Dad’s The Word
Fatherhood and work life can be a delicate juggling act. To continue on with our Father’s Day series, we’ve been chatting to some well-known faces, looking at time away from the spotlight, and what the arrival of pattering feet has meant to them.
‘I reckon I heard every story under the sun from friends about how fatherhood would be,’ confesses Tom Williams, co-host of Channel 7’s The Daily Edition, husband to fashion designer Rachel Gilbert, and father to daughter Storm, ‘But no one could ever describe that moment when your child smiles at you or hugs you for the first time. It’s pure love.’
For Williams, keeping things down-to-earth is crucial, whether it’s his relaxed and informal jeans-top-and-sneakers personal style, or tactic to balancing his family life and work life. ‘The secret is not to over-complicate the situation or book too many appointments or outings,’ he reveals, ‘Keep it simple.’
I reckon I heard every story under the sun from friends about how fatherhood would be.
For him and Storm, this means unlimited piggybacks, catching waves together in Fiji on a surf ski and making sand angels on the beach – ‘She can get upset when its time to leave the beach,’ he reveals, ‘sounds like her Dad!’ Whatever the activity, Williams’ approach is to follow his wife’s lead: ‘Let’s face it,’ he says, ‘in these early years, a lot of dads play the support act and help out whenever they can.’ But that doesn’t mean he’s not afraid of getting stuck in, whether that’s a nappy change, or ensuring his wife gets a lie in. ‘Patience has been the biggest lesson learnt,’ he explains.
Storm has this freedom to express herself that I will forever nurture and encourage.
Of course, the couple’s life’s about to get even busier, as Storm is set to become a big sister. ‘Ask me when the second comes along how things are going!’ Williams jokes. Family time is key though. With both him and his wife working a busy full time week, weekends are reserved strictly for the family. Not difficult, surely, with a daughter that expresses such a love of life. ‘She has this freedom to express herself that I will forever nurture and encourage,’ he says. Thinking back to the philosophy passed down to both him and Gilbert from their parents, he adds: ‘Their message was to always be yourself, chase your dreams, work hard, take risks and love life!’