From Masterchef to modern dad: Aaron Harvie's 5 reflections on fatherhood

Kinderling News & Features

You might recognise Aaron Harvie from Masterchef, or maybe as a regular guest on the nation's morning shows, trying to teach even the most culinarily closed-off how to love cooking.

When he isn't on our screens teaching us how to cook, he's an author, husband, and dad. Whether it's cooking with his daughter or the surprising selflessness parenting reveals in us, Aaron shares five things he loves and has learned since becoming a father.

1. What is your favourite thing about being a dad?

It’s hard not to be a little cynical and jaded the older that you get. Life, and the lessons it teaches you have a way of bearing down upon your spirit, slowly drumming out the fantastic and replacing it with the realistic and the sensible. But being a parent allows you to go back in time, to see the world through your child’s eyes and experience that wonderment all over again. If you let go and allow yourself to take that ride with them, then the world suddenly fills up with unicorns and mud pies and rainbows, banishing the drab grey levelheadedness of adulthood far away, at least for a little while that is.

2. What’s your favourite thing to do with your daughter?

I enjoy cooking with my daughter. It’s a real bonding type thing, one where her attention never seems to wane from the task at hand. I love watching her eyes grow wide as she tries different foods for the first time, her brow furrows in concentration as she tries to figure things out and the little look of determination she has as she mimics what I am teaching her and learns how things work. It melts my heart. Every. Single. Time.

3. What is the thing you miss most about life before you became a father?

Where to start? I miss sleeping in. I’m a night owl, so I really miss that. Going out for dinner without military-like planning. And horrible hangovers. And binge watching TV in my PJs while eating junk food.

But I don’t miss them all that much, just sometimes ...

4. What has been the biggest surprise for you about being a parent?

Selflessness. To be truly concerned more with the needs of my child rather than my own. I think only a parent truly understands what that is like. Before having kids, I think it’s an abstract concept, one that we bandy about but don’t quite comprehend. It’s only when you have done those marathon nights without a wink of sleep, when you’ve nursed them hour after hour desperately trying to soothe their crying, sat up through bleary-eyed midnight feedings then woken to ear piercing, early morning meltdowns. The fevers, the vomiting, the hospital trips, the mess from one end of the house to the other, the breakage of precious family heirlooms … the everything you endure with a smile and a shake of the head, then come back for more.

5. What does 'me time' look like for you?

I love to read, watch movies, write and cook. I have the most fantastic, giving and supportive wife on the face of the earth who parents with me, so I get to indulge in these pursuits pretty regularly.

Listen to Aaron and other favourite Aussie parents on The Parent Panel, Fridays at midday, or listen back anytime wherever you get your podcasts.