Chris Mann is a comedian, singer, actor and dad to 2 boys. He is also an Esembly enthusiast! Read about how he and his wife Laura balance parenthood, career and environmentalism without losing the funny.
Esembly: Tell us a bit about yourself!
CM: I’m Chris Mann. I’m a singer, actor, comedian and dad based in LA. My wife, Laura, and I have 2 boys—Hugo (3.5) and Rocky (4 mo). When I’m not performing or making parody videos online, I’m probably changing a diaper. I’m passionate about music, my family, and not throwing a million poopy diapers into the trash.
Esembly: When did you become a parent, and how has that journey been for you?
CM: Our lives changed forever when Hugo and Rocky entered the equation. We were so excited and thankful to have something (or, in this case, someONE) to focus our love and energy into besides ourselves. Ha. Hugo took his time to come into the world and continues to be a deliberate, intentional thinker (and manipulator). Rocky came so fast he was almost born in the car. We’re waiting to see how that will present itself in his personality.
Esembly: How would you describe your family?
CM: The Mann Family is busy and is learning to keep its head above water. Ha. Honestly, some days it’s easier than others. At this point, our growing family is taking it day by day. It’s a big shift from one to two kids (or any kids at all). Hugo’s handled it like a champ, but we are making active measures to make him feel special now that Rocky’s here. Rocky takes most of our time and energy these days. Laura has done an amazing job to give these kids what they need. It’s no easy feat and I’m so blown away by all Laura’s done to give these boys everything they need.
CM: As a family, we love going to the beach. Sometimes a change of scenery can be good for all parties involved. Rocky seems to calm down and enjoy the sky. Hugo gets to have fun and get some energy out. Mom and Dad get to get some fresh air and possibly an adult beverage, which is a bonus. Mainly, we enjoy getting out of the house in less than an hour. That’s the ultimate win.
Esembly: What is something you appreciate that you've discovered in becoming a parent? Something that surprised you? Something that’s been hard for you?
CM: We have had so much joy and laughter from our kids...but we’ve also had our share of colic. I’ve been so surprised how relentless and hard that can be for us as parents. It leaves you exhausted, confused, and sometimes heartbroken. The Hallmark Movie version of new babies and parenting ain’t real life. So many people are working through these colic issues and my heart goes out to them. We’ve had to discover major teamwork and patience (which is constantly tested). That also makes us appreciate the small victories along the way.
Esembly: What does environmentalism mean to you, and how do you stay true to that as a parent?
CM: We both are strong advocates for the environment and physical health. Laura is getting her masters in Eastern Medicine, so her passion and knowledge of health and what we put in and on our bodies has definitely been leading the way we parent. We use as many reusable products as possible. Laura has found some amazing products that are also made without harsh chemicals. I think just having any awareness about the environment at all can inspire little changes that can add up to make a big difference.
Esembly: What was/is a driving force behind your decision to cloth diaper? What drew you to Esembly?
CM: We used traditional diapers the first time around with Hugo. We talked about switching to cloth, but just never did. When we had Rocky we wanted to make the change. We talked with friends who also were using cloth and learned it’s not as hard as one might think. Especially with a system like Esembly. We were drawn to Esembly because of the expanse of the product line, the ease of the system, and honestly, their design is friggin’ adorable.
Esembly: What advice would you give folks considering that option?
CM: Just try it! Trust me—I’m the last guy who thought he’d be using cloth diapers. But it’s really not hard and I’m not mad at not hauling bags of sh*t to the trash cans all the time.
Esembly: What inspired you to begin making parody videos?
CM: Like so many others during the pandemic, I was forced to pivot when my touring concert dates were canceled. I made my first parody, My Corona, really because I didn’t have anything else to do. I recorded it during Hugo’s nap and threw it up online. It got 20 million views in 4 days. It was insane. After that, I kept making them just to see if I could do better each time. I decided to write songs about the feelings and struggles we were going through in our house—that’s where Daycare Closed, Hello (from the Inside) and My Kid Won’t Sleep At Night came from, for example. It’s been an incredible fun surprise that these videos have connected with so many people. To date, I think the views are north of 300 million which is mindblowing.
Esembly: Would you say your sense of humor changed at all when becoming a Dad?
CM: 100%. Any pretense or ego I might have had has gone out the window. I will do whatever it takes to prevent a meltdown—even if that means fully acting out and belting Baby Shark in the grocery store dairy section.