Ian Ziering: “As A Father, I Put Myself Last”

Ian Ziering is the top ‘Celebri-Daddy’ in Hollywood! DaddyScrubs, the renowned line of “I’m the Daddy” apparel and gifts for expectant dads, recently chose the actor and father-of-two as their celebrity spokesperson and ‘Daddy of the Year 2013.’ This title “recognizes fathers who are very proactive in raising their kids.”

Celebrity Baby Scoop chats with Ian about how he hopes to inspire other fathers as ‘Daddy of the Year 2013,’ how his two daughters- Mia, 2, and Penna, 4 months- are doing, and whether Mia is into the ‘Terrible Twos’ now. He also shares an amazing and “emotional” fatherhood moment that “brought tears of joy.”

CBS: Tell us about being named DaddyScrubs’ Daddy of the Year 2013 and celebrity spokesperson. What do you love about their products? What are some of your favorite DaddyScrubs products?

IZ: “’DaddyScrubs bestowed the ‘Daddy of the Year 2013’ distinction on me, and I am very proud of it. The title recognizes fathers who are very proactive in raising their kids. I read to my daughter, Mia, every night and we sing songs before bed. I am also the first one to get Mia out of bed in the morning, and I love making breakfast with her. I have taken all of the cues that I picked up from my own childhood with my father. I am very flattered for the distinction, but it’s really a compliment to my own dad. I am happy to follow in his footsteps.

What I love about DaddyScrubs is that they help fathers become more engaged in the process. The actual DaddyScrubs say ‘I’m The Daddy!’ on the back, and when I wore them in the delivery room, everyone had a big smile on their face. The scrubs really helped raise awareness and make me feel more a part of the whole delivery experience. Usually, dads in the delivery room feel like they are just there for emotional support…being there in my scrubs with my wife really added another layer of involvement that was very fulfilling.

Since then, the DaddyScrubs brand has grown into more of a lifestyle brand; they started with the DaddyScrubs scrubs and they’ve grown to include books, apparel, and gifts that help fathers interact with their kids more. It promotes healthy lifestyles for dads and their children.”

CBS: How do you hope to inspire other fathers?

IZ: “I believe you have to be very present in your children’s development. DaddyScrubs’ ‘Daddy of the Year 2013’ distinction was not something I set out to achieve; it was given to me, and because there is a little spotlight on me, I plan to encourage fathers to do things that they might not think of doing on their own. One of the most important things parents should do is spend time with their kids, and reading to them is also very important. My daughter Mia has had the same bedtime regimen since she was born—she goes up to be bathed or showered at 7:00 or 7:30 p.m., and then we go to the bedroom for story time. We sit in the rocking chair and I read to her, and then I put her to bed. I have been doing that with Mia, and Erin has been taking care of Penna. Penna is only 4 months old right now and goes to bed at 5:00 and sleeps until 8, but when she is older I plan to start a routine of involvement with her, as that is very important to me.

I think DaddyScrubs is doing a great job of encouraging parents to start that healthy routine with their kids. Parents need to promote healthy, good habits like brushing their teeth, and they also need to read to their kids and be present as much as they can. I think life sometimes gets in the way, and as a father, you’re also a provider so sometimes work gets in the way. However, every cellphone these days has a camera on it, so I am able to speak to my kids whenever I am traveling. I talk to my children every day with this application that allows me to see and talk to them at the same time. It’s all about embracing new technology that keeps the family together. Having breakfast and dinner together is also very important. To me, the kitchen is the most important room of the house, and dinnertime is a time where my entire family came together no matter what we were all doing during the day. Come 6:00 p.m., we were all sitting around the dinner table laughing, telling stories about the day, and enjoying each other’s company. I think that’s so important.”

CBS: Congratulations on the arrival of your daughter Penna! How is she doing? What kind of baby is she? Are you getting any sleep? How did you come up with her name?

IZ: “Penna is such a good baby! She doesn’t cry very much, she sleeps a lot, and she’s very alert and playful. She also makes these giggly noises that always make me smile. She was named after my father, Paul, and my first daughter, Mia, was named after my mom, Micky.

In regard to whether I am getting any sleep, my wife Erin does most of the heavy lifting at night, since we are not bottle-feeding. There is not much I can do in that aspect, but I would be happy to do something if I could. However, I am not too upset that Erin is the one getting up a couple of times a night to nurse Penna.” [laughs]

CBS: Were you shocked that Penna arrived on your daughter Mia’s 2nd birthday?

IZ: “Yes. Mia was a week late and Penna ended up being a week early. Both children were induced; Mia was growing and we didn’t want her to be too big for delivery. Erin went to the doctor’s a week before Penna’s delivery date, and the doctor was concerned that there was a diminished amount of amniotic fluid and the baby hadn’t put on any weight since the previous office visit. Since we were past the threshold, the doctor felt that it was best to have the baby on that day. It was very serendipitous that it was the same day as my Mia was born.

Both of our daughters were born at Cedar-Sinai in Los Angeles. It’s funny, because when I walked out of the hospital with my first daughter, Mia, everyone on the way out of the elevator said, ‘Okay, we’ll see you in two years!’ Two years to the day I was back there! Again, when I walked out of the hospital with Penna, everyone said, ‘Okay, we will see you in two years!‘ It must be some joke that they have there, but it worked out that way. I said, ‘I am going to let the paint dry on this art work before I decide to hang any more art.’” [laughs]

CBS: How is Mia doing? What is she into these days? Into the ‘Terrible Twos’ at all? What does she do to make you laugh?

IZ: “Mia is in preschool and totally loves it. Sometimes when parents drop their kids off at school, they don’t want to leave. However, that’s not the case with Mia; she runs into the school as soon as the door opens. We have to make sure we get our kisses and ‘good-byes’ before we open the car door! [laughs] Mia is very outgoing and is making a lot of new friends. Mia also likes to tell us what she did in school that day, which is so rare. My parents used to ask me, ‘Ian, what did you learn today?’ and I would respond with, ‘Oh, nothing.’ [laughs] Mia will tell me, “We did artwork today, had song today, and Jack, Henry, and I played together and went on the swings.’ She’s very conversational and loves tutus and tea parties. [laughs]

In regard to whether she is into the ‘Terrible Twos,’ she certainly has her moments as every child does. However, I think it is to be expected, and because it is to be expected, it defers my judgment and increases my patience. If she is whining, there’s usually a reason for it, like she might be hungry or tired. Finding out the reason why she’s doing it might be challenging, but that’s part of the fun of being a dad. Like I said, sometimes it can be challenging, but, ultimately, it is a learning process for us both. It’s such a beautiful journey.

Mia makes me laugh by playing Hide-and-Seek, Peek-A-Boo, and tickling me. She likes to tickle my feet, my neck, and she thinks I am ticklish wherever there is skin exposed. Of course, she thinks this because I react with an overwhelming laugh whenever she does it. She always says, ‘Tickle, Tickle, Tickle Tickle!’ and I know she is coming after to tickle me.”

CBS: How has fatherhood changed you? Please share some of your cherished fatherhood memories/moments. 

IZ: “It has changed me so much. As a father, I put myself last and I don’t even consider my needs at all. My initial focus is making sure my wife and children have everything. As a single person, I was a little more selfish. Having other people in your life that you have to provide for makes you more selfless. No stone goes unturned; I want to do everything I can do maintain the lifestyle that I’ve become accustomed to, but I also want to improve it and make it better for them. Now I seem to work even harder to make sure they have everything they need, and it’s made me more persistent and determined to be successful. The result is the payback, and the payback is in joy.

One cherished family moment was when my daughter Penna was born. Moments after she was born and weighed, they put her into my arms and I looked at her and gave her a kiss on her cheek. I said, ‘Baby, I gave you your first kiss ever.’ The first kiss on her cheek was such a great moment and something I will remember forever…it was amazing to hold her, this brand new baby who was moments old, and give her a kiss on the cheek. It was a very emotional moment that brought tears of joy.”

CBS: Are you hoping to try for baby No. 3? Would you like to try for a boy? Or do you love having a house full of girls? 

IZ: “Erin and I both come from families of three siblings, and I think we would like to have another child. I don’t know whether we will or not, but I know there is plenty of love in both of our hearts to have many more kids. We both really love this experience and, honestly, if my wife wasn’t such an amazing mother and wife, I wouldn’t have considered marrying her in the first place. Because she is all those things, I would definitely do it again. Whether we will have another child or not, time will tell.”

You can find Ian Ziering on Twitter at @IanZiering.

DaddyScrubs is well-known for their line of delivery room duds, apparel, and gifts for new and expectant dads. Treat the special new daddy in your life to the DaddySwag Gift Set, The Big Daddy Gift Set, The Daddy Diaper Pack, and the line’s stylish new DaddyScrubs Ties!

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