So, Father’s Day fell last weekend, and while we were preoccupied by the swoon-worthy, gushing dedications to celebrity dads, the BEST one fell through the cracks.
You may know actor Justin Baldoni from TV show Jane the Virgin; well, he is also the proud father of a daughter, Maiya, who is about to turn two.
Rather than share a heart-warming post about the dizzying highs of fatherhood, the 33-year-old took to Instagram to share one of the most relatable posts imaginable – and it all centred around a toddler tantrum!
Justin explained that, on the day the photo was taken, he was shopping at Whole Foods with his family, when Maiya threw a tantrum. His wife, Emily, captured the photo you are seeing below, showing Justin and his father standing over Maiya, who is rolling on the floor in frustration.
“Two men, standing together in silence, forever bonded by an unconditional love for both each other and this brand new, raw and pure soul who we would both go to the end of the Earth for,” he wrote in the caption, describing it as his favourite photo of himself and his dad.
I tried to stay off social media yesterday to connect with my family without distraction so I'm posting this today. Emily took this in Whole Foods. It's now one of my favorite photos ever of me and my dad. Two men, standing together in silence, forever bonded by an unconditional love for both each other and this brand new, raw and pure soul who we would both go to the ends of the earth for. I can only imagine how many times I did this when I was her age. My dad taught me so much about what it means to be a man, but this post is about one thing and one thing only. Being comfortable in the uncomfortable. Something I grew up watching him do with me over and over again. There are no perfect parents, but one thing my dad taught me is to not parent based on what anyone else thinks. My dad always let me feel what I needed to feel, even if it was in public and embarrassing. I don't remember him ever saying "You're embarrassing me!" or "Dont cry!" It wasn't until recently that I realized how paramount that was for my own emotional development. Our children are learning and processing so much information and they don't know what to do with all of these new feelings that come up. I try to remember to make sure my daughter knows it's OK that she feels deeply. It's not embarrassing to me when she throw tantrums in the grocery store, or screams on a plane. I'm her dad…not yours. Let's not be embarrassed for our children. It doesn't reflect on you. In fact.. we should probably be a little more kind and patient with ourselves too. If we got out everything we were feeling and allowed ourselves to throw tantrums and cry when we felt the need to then maybe we'd could also let ourselves feel more joy and happiness. And that is something this world could definitely use a little more of. #fathersday #redifinemasculinity #daddy #dearmaiya
The image struck a chord with Justin, because it made him think not only of his approach to parenting his daughter but also what he has learned from his father.
“My dad taught me so much about what it means to be a man, but this post is about one thing and one thing only: being comfortable in the uncomfortable,” he wrote.
Justin, like the rest of us, knows that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ parent, but he also knows that his dad had one thing pretty spot-on: you can’t parent based on what anyone else thinks.
His father always ‘let him feel what he needed to feel’, even it if was in public or it was embarrassing for him, but not once can he recall his dad telling him off or telling him not to cry. This, in turn, has become so important for Justin as he navigates fatherhood for himself.
“Our children are learning and processing so much information, and they don’t know what to do with all of these new feelings that come up,”he explained.
“I try to remember to make sure my daughter knows it’s OK that she feels deeply. It’s not embarrassing to me when she throws tantrums in the grocery store, or screams on a plane. I’m her dad…not yours.”
And so, adopting his father’s approach in his own way, Justin has an important piece of advice to share with parents everywhere: don’t be embarrassed for your children, and use the experience to be a bit kinder to yourself, too.
“If we got out everything we were feeling and allowed ourselves to throw tantrums and cry when we felt the need to, then maybe we could also let ourselves feel more joy and happiness – and that is something this world could definitely use a little more of,” he urged.
We could not love Justin’s post more than we do right now. The next time you feel yourself flushing bright red over your little one’s rather public tantrum, bear this in mind.