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OMG! How does Michael Phelps do it all with a baby?

Getting back to work after having a baby is no easy task. Besides the sheer logistical nightmare that comes with hammering out childcare, there’s dealing with the crushing guilt of having to decide between professional fulfillment versus needing to support a family and saying goodbye to baby while hormones run rampant. That’s why we couldn’t be more impressed with Michael Phelps, a new dad who also happens to be the most prolific Olympic medalist of all time.

It’s only been three months since Nicole Johnson’s fiancé became a new dad, and yet he’s already taken three gold medals in Rio. Wow!

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We’re always wondering if it’s possible for dads to have it all, and now it looks like we have our answer. It seems like just yesterday he was finishing up a stint in rehab for drunk driving and that’s after the Great Bong Scandal of 2009. Talk about a stacked deck! Could it be that his new addition, son Boomer, born just this past May, has given him the inspiration that he needs to turn his life around and go home with even more gold?

Phelps is inspiring and kick-ass on his own. We’re talking about the most decorated Olympian ever. But once you add new fatherhood into the mix, you’re talking about a whole new level of dedication and perseverance. It’s no secret that those first few months after Baby’s arrival do a real number on both the physical and mental health of both partners. Somehow, though, Phelps hasn’t just managed to do the job that he’s been professionally trained to do without conking out in the middle of the 200-meter butterfly, he actually did a really great job. Color us pleasantly surprised!

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Just when you thought that Phelps’ story of athletic kick-assery couldn’t get any better, consider this: Studies show that the average dad can put on up to 15 pounds of sympathetic pregnancy weight. At 31, Phelps is probably already discovering that it gets tougher to lose weight after your 20s are just a memory. Knowing that, how could you not be impressed by Phelps’ post-baby body? It’s incredible!

It’s a true testament to how a new parent can thrive when they’ve got the right support system in place. Phelps is really lucky that his fiancée is willing to support him in his decision to go back to work so quickly after their baby was born. Johnson is truly an inspiration and we should definitely give credit where credit is due — we should all take a cue from this couple’s dynamic and strive that much harder to make sure that new dads like Phelps have the space and support that they need to not “just” be “Daddy.” Thanks, Nicole!

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In all seriousness, what Phelps has managed to do over the course of his career and in these Olympic games is nothing short of absolutely awe-inspiring. Welcoming a new baby or juggling a relationship while doing it should be an occasion for congratulations, not condescension. That’s what makes all of the above so incredibly preposterous. Frankly, we felt a little dirty writing it.

Every athlete, male or female, deserves, for their prowess and skill, to be the center of attention if they’ve managed to qualify for, compete in and kick ass at the Olympics. If the above seemed idiotic to you, then the gross way that world-class athletes like Corey Cogdell-Unrein and Katinka Hosszú have been treated in these games ought to sound equally idiotic.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

breastfeeding in public
Image: Photos by Lei

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