ICYMI, here at Perelel we have a series called Perelel Lives where we have real conversations about motherhood. We live in a society that glamorizes and celebrates women‘s careers, the companies they’ve built, the movements they’ve created. But, what we’ve failed to highlight is a facet of their lives that is far more personal—a side that presents perhaps the hardest, but most rewarding job of all—a job with no PTO, no holiday breaks, no sick days, and no salary. Oh, and it also lasts a lifetime: motherhood.
But today, we’re changing things up and sat down to chat with, not one, but two dads on their journey to fatherhood. This is Perelel Lives: Dad Edition.
When Greg Davidson and Michael Wieder set out to redesign baby and toddler gear, they actually weren’t yet dads themselves. Davidson was engaged and about to tie the knot. And Wieder was in the throes of an unexplained infertility journey with his wife.
Fast forward to today: The duo birthed their first baby, Lalo, a welcomed relief for baby and kid goods you *actually* want in your home. Each welcomed their first children within the same year. And now both are expecting baby number two. Precious, right?
“It definitely doesn’t hurt to have your Co-Founder right there in the same stage with you,” says Wieder.
We sat down with the two founders to chat about their path to fatherhood and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Keep reading for our conversation.
Lalo Founders Michael Wider and Greg Davidson with their kids, Jace and Jemma.
Perelel: Did you know you always wanted to be a dad?
MW: Absolutely! Having a family was really important to my wife and me. It’s been the biggest blessing in life.
GD: I always knew I wanted to be a dad and was excited to start my family, which we started with our dog Monte!
P: How did you know you were ready?
MW: My wife and I talked about starting a family from the early days of dating. We knew it was something we both wanted. For us, getting married was about starting a family. I don’t know if there was one pivotal moment for me that defined being ready, but the idea of being “ready” is kind of funny to me because you hope it just “happens.” For us, it didn’t just happen—It was a journey trying to find solutions for our “unexplained infertility.” For many others, starting a family is a process and a journey.
P: What scared you the most about becoming a dad?
GD: The unknown of it all. It’s something that just hits you. One day you don’t have a child and the next day, you are holding a tiny human in your arms and it’s yours. It’s an insane experience but truly one of the greatest moments of my life.
MW: The thought of juggling everything made me a little nervous, like figuring out how to find the right balance between growing a business and growing a family.
P: How would you describe yourself as a dad versus yourself in your other roles?
GD: As a dad to a young kid, you find yourself going back to some of the things you stopped doing—like eating cheese sticks or rolling on the floor messing around. In the workplace and in meetings, I can safely say that I’m more serious, focused, and not usually rolling on the floor, but I still like to bring at least some level of playfulness.
MW: I think it definitely brings another level of empathy, especially as we grow a team with a lot of parents. Creating the right culture and support system for our employees is so much easier having these shared experiences and understanding what it’s like to balance work and family.
"Creating the right culture and support system for our employees is so much easier having these shared experiences and understanding what it’s like to balance work and family."
P: Did your relationship with yourself and your individual identity change?
MW: I love being a dad. It’s a very big piece of my identity now, but who I am has not changed. I try to bring humor into any situation I can. I’ve held onto my passions like cooking and golf. And it’s my hope to be able to share these with my children as they grow up.
P: What about your priorities—have they shifted?
GD: My priorities haven’t exactly shifted since family has always been number one for me, but I’ve definitely had to figure out what a healthy work/life balance looks like: making sure I am there for bath time instead of hanging out with friends.
Gregory Davidson and his son, Jace, 2-years-old.
P: How did fatherhood affect your relationship with your partner? What was that experience like?
MW: It has definitely brought new challenges and opportunities in our relationship. We are not very routine-heavy people, so it has forced us to change a bit there. But most importantly, having a family forces you to strengthen communication. My wife is incredible and makes everything possible.
P: Looking back, what was the biggest lesson you learned in the immediate weeks following the birth or homecoming of your first child?
GD: I had a baby in the thick of COVID. I was not allowed to be with my wife after the baby was born. I remember sitting at home by myself waiting the 48 hrs for her to be discharged and feeling anxious, excited and helpless. As soon as I picked them up, our home was changed forever and I really felt that. It became a center of love for us and our family.
P: Did you find support amongst friends and family?
MW: Absolutely. It truly takes a village! We were challenged with welcoming Jemma right before COVID shut everything down and we were forced out of our apartment. We got a ton of support from my parents and in-laws. Family is the most important thing in our lives and it is important that our kids have strong bonds with their grandparents, aunts and uncles—and hopefully cousins one day too!
Michael Wider with daughter Jemma, 2-years-old.
P: How do you take care of yourself or prioritize yourself?
GD: I try to make sure I do something for myself at least once a day. Even if that one thing is going out and grabbing a coffee with music on!
MW: I try my best to carve out time for myself and also give time for my wife to get time for herself too. We recently got a Peloton to help remove some of the obstacles of staying healthy. I also try to sneak in a massage any time I can to relieve any stress and free my mind. And of course, I take my vitamins.
P: Most proud moments?
MW: Welcoming my daughter to the world. Our infertility journey was not easy and holding her for the first time and seeing the strength of my wife in giving birth was by far my proudest moment.
P: Worst moments?
MW: Sleep training, by far. It’s painful those first couple of nights. We co-slept for a while so this was a painful transition. Oh, and it’s not a one-time occurrence, which no one tells you!
P: What’s one piece of advice you would share with another dad-to-be?
GD: In the early days, it feels really weird because, let’s face it, there is only so much you can do as a father. But the one thing you can do is to truly be there for your partner at every step of the way.
"In the early days, it feels really weird because, let’s face it, there is only so much you can do as a father. But the one thing you can do is to truly be there for your partner at every step of the way."
P: You’re both expecting baby number two—how exciting! Does the second feel different than the first?
DG: It does in some ways and doesn't in others! The same level of anticipation is there. It’s a weird mix of emotions. In some ways, I feel more prepared. But I’m also still a little lost because I have no idea what’s it going to be like having two kids.
MW: I think we know what to expect a little more and we’ve learned a ton as parents. Although, there will certainly be new challenges with having two kids.
P: How do you stay motivated?
GD: My drive to build a business and a brand that supports other families keeps me motivated each and every day.
We believe your partner should take care of themselves, too. Shop vitamins for dads to power you through toddler to teen years and bundle to any Perelel women's subscription. Plus, the Perelel community can use code LALO10 for 10 percent off your first purchase of Lalo.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.