How to be a Cool Dad

Learn to integrate your child into your life instead of sacrificing your life for the sake of fatherhood.

  • Father and Son
    Being a cool dad means forgetting the babysitter and bringing your kids along with you to do your favorite things.
    Photo by Fotolia/oneinchpunch
  • Rocking Fatherhood
    "Rocking Fatherhood" by Chris Kornelis explores how to become a father without losing yourself along the way. Kornelis addresses finances and nutrition as well as cool diaper bags and how to keep friends after having a baby.
    Cover courtesy Da Capo Press

  • Father and Son
  • Rocking Fatherhood

Rocking Fatherhood: The Dad-to-Be's Guide to Staying Cool (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2016), by Chris Kornelis, takes the reader along on his journey from working as a music editor at Seattle Weekly to becoming a father of two. The message that Kornelis spreads is that becoming a father doesn't mean everything changes. It's not about a new life in a bigger house with no friends, but about being aware of your role as a father and spouse and loving your baby. This excerpt comes from the chapter "Week 16: Having a Baby Doesn't Change Everything."

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I know, by now you’re hearing it every day, at least twice before lunch: “Having a baby changes everything.” Don’t listen to them. Babies can’t change everything. They can’t even change themselves.

Having a baby didn’t even make me feel like an adult. It took a really bad concert to do that.

In 1997, when I was fifteen and Beck was at the height of his powers, I made my first trip to Bumbershoot, the Seattle music and arts festival when it was at the height of its powers, to see “Where It’s At” performed on stage for my first time. I had no way of appreciating what a monumental occasion the evening would be for me, or the festival, but the show had ramifications (for both of us) that are still being sorted out today. And if you think I’m being hyperbolic, just ask the fire marshal or the folks who put on the festival.

Beck closed out Saturday night on the festival’s biggest stage — an outdoor stadium where high-school football teams played on Friday nights. Unfortunately for me, Beck was playing just about the same time Cake was on stage across the festival grounds. Alexander, the older, “responsible” friend of the group wanted to see Cake the way I wanted to see Beck. So we struck the bargain that those of us who spent our youth with more ticket stubs than clean socks in our underwear drawer know well: we’d see the first half of one band (Cake), and sacrifice the first couple songs of the other (Beck).

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