When we hatched the idea of helping and supporting other dads, a name was not high on our list of priorities. Our primary goal was to create a class to help dads & partners navigate labor & childbirth successfully. But that’s just the beginning of the parenthood journey.
When brainstorming names, the idea of ‘rock star’ jumped out at me. What makes someone a rock star? It’s not about fame – that’s what happens to some people after they become a rock star. And it’s not about a bad attitude or anything like that (those people aren’t rock stars – they’re just jerks).
A real rock star is someone who blows us away with their performance. Music is powerful but it needs a great performer for that power to manifest. Sometimes a performer is so good that we forget about them and are entranced by the music. That requires some serious skill, along with a couple of other things.
All of these apply to all the Rock Star Dads out there too.
1. A rock star is someone who is skilled in their craft.
I’ve seen plenty of bands in my life. The best are the ones who are really friggin’ good at what they do. They sound as good – or better – live than they do in the studio. They’re tight as hell.
That doesn’t happen by accident – it takes practice to get that kind of skill. It’s all about putting in the time & effort to get better. People think that some folks are just more ‘talented’ than others. We don’t see them grinding away, practicing religiously. Skill doesn’t happen on its own; it starts & ends with dedication.
I thought of this about a partner prepping for the birth of their child, but this applies to parenting as a whole. You have to have a desire to get better and put in the time to do it. We don’t have to stay static and we can work to become better parents & partners.
2. They understand the concept of a team and how to work together.
In a band, there’s usually one lead singer, one lead guitarist, one bass player and one drummer. Some bands may have more singers or musicians but the idea is the same: everyone in the band has a role to play. And everyone understands that the sum is much, much greater than all of the parts.
I love going to open mic nights and hearing a singer belt out a classic with just their vocals and their guitar. But that same song can be so much more to it when you add in the bass & drums. By themselves the instruments are ok but together they’re powerful.
It’s normal for lead singers & guitarists to the lion’s share of the praise. But would they get that without the rest of the band? Nope. Would anyone want to listen to the singer or guitarist by themselves for two hours? Or would people want to hear the whole band?
I thought of this with birth in mind too. The mom-to-be is the lead singer- the star (and rightfully so, she does most of the work). The dad-to-be/partner is the bass player or drummer. Yeah, she’s going to get the attention but we have a big role to play – one that can make a huge difference in how the birth goes. Bass players and drummers are the Rock Star Dads of the music realm!
3. They have confidence.
This is what separates the rock star from the average musician. They have trust in themselves because they’ve put in the time. They know what they bring to the table. When it’s show time, they give it everything they’ve got. They know they might make a mistake – but that’s ok because they know they can move past it. That’s confidence.
Dads-to-be can bring confidence to birth too. By putting in the time, they know what they have to do. They know that their attitude will guide their birthing partner so they give everything they can throughout labor & delivery.
Realistically, Rock Star Dads know we’re going to make mistakes – especially when doing something for the first time. Know that you won’t be perfect. Prepare yourself the best you can and give it your best shot. Messing up a couple of notes won’t ruin a song. Forgetting a massage technique or forgetting to offer some water won’t ruin a birth. (hint: notes work ;)).
This confidence can reframe birth. It can go from a scary experience into one that is a tough and challenging, but doable. And ultimately rewarding, because you can take pride knowing you did your best. You helped your partner through one of the greatest experiences of her life. And you made a difference in the birth of your child.
Here’s the whole point of Rock Star Dads: YOU can be a rock star.
As long as she thinks so, that’s all that matters. Put in the time to get better because it will be well worth it in the end.