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Reflections on Wellness, Perspective, + Self-Care From the Dads of YTTP

If there’s one thing the fathers on the Youth To The People team can definitely agree on, it’s that fatherhood has changed their perspective on many things, from how they value their time to how they understand wellness. As Joe Cloyes, co-founder of YTTP, puts it, “[Fatherhood] has deepened my commitment to living in the moment and being present. It has helped me realize how important the community around me is and that my energy in that community is not just for me—it is for my family.”

In celebration of Father’s Day, To The People invited the dads of YTTP to share their take on fatherhood. Below, they write on wellness, self-care, and what sparked their changes in perspective.

HOW HAS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF WELLNESS EVOLVED SINCE YOU BECAME A DAD?

Joe Cloyes, Co-Founder: I have always practiced a healthy active lifestyle and looked at that as wellness.  My definition of wellness has now broadened. I now look at wellness as something that encompasses my entire family. My wellness journey now includes the nurturing and love of my two little children and supporting my wife as we continue our lives as a family.  Diet and activity are a part of it, but I now think of wellness as having a deeper connection to others and my community.

Mark Angeles, Director of People + Culture: Before, wellness was something that took a lot of preparation or planning. Now, it could be a longer shower, nap or asking someone for help!

Armen Terantonians, Director of Finance: I started feeling more responsible for my health! For me, the feeling is…I need to be the best version of myself for my daughter! That includes health and every other aspect as a human being.

Ricky Phan, Inventory Planning Manager: I value family time more versus going out with friends and I enjoy the smaller moments in life. I often try to help out more around the house just to give my wife a break—simple things such as picking up dinner or groceries or just playing with the baby while she rests definitely helps.

Cameron Brocksen, Creative Director: I run every morning, so I’ve definitely been imagining how fun that ritual is going to be with my daughter in the stroller in front of me But beyond the physical, I’ve actually been doing a lot of reflection lately about how I can continue to show up more authentically in my life; both in my mental presence across any given situation, but also in how I express myself, my emotions, my curiosity and openness to learn. It’s incredibly important to me that my daughter is able to absorb that, and grow into a self and space where she is able to own her truth without fear of perceived judgement.

DESCRIBE SOMETHING ABOUT FATHERHOOD THAT HAS INSPIRED A CHANGE IN YOUR PERSPECTIVE.

Joe: It has deepened my commitment to living in the moment and being present. It has helped me realize how important the community around me is and that my energy in that community is not just for me—it is for my family.

Mark: Being a father, and the deep love you develop for another being, is a constant reminder to be kinder to others, to show love to those in need, and seek to understand those who are different from me. My daughter is nine months old and she's going to be exposed to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Being a father inspires me to be the change I want to see in this world. 

Armen: Enjoying the moment and seeing the beauty in everything.

Ricky: Fatherhood has inspired me to do better and teach my son to be a good person. I used to think it was all about your career and having fun but now I have switched gears to putting my family ahead of myself.

Cameron: Given that I’m on the cusp of becoming a father for the first time, I’m just excited to observe and embrace all of the ways that my daughter forces (and encourages) me to change my perspective. I’m open to it all. What I’m really most excited about is the opportunity to witness the world through her and embrace her innocence.

HOW HAS BECOMING A FATHER IMPACTED YOUR SELF-CARE ROUTINE?

Joe: I have realized the importance of each minute and that even a shortened self care routine can still be a great moment to center yourself.

Mark: Becoming a father has made my self-care routine even more important. My daughter can only be the best version of herself if I am the best version of myself.

Armen: I’ve started exercising more, eating healthier, using supplements, using sunscreen and skincare routines.

Ricky: I definitely have been taking care of myself better mentally and physically since you want to be there for your child mentally and not be frustrated over small issues and the lack of sleep. Just taking a few breaks here and there, working out, or going for a run can prepare me for the next day.

Cameron: Well, outside of the above mentioned self-awareness, in recent months I finally grew out my hair and have attempted to grow a beard as well—JoJo [Cam’s wife] keeps saying I manifested this baby by "looking like a dad,” whatever that means —needless to say my grooming routine is more extensive now. I use hair oils and paint my nails. Seems like appropriate practice.