They were demons that the 39-year-old began confronting well over a decade ago in therapy, as he was building his brand as a world-famous motivator, choreographer and creator of fitness phenomenons Insanity, Hip Hop Abs and CIZE.
And now, as he preps to become a dad for the first time (he and husband Scott Blokker have twins on the way via surrogate), Shaun T is reflecting on how his tough past has actually motivated him to have a positive approach to fatherhood.
“I actually didn’t know what it was like, the experience to have a father, until I saw Scott and his dad and how his dad treated me,” he revealed during a visit to PEOPLE Now.
“So instead of looking at what I didn’t have before, now I see what a father is and what it can be like. And I can put my life experiences into the experiences that I’ve gotten as an adult.”
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“I’ve already been through a lot in the past,” he continued. “People ask me, ‘Because you’ve been through this, is that going to affect the way you raise your kid?’ And I’m like, ‘No, my kids are going to have a blank canvas. I’m going to be there to support them.’ ”
Just because he’s ready to be a dad doesn’t mean Shaun T isn’t feeling anxious, though.
“I’m actually nervous,” he admitted. “I want to be the best dad ever. I know Scott is going to be an amazing parent. I’m just excited. I guess this is the nervous parent talking.”
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Luckily, he and Blokker have help — starting with an “amazing” house manager who has assisted them in getting their nursery in order.
“She’s literally at our house right now,” he says. “The nursery is already done, the bathroom is already stocked with the onesies and the bibs and the towels. I even got the playlist that they’re going to fall asleep to at night.”
There’s only been one problem: The couple may be over-prepared. “We’ve gotten so many gifts that what used to be my gym is now packed to the brim with baby stuff,” Shaun T says.
“And I’m like, ‘I don’t even think these kids are going to be able to wear all these onesies that they’ve gotten,’ ” he adds, joking, “Because there’s, like, 100 and they’re only going to need, like, 90 in the first three months.”
T Is for Transformation is out now.