With Father’s Day on Sunday, I thought it would be nice to feature a new dad In the Spotlight, TSN’s Nabil Karim.
Nabil Karim is a well-known face in the world of sports TV. Starting his career in Prince George as a reporter in 2008, he moved on to Winnipeg to work at Fox Sports. Then it was on to Toronto to work for CBC in 2010. In December of 2011, Nabil started working at TSN where he still is today keeping the world up-to-date on daily sports scores and action as well as covering major championships and sporting events.
His latest accomplishment is becoming a father. It’s a tough job being dad, husband, tv personality, friend and finding time for yourself. I had a chance to put Nabil In the Spotlight and ask him how he finds the right balance.
As a new dad with a busy television career, how do you find balance between career and family?
Up until recently, my work schedule made family a tough balance. My days basically rotated every few weeks along with extended periods of travel. Luckily, my wife is very understanding and has gotten used to me being absent…There are other times, when my schedule goes a little dry and I’m home for long stretches with minimal work, which probably has her wanting me out of the house!
But, when Adam came along I knew I needed some consistency and balance in my life. I wanted to be there for all the little moments and milestones–even the stinky ones (I’ve been poo’d on more than that I thought was humanly possible from an infant!)
Now, I have a pretty ideal situation. My work days are for the most part limited to the evenings and I rarely travel, unless on a specific assignment, So, my mornings and afternoons are spent with Adam. On the days my wife is off, all three of us are together, doing something fun. And on other days, it may just be errands that need to get done around the house. But, we do it together.
Being a host on TSN Sports Centre makes you a well-known personality. How does working in the spotlight affect you and your family?
To be honest there isn’t much affect. I keep most of my family moments private. I know social media can get ugly. I’ve been through it. Your loved ones get attacked because someone doesn’t appreciate your work on TV. It’s silly. So, for the most part I don’t post much family stuff.
But, ever since Adam came along, I haven’t been able to keep him off Instagram and Snapchat. Maybe it’s the change in my lifestyle, or me being a proud papa or simply just wanting to share some of those precious moments with friends and family who aren’t in Toronto. Adam has become a staple figure on my social media. And, from the reaction and feedback I get (mostly about his hair)–people enjoy it.
What do you enjoy the most about your job and what is the hardest thing about your job?
It’s kind of cliche, but it really doesn’t feel like a job. I’ve been really lucky to have worked some of the biggest sporting events and travel the world. Not mention, work for a station that is iconic in Canada with some of the best talent on and off camera. Sometimes, it’s easy to get lost and forget that. But, when reflecting upon this question–I’d have to say I’m pretty damn lucky to talk sports for a living.
How did you feel when you first found out you were going to become a dad?
I was excited! But, I’m not going to lie–also a little nervous. It’s a massive change I was about to embark on from the lifestyle I was living. Sleeping at 3am and waking up at noon wasn’t going to be in the cards anymore. I miss sleep–so much.
How did becoming a parent change your life?
I think the one of the biggest things was how my priorities instantly changed. No longer was it solely about my wife and I. It was now about Adam –in the short-term and long-term. I have a couple friends who are expecting and the one thing I told them was: No one can explain to you the feeling of holding your child for the first time. It’s life-altering. I look forward to planning my day around Adam and his activities/naps/meals. That may mean sacrificing other things like my social life or something as simple as going to the gym. But, every minute has been worth it (plus, now I fall into the “DADBOD” category, which makes me feel better about my lack of gym gains!)
What the best thing about being a dad?
I could write an essay on this. There are too many layers to this. And, this answer changes on the daily. But as of right now, there’s no better feeling than walking into a room and seeing how excited Adam gets. Bouncing up and down, almost panting and then getting out the word “Dada.” That’s hard to beat.
The most challenging thing about being a dad?
The most challenging thing is reassuring yourself that you’re doing the right things for him. We are so lucky to have family and friends around us who have helped us through the first year. We’ve learned neat little tricks and tips that have worked and some that haven’t. At the end of the day, every family is different. The methods and approaches to raising a child will be different–and we’ve come to realize that’s okay. As long as he is happy, healthy and loved–I think we are on the right track.
What do you like to do when you have free time?
RELAX + SLEEP. My down time has become so precious. But, at the same time, I’m pretty ambitious when it comes to still making plans with friends. There are days where I am exhausted but I will still find the time to meet up. I think it’s important to get time with “the boys” and keep some sanity on days where I might running on a couple hours sleep. Big shout out to my wife–for encouraging that too (probably because she wants her own down time and me out of the house!)
With a one-year old in the house and a busy career, how do you and your wife maintain your own relationship?
Our schedules don’t match all that much, so we take advantage of the time we have together–when we do have it. Like I mentioned before, we spend most of our days off together. We definitely don’t get out as much as we used to, but we have great friends who come visit us, which is even better. And now that the summer is here and patio season is upon us, I envision a lot more calls for a babysitter in the evenings.
As a new father, what advice can you give to expecting parents?
There is so much information out there for expecting parents. It’s pretty incredible. In my mind, actually pretty overwhelming. The worst thing you can do is stress yourself out by not “feeling ready.” It’s hard to be 100 percent prepared. Take it day by day. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help, especially early on. There won’t be much sleep–that’s a given. It’s almost trial and error. Every child is different. See what works and what doesn’t and at the end of the day, don’t be afraid to do it the way that works best for your family. Just enjoy it and take lots of photos and videos–because, trust me–the months will fly by!
To see more of Nabil, you can catch him on TSN Sports Centre. You will also find him hanging out on Snapchat as nabilkarimtsn, as well as Instagram and Twitter sharing behind the scenes of life as a sports anchor and of course more pics of his adorable little guy.