Published On: Thu, Jun 23rd, 2022

Why Do Some Dads Have the Urge to Keep Making Kids?



This originally ran in How We Dad Now. You can read the other stories in the package here, as well as in our Summer 2022 issue.

Why do certain men feel compelled to continue procreating at an age when most of their contemporaries are puttering toward retirement? We asked legendary South American chef Francis Mallmann, who has seven children from four different relationships.

You have seven children. Why?

The joy of growing together. The process of holding their hands as they grow.

How old are they?

They range in age from three to forty-two.


Are you a different dad to child #7 than you were with child #1?

Luckily, I’m not a fossil yet. I evolve, I change. I’m not the father I was when I was twenty-four—and yet I’m not quite ready for being eighty. I’m sixty-six and doing my best for all of them. My children are not an experiment—they are my joy, my path, my blood, my most true mirror. They’ve been the most beautiful erosion of my heart, sanding it day in and day out with flowers and music at the edge of doubts and understanding.

Where have you succeeded as a father?

As a provider of peace with my thoughts.

Where have you failed as a father?

As a provider of peace with their thoughts.

Do you attract criticism from people for having fathered so many children?

I don’t care. Only enemies tell the truth.

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