Being a new father is incredible. But it ain’t easy. 

It is a time when you need to be at your best. Super present. Super aware. Super kind. And of course, the odds are against you. No sleep. No routine. You get the picture.

Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and the fight for equality, raising a child today takes on many more responsibilities.

We sought out fatherhood advice from some of the most interesting and extraordinary Dads we know. ⁠ ⁠

We asked each one three simple questions about how their life has changed, what wisdom they will pass down and what world they hope their child will grow up in. ⁠

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SUPERDAD PROGRAM
Kevin Marryshow
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Kevin Marryshow

Kevin is a practicing chiropractor and Myodetox's  Toronto Regional Director. Myodetox is a lifestyle wellness brand with clinics in Toronto, Los Angeles and Vancouver. 

How has your life changed since being a father?
Now everything I do and every decision I make is centred around building a better tomorrow for my son. 

What wisdom, values or advice will you pass down?
I’m excited to teach him that family is where love and community begins. Make sure he knows that his mother, my wife is the centre of our universe. I’d be honored if he grows up to value being a useful, contributing member of his community. 

What world would you like your child to grow up in? 
I’d like him to grow up in a world where he never has to feel like the “diversity choice” and always feels like the opportunities he receives are a product of his contribution. I want him to feel like he could be an active agent for change and be committed to continuing the work that was done before him. 

Danny Saltos
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Danny Saltos

Danny is a renowned personal trainer with over a decade of specialized experience. His clientele spans all spectrums, ranging from models and actors to CEOs and entertainment industry executives. 

How has your life changed since being a father?
Before becoming a father I lived in a bubble. The most important thing was me and my wife. I had blinders on and only focused on my career and my relationship. When we decided that we were going to start trying for kids I didn’t fully appreciate what that would entail. It just seemed like the next logical step in our lives. The moment my daughter was born my whole life changed. I, for the first time, realized what pure love was. It was embodied in my daughter and then later my son. Having kids has made me the man I was meant to be and pushed me to be the best version of myself. 

What wisdom, values or advice will you pass down? 
Be present. We live in an age where life is moving so fast and technology is incredible but we can also be easily distracted with the world around us. I believe that being present in every moment, especially with loved ones is extremely important. Nothing in life is guaranteed and all we have is this moment. I always tell my kids - “Look down at your feet. This is where you are right now and this is all that matters."

What world would you like your child to grow up in? 
The current state of the world has really forced me to reflect on this question. I want my children to grow up in a world free of racism. A world filled with love, compassion, and empathy. The world is lacking all of those elements right now and all we can do is set the example for our kids in hopes that we spread these qualities to the rest of society. 

Aydian Dowling
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Aydian Dowling

Aydian is an activist, educator, and mentor. With a breakthrough cover feature in Men’s Health magazine, multiple appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and a nonprofit helping over eight thousand people, Aydian Dowling is a household name in the transgender community.

His loyal followers have found strength and courage through Aydian’s kindness, confidence, and vulnerability – traits he also brings to his role of devoted husband and father. His dynamic public speaking, insightful consulting, and compassionate mentoring have transformed thousands of people into passionate allies of the trans community.

How has your life changed since being a father?
My life has absolutely changed since becoming a father! I have become more aware of the way in which I engage in my masculinity because I know my son will follow in my footsteps. I've always cared about dismantling toxic masculinity within myself but now the drive is even stronger!

What wisdom, values or advice will you pass down?
I'd like my son, Antler, to know that he can be whoever he knows himself to be. That his life should be fun, adventurous and full of wonder. I'd like to pass the value of standing up for what is right for all people and to make sure he is living a passionate fulfilling life.

What world would you like your child to grow up in?
I'd like my child to grow up in a world where he feels valued and valid. A world where he isn't judged for who he loves, how he expresses himself or what his family looks like.

Ben O'Meara
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Ben O'Meara

Ben is the VP of Marketing at Huckberry, the leading resource for emerging brands, gear, and lifestyle inspiration. 

How has your life changed since being a father?
I’d flip that question - what hasn’t changed! Right before your baby arrives you get a lot of (mostly) great advice -  things to look forward to, things not to look forward to. It’s been all that and more. For me, though, a couple of the biggest changes have been a new level of patience and a much more efficient focus. The patience is a non-negotiable as my daughter doesn’t give a damn about how busy I am at work, how early I have to get up, what my former morning routine used to look like, etc. My wife will be first to tell you, pre-baby patience was not a strength of mine. On the flip side, when I do have those windows of time for myself - work and personal - I squeeze the most out of it. I’ve found myself getting more done in 30 minute windows than I used to do in a couple hours. No time for procrastination. What’s worth the time, what isn’t. And in the end, you’ve got a damn good motivation to keep improving. 

What wisdom, values or advice will you pass down? 
My mom used to tell me “you are who you hang with”. Distilling that down most simply - relationships are everything. The people you choose to surround yourself with - your friends and family, your work, your extended community - have such a huge impact on who you are as a person and where you can go. To me, they have been the most valuable thing I have. Real, meaningful relationships bring personal growth, they bring opportunity, and most importantly, they bring real happiness. Surround yourself with people that support you, but also challenge you. People that bring you joy, but also keep it real. And nurture the hell of out em. 

What world would you like your child to grow up in? 
I want her to grow up in a world where she can truly be herself and feel loved and supported by anyone. I want her to grow up in a world that celebrates our different cultures and challenges her to grow and always be learning. I want her to grow up in a world where taking care of each other and our planet isn’t political, it’s just what we do. And all along the way, I want her to grow up in a world where she feels empowered to have a voice - and uses it often.

Trystan Reese
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Trystan Reese

Trystan is a transgender dad of three living in Portland, Oregon. He runs his own consulting firm dedicated to inclusion and equity. He's a renown storyteller you may have heard on The Moth Radio Hour, on NPR stations across the country.

How has your life changed since being a father?
Well, I became a parent overnight to my niece and nephew. So at first, I wasn't really a "father" at all! I was just a particularly dedicated uncle. But as time went by and it became clear that they were going to stay with us forever, I slowly became more and more comfortable with the idea of being a dad. And that has changed everything. My life is almost completely dedicated to their well-being: I work harder, find greater meaning, and am more present because of them. I also get much less sleep, but that's a story for another day.

What wisdom, values or advice will you pass down?
I hope they will learn to fight hard for a world in which everyone has equal access to opportunities, in which every voice is heard and valued, in which everyone has the support they need to live their lives freely. I hope they learn to bounce back when things get hard, to push themselves to be great, and to find a path that empowers them to live a life of meaning.

What world would you like your child to grow up in?
The reason I work so hard day in and day out is to hopefully leave a better world behind for them-- so they can pick up the mantle and move things even further than I ever could. I want a world that exists (so there would need to be some attention paid to the climate and sustainability for that to happen). I want a world where they are unencumbered by the debts of our ancestors (so there would need to be truth and reconciliation as we create a racially just world). I want a world where being raised by two dads is seen as an asset and not a liability, where they are proud of who they are, where they understand their power to make change.