Welcome to Portraits of Fatherhood: We’re telling the story of today’s dads.
There is no better place to witness the changing roles of men and women in the larger culture than through the lens of parenthood. But rather than speculate on what and how contemporary fathers do what they do, we’d like to bring you portraits of the dads themselves. In their own words. Would you like to be interviewed for this feature? See the end of the post for details.
NAME Pete Cataldo
HOMETOWN / WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW Hometown – Tampa, FL. Currently living in New York City (lived here for last 6 years).
NUMBER OF CHILDREN One! Giuliana (aka Jules) – daughter of 1 month.
WORK I’m a stayathome/workfromhome father and provide a voice behind numerous commercial and documentary projects as professional vocal talent at PeteCataldo.com … and of course, I scratch my writing itch as a blogger with my newlyformed site, DaddyMindTricks.com.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Married to my beautiful wife, Angela, for almost 6 years.
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY? How have you, or you and your partner (if you’re partnered), arranged your life/schedule to provide the daily care for your kid(s)?
The struggle is real in the Cataldo household as my wife, Angela, and I juggle the careful balance of life with a newborn and daddy’s home-based business. Truth be told, we haven’t quite figured it all out just yet – shocking that we don’t have the answers to all of the world’s problems after one month of parenthood, right? All kidding aside, my schedule is quite dynamic right now. I do manage to get in a few hours of work per day in between feedings and diaper changes, largely because sleep is no longer an option (like I said, the struggle is real, AMIRITE, fellow dads?).
HOW HAS PARENTING CHANGED YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL?
Well, I don’t sleep. I miss sleep. It was such an awesome experience. I used to sleep like the dead, too … a solid eight hours a night. By the way, whoever coined the phrase “sleep like a baby” is a jerk. Babies don’t sleep comfortably. And now, neither do I. All kidding aside, it’s amazing how once that little one enters the world, everything changes and your entire sense of being is wrapped up in how to make sure this munchkin has a better life than I could ever imagine for myself. I will not rest until I ensure this is a reality for my daughter.
IF PARTNERED, HOW HAS PARENTING AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP? How often do you have sex? Is it enough? How do you communicate differently (if at all)?
What’s sex? Oh … the beautiful and natural act of love and affection that started this whole process. Gotcha. I’m a proud poppa to a brand new bundle of joy, so it’s actually a little early to start talking about returning to the scene of the crime just yet – we’ve barely hit one month of parenting. But soon. I think. I hope. If we ever have a few minutes to ourselves again. Does that ever happen? Frankly, after just a few weeks with one child, I’m still baffled as to how parents find the time and privacy to procreate multiple times. Do they outsource this thing? How does this work?
WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?
We thought we broke our baby just three nights into bringing her home. Giuliana had a dramatic episode of acid reflux. Not your garden variety “burp up some food and have a sour taste in your mouth reflux,” either. It was a full-on event that came across like a seizure. Jules started choking and turning red and was barely breathing. So, while Angela called and waited for 911, I had to apply some first aid to the newborn until the paramedics arrived. Scary as hell. We ended up spending four days in the Pediatric ICU for tests … and tests … and more tests. Thankfully, everything checked out fine and it turns out that my daughter just tends to get really bad cases of heartburn. But needless to say, that was not how I envisioned spending the first week of fatherhood.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?
I’m pretty sure that nothing will ever top the feeling of holding Giuliana and staring into each other eyes while that daddy–daughter bond develops. The breathtaking emotion you experience when she feels so comfortable in your arms that she curls up into a tiny ball and falls asleep in your warm embrace is what daddyhood is all about.
We’re looking for a few good dads.
IF you’d like to be interviewed for this feature, please write to Lisa Duggan at: [email protected]
Please write “Portraits of Fatherhood” in the subject line.