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 in honor of our recently launched Men’s Multi Support Pack and sat down to chat with a dad we admire about fatherhood and the importance of approaching fertility and parenthood as a true team effort. Here’s Perelel Lives: Dad Edition.
Among Miles Garber's many accomplishments, dad now ranks as number one. The LA-based model who owns his own candle company now has a new project that may be his most personal one yet: his platform Open Up Dad, which has certainly made the rounds through team Perelel's DM group chat. It's a cornerstone of the Internet for some much-need open dialogue about what it means to be a parent. And, as you can imagine, at Perelel we live in motherhood forums and have seen our fair share of "real" dads on Instagram. But Open Up Dad has an earnest vulnerability that we felt was missing from the fatherhood zeitgeist.
So, it was a no-brainer to bring on Garber for our first ever Perelel Lives: Dad Edition. Keep reading for our conversation.
Perelel: First thing is first, did you always know you wanted to become a father?
Miles Garber: I think I always knew I wanted to be a father but the reality of it seemed so far away it was never something I thought of all the time.
P: Were there periods where you didn’t want to have children?
MG: There was a time in my life where I really didn't think children were in the cards for me. I was going through a very hard time for a few years and the idea of being responsible for anyone else seemed ludicrous.
P: So how did you know when you were eventually ready? Did you wake up one day and just have a feeling?
MG: I truly don't believe you are ever, “ready.” I think this is a lie everyone tells themselves. Even if you bought every nursery accessory, read every book, watched every video you will never truly be ready to meet your child. Each child is unique and has their own needs that you could never calculate before they are actually here. At least this is my opinion. When my wife said she was pregnant I did feel as if I was already “ready” to connect to my baby and take on the unknown. I actually sat on my couch for a couple hours alone crying and listening to music and just daydreaming about what it was going to be like. Happy tears of course!
P: Part of the hope with our Men’s Multi Support Pack was to give men an actionable way to be a part of the fertility journey. What was your experience with fertility? Share the story.
MG: I am honestly incredibly lucky as is my wife with our fertility journey. We are incredibly fertile! Or so we are told. I think, however, it is so important for men to know they play such a huge role in the pregnancy journey. As the saying goes it really does take two to tango. I think there's so much societal pressure on women to get pregnant and we aren't always teaching the men about how much their health and or diet really does matter.
P: What scared you the most?
MG: For me, I was just scared of doing a good job. I'm still scared about whether I'm doing a good enough job. I don't have a father. I never met my father so with that I have to make it up as I go along. What I have learned, however, is that making my own way suits me best and with that I think it truly makes me the best father I can be.
P: How did you feel while watching your partner navigate pregnancy, birth and motherhood?
MG: I felt incredibly out of control. Her pregnancy was truly the best and most fun part of the whole process for me. We had a lot of laughs and we really were just a unit navigating life together but I still felt like I was never doing enough. I could never truly feel for her because I wasn't pregnant, she was. Our daughter's birth was very hard on me. I had an almost traumatic experience, which I now look back on as an awakening of sorts. Looking back I feel really selfish. But I had to go through that to get to where I am today. Watching my wife be a mother is one of my greatest joys. She took to motherhood so naturally and quickly that sometimes I was truly very jealous of her. I am constantly at work I feel like and for her it's just all so natural. It’s amazing.
P: What was the origin story of Open Up Dad? Why did you feel like the conversation around fatherhood was needed?
MG: Open Up Dad was created because I truly just felt alone. I didn’t have a dad to call when I felt confused or frustrated or scared and I felt as if the other dad platforms didn't speak for me at all. Fatherhood to me is so much more than changing diapers. It's something I have an almost spiritual connection to. I had done an interview with my friend Sam Turrel for his platform Open Up Healing and I called him and asked if he would be interested in me having my own channel about parenthood. Luckily he was super into it and we are now working together on Open Up Healing/Open Up Dad and trying to just extend a helping hand to anyone who needs it.
P: Did your relationship with yourself and your individual identity change? How so? And, what was that like?
MG: I think since becoming a father I am constantly changing. I am learning to breathe through situations, not let my feelings get the best of me. Overall being a parent is in my opinion the most selfless act in a person's life. It’s no longer about you. I think my life no longer being just about me is so rewarding. I thank my daughter so much for teaching me that sometimes it's really not that serious!
P: What about your relationship with your partner as you navigate parenthood?
MG: Our relationship is a learning process. We have so much love but like I said it's not about us anymore. I don't think we ever realized how privileged we were to go out to dinner or go on a trip whenever we wanted. Now we have to think about those things a lot more. We are learning to make it work though and that makes me so confident in our relationship. I'm proud that we have been able to accept the fact that we will have to adapt constantly.
P: Most proud moments?
MG: My daughter learned to give kisses recently. Getting an unexpected kiss from a baby is maybe the greatest joy I have ever felt.
P: What has surprised you?
We want to hear about your journey into fatherhood. Share your story by joining the Perelel community on social. Plus, power your fatherhood with Perelel Men's Multi Support Packs formulated for dads or dads-to-be and #Go5050 on your fertility and parenthood journey, together.