Young father smiling to camera with his adoring family.
“I want to encourage dads to be vulnerable."Image by: @joaquinrodriguezmedia
Young father smiling to camera with his adoring family.
Young father embracing his wife.
Young father looking at his young son, running off onto a grassy hill.
16 June 2023

The Tired Dad’s tips for raising the next generation of men

The Tired Dad
Jon Gustin
3 minutes read time

Dads are sometimes left out of the conversations of how hard parenting can be. I want to bring them into the conversation. Dads struggle in different ways than mums do, so I want to encourage more dads to speak out about their struggles. I also want to encourage dads to be vulnerable in parenting. I want to change the stigma of the uninvolved dad, and to highlight that there are dads doing the work in raising their children.

There are dads out there, helping with the domestic labour, not just with their own jobs. They are supporting their partners, they are not just disciplinarians, and they put the work into raising their children and validating their emotions. What will the next generation of children look like with such an involved dad? That will be product of a new generation of dad: The Tired Dad.

The best part of being a dad

I love watching my kids grow up and become their own people. But I also hate it at the same time. It’s beautifully heartbreaking. I love watching them grow into good people. My main goal as a dad is to create good kind humans. Seeing that come to fruition, even with them still being young, is the best feeling.

Keep showing up

Children value time with you. They don’t care how much money you spend or how fancy the trip is or the hotel. I think they will remember the small adventures the most. The pretending to camp out in the backyard, searching for fireflies, and roasting marshmallows. Playing outside is so important to them. Also, really listening to them and caring about how they feel – even if it’s not a big deal – will go so far.

To me, “keep showing up” means that no matter how many mistakes you made that day, that month, that year – if you just keep showing up, it will get better. Don’t ever give up on yourself.

Top tips for raising the next generation of men

  1. Remember that parenting is hard for good parents.
  2. Take care of your physical health just as much as your mental health. And while you’re at it, make sure you always check in with your fellow dads – for yourself and for them.
  3. Be there for your partner. Mums go through some serious mental challenges after having a baby. Don’t try to fix it, and know that it’s not about you – just listen and support.