Maternity concierge. Fashion designer. Model. Ballerina. Is there anything Rosie Pope can’t do? If you’ve ever seen Bravo’s popular docu-drama Pregnant in Heels you can add “patience of a saint” to the list too. But, as this posh pregnancy guru helps countless women confront the challenges of parenthood, behind-the-camera her husband Daron is copiloting the Pope family forward. He graciously agreed to give us a peek into his parenting style, the formula to his energy equation and tips on finding the best “toaster on wheels”.
With Season 2 of Bravo’s Pregnant in Heels now airing, how has life changed for you and Rosie since the popularity of the show?
I can honestly say that life has changed dramatically for Rosie since the beginning of Season 1 of Pregnant in Heels. She is now a national public figure (maternity expert, fashion designer, author, star of Pregnant in Heels) and nearly every time we’re out in public, she has fans run up to her to chat. How has Daron’s life changed, you ask? Well, hardly is the best answer. On the subway ride into work I get more odd looks than ever before with people annoyed by the fact that they can’t put their finger on exactly who I am. I’ve had people stop me (frustrated) and ask if I’m a friend of their cousin’s. Of course, my answer is “yes”. Then, as I walk away, they see my rosiepope.com man-bag and figure me out.
Rosie helps new moms find solutions to the challenges of motherhood. What do you think is one of the greatest challenges of fatherhood?
I think one of the greatest challenges of fatherhood is learning (fast) that you will have to give up parts of your pre-fatherhood life when you become blessed with a little miracle(s). This is the part of fatherhood that requires an understanding of how truly happy every day is being a father. The sacrifice part is real however. I used to be an avid golfer (I played more than 50 rounds of golf in 2008) before our first son was born. Now we have three beautiful children and in 2012 I’ll play 4 times (maybe). I’m very happy about not playing as much golf, couldn’t be happier having Rosie and our three miracles. Watch out for me later in life in the retirement community golf championship, however.
As you add another chapter to fatherhood’s journey with the birth of baby #3, a beautiful daughter named Vivienne (born on Mother’s Day), what tried-and-true advice do you have for new dads out there?
One of the greatest secrets to being a great dad is figuring out a way to keep your energy level elevated. This equation may differ from dad to dad, however, it is critical. My equation = working out + chia seeds + green juice + green tea. There is nothing more annoying than a dad sleeping on the couch when there are parenting duties on the table (this is counter to my old hobby of couch napping, btw). Have I slipped up in this department in the past? Maybe. But I can recommend that winning the dad-of-the-year award is a breeze if you are energetic most of the time.
Word on the street is that you just enthusiastically joined the minivan club. Tell us a little more about your sweet ride.
If the question is “did you really trade in your European sport-SUV for a minivan” then my answer is “absolutely”. Am I happy about it? I’m over the moon about it! One thing I can say about being a father of three is I depend on timing, efficiency and utility. When we travel places by automobile, we travel deep: kids, food, gear, luggage, strollers, etc. Enter the newly beloved minivan. Some SUVs can handle the packing part, but where I’ve found they struggle (with what we need) is interior cabin space. I’m tall (6’3”) and moving around inside the minivan is relatively easy compared to most SUVs. Do I have to take a lot of heat from friends by being called “soccer mom” or driving a “toaster on wheels”? Yes. But, I think of it more as driving a cozy living room…minivan fan for life.
We know that you and Rosie have overcome some struggles to get pregnant, including two unsuccessful rounds of in-vitro fertilization, before miraculously getting pregnant naturally with your second son. There are countless couples out there struggling with infertility issues, what helped you both through it?
Infertility struggles are very, very tough to deal with and we had a number of dark days and nights. We focused on how fortunate we were to have each other and how blessed we were to have our first son. We tried to stay positive and we made sure to be very communicative with what we were thinking and feeling. Repetition made this incredibly tough topic a bit less foreign and easier to talk about as a couple. The fact that the lines of communication were always open prevented either of us from holding something in.
Your father coaches the NY Giants. You played football in college. Would it be an understatement to say that football is a huge part of the Pope family?
The Pope family and football go together like America and apple pie. Barbeques and July 4th. Cool people and minivans. Ok, you get it. My father has been a part of six Super Bowl teams and has won four Super Bowl rings in his 30 years coaching in the NFL. My brother and I grew up spending every summer working NFL summer camps, a childhood dream come true. And, yes, I played at William and Mary in college. Rosie is now a passionate NY Giants fan. Football is in our family’s blood.
On the lighter side of life, what is on your iPod right now? Your favorite book? Go-to website?
Music: Zac Brown Band (new album comes out in July, I’m a huge fan)
Favorite Book: Freddie & Me by Tripp Bowden
Go-to website: Bloomberg.com (I’m a former financial nerd)
On the Pregnant in Heels blog, you talk about epic moments – like meeting Rosie for the first time, seeing the Giants win the Super Bowl by a single point in 1991 and watching a PIH episode that involves a mom drinking a placenta milkshake. While it may be tough to top some of these magical moments, what does the future have in store for you and Rosie?
We hope for a future full of happiness with our blessed family around us.
With all these great parenting tips from daddy Daron (just in time for Father’s Day), Rosie has something special to offer posh moms too. Enjoy 30% off the entire Rosie Pope Maternity site and Free Shipping with code SUMMER12.