Becoming a father with Dominic Farr
Today our special guest is Dominic who has welcomed a baby with his wife 6 months ago. He talks about becoming a father, how his life changed and gives some valuable tips for parents and fathers.
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Julie PABION: hi dominic how are you today.
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Dom Farr: I today i'm very well, thank you very good.
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Julie PABION: Thank you so much for joining us I think it's going to be a very interesting episode for sure that before we jump in, could you please introduce yourself.
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Dom Farr: So, my name is dominic dominic far i'm currently living in between London and and Madrid at the moment i'm one of four kids the youngest of four and now I have a new family my wife is Spanish and we have a baby boy called Fernando.
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Julie PABION: Nice, so how how long has it been how old is Fernando.
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Dom Farr: Fernando who's got a very Spanish name like his.
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Dom Farr: Like his grandfather and great grandfather, so my father in law.
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Dom Farr: And he is now six months old.
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Julie PABION: wow well congratulations that's a big one yeah how, how is it been so far.
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Dom Farr: it's been it's been brilliant I mean he's uh he's now starting to.
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Dom Farr: Well kind of three months old he was starting to smile a lot and that.
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Dom Farr: I think that was the point when you get a lot back from a from a baby.
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Dom Farr: And now I mean he's a he's he's in his top percentile in terms of weight and also height.
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Dom Farr: But with a name, Fernando it's quite funny because he's he's.
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Dom Farr: couldn't be much more white.
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Dom Farr: And more British so.
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Dom Farr: yeah quite.
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Dom Farr: Quite as is a funny voice is it makes me smile every day.
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Julie PABION: No well that's nice very nice, yes, and so, how, how is it because I imagine that just having a newborn is a big change in your life and also within your couple that also in the middle of a pandemic, can you please tell us like how you're going through that with your wife.
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Dom Farr: yeah definitely, so I think yeah getting married is one thing which was a big big change.
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Dom Farr: big step forward for for our data my wife and I.
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Dom Farr: But yeah having a baby is a game changer because you don't really get that time in the day to relax and reflect it's it's kind of all go go very much to kind of process so.
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Dom Farr: kind of my kind of daily routine as.
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Dom Farr: I didn't do the mornings normally so when he's up at kind of 730 or 630 you could be kind of i'm up doing that morning feed.
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Dom Farr: Because i'm more of a morning person.
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Dom Farr: Then i'm off to work and my wife has got him all day and then after work like 730 i'm i'm i'm bothering him and then helping to put him to bed, so it is very much a routine.
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Dom Farr: And I I can, I can tell now why why I was laughing at my dad and mom being more routine focus, because, as you know, after after 20 years looking after four kids you do need to get great at routine.
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Dom Farr: So I think that's the big difference, but.
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Dom Farr: You mentioned kind of doing coded having a baby, I mean yes it's been it's been challenging but actually since having the baby we're in our own little bubble anyways so with covert or would not covert.
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Dom Farr: You know we've been in our bubble and we've been very happy in that bubble so.
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Julie PABION: Yes, I see, and so, Fernando hasn't been to the UK yet right he's only like lived in Madrid so they've been even to give birth drink of it, where you allow it in the hospital.
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Dom Farr: yeah so we yeah you're right he hasn't been to UK he hasn't met any of his his English side of the family and my brother who's also married to a Spanish wife out here in Madrid.
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Dom Farr: So we've met.
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Dom Farr: he's met them but yeah my poor mom who's kind of high risk and dad haven't been able to to fly out here, because of the risk.
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Dom Farr: But yeah we chose to go to be in Spain for the birth, because my wife had private private health and hospitals very good here, and also, secondly, to have her mother.
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Dom Farr: Close by as well during this challenging time is just a huge advantage, so I think it was a it was a no brainer to be out in Spain.
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Dom Farr: And yeah it's been great watching him grow out here really we haven't been in a big lockdown like in London, and so we have been able to go out for a walk.
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Dom Farr: With the pram and still can kind of go in and out of bars, etc, but you've just got to be really careful.
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Dom Farr: But I think during the pregnancy, I think that's when we were really at risk and as a pregnant lady, you do not want to get cove it because you might have to have a premature.
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Dom Farr: premature birth so.
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Dom Farr: yeah that was, I think it was more challenging in a covert world being pregnant, rather than actually having a having a baby.
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Julie PABION: i'm sure yeah that must be a bit scary and so how were the human leading to the best for you to the birth, for you were you very just cautious and inside all the time, or has like has it been sort of peaceful pregnancy or a bit stressful.
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Dom Farr: I think everyone every lady goes through.
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Dom Farr: Like different hormonal cycles.
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Dom Farr: mo definitely went through through that on the on the third month.
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Dom Farr: which they said.
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Dom Farr: They say is the most is the worst.
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Dom Farr: Time but generally across the whole thing, she was she was pretty relaxed.
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Dom Farr: I think kind of flying so that, at the start, we are in lockdown in UK stay with my parents and they are Cambridge.
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Dom Farr: So it was me with my parents to high risk and then our mood three high risk, so I was doing everything I was doing the shopping in the supermarket, I was for everyone.
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Dom Farr: And yeah I think.
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Dom Farr: I think yeah I think it got better as as it goes by, but yeah I mean it's a hormonal roller coaster like any pregnant go with would say but adding covert in that it's probably yeah even more challenging.
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Julie PABION: um I can imagine, and how did you prepare yourself to become a dad did you prepare total did you do any research or.
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Dom Farr: So i'm i'm quite fortunate, because in terms of like learning how to be a dad i've i've got eight nephews and nieces already and my family's on the.
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Dom Farr: youngest of four.
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Dom Farr: So yeah big fanatics got lots of cousins already, but he hasn't met them yeah.
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Dom Farr: anything they side.
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Dom Farr: And I mean I read books about it, but there isn't that much out there, other than kind of Google search and stuff like that, but.
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Dom Farr: There isn't that.
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Dom Farr: Much actually reading around like how to be like a dad there's not that many books around there's so many for the girls, but there's not that much on the perspective of of a bloke so yeah I read a couple of books which it kind of got you up to speed.
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Dom Farr: With what with what your wife it's going through all your all your ladies going through.
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Dom Farr: But.
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Dom Farr: yeah I mean nothing can really prepare you for the for the birth, because it's it's it's a roller coaster I mean it's it's an amazing experience.
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Dom Farr: I can't tell you like seeing your baby born it's just a miracle it's incredible.
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Julie PABION: Yes, okay well yeah that sounds great and so did you because I know that some people some dads especially have experienced some issues.
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Julie PABION: Finding their place, you know between the baby so, for example, it happens, I mean it happens to everybody, but also sometimes when the mom is breastfeeding, sometimes it can be hard to to find your place or I don't know if it was your case at all.
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Dom Farr: So it was a bit different I think everyone's got a unique.
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Dom Farr: Reason or unique experience, which will make us.
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Dom Farr: unique as human beings, but from my because my wife, she she had us his area, and so it was very hard for her to to breastfeed afterwards.
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Dom Farr: I mean, should we deliver a couple of weeks.
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Dom Farr: And I think it was just quite challenging her, I mean it's we were in hospital for five days afterwards, it was quite a severe.
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Dom Farr: And she lost lots of blocks in that process.
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Dom Farr: So getting to walk and then to recover herself was the number one priority.
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Dom Farr: So that so yeah I was for me personally was very full on for those kind of first five days, especially but two weeks, three weeks because I wasn't just.
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Dom Farr: Helping the the baby, I was also helping my wife etc so.
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Dom Farr: yeah I mean my two weeks off was was definitely every moment was was was was, I was very busy.
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Julie PABION: um I can imagine so basically you had a full on training, as in like you didn't really have a trial period, she was just.
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Julie PABION: yeah cool on that right away.
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Dom Farr: yeah so yeah, as I said, like me, I mean i've seen some of my friends who don't have any.
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Dom Farr: kind of siblings and their family or cousins like smaller ones, and you know I know how to hold a baby I knew how to feed a baby I knew how to change nappy So for me it was.
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Dom Farr: quite easy to get into that.
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Dom Farr: And I was probably better than than our mood and in with that just because experience with family but.
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Dom Farr: yeah I think that is and also say, in addition, is when we were in hospital for those five days you get a lot of help.
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Dom Farr: and
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Dom Farr: You so you get taught by the nurses and how to change nappy because it is like like what like at the start, you are.
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Dom Farr: Just it's just yeah you're just kind of while while while I remember, I was just given a baby him as though this is your baby.
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Dom Farr: deal and then you're like Okay, how do I hold it and turn away.
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Dom Farr: What do I do.
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Dom Farr: So yeah there's a tough learning curve money you know if you read all these books it it doesn't you know you always learn from why my in my experience, I learned practically and I like to learn on the job so.
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Dom Farr: I think when you get given it, you know that's your big responsibility, I mean you're a dad i'll take so it's.
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Dom Farr: yeah a big learning curve, but such a good journey.
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Julie PABION: hmm what's your favorite part so far.
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Dom Farr: um I love I love watching watching grow, I mean he's starting to kind of.
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Dom Farr: kind of murmur now he's starting to he just loves laughing I mean he loves everything so he's yeah I think we're getting a lot back, I think the first couple of months.
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Dom Farr: you're getting used to the process and you're always kind of comparing what your life was before so obviously you're going to sacrifice a lot, so you can't just kind of go out with your friends, because you need to be bad for both time you need to help your wife.
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Dom Farr: So.
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Dom Farr: yeah the sacrifices, you make through those first couple of months, but then you see in smile, and then you see him laugh and.
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Dom Farr: I guess in a couple of months we're seeing started crawling and walking I mean it's just magical journey, so I love it I love it all but.
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Dom Farr: yeah it's definitely a game changer in terms of.
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Dom Farr: In terms of lifestyle.
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Julie PABION: I can imagine, and especially because we've started a new job recently and you're working from home with a newborn and also getting used to a new job How has it been for you so far.
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Dom Farr: And so I think I think yeah in this world where we're able to work we're working at home, every day, so I mean I get to see my baby boy more than I am, and would be if I was in a pre coated world, so I see him every day i'm here to help out.
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Dom Farr: My wife Whenever she needs.
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Dom Farr: So, for us it, you know works quite well, I mean I tried to get out so i've got a.
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Dom Farr: My father in law has an office, where I sometimes work, because I think it's.
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Dom Farr: Just healthy, to get out the Office have a little commutes sorry your House, have a little commute to the office and then kind of work in a more solid environment and so that's been really key to me but.
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Dom Farr: I think yeah a bit of a yeah it's been it's been challenging because crying baby obviously is it's hard to.
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Dom Farr: Have a we're in a flat in Madrid, as well, so it's not there's not a huge amount of space so yeah it's you need some speakers in when that baby's crying when you're trying to work so yeah there's challenges but also huge positives being able to see him every day.
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Dom Farr: and help out my wife.
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Julie PABION: yeah for sure, and so his baby Fernando sleeping at night, or is it still a bit tricky.
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Dom Farr: yeah well we've we've been very fortunate to I mean he's literally a saint.
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Dom Farr: yeah in comparison to my my nephews and nieces who never slept during the night, Fernando he lot he sleeps a lot.
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Dom Farr: And he laughed a lot, so I can't really complain.
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Dom Farr: I think we had a month three for about a month we had colic which was.
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Dom Farr: Basically, when he has a bottle he finds it very hard to digest the milk.
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Dom Farr: And he'll just cry.
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Dom Farr: And sometimes will cry for about like a long period.
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Dom Farr: And you feel a bit useless as a as a mother a doubt, because you can't do anything about it.
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Dom Farr: And there's not that much I mean doctors give you so much medicine, but you can't really give that much medicine two to three months old so.
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Dom Farr: there's different positions that you hold the baby.
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Dom Farr: And some you we changed the milk for that month, it was it was challenging because.
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Dom Farr: yeah just after eating, it was just this digestion problem about yeah it got solved and now he's back to being say.
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Julie PABION: Well you're lucky but yeah I imagine it must be very tough to just see your baby in pain and not being able to relieve the pain and also just explain it's going to go away, I think that there must be a bit.
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Julie PABION: A bit yeah.
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Dom Farr: I think yeah it is that is challenging I mean emotional connection.
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Dom Farr: I mean for the for the guys out there baby, but for the for the for the wife tab with the baby for the mother is just is amazing and yeah I think once you've got it inside you for the nine months.
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Dom Farr: And, and then you're seeing your baby kind of crying you don't you can't really do that much.
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Dom Farr: To help because calling, you know was his one was quite severe and we did try lots of different.
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Dom Farr: remedies but.
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Dom Farr: yeah I think yeah for my wife, it was yeah it was quite tough but.
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Dom Farr: You know when you've got to be recollect that it will start ending kind of the fifth month six month unless you've got a lot of bad luck snow yeah there was We always knew that there was, like the end of tunnel.
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Julie PABION: yeah I can imagine so.
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Julie PABION: Do you think anything's changed between you and your wife, because so you're talking about marriage that it's a thing, but then to feel stronger now that you're both parents or do you think something changed.
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Dom Farr: yeah, so I think.
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Dom Farr: getting married to my wife was yeah huge commitment best commitment of my life best day of my life.
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Dom Farr: Having a baby and together, has just kind of made our bond even stronger.
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Dom Farr: Because we're kind of a.
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Dom Farr: Where unit now we're a family.
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Dom Farr: So yeah I encourage everyone to do do it in that process.
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Dom Farr: In my opinion.
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Julie PABION: mm hmm okay interesting and is there anything that really surprised you about fatherhood so far.
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Dom Farr: anything's really surprised me.
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Julie PABION: something you learned in.
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Dom Farr: Our surprise i'm surprised how.
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Dom Farr: How hard it's been so when I was talking to my to my brothers.
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Dom Farr: And I never really I kind of as a saw commodity you'll be right, we can go out tonight you can sleep tomorrow but.
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Dom Farr: As I was saying, like that Ghana game changer it's just you know going out and then getting up at six the next day and then being with a baby all day you know it's tough work.
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Dom Farr: So you've got to make sacrifices so yeah i'm surprised how kind of how many sacrifices, you do have to make.
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Dom Farr: And the planning that goes involved.
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Dom Farr: With with the baby as well, I was very surprised how much time it takes to buy the pram to set up the baby room and you know it's a lot of admin involved.
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Dom Farr: So yeah a couple of things, I was surprised as but yeah but yeah the sleepers I mean it's at the start you're literally it's every three hours you're on so it's.
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Dom Farr: Especially during the night as well, and having a job at the same time it's you know it's it's amazing how the body, you can just function just without any sleep.
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Julie PABION: Yes, I can imagine so yeah they're very small, but they come with a lot of accessories.
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Julie PABION: You need to carry around everywhere.
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Julie PABION: yeah for sure, but yeah So even if you're prepared it's still it's still a sort of shock right it's still you still need to adapt to La.
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Dom Farr: yeah I think yeah you do, you need to yeah you need to prepare.
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Dom Farr: and your life needs to adapt yeah huge amount.
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Julie PABION: that's correct yeah.
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Julie PABION: Well, well that's it's very interesting for sure yeah I think we should talk about becoming a dad more because it is like I mean.
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Julie PABION: You use it yourself, you know you thought it would be easier and you're seeing your your friends or your your brothers and.
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Julie PABION: yeah I think having these type of conversations could help a lot of guys getting ready and also just anticipating so thank you for sharing your your experience, and I also wanted to ask if there is any advice that you would like to give.
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Dom Farr: Any advice I would give to.
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Dom Farr: Your dad I think.
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Dom Farr: Definitely don't book anything.
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Dom Farr: In the diary.
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Dom Farr: A month before the birth and a month afterwards.
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Dom Farr: It does take time to adapt.
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Dom Farr: Try to read books around it, especially around what your wife is going through.
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Dom Farr: be really interested in it as well, then just kind of think that it's.
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Dom Farr: A mother's job to kind of look after the baby I think it's it's both of you, you do it together it's 5050.
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Dom Farr: I think.
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Dom Farr: So.
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Dom Farr: I think yeah just to be there for your your your wife your.
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Dom Farr: With your partner for for every moment and just really enjoy it, I think I mean that's the best day I mean if you're having a baby, I mean it's it's it's incredible bring up a baby in this world is an incredible feat so Joe enjoy every moment of it.
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Julie PABION: i'm amazing yeah Thank you so much, Dominique for sharing all of these good advice and and and your story, and I think it will help out of expecting couples and that, in particular, so thank you, I think we should really speak more about this team so it's great to chat with you.
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Dom Farr: Thanks God they feel time and yeah really good chatting to you and best of luck.
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Julie PABION: Thank you so much.
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Julie PABION: Okay i'm goodness.