We’ve turned Father’s Day into Father’s Month, and the first Dad on the roster is Max Valiquette. Max is a force in the media and advertising industry, but as he explains, that’s only a part of who he is. He’s also a Dad, when he had, at a younger age, never intended to become one. Find the full interview in the video below – Max drops a lot of truth bombs alongside his characteristic humour.
What does balance mean to you in terms of fatherhood?
It means balance for the entire family. It’s impossible for balance to exist in only one part of a partnership. That being said, I hate that word in this context, because it is too often used to imply a balance that needs to be immediate, or almost immediate. Balance can also be a long-term thing, or longer-term things. Sometimes, we forego balance in the short term because of what it offers us in a longer-term.
Is dad guilt a thing? Do you feel dad guilt?
Nope. It could be a thing for some, I suppose, but the programming is pretty straightforward for Dads: work hard to provide and you’re a Dad. Of course, that’s complete bullshit – as it is for Moms who feel that they have to do everything. (Isn’t “having it all” the worst expression, ever?) I wish I could spend more time with everyone, of course. But I do the best I can so there is nothing to feel guilty about as long as I do that.
Social media is changing all aspects of life, and a certainly tricky aspect is parenting. How do you see parenting changing in this age of information?
We don’t know yet. I think we have to think about it more: what does it mean to parent in this age with people who will have had it their whole lives, whether they’ve wanted it or not. We need to be deliberate about it.
Do you have a checklist you go through before mentioning family publicly on social media?
My kid isn’t mentioned. There’s one private network that has about 60 people on it – close friends and family who want to see photos. That’s it. It’s a pretty easy checklist.
You’re completely in support of providing your child an atmosphere where she can find and build her own identity. Did you yourself feel like you were adding to your own identity when you became a father?
Yes, for sure. But I wouldn’t say that it’s the only way I could have added to my identity. Fatherhood shapes me, of course – but everything has shaped me. It’s a huge thing, so it’s had a profound impact on who I am. But there are other ways to be shaped, or be transformed. I’m a dad – but I was a lot of things before that, and I’m a lot of other things right now, also.