“That’s fatherhood”: James Van Der Beek nails what dad life is REALLY about

Dawson : James Van Der Beek

Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek is a dad of five cute kiddos now, and the arrival of his latest – newborn Gwendolyn – has brought what it truly takes to be a good dad into sharp focus. 

Get amongst it, dads!

Anyone who watched Dawson’s Creek during their formative years might find it hard to grasp the notion that James Van Der Beek aka Dawson Leery is now a devoted dad to a whole bunch of kids who’s keen to spread the word about non-toxic masculinity.

James and wife Kimberly welcomed their latest addition after a home birth a week or so ago, and the fresh little baby bubble is bringing up some big feelings.

James took to social media over the weekend to chat more about how deep dads need to dive into parenting their kids, noting that they have to push past the challenges if they’re seeking to achieve not only a brilliant connection with their child, but some significant personal growth.

“A few things I forgot between babies four and five: Dads, when your newborn has been fed, changed, and is still upset, swaddle them up and hold them. Check in with them. Feel their face on yours. Talk to them. Rub their back, sway gently, hum, make the ‘swishy’ sound in their ear to replicate the sound of Mum’s heartbeat in utero. If they’re still crying and it breaks your heart … that’s fatherhood.”

“That’s fatherhood”

James notes that it’s not always peachy new baby smell, but urges dads not to get disheartened or shut down when times are tough. Leaning into the challenges – and being unconditionally emotionally and physically available to your kiddos – is key, he says.

“If you move past heartbreak into exasperation … that’s fatherhood. If they start screaming and you find yourself wanting to say “Oh, C’MON!” out loud … that’s fatherhood. If you feel helpless and inadequate and like you’re staring at a final exam full of questions you couldn’t possibly have known to study for … that’s fatherhood.”


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The Dawson’s Creek star was also quick to point out that the payoff for being all-in is unbeatable.

“And if you push through that … become more present than you’ve ever been, discover instincts you never knew you had, and summon up more love and patience than you’ve maybe ever shown anybody … and they either take it, or get tired, or finally work out that fart that was bothering them and fall asleep on your chest … and you suddenly feel like you beat the system, got nominated for a Nobel Prize and got told ‘I love you’ by the first girl you ever loved … THAT’s fatherhood. Welcome … Glad you’re here.”

While lots of dads are already feeling the same kind of feels as James, it’s a fact that others feel overwhelmed by parenting, or are a little intimidated by the needy little people in their life – or may even be discouraged from diving in by their own partners.  

Catching a glimpse at how great and exhausting parenting is – even to an experienced pro like James – might be just the motivation some gents need to keep calm and carry on. 

View this post on Instagram

A few things I forgot between babies four and five: Dads, when your #newborn has been fed, changed, and is still upset, swaddle them up and hold them. Check in with them. Feel their face on yours. Talk to them. Rub their back, sway gently, hum, make the “swishy” sound in their ear to replicate the sound of Mom’s heartbeat in utero. If they’re still crying and it breaks your heart… that’s fatherhood. If you move past heartbreak into exasperation… that’s fatherhood. If they start screaming and you find yourself wanting to say “Oh, C’MON!” out loud… that’s fatherhood. If you feel helpless and inadequate and like you’re staring at a final exam full of questions you couldn’t possibly have known to study for… that’s fatherhood. And if you push through that… become more present than you’ve ever been, discover instincts you never knew you had, and summon up more love and patience than you’ve maybe ever shown anybody… and they either take it, or get tired, or finally work out that fart that was bothering them and fall asleep on your chest… and you suddenly feel like you beat the system, got nominated for a Nobel Prize and got told “I love you” by the first girl you ever loved… THAT’s fatherhood. Welcome… Glad you’re here. 💙

A post shared by James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames) on

 

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