On Making Music and Raising Kids In The Time of Covid with Tony As
Dadditude #1 with @TonyAsOfficial
UK-based musician Tony As knows raising kids isn’t easy. Tony started an Instagram account to unpack some of the challenges dads face as he raises his little ones.
He brings a humor and care to these topics that makes his music and videos genuine, refreshing and helpful. A recent video, for example, discusses jealousy in his children and what that means as a dad.
His music is also infused with fatherhood themes and the song “In My Bed” details the emotions and fatigue associated with losing his place in the bed to his new baby. The song is catchy, fun and… real.
Dadditude spoke with Tony about his Instragram account, experience as a dad and what he worries about most during the COVID crisis.
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[Dadditude] Tell us a little about yourself.
[TA] My name is Tony As, I’d describe myself as an artist, building a business while raising 3 children. I’m essentially a stay at home/work from home dad building a business.
[Dadditude] How did @TonyAsOfficial come about? What made you decide to start it?
[TA] My page and content basically came about by me wanting to build a brand and business to be honest, initially it was really about showing people how I live as an artist. As things progressed my life became more about my children: I sort them out in the mornings, do the school runs etc etc to even recording music and filming videos with them right there with me in the room. In my need to be authentic and “keeping it real” I just started documenting my daily life- which is centered around my kids and the process of parenting, trying to figure things out whilst juggling a business.
[Dadditude] You post a lot with your kids. It seems like you have a great time together! Can you tell us about an especially favorite/special moment with your kids recently?
[TA] Probably just messing around, being silly, learning about who they are on a daily basis and allowing them to see me in all my glory and/or flaws. Basically connecting, creating fond memories. One recent favourite was playing in the snow; it was my son's first time ever really seeing snow, being able to touch it, throw it, build a snowman.. My elder kids loved being out there too, memories/experiences that money can't buy that I’m sure will stick with them.
[Dadditude] How old are your kids?
[TA] So I have 3 in total: a girl age 8, another girl age 7 and a son age 4
[Dadditude] What do you think is your biggest strength as a parent?
[TA] Patience probably, thats what comes to mind right now at least, Patience to allow them to be whoever and however they want to be (within reason of course)
[Dadditude] What's the toughest thing for you about being a parent? What stresses you out most?
[TA] At the moment with relatively young children and the fact that I work for myself, juggling fatherhood and work can be challenging especially now during covid times. The particular source of the stress varies as I may get stressed because I can't get on with my work as 3 kids can be demanding but then also, at times when I am able to work I may fret about potentially neglecting them in those periods. So my challenges are about balancing it all.
[Dadditude] What's one parenting challenge you've tried to tackle recently, how, and how did it go?
[TA] Tuning into my children's emotions; naturally I tend to be very blase, sort of like a “it is what it is” type person, “get on with it” and not really one to delve into my own feelings and emotions regularly enough. As as parent I’ve had to understand that my kids are not like me (and I don't want them to be in that sense to be honest), so I’m having to adapt the way I deal with them, trying my best to offer them the emotional support they need which doesn't quite come naturally to me
[Dadditude] What side of parenthood do you wish you had invested more time and energy in the past?
[TA] Nothing comes to mind really, maybe linking to the previous point a bit and maybe allowing myself to showcase more of an emotional side from earlier on. I read somewhere about dealing with your own personal issues (as parents) so that you don't pass them on to your children. The person was speaking about the need for all new parents to engage in some type of therapy to deal with their issues before they become parents.. I thought that was an interesting concept..
[Dadditude] What's the one piece of advice you'd like to give your younger parent-self?
[TA] They really do grow up fast so enjoy it all, don't overthink it.
[Dadditude] Where do you typically go for advice, training, tips about being a parent or partner?
[TA] Fortunately I have a close group of friends who we all have similar age kids, so we pretty much guide and support each other through the process. The internet naturally is a good source of information on specifics.
Dads Took On More Childcare When They Worked From Home During Covid-19. Will a Vaccine End That? (USA Today)
How Men’s Bodies Change When They Become Fathers (New York Times)
What’s Keeping Dads from Doing More at Home? Actual Caregiving Experience. (Fortune)
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Next week, we’ll be featuring our interview with Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness. See you then!