As you may or may not have heard over the summer, I’m going to be the father of a girl come January, the third girl in our family. If you did happen to hear about it, it was probably because you saw a gender reveal video my wife, Robyn, posted to Instagram.

In case you missed it—or want to relive the magic—you can watch it now.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlCJhnKAJNs/?taken-by=robynmhayward

In the video, Robyn opens a cardboard box and a bunch of pink balloons fly out, showing my two daughters, Bernie and Charlie, that they’re getting a new sister. When Robyn asked if I was happy about the reveal, I said, “Daddy’s always happy.”

My reaction to the video spawned a few pretty hilarious memes, but I actually wanted to talk a little bit about how I reacted, and also talk about how we’re going to use the whole thing to do some good in the world.

A lot of people thought the whole thing was staged, and that I already knew that we were having a girl. I didn’t. I had no clue. Not only that, but up until that point, I had this strong feeling that we were having a boy. I love my daughters and being their father. Still, there was just a part of me that wanted to have a boy, mostly because as a man, there are certain things you can relate to with a boy that are just different. You have this vision in your mind of guiding your son into being a man, of helping him follow in your footsteps, and teaching him all the things you’ve learned.

And for whatever reason, I had kind of convinced myself that’s what we were having. So when I found out we were having a girl, I didn’t know what to say or what to think. It was a hundred percent natural reaction.

“Daddy’s always happy.”

And then the whole thing went viral. What I didn’t expect were all the dads who reached out to me. I’ve gotten so many messages from so many other dads in the same position as me—who have two or three daughters—and have said, “I totally know where you’re coming from. Having daughters is awesome and I love having girls, but I had the same feelings about wanting a boy, too.”

Obviously, after my initial reaction, I was very excited about adding another daughter to the family, especially after the past year and a half. Being injured was a huge obstacle for me professionally, but because of it, I was able to be around as a dad for basically the last 18 months, more or less. Bernie and Charlie have really enjoyed having me home, and it’s been a kind of unexpected gift for me, too, to have the time with them.

I’ve gotten a chance to be a dad in a way that’s normally tough for me outside of the offseason. I’ve been able to do bath time. I’m able to read books to them. Bernie has this thing where I read her a book and then hold her hand in her crib for five minutes when she goes to sleep, and it’s been really cool to be there and do that. Whenever I leave the house, Charlie says, “No go bye bye. No go bye bye.” When training camp begins and I’m back at work, it’s going to be a big change for everyone.

At the same time, being around all the time has given me newfound respect for Robyn and anyone who’s a stay-at-home parent, and everything they have to deal with all day long, every day. It’s a lot of work, and it got me thinking.

GEAR FOR GOOD

Since the original video went viral, “Daddy’s Always Happy” has kind of taken on a life of its own. People are always saying it to me on social media or when I’m streaming on Twitch.

For me, it’s turned into a metaphor for being a parent, and all the responsibilities that go with it. On the one hand, you’re happy and blessed to have your family. On the other hand, it’s challenging and surprising and hard work in ways you can’t imagine before becoming a parent. But ultimately, you have to embrace it and find the happiness that’s right there in front you.

So we’re launching a Daddy’s Always Happy store, which you can find here.

Here’s the best part. A portion of all the proceeds are going to support Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. MSPCC is an organization for people who are 21 and under who can’t afford baby necessities. There are a lot of people who are young parents, and they can’t afford the things that babies need. So a portion of the proceeds from the sales are going to support that, and help them out—to buy blankets, diapers and clothes. Kids go through diapers like crazy. It’s no joke. If I didn’t have the ability to buy basics like that, I don’t know what I’d do.

So there are three different shirts. All of them show me trying to do my thing, while the girls are letting me know, “Hey, we’re here, and you’re our dad.” There’s one with me dressed in a basketball uniform, one with me in a suit and one with me playing video games.

So please help the MSPCC, make young daddies (and mommies) happy, and purchase some gear!

Get your Daddy’s Always Happy gear here!

Finally, to kick things off, we’re going to do a contest giveaway! I’m giving out 20 limited edition Daddy’s Always Happy hats before they go on sale (because 20’s my number, naturally) signed by me. But to get it, you’ve got to show me why Daddy’s Always Happy. Post your most original #DaddysAlwaysHappy video to Twitter or Instagram – it can be funny or serious, whatever you want. Just make sure to include the #DaddysAlwaysHappy and if yours is selected, a hat will be headed your way!

Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!