Joel Peace is the co-founder of Ru & Co., a branding and content creative studio that has been featured in Vogue and is responsible for some of your favorite Instagram filters. Joel is husband to co-founder Jeru Peace, who is also the founder of Wildehood, a baby wear company known for its gorgeous gender-neutral neutrals. Together, they live a life of love, faith, and family in South Florida with their almost two-year-old daughter, Jord, and 7-month-old daughter, Jax. We spoke to Joel about the responsibilities of fatherhood—and the privilege of being a husband to a powerhouse woman.
Tell us what makes a good father in your eyes.
First, show your kids how much you love them—both verbally and through actions. Every chance I get, I want to tell my girls how much I love them. A good father has boundaries and rules for their kids that will protect them, but will let them out of said boundaries. I want my girls to have room to not only explore, but also know that if they need me, I will be there. A good father is patient and kind—always—even when your kid is losing their temper and screaming at the top of their lungs! He is present as much as possible. He’s their biggest fan.
Fatherhood is so rewarding, but is full of challenges, too. What has been the hardest part of it so far?
My biggest challenge as a father is trying to be something I’ve never seen modeled for myself. I grew up in a single parent home, so I never got the experience of having someone else show me what being a father is all about and how it should be done. But how awesome is it that I get to be what I never had?
We’ve always considered Jeru and you to be #CoupleGoals. How did you support your wife once she became pregnant?
I’d like to think that I’ve thought about myself less and have tried to be more supportive and better about communication after she got pregnant. I’ve also tried to anticipate what she needs more—before she might even know herself. For example, the little things, like making sure there are ingredients to make lunch so that she doesn’t have to leave the house and get food, or making her coffee in the morning when she doesn’t sleep well. I’ve started leaving her little notes in the morning with her breakfast, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve already written more things to her this year than ever before.
We love that you have a collection of love notes for your wife. How did you prepare for becoming a father while you were doing all this?
I read a lot! I asked every parent I knew what mistakes they made and what great things they did. I also started to write a lot more because I’m a forgetful guy and I didn’t want to forget the important things that were happening. We started to take a lot more photos to have memories to look back on, as well.
Now that you have two daughters, how has family life changed?
I’ve gone from being just a husband to being a cuddle machine, a swim instructor, a coach, a hide-and-seek champion, and a best friend to two little girls with the biggest hearts.
How do you divide up the parenting with your wife?
My top two activities are bath time and breakfast. I make breakfast for the family almost everyday, and I bathe the girls just about every night. I work during the day, so those are the moments for which I can always be present.
With all that you two have gone through and built together as a family and business partners, what would you write on a note to your wife now?
I could not have done this with anyone else. You are the glue that keeps us together, the engine that makes everything happen, and the most selfless friend I’ve ever had. You love so fiercely and you’re never afraid to get your hands dirty and take a risk. The happiest memories that I have all include you and I can’t wait to make so many more. I really got lucky because you’re a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love.