Superdad #2 : Roel.
Today, we meet a Dutch dad, Roel, 39, who tells us everything about his life as a father. This is the second issue of our dads interviews, after French dad Maxence. Roel gives us a very natural and cool vision of fatherhood…
I met Roel last summer during Playtime Paris. Roal is quite unconventional : former banker, he became a business man and set up zizzz, a children’s brand specialised in organic wool linen, four years ago, after his first child’s birth. Other distinctive feature : Roel is Dutch, married to a Spanish woman and lives in Switzerland, with his three girls aged 4, 2 and 6 months. Europe at its best !
How did you feel when you had your first child and you became effectively a father ? Before that, I really never gave some thought to fatherhood, I did not have a precise idea of what it was, it did not interest me that much actually… I became a father at 35 and I just loved it ! Granted, it makes quite a difference, you can’t do any more whatever you want whenever you want, you have important responsibilities now… but that’s okay, it is counterbalanced by all the joy and surprises kids bring with them!
Moreover, it comes gradually : it starts with one child, you find that complicated, then comes the second… the third… Then you realize how easy life was just with the first one !
What do you love about being a father ? I love watching these little kids growing, developing themselves, becoming individuals with their own personality, their wishes… since their first smiles to today! Besides that, every child is a different story, how could I possibly get bored!
Were there, for you, crucial moments that helped you becoming a father ? Not really, it is more a gradual process to me… Moreover, I put my shoulder to the wheel pretty quickly because with my wife we share all tasks : one after the other we bathe the kids, change the diapers, prepare the meals…
Has your role as a father changed over time ? With the first child, everything is new : so you are more stressed, you tend to worry about things which are not that crucial…. like sterilising (absolutely) all the baby’s bottles in the house ! Then, with the following children, we put many things into perspective and become more relaxed!
How do you organise yourselves at home ? My wife works at an office et I work from home. In the morning, we share the tasks : most of the time I take care of our eldest girl and my wife deals with the youngest two. Regarding meals, we prepare things in advance, we cook a lot during the weekend for the week to come. During the day and in the evening, there is an au pair who helps us and brings the children home from the school and the nursery. She takes care of them until I have finished working, around 7 pm. Then I take over until my wife comes home. Quite often I need to work again at night, when the children are asleep.
Which are the activities you like doing with the kids ? I love playing with them, getting into their imaginary games and seeing how every object suddenly becomes magical… like when they play the Little Red Ridding Hood in the garden’s shed. I also like putting some music on and dancing with them.
Any moments you like a bit less ? It is sometimes hard to work from home… During the weekend, for instance, I often need to work and don’t always manage to do it because there are some many things to do with the kids !
Do you have a silver bullet when things get complicated with the kids ? I try to reason with them, understand what is wrong and provide them with explanations…And if it doesn’t work, I try to amuse them, make them think about something else!.. But on that one, my wife is really talented 😉 !
Which advices would you give to a new father ?
- Don’t listen to much to what other people say about fatherhood before having experienced it yourself!
- Try to make the most of every moment with the children… because their grow up so quickly!
Thanks to Roel for this interview! It was a great time!
I hope you liked it, do not hesitate to leave a comment here.