Our 275th Dad in the Limelight is Edwin Lyngar. I want to thank Edwin for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
I’m a public relations specialist and a writer at www.edwinlyngar.com. I’ve completed my first memoir, titled “Guy Parts” about divorce, single fatherhood and the rebuilding family. You can also find me on Twitter at @Edwin_Lyngar and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/edwin.
I am happily married to my wife Joy, and we have five children living with us. Two of mine from previous marriage and one of Joy’s from a previous relationship and two that we had together. We have a robust blended family that hovers dangerously close to anarchy every day.
When my first wife left, I assumed both roles. For traditional dads, not used to taking care of every injury, all the homework and every bit of housework, stepping into all of it can be a major challenge. I took on the challenge, and I ended up a much better person, and I would argue father, because of it.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Get involved with your kids, and have the courage to step in. So many fathers are hands off, or they are defer to mom automatically, instead of taking an active role in every part of a child’s life. It’s a big mistake to feel that as men, fathers can’t or shouldn’t do everything mothers have to do. The side benefit is that your wife or partner will also appreciate you more.
I try to put family first. With every parent balancing work and parenting, it is so easy to piroritize work or whatever ahead of your kids. It’s a mistake. I miss some opportunities, I think, because I am reluctant to travel a lot, am hesitant to leave the family, but it’s the right decision. On a side note, I write a lot of essays and blog about being a parent. This kind of exposing of your family comes with danger. I always share my writing, optimally before publishing it with the kids I mention in a particular work. My children have always been supportive, but I can see problems down the line. When problems come, I plan to put my kids’ desires ahead of my own.
Younger fathers are far involved than previous generations. In the old days, dads (in my opinion) had much more of a hands off role. It is so common for dads nowadays to talk about kids, to take little ones to the office or the grocery store. It’s just as common to see a man wearing the Snuggy as a mother. The father’s I interact with take their jobs as fathers seriously, just as I do.
I always tell people that having children is the one unambiguous joy in my life. Everything else I’ve ever done has had trade offs. There are jobs, colleges, moves and fights. There are things I regret or wish I could take back, but when it comes to children there is no regret or second guessing. I never have a second thought; not for an instant. That’s a gift that children give back.
There have been wonderful individual moments. I’m not talking about graduation from high school or winning a baseball game. The moments that have meant the most to me have been the smallest. I like when the little kids come to my room in the morning, even at 6 am. They are so full of energy and life first thing in the morning (BUT not the teenagers!) There are other moments, a hike, hanging out at home or doing yard work. The small moments in family life have always meant the most to me.
If you have any questions for Edwin, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!