Former That's Entertainment Chuckie Dreyfus was only 23 when he found out he was about to become a dad. “In a sense, there was some disbelief. I wasn’t mentally and emotionally prepared to become a father back then. But I wasn’t frustrated or angry at all,” he recalls to ABS-CBN Lifestyle.
If anything, the unexpected news came as a wonderful surprise for him and his wife Aileen. Like many first-time parents, the former actor didn’t know what exactly to expect of his new “role”, other than to be present and provide for their baby.
But there was one person Chuckie turned to for inspiration. “Looking back, I realize that knowing how to become a father partly comes from what you see in your own dad. (Mine) was always present and supportive, whether it was during school activities or when I entered showbiz. He showed me love, restraint, and responsibility. It was more than any advice he could have ever offered,” he muses.
[related: In Focus: Carlo Romero On Raising A 'Crazy' Family With Fellow PBB Grad Wendy Tabusalla]
Now a father of two (Ralph and Isabella), Chuckie has had plenty of time to reflect on #DadLife. “The best part is being able to spend fun times with your kids—laughing with them, being silly, those moments when you help them learn more about life, and being able to not just watch them grow, but "grow with them" as well,” he says.
[related: RnR Recos: Here's How Luke Landrigan And Chuckie Dreyfus Nail Their Fambam Adventures!]
The All Chucked Up! blogger also enjoys how alike he and kids are. “We are similarly silly to a fault—even in public,” he quips. “We are very malambing to one another and vocally expressive with our love. Our interests are similar too: movies, food, travel, physical activities, etc. We enjoy playing pranks every chance we get. I am very frank and open about my thoughts. My kids are the same.”
That’s not to say being a parent is all fun and games. “The most challenging part, I guess, is being able to carefully know how to steer your kids from making wrong decisions in life, knowing that you can only do so much to teach them to tell right from wrong as they grow up,” he states.
Interestingly, his shift from acting to blogging and vlogging has tremendously impacted his approach to fatherhood. “Being well versed with technology and being active on social media has helped me keep up with our kids. It has also made it easier for me to pick up on their current lingo. Being knowledgeable about online threats also allowed me to guide my family on how to stay safe against hackers, phishing sites, and online predators,” he explains.
[related: In Focus: Vanessa Matsunaga's Hubby Jun Sunga On Modern Parenting]
Besides taking care of his kids, parenting motivated Chuckie to reassess his lifestyle. “Instead of spending so much for personal items, I set money aside for the needs of our kids. It’s become second nature for me and my wife to be extra frugal,” he reveals.
“How I spend time with friends has somewhat changed as well, especially when my children were still very young,” he adds. “I’d rather stay at home and be with them (than) go out gimmicking with my barkada.”
One of the biggest changes he made was his outlook on health. Chuckie famously dropped from 185 lbs to 135lbs in six months by following a strict diet and spending every day at the gym. “I’ve become more careful and mindful with the thought of not just growing old with my kids, but growing old healthy with them in order to enjoy life with them and being able to physically be there for them as much as possible,” he reasons.
Chuckie is now 44, now finding simple joys in seeing his kids grow up and become their own person. He goes so far as to say he’s blessed to have a son and daughter any parent could only dream of. “Respectful, fearful of God, joyful, loving to a fault, compassionate, and considerate—they truly are my life’s most valued treasures. What I want most is for them to grow up to become successful, loving, and responsible individuals; to find and spread happiness everywhere they go,” he says.
ALSO READ: Fitness Inspo: Mix Fun And Fitness With Solenn, Nico, Wil, And Mond In This Obstacle-Laden Marathon!
Photographs courtesy of Chuckie Dreyfus' official Instagram account