Elderslie father to feature in ABC program New Dads

Sharing their story: Nathan Beckett (with son Harry and wife Elle) is one of the subjects of Jane Caro's (at right) new program New Dads. Picture: ABC
Sharing their story: Nathan Beckett (with son Harry and wife Elle) is one of the subjects of Jane Caro's (at right) new program New Dads. Picture: ABC

Everyone's parenting journey is different - but not everyone gets the chance to share it with Australia.

Soon Elderslie dad Nathan Beckett will appear alongside four other Aussie fathers in the ABC's TV special New Dads.

Host Jane Caro follows the five men in their first year of fatherhood and shines a light on the changing role of dads in Australian society.

Despite its focus on fathers, Mr Beckett said the main reason he decided to take part in the program was to pay respect to the hard work of his wife Elle. The couple travelled a very rocky road before welcoming their son Harry into the world.

"We had seven years of IVF, countless miscarriages and various complications, before our son Harrison was born at 20 weeks in 2016," Mr Beckett said.

"Having lost Harrison, it felt like Groundhog Day when Harry - he was named to honour his brother - was born at 24 weeks. It could have been the start of the best thing that could ever happen to us, but it also could have been the worst thing.

"The doctors and nurses at Liverpool Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit were amazing, they kept us grounded and made sure we knew what was happening every step of the way. Once Harry reached 32 weeks, we were out of the woods."

Mr Beckett said he was unprepared for the exhaustion that came with fatherhood.

"When you think about having your child, you imagine all the good things, playing with them and having a great time," he said.

"But I underestimated just how much it would test my patience. The full responsibility of fatherhood - feeding and changing - when you're so tired is something that came as a surprise."

Mr Beckett said he looked forward to showing Harry New Dads when he was older.

"I'm the focus of this documentary, but really Harry's the one who had to fight to survive, we were just there to watch," he said. "He's already done the hardest thing he'll ever have to do, so this has set him up well for life."

Mr Beckett said filming the interviews with Ms Caro was "therapeutic" and he hoped his story could help encourage other dads and couples to keep fighting through the hard times.

Ms Caro said the Becketts were an inspirational family.

She hopes New Dads will help soon-to-be fathers be better prepared for their upcoming journey.

"When my grandson was born my son-in-law said fatherhood was so much harder than he was expecting, but my daughter said it was easier than she expected," Ms Caro said. "I think society has done well to prepare women for motherhood, but now that men are taking a much more equal role in parenting, we've lagged behind in preparing them."

New Dads will air on ABC on Tuesday, August 27.