With Father’s Day right around the corner, For The Win spoke to a series of fathers who happen to be professional athletes about how they learned to do the basic things that dads do.
“I have a tremendous father,” said Hornets forward Marvin Williams, when asked where he learned his basic skills of parenthood. “My mother and my father divorced when I was very young but my father was very very active in my life. They’re best friends. They have a very close relationship. I’m truly blessed because I know it doesn’t work out that way for many people. My parents are best friends, so I spent a great deal of time with my dad and I just learned from him. I have a brother who is five years younger than me but he does have a kid. He has a son who will be eight in December, so I actually learned a lot from his as well.”
We had a private instructor come to our house and basically sit us down and walk us through how to swaddle, how to change a diaper, how to freeze milk, heat milk. A lot of things that men may not know, that women generally know. So it was a huge help for me personally just having a few hours with her. I haven’t had (any diaper changing fails). I feel like at some point every child has used the bathroom on them. Obviously that happened to me, I don’t think that anything out of the norm. I did practice swaddling quite a bit. I was too scared to wrap my daughter too tight, but if it’s too loose, if she makes one movement she’s coming out of it.
It’s just a lot of repetition. I would practice on a doll, I would practice on her and my girlfriend, she’s an incredible mother, she’d check it out and walk me through the steps.
I watched my girlfriend after she would feed her I would watch her and then when it was my turn to get up in the middle of the night, I knew what to do. My kid was easy. She would eat a ton – she still does eat a ton – and she liked to be held. So I would flop her over my shoulder a little bit and walk around and bounce around until she burped.
That is where my girlfriend and I had different methods. She would walk around and sing to her. But I have this app, this sleep music app, and it actually plays really soft – you know like you get a massage, the softer music. I would turn everything off and put that on and kind of walk around and when she heard that, she just kind of got tired and would go to sleep. The sleep music app was huge for me. I didn’t intend to have it for the baby, I just had it. When I was getting massages and stuff, I would use it to relax. And I just tried it on her one day and it worked.