Happy Father’s Day!
Given my last name, the universe would simply not allow me to continue any longer without becoming a parent. And so, with the birth of our son Noah on May 1, while still finding my feet with this parenting thing, I’m taking my first Father’s Day to reflect on what becoming a parent somewhat late in life means to me so far.
Trying to put it into words inevitably sounds a little corny or clichéd, but seeing the birth of my son left me not only with a profound appreciation for the journey women go through in bringing a child into the world, but also feeling humbled and amazed at life itself.
I’ve always been motivated and focused on health and fitness but suddenly the prospect of being in my early 60s and trying to keep up with a teenager gave it a whole new dimension. Luckily carrying various items—car seats, bassinets, babies, bags of diapers—endlessly up and down stairs daily for the past month has helped me keep up with my fitness goals.
‘The future’ as this amorphous, uncertain, societal choose-your-own-adventure on the horizon also takes on a whole new meaning with a baby in the mix.
The environment! Social media! The state of public education! Our relationship with technology! I feel like being a parent instantly makes you more politically and socially invested in the world we’re creating. And that’s a good thing; research shows adult brains still grow, change and rewire in response to learning and experience. While it might not seem like it to my 2-AM-diaper-changing self in the moment, having a child is going to create an explosion of growth and new learning as I vicariously experience in real time the developmental stages we all go through. To put it another way, having a baby is boot camp for your brain. I know I’m going to need that boost of neuroplasticity in order to really be as giving and involved as I want to be for the little guy.
At this point, I count myself as super lucky and grateful to do meaningful work in a health-related job for a company that values family, health and the environment.
I already credit Flora products with keeping my mind and body healthy and have several new products in mind for the kiddo moving forward, like Kindervital/Kinder Love and our Toddler's Probiotic. At around six weeks old, he’s dealing with some gas and colic. Rather than buy a ‘gripe water’ formula—which sometimes has some questionable ingredients for a baby like alcohol, sugar, parabens, sodium bicarbonate, etc.—I’ve used our Flora Sweet Fennel, Pure Peppermint and Soothing Chamomile to make my own and just give a little teaspoon to good effect.
I’m eternally grateful for all the support we’ve received from friends, family, and co-workers to get to this point. To all the dads out there, enjoy those special moments, reflect on everything that built towards them, give the gift of being fully present and stay healthy!
Robert Dadd is a Master Herbalist (Dominion Herbal College) with a BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University. His areas of research include adaptogens, probiotics, and essential fatty acids. He is currently the Product Information Supervisor for Flora Manufacturing and Distributing.