2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
Newly owner of La Bamboche, dairy & canteen in Chambly, Jean-François Baril is one of the most involved showbizz dads. Father of Vivianne, 16, and Nathan, 14, he spins the perfect happiness with his two teenagers.
Family columnist at Salut Bonjour, Jean-François Baril is increasingly in demand for his role as a father and he likes it. Mom for life wanted to know more about his vision of fatherhood.
Did you always want children?
Yes! I remember when I met my girlfriend, I was the one who wanted her the most. I wanted to wait to be able to offer them an adequate environment, as much at the level of the couple, as materially speaking. For me, it was important to offer them a house, a yard, etc. When all that was put in place, we decided to start a family and it was very fast. I was 26 when Vivianne was born.
Were you ready?
Completely. I have a little brother who is twelve years younger than me, so I played father with him in a way when I was younger. It taught me a lot! There are several mistakes I made withhim that I did not want to repeat with my children. For example, when my little brother was five years old, I couldn't wait until he was eight to play baseball with him. I was always looking forward to the next step…I was growing him before his time. Today, I learned to live each step fully.
What kind of father are you?
I am very present and attentive. I do a lot of things with my children. I'm a kid at heart, so we always have a lot of fun together. I am also very attentive and open-minded. I think I know them well. I am also a dad hen. My daughter had her first heartbreak this year and it was very difficult for me. There was nothing I could say… I could only be there for her.
I'm also a very nostalgic person. If I was granted one wish, it would be to be able to put moments from their childhood in a magic bottle and to be able to open it from time to time. When I think back to my 4-year-old little Viviane who wakes up in the morning calling for dad… I would do all that again!
What did fatherhood make you realize?
When you become a parent, you achieve so much. It made me realize a lot of things in front of my own parents. At the time of my parents, the fathers were not present as they are today. They had a provider role. My father was a truck driver, he was often gone. As a child, I told myself that he must not want to come to my gameshockey and I didn't understand why. Today, I understand better that his role was that I lacked nothing. When I think back, he had a thankless role basically and enormous pressure on his shoulders. It was his way of watching over me.
What do you think of the mental workload we've been hearing a lot about lately?
It's hard for me to comment on that… With us, it's really 50-50. Sometimes I'm even the couple's wife (laughs).
In our entourage, the sharing of tasks also seems fairly well distributed among our pairs of friends. Dads at the park, dads at parent meetings, dads at daycare, I see plenty of them!
Without wanting to offend anyone, I think moms put too much on their shoulders. They want to perform and be perfect in everything. You have to accept that there are sometimes toys lying around, that some evenings there are no vegetables on the children's plates… no one is going to die! Women need to learn to have a certain relaxation and to leave more room for the father even if it will probably not be done in their own way.
How would you describe your relationship with your children?
You should ask them! (laughs) Honestly, they've always been very complimentary to me. I'm lucky ! I have a great bond with my daughter. We even had discussions on topics related to adolescence and I don't feel the guy/girl distance between us at all. With myBoy, we have a unique relationship. Hockey unites us because we spend a lot of time together. He came fishing with my gang of guys this year. We had a lot of fun!
Above all, they know that I will always be there, for better or for worse. I won't be proud if the school calls because they did a bad job, but I will always love them.
What is your biggest challenge as a dad?
I would say it's to ignore my daddy hen side. I always think of my children. They are in my thoughts 24 hours a day. At some point, you have to find yourself as a man. Sometimes I find myself “too much”.
Postpartum depression in men, do you believe it?
I think so, men get a little postpartum depression. In the first weeks after birth, we realize that we lose our freedom a little. If you want to go play hockey or go to a happy hour, you have to talk about it with your spouse. We are no longer completely free and at some point we wonder what we have gotten ourselves into. As much as we can be well at home, we need our own little playground from time to time.
What values do you want to pass on to your children?
There is one value that stands out above all others for me and that is respect, because it applies to so many aspects of life. There is respect for others, but also respect for oneself, especially in adolescence. I try to make it understoodmy children that they don't have to do what they don't want to do, or drink what they don't feel like drinking, etc.
What place does technology have in your home?
We had several discussions about this. I often tease them by saying, “If you had two hands, it would go so well” (laughs). It's part of their reality, I'm not going to ban them. I'm pretty "cool" with it. The more you forbid a teenager something, the more he will do it. On the other hand, we put tags on them. With us, there is no telephone at the table, nor in the rooms. It goes for the whole family. We also have to lead by example.
Is it according to this principle that you educate your children?
Exactly. We discuss a lot and we find compromises rather than imposing our authority without explaining to them the how and why. Our actions and our behavior often have much more impact than our words and our reprimands.
Tell us a bit about your new canteen project
Beyond the personal project, the whole family is somewhat involved in this project. My daughter works at the creamery for the summer and my son, who seems to have an entrepreneurial streak, helps me with the payroll system, etc. I will give him shares of the company at the end of the year in exchange for his help. Last week, we all met on the terrace of the canteen for supper. In the end, my daughter went to help out at the creamery because there were a lot ofworld, my girlfriend watered the flowers… it was a beautiful family moment!
Jean-François Baril is preparing the sequel to the book Influences which will be published in September and extensions to his board game Connexion also planned for the fall. He also gives conferences all over Quebec.
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