able to give Robbie my full attention which is great. We're lucky Lance is able to work from home - Robbie has become his little writing partner.

Our parenting style is that we just want the best for Robbie

To make sure he's loved and cared for. He's a calm and happy baby, and he's just beginning to look around and become more interested in things.

I'm really proud to be working with Pampers on the launch of their new Pure Protection range

It's nappies and wipes made for parents who want the best for their babies but don't want to compromise on performance. We personally love that the nappies are made from plant-based materials and premium cotton to keep Robbie's sensitive newborn skin comfortable and protected. It's great that Pampers wanted to work with not only a dad, but a dad in a same-sex couple. We're excited to be part of their family.

My priorities have changed since becoming a parent

Robbie is now the most important thing in my life and will always come first to anything else. In terms of ways in which my relationship with Lance has changed, it's made us a family, which is incredible. We work really well as a team.

Lance and I are lucky to have a great family support network around us

Particularly from my mum, she's so important to me.

Nothing is too difficult or too much trouble for Robbie

He's the most important thing in our lives now and I just want to be the best possible dad to Robbie I can be.

What do I worry about most as a father?

I suppose every parent at some point or another questions whether they are doing everything the right way or how it should be done. But I think it's important to trust your instincts. Friends or fellow parents will give advice but you know your baby best and you should trust that.

Pressure on parents to balance everything exists

But any parent should do whatever feels right for them. It's natural for your children to be your number one priority but it's also OK if your career is equally as important. I feel fortunate that I'm able to be a dad to Robbie and continue my passion for diving.

We love taking Robbie for long strolls

Or simply chilling together at home. Just being with Robbie all together is the perfect way to spend the day.

I've been raised with a real sense of tradition and a strong family network around me

I want Robbie to have exactly the same. I think it's both really lovely and important to pass traditions down through generations and can't wait for Robbie to experience some of these from both mine and Lance's families.

I would like Robbie to have an open-minded and positive outlook on life

The life lesson I would hope to pass onto him is that he can be or do anything he wants, as long as he believes in himself and works hard enough for it.

My favourite aspects of being a father is… everything

When Robbie looks into my eyes it's an incredible feeling, and one of those moments when you realise you really would do anything for your baby. It's honestly all amazing.

Tom Daley is ambassador for Pampers Pure Protection range, the brand's first-ever nappy and wipes collection made from premium cotton, cellulose and plant-based materials that come from sugar cane, available nationwide. See pampers.ie

Irish Independent

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