Raising a Celebrity Baby

Raising a Celebrity Baby

The following was originally published in “The Good Life Men’s Magazine”
Photo credit: Urban Toad Media

A few months ago, I noticed a peculiar phenomenon starting to take shape. Whenever I would take Macklin out on the town, we’d get stopped mid-errand by folks who wanted to say “hi”. But not to me. No, they weren’t interested in me. They wanted a piece of the Mackman. I was nearly invisible… just the guy pushing the stroller.

The peculiar part was that it wasn’t just friends or family stopping us. Perfect strangers would flag us down, recognizing the chubby cheeks hanging over the side of the stroller. Macklin, it seemed, was becoming a bit of a celebrity around town thanks to our published #dadventures.

When I launched MrFullTimeDad.com last year, my goal was to make myself famous for being the greatest dad who ever lived. I never anticipated that Macklin would end up being the star, but considering he’s 50 percent his mother’s genes, I should have known better. And now that it’s really starting to happen—he nailed his first TV appearance in November and is now booking out months in advance—I am both grateful and leery. I am more than happy to shift the spotlight off of me, but I’m also worried that I may not be up to the challenge of raising a celebrity baby.

The Finances

So far, “no money, no problems” is our motto. Between the two of us, Macklin and I are currently making just enough to satisfy our bi-weekly trips to the donut shop. But one day, I assume we’ll have to hire accountants and money managers to keep us in line (and the yachts to a minimum).

Depending on whom you ask, I’m either horrible with money or a monetary genius. I hate spending money on anything other than a fresh bag of chips, so I don’t know what I’m going to do with this looming influx of cash. Do I let Mack make his own purchasing decisions? Will I need to bring the aforementioned accountants along on every outing? I just don’t know.

The Friends

As a stay-at-home dad, it can be tough to meet new people. However, Macklin is finding it even more difficult—his lack of a vocabulary is proving to be a real obstacle in breaking the ice. When he does solidify a few friendships, however, it might already be too late. Most celebrities don’t grow up famous like he’s going to, so how will he be able to differentiate between his true friends who “knew him when” and the ones just after his good looks and money?

And it’s not just the friends I’m worried about. I’m already seeing Macklin take his newfound fame a bit too far. For example, I’m getting reports from the drop-in daycare at the gym about how Mack helps himself to the other kids’ lunches, refusing to eat what I packed him. That sense of entitlement will not fly, son.

The Family

Family is another concern. While we might have the smallest bank account at the moment, what’s going to happen when the money starts rolling in? Are we suddenly going to be expected to pick up the tab every time we go out? I’ve been successfully mooching off of my family for 33 years now, and I don’t foresee an expanded bankroll curing me of my addiction to other people’s money.  

I’m also more than a little concerned about increased family time. Don’t get me wrong, I love most of them. But I also love locking the doors, turning off all the lights and pretending we’re not home. If all of a sudden I’m fielding calls from long-lost relatives wanting their slice of the child star pie, I’ll need some help coming up with a longer list of excuses why we’re not available.

The Paparazzi

Considering Macklin’s notoriety arose largely from my borderline exploitation of him all over social media (follow us @MrFullTimeDad!), it might seem hypocritical of me to be worried about the press. But since November 8th, it’s now every American’s God-given right to despise the lamestream media and question their bias, so sign me up.

Ultimately, my fear goes back to my love of privacy. And control. I don’t want to lose control of the story, or overstuff my son’s ego and end up losing control of him. The paparazzi loves celebrity tragedies, and any doughy, curly-haired son of mine is surely in for a few.

Whatever challenges may come with raising an adorable child star will, in the end, be well worth the inevitable heartache. True, I may have gone into this Mr. Full-Time Dad business with the selfish intent to boost my writing “career,” but the personal rewards I’ve been blessed with as a stay-at-home parent far outweigh any professional success I’m sure wasn’t coming my way anyhow. Fame or anonymity, I’ll always have Macklin’s back, because one day I hope he’ll have mine (when it’s his turn to change my diapers, hahaha!).

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