Our 230th Dad in the Limelight is blogger, Jared Miller. I want to thank Jared for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
I am a 26 year old husband and father of one. I work as an account executive for a marketing communications firm out of OKC. I am an amateur photographer, TV show enthusiast and founder of WingingDaddyHood.Blogspot.com.
2) Tell me about your family
My wife and I have been married for 2 years. Our goals in our marriage is to focus on each other’s happiness and to always put each other first, even over our kids. We were high school sweethearts and are determined to make our marriage work.
We have an 11 month old son, Paxton. He’s pretty much the coolest thing ever.
awhata3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Patience. It’s always something I’ve struggled with, but as a parent you have to master it quickly. The baby is crying, not going to sleep, or he’s slapping the food out of your hands while you’re trying to feed him. It can be very frustrating, but you have to be patient.
This is still a hard principle for me. I think I have come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. It sounds silly, but I just constantly remind myself, at those particular moments, that he’s just a baby. He doesn’t know better. If I can take the time to remind myself of that then I can usually put my patient pants on.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
The whole point behind my daddy blog is to express my experience and observations. Each kid is different and each life stage brings different challenges. There are some great books and resources to help you prepare for these challenges, but you soon find out that nothing can fully prepare you. Just accept that there will be situations where you don’t know what to do. You’re concerned because you are making decisions about what to in those unpredictable situations and don’t feel qualified. Just remember that we are wired to be parents. Trust your instincts and educate yourself with some of the material that’s out there and you’ll be fine.
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.
I’m not in the limelight per se, but I work in a fast pace field that can be very stressful at times. I have to disconnect when I’m at home. I stay away from work email, make it a point to not bring work home and make sure that I am focusing on my family when I’m at home.
May commute is usually about 25 minutes. I use that time to turn the radio off and separate myself from the office. I slow down and start visualizing what I’m going to do when I get home. I come home focused on my wife and son and not on work. Some days are harder to do this than others. However, I make the effort everyday. Luckily, I have a wife who supports me on the days that are harder.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I’ve learned to become more aware of my role as a dad. That I can admit fault, be emotionally vulnerable, connected, interactive and nurturing to my family and not feel emasculated by doing so. I have learned that the mom’s role and dad’s role are less defined. The focus is more on being a parent. I can be a good caregiver to my son (even though my wife beats me out on a daily basis).
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Not only am I trying to be aware as a father, but I’m trying to focus on being aware as a husband. Having a kid takes lot of work (I should rephrase). Raising a kid takes a lot of work. From mom AND dad. It puts a strain on a marriage. If you don’t recognize that and do your part then you are putting your marriage in jeopardy. Never make yourself a victim. If you’re a victim then you’re assigning blame. This is very easy to do. When plant a seed in your head that you do more work and that you need a break to, then you are making someone out to be a bad guy (usually your spouse.) Refrain from doing that. It’s not healthy. Be aware that your spouse is also making sacrifices and working hard. If you focus on working hard (physically and emotionally) for your family and your significant other does the same, then you will have a much easier time and will be much happier.
Number 1 is when “da da” came barreling out of his mouth. Not the first time he said it in general, but the first time he said it when I walked in the room. When he associated that with me- my heart melted.
Other than that? I love watching him interact with my wife. The connection they share is an amazing thing to witness.
If you have any questions for Jared, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!