Our 259th Dad in the Limelight is Aaron Brinker. I want to thank Aaron for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Aaron Brinker and I am now a stay-at-home dad. I am a 42-year-old trained Social Worker whose main job was to advocate for children and investigate child abuse. My wife and I had fertility issues so I didn’t have children until later in life. I have turned to blogging to continue to tell others about how important fatherhood is for children.
I am in the limelight because I advocate about good parenting and children being placed first. Fathers are an important part of a child’s life and unless a father knows how important they are they can easily forget. Fatherhood doesn’t begin when a child is 18-years-old and is no longer living at home. It begins the second you know that you are going to have a child and it is a life long commitment.
2) Tell me about your family
I am the proud father of a 3-year-old son, Xander. He is our miracle baby. We had tried for years unsuccessfully to have a child. In May of 2008, hope was fading quickly and we started to seriously discuss adoption. We knew that time and money were running out. We were on our last attempt with fertility treatments and we discovered that my wife was pregnant. My son was born 9 months later, on his due date.
Melissa, my wife, is my best friend. We have been together for almost 22 years and married for 17 of them this November. We met at Montgomery Wards (now I feel old they are no longer in existence.) She was working in personnel at the time and her job was to do a preliminary interview on “possible” future hires. For whatever reason she thought I was a keeper and made sure I got hired.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
As a social worker, my training is in childhood development and its various aspects. It has been a real challenge seeing that not everything goes according to plan. It was always easy telling other people, “all children are different and not to expect everything you read to happen.” It has been a lot harder practicing that on myself.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
I thought about this question a lot and I broke it down into a simple philosophy, “Make it count.” Father’s are one of the first real motivators in a child’s life. Children only have one childhood and one of the responsibilities of a father’s is to make it count. Father’s have a choice, they can take part in their child’s life or sit back and let their child’s life pass them by.
Fathers need to think before they react to various situations. Our reactions have a direct effect on our children and how they perceive the world in the future. Children are a strong motivator for us not to stress or take things personal. After all, things might not always be clear in life but we have to become willing to look at the people around us to know we have reasons to make it count!
5) Seeing that you (or your position) are in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? If you are currently not in the limelight per se, please still answer this in regards to how you balance parenthood and outside life.
The greatest influence in my life is my family. I am a stay-at-home dad now because I want my son to have the best experiences possible. I never forget that he is growing up and won’t always need me. Upon occasion, when my wife gets home from work I will take some personal time and go out to visit with friends or former co-workers.
After my son goes to bed at night my wife and I will often sit back and just talk. We are both realist and know that our relationship is important too. The goal of every parent is to watch their child grow up and eventually move out. We don’t want to forget how to talk to each other and how important our marriage is.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Before we had a child and I was working full-time I saw how many fathers weren’t participating in their child’s life’s. I would always try telling them how important a father’s involvement was and not let their children grow up without a father. As my son has gotten older I started blogging to advocate more about fatherhood and it’s importance. I know that many fathers just need to hear the words, “being a dad is a good thing.”
It was talking to fathers and advocating for a change in standards that led me to believe many men need to see and hear more about
positive fatherhood.” I try to take what I learned and apply it to myself. Fatherhood is a blessing and should never be taken for granite.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I would say that fatherhood has been the most challenging, loving, greatest experience I have ever had. I never know from day-to-day what my son will do next and it is a challenge just trying to stay ahead of him (figuratively of course.) People often think they understand love but having a child teaches you even more. It is truly an unconditional love.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
The most memorable experience I have ever had probably would be the day I found I was going to become a dad. I have heard many special stories about how wives told their husbands they were pregnant. When you have waited as long we had, there was little time for anything special. She just told me, “I think I am pregnant.” I of course was in denial and said something stupid, “Are you sure?” She replied back to me, “Well you look and tell me what you think?” She handed me the pregnancy test and it was a positive. I don’t think either of us believed it until she took 5 more pregnancy tests.
If you have any questions for Aaron, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!