Welcome to the first Father in Focus, where we chat to a dad about his personal experiences of fatherhood. Today we focus on Vaughan McShane:
I first met Vaughan on a youth camp in 1999...and I've just realised that means I've known him for 2 decades which means that we are both REALLY old. You are not allowed to ask him about the dance-offs we used to have as 16 year-olds...
He is a strong, big guy with a personality to match. His energy is infectious, and it seems like his two boys have inherited that from him, if his social media is anything to go by. He spends quite a bit of time being an awesome travel blogger with his wife - so if you want to find out about some great places to go or even just want to feel jealous while looking at their amazing pics go to their website:
Here's what he had to say about being a dad:
1) Who are you, who are you kids and ages:
I’m Vaughan McShane, a 30 something year old South African living in Cape Town with my wife Lauren and our two beautiful sons, Caleb who's 3 years old, and Joshua, who has just turned 10 months.
2) One thing that surprised you about fatherhood - either about it in general or about your own experience:
Fatherhood has been a winding road full of hardcore “front line” learning and indescribable moments of love. I think maybe that is what surprised me most - the constant state (and frequency) of high and lows. Often these can occur multiple times a day for me. Sometimes I will be totally shattered and just completely “over” parenthood, and then moments later, be filled with joy and contentment. Either at the overall experience, the fact that we’re doing “ok” overall, or regarding something my kids have done.
Fatherhood has also helped me take stock of other areas of my life. My priorities have totally changed and issues that would once seem insurmountable now just seem trivial, and perhaps even selfish. That said, selfishness is actually an area of my life that fatherhood has tended to shine a spotlight on. I still clash with it on daily basis.
3) One thing that you think all dads-to-be should know:
I think it’s important to be aware that once the initial all-encompassing “high” of pure love passes (and yes - it eventually does), life is about to get very real and very demanding. This can be a very difficult time for your relationship with your partner or perhaps it could affect other areas of your life. It certainly affected my own marriage quite heavily.
The best thing I can recommend to fathers-to-be is to be open to talking about your feelings. It sounds very wishy-washy, but even learning to identify your feelings is a huge step. Talk to your partners or even to counsellors, therapists or good friends. Setting this tone ahead of the time makes it much easier to reach out when you’re in the trenches and everything seems overwhelming.
Also, being a dad is the best thing ever. Yes, it’s real. But you simply cannot understand how incredible the good times are.
4) A favourite moment of being a parent:
My favourite moments are just having a good laugh with my sons, even my youngest is able to have a giggle with me nowadays and it’s the best feeling. Also, when they want to tell you about something they’ve done. Or when I call my eldest to show him something I find interesting. In those moments I feel so connected to my own little tribe and it’s very lekker.
Recently my eldest also told me that I am his hero. That was very special.
5) Where can we see your stuff (as in, here's a chance to punt your work if you'd like):
I’m a travel blogger and amateur photographer so if you’re into travel and pics, please go ahead and visit our website - http://thetravelmanuel.com or simply head over to my Instagram.
Who should be the next dad in the Father in Focus? Tell me about him in the comments below and how I can get hold of him!