Talking about that dad life with Paternal Podcast host, Nick Firchau.
Upon entering into fatherhood, Nick Firchau quickly realized a dad’s support system was somewhat limited in comparison to the seemingly endless number of women discussing motherhood in one form or another. With a career in journalism in his back pocket and a clear vision for what was needed, he decided the best way to find quality and diverse fathering material was to make it himself.
As a longtime journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times and Major League Soccer, Firchau felt that a candid podcast conversation about fatherhood with other men would become a necessary bit of guidance. The only question that remained was whether other fathers would be interested in sharing their perspectives.
It didn’t take long for Firchau to discover that the answer to his question was a resounding ‘yes.’ In 2018, Paternal Podcast (PaternalPodcast.com) was born.
Professional football players, Seattle DJs, authors, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, barbers and many more have come onto his show and discussed their upbringings, their relationship with their fathers, the mistakes they’ve made with their children, and how other fathers can learn from such experiences.
“I took the combined experience of being a podcast host and producer and being a father and said, ‘maybe I can find other men that are thinking the same things as me, or are having similar experiences as me, or different ones that are fascinating to me, and tell their stories,’” says Firchau. “We found that most men are actually receptive to talking about the respective issues that they’re dealing with, and because it’s their life, their story, they’re the expert.”
With Firchau’s podcast and the near two dozen guests that have openly discussed how to be the best father to their children, perhaps someone out there will connect with another person and decide there is no longer a need to attempt to go at it alone.
Read on for past episodes “dadvice” and insight on fatherhood…
Ryan Harris, former Denver Broncos offensive tackle
Quotes from the episode: Faith, Perseverance & Fatherhood in the NFL
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a dad because of the dad that I have.”
Love at First Sight
“When my son came, I just…I had no idea; I had no idea how fast you could fall in love with someone. I didn’t know how fast you become not even secondary, just on the periphery of your own life.”
“It’s the story that my father can tell you, the story that my grandfather can tell you, and the story of his grandfather who was a slave could tell you: the way to operate as a black man is passed down generation by generation. Discipline is a very heavy piece of it.”
Empowerment & Encouragement
“As a young black woman, my daughter — giving her all the empowerment and encouragement to fulfill all her dreams and achieve what she wants — is extremely important because the chances are she’s not going to get that value from anyone outside of the house.”
Jake, father of a transgender daughter
Quotes from the episode: Daddy, This Is A Girl’s Penis
Born a Princess
“As early as I remember, when she had a say in things, she gravitated toward all things feminine. The first video that we have of her speaking is of her at seventeen months in a tutu saying ‘I a princess.’“
“This was a difficult time in her life, and you could sometimes tell that she was and is under a tremendous amount of internal conflict. Because her sense of self is not mirrored in culture.”
Finding a Network
“I knew nothing. There are no models. You figure out, ‘ok this is happening, who do we look to?’ Because there’s just not a bank of parents that have done this from this young an age. Of course, they exist, but to find that community and plug into is difficult.”
Daddy’s Little Girl
“The conversation came up, and I had to ask, ‘look, do you want me to call you she?’ and the look of relief and understanding that her dad really loves her on this level was palpable.”
Alex Bogusky, graphic designer, investor, founding partner of Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Quotes from the episode: “The Elvis of Advertising” Wants to Soften Up
The Paradox of Fatherhood
“I had a lot of anxiety about not messing my child up. When you have kids, first they can’t talk, so you have no idea what they’re thinking and feeling. Later, they can talk, but they don’t always tell you exactly what they’re thinking and feeling and you make horrible assumptions. Or, at least I did.”
Make An Appearance
“The times that you can be there? That’s the most important thing. If you’re there, you’re going to mess up some things, but it’s important to show up.”
“When you get down to it, the people that are not nice are the people that are feeling insecure and threatened. Machismo and all that overly tough and rough and hard — all those are underpinned by insecurity.”