Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Josh Gloer ( @joshgloer @hashtagnewdad ) #NEWDAD

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 466th Dad in the Limelight is Josh Gloer. I want to thank Josh for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Josh-Gloer1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

I wouldn’t consider myself in the limelight at all, but I have been fortunate to work in a field that many covet – Television. I’ve written and produced for A&E’s Duck Dynasty and Modern Dads, HGTV’s Selling LA, MTV’s Snack Off!, The Buried Life and The Dudesons… a fun job that’s allowed me to write while meeting great people and experiencing amazing things.
I also just published a book (s??hameless plug) called #NEWDAD (www.joshgloerbooks.com)
2) Tell me about your family
It’s me and my girls – wife, 14 month old daughter and 6 year old cocker spaniel.
Josh-Gloer3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The hardest thing for me as a dad has been to forget everyone else. Is anyone watching me sing? Is anyone watching me make a fool of myself? But one giggle from my little girl is the only reward I need to ham it up even more.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Don’t be a cliche. Don’t act the way you think a “guy” should act. Act like you want to. You’re a dad, now. Embrace it. Love it. Enjoy every second of it. If you miss poker night with the boys because you’d rather go home and play chutes and ladders… Own it.
Josh-Gloer5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
Working in TV, I was never home. There was ZERO balance. It was like I had weekend visitation with my daughter as she was asleep every night when I got home. I knew that had to change. I just moved to the mid-west for a simpler life that can revolve around family. It was a big decision – one that will cost me work, money, opportunity – but the right one for me and the girls. The reward will far out weigh any sacrifice.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
We’re all different. Our kids are all different. No one raises their kid the same way. Don’t call them out on your own BS.
Josh-Gloer7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Enjoy it. You’re kid needs a father… and, trust me, you need your kid just as much.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Every day is a new day. Every morning is the best morning I’ve ever had as long as I get to pick my girl up from her crib.

If you have any questions for Josh, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Dave Engledow ( @DaveEngledow ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 465th Dad in the Limelight is Dave Engledow. I want to thank Dave for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Dave-Engledow1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge) 

My name is Dave Engledow, although on the internet I’m more commonly known as the “World’s Best Father.”  I spend my days working full time for Working America (the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO).  During my free time on weekends I shoot, edit, and along with my daughter Alice Bee, star in an ongoing photo series that satirizes common stereotypes associated with fatherhood.  This project also serves as a vehicle for me to humorously make fun of my own insecurities and fears about being a new father.

Find out more about me here: https://www.facebook.com/EngledowArtPhotography.

Also, my photography has led to a book that you can find here – http://www.penguin.com/book/confessions-of-the-worlds-best-father-by-dave-engledow/9781592408894.

 
2) Tell me about your family

My wife Jen is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, currently stationed at the Pentagon.  Our daughter Alice Bee is 3 years old and has already established herself at the top of our household chain of command.

 

Dave-Engledow
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

My largest challenge is keeping in mind that Alice Bee sometimes acts the way she does because she’s only three, and not because she’s a total psychopath.

 
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Spend less time reading advice and more time reading, playing and talking with your kid.

 
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

Haha. Really?  I mean, I’ve heard stories about fathers who’ve figured this one out, but I’m convinced that it’s just an urban legend. Me? I’ve been to four movies in the past three years, and one of those was Frozen.  

 
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

The most prescient and prevalent wisdom I’ve received from other fathers is to enjoy every minute because it’s unbelievable how fast kids will grow up.  I’m already experiencing this with Alice Bee–it’s unfathomable to me that she’s already three years old, and I have no doubt that she’ll be getting her driver’s license and leaving for college before I know it.

Dave-Engledow
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

Fatherhood is the most amazing experience of my life.  Every day, Alice Bee does something that just blows me away or says something that makes me laugh out loud.  I never thought I’d be capable of loving someone so intensely and so unconditionally.

 
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

For me, the most memorable experiences are the little things–especially the conversations.  I’m constantly surprised by the way Alice’s developing mind works, and she is constantly cracking me up.  For example, one of my favorite interactions happened shortly after her second birthday.  She had been experiencing diaper rash at the time, so we were attempting to temporarily reduce her intake of certain acidic foods.  After excitedly telling me that she wanted a cherry tomato, I had to try to explain to her that she couldn’t eat it because it might make her bum hurt.  She looked up at me like I was crazy and said, “But I wan’ put it in my MOUF!”

 

If you have any questions for Dave, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Jerry Lopez ( @jerlopez ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 464th Dad in the Limelight is Jerry Lopez. I want to Jerry for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

jerry-lopez1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers’ knowledge)
My name is Jerry Lopez. And for your old-school surfing fans out there, NO, I’m not THAT Jerry Lopez. Wait? Did you think…? Is that why I’m here?… Who cares. Too late now. Let’s do this!I’m 46 years old. I was born on the island of Guam (Mom is Chamorro, Dad is Filipino). Grew up in San Diego. I have a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from the University of California at San Diego. For the last 13 years I’ve worked at a large telecommunications company here in San Diego as a software engineer. I love vacationing with my family, riding my bike, pina coladas and holding hands in the rain. Well, maybe not those last two things.I’m just an everyday, ordinary, regular guy who decided that my theme for 2014 would be “Make It Epic!” For me, part of making 2014 an epic year is to reach out and be a positive influence to as many people as I can. I decided to do this first by reaching out via Twitter to nice folk like you. I also recently launched my blog (AdamCalling.com) by the end of this month (April). I suppose this is how I found myself in your Limelight Series.
2) Tell me about your family
I have an amazing wife who I affectionately refer to as “Shortcake”. She’s the hardest working person I know which works out perfectly because I’m the laziest person I know.
My oldest girl (21) is very close to graduating college with a degree in accounting. I find this kind of funny because four years ago she was adamant about NOT going to college.
My son (20) is currently a Bio major and has many talents. Currently, he is relishing the fact that he can beat me in chess more often than not.
My youngest daughter is the most helpful and thoughtful ten year old I know. She is also a brown belt in Kenpo Karate and knows five different ways to choke you unconscious. Seriously!
And, yes, they all come from the same womb. :)
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The biggest challenge I’ve had as a father has been trying to stay engaged with and connected to my kids. I grew up in a large family (7 boys, 3 girls). We were also very poor. So my parents didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of one-on-one “quality” time with me. They were too busy just trying to keep us all alive. I learned early on how to do things on my own and keep myself entertained as well. Thus, it doesn’t come natural for me to interact and engage with my kids–especially as they get older and become more independent themselves.
It’s so easy to neglect this important responsibility. You figure, they’re fed, they have a roof over their head, a warm bed and clothes, no one is complaining, things are good, I can just sit and watch the game now. Nope. I learned (through a bit of heartache and headache) that Dads have to be always vigilant and diligent in ensuring the health and happiness of our kids–physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And just because your wife is blessed to be a stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean the job is done. She’s busy too! Things can get left behind. We have to stay engaged and connected with our kids 24/7.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
I suppose I already gave the advice I think is most important for dads–stay engaged and connected with your kids. When I was a young dad, I would hear other parents talk about how hard it is to raise kids. How it is so much “work.” I thought they were referring to all the diaper changes, sleepless nights, feedings, soccer games, scout and PTA meetings, etc. I now realize that that’s the easy stuff. The hard stuff lies in the in-between. It’s staying engaged and paying attention.
So what do I mean by “engaged”?
Engaged means always being ready to stop what your doing at any moment to pay attention. To listen to them with not just your ears but with your heart as well. Hear and feel what they are trying to communicate with you.
Engaged means not sacrificing quantity over quality when it comes to spending time with your kids. Strive for both. You never know when your son will turn a quiet, boring moment with you into pure gold when he softly breaks the silence and shares, “I like Melony. She’s in my class and she’s real nice.”  Golden.
Engaged means knowing who their friends are. Get to know their friends’ parents too! Do whatever will help you better judge if this friend is good for your little one to hang out with.
Engaged means always be improving yourself. And not just in being a better dad. Be the kind of man you want your son to become and the kind of man you want your daughter to marry.
That said, remember to go easy on yourself. You’ll never be perfect. Besides, you can turn your mistakes into “teachable moments” for your kids. :)
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 still trying to figure this one out. For me, again, this really comes down to paying attention. I know my priorities. I track how I spend my time. If it isn’t in my calendar, it doesn’t exist. I do my best to not let myself get caught up in the busy-ness of life. However, I’m not overly regimented about all of this. When in doubt, I spend time with my wife and kids.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I’ve learned that I have a lot to learn. Seriously, there are some dads out there who impress the heck out of me. But my main inspiration has been my own father. Like I mentioned earlier, it was hard for him to spend a whole lot of one-on-one time with me. But he taught me so much by just the way he lived his life.
The old saying “More is caught than taught” rang true and loud in our house. No one could ever doubt his priorities: 1) Wife, 2) Kids, 3) Everything else.
Honesty, Integrity, Self-Discipline, Self-Sacrifice, Courage, Wisdom, you name it. His life reflected all of these virtues. If I can be half the dad he was, it would be more than enough. I miss him dearly.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far? What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
I try to savor each moment. You hear it all the time, but it really does go by fast. I can’t believe my two oldest are almost out of college!
Also, I do my best to be excited and enthusiastic about whatever it is my kids share with me (especially if they’re excited about it).
And if I’m very tired when I come home from work, I’ll usually say a quick prayer before going in the house. I’ll ask for energy and a good attitude. I want to give my best self at home with the family and not just at work.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Gosh, where to start? At the risk of turning things a bit gloomy, I’ll maybe (or maybe not) take it in an unusual direction.
Some of my most memorable experiences as a dad have been those times where I struggled. Because those were the times that taught me the most and helped me to grow as a dad, as a man.
As a dad I learned some tough lessons from those times when I’ve let my kids down…when I let myself down. Losing my temper, saying the wrong thing, not doing what I said I would. Those things are tough to swallow. But you learn and grow. It would have been nice not to have made those mistakes. But of course I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t.
At least my oldest has a good sense of humor about it all. She refers to herself as the “guinea pig” of the family because she says my wife and I had no idea what we were doing and spent most of the time blindly experimenting on her. She’s awesome!

If you have any questions for Jerry, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Sean McKenzie ( @thnerdincognito ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 463rd Dad in the Limelight is Sean McKenzie. I want to thank Sean for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

sean-mckenzie1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers’ knowledge)

I’m a happily married, 32-year-old father of two wonderful boys: a 3 year old, and a 1 year old.

 

By day, I work as a Policy Advisor in a municipal government organization, interacting with administrators, elected officials, board members, and the provincial government.  My position often puts me in the centre of consultations and negotiations.

 

Prior to joining the workforce, I took my Bachelor of Arts in English and my Master of Arts in English—the climax of which was a thesis combining masculinity theory and modern fantasy.

 

I am a self-acknowledged nerd, and have been running a website called Nerd Incognito for about two years, now.  This year, I added a blog to my site called Dad Who Says N.I. (http://www.nerdincognito.com/blog)  Blogging has helped me engage more readers, and join the Dad Blogging community, which has been awesome!  While I’ve still got a pretty small readership, it’s my own little piece of the limelight, giving me an outlet to share with the outside world.

 

In my spare time, watch a lot of Netflix with my wife, read (primarily fantasy fiction, but a little bit of everything, cook, play video games, and chase my little monsters around.

 

2) Tell me about your family

My wife works as a music teacher in the public school system.  She and I met by either fate or very random chance when we were 16.  We went our separate ways for a few years, taking degrees in different provinces, but found each other again.  She is a strong, intelligent, and stubborn woman, who tends to balance out my more laid-back tendencies with energy and decisiveness.

 

sean-mckenzieOur eldest son is 3 years old and a non-stop ball of energy.  In his calmer moments, he loves to read with us and watch Pixar films.  The rest of the time, he’s playing with playdough, chasing things with model dinosaurs, or jumping on his trampoline.  He has always enjoyed music, but he has recently discovered a love of Michael Jackson (particularly “Beat It” and “Bad”) and makes up his own dances for the songs.

 

Our youngest son is 1 year old now, and already has a very distinct personality to him—a great sparkle in his eyes and regular belly laughs.  He’s proven to be as challenging a child in the sleep department as his brother ever was, and has an insatiable curiosity that leads to far too many near-miss moments now that he can crawl everywhere and pull himself up.

 

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

Sleep deprivation and everything that goes with it.  Neither of my boys have been sleepers; our first didn’t wake up too often in the overnight, but it always took 45 solid minutes of holding him and singing him to sleep.  He finally settled into good sleeping habits after he was 1 year old.

 

Our second is a frequent waker.  At his peak, he woke every 45 minutes in the overnight, and took 20 minute naps.  Things are still a bit rough, and we’re hoping he’ll do a sudden turnaround…any time now…

 

The trouble with sleep deprivation is that it affects every element of your life. You don’t have the time and energy to exercise, you’re grouchy and snappy with your spouse, and you can fly off the handle at your kids at a moment’s notice.  It takes iron control, which is hard to come by when you’re on your 30th day of having 4 hours of broken sleep.

 

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Understand that being a parent means being a teacher, and that your role is just as important as your wife’s.  You and your wife will be two of the most important models upon which your child will base him or herself.  That includes everything from how much yelling you do, to how you treat your wife; from these things, your kids will learn essential things like anger management and gender roles—the foundations of how they behave publicly and privately.

 

sean-mckenzieMost importantly, make sure you go out of your way to teach your children empathy.  It does not occur naturally; it must be taught.

 

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.

It’s not easy for any employed, engaged father to balance work and home, and it’s been a bit of a challenge at times.  I do have to be away from home a few times throughout the year, and I’m conscious of the pressure that puts on my wife, and how sad it makes my boys.  The way I balance things is to make sure that when I am home, I act like I’m home—my phone goes on the kitchen island and stays there, ignored, until the boys are in bed.  I don’t bring my work home with me unless it’s absolutely necessary, and I make sure that I spend my time at home modeling the kind of behavior I want my sons to grow into.  I do most of the cooking, my share of the clean-up, and as much playing with and reading to my sons as I can manage in the time I’ve got.   I do all that despite the fact that some days I would rather just flop onto the couch and have a nap after work, or watch T.V.

 

My advice to other fathers would be to disconnect, REALLY disconnect when you get home and focus on your kids.  Don’t fall into the easy trap of plunking them in front of the T.V. unless absolutely necessary, and make sure you’re modeling the way you want them to behave.

 

sean-mckenzie6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

Not long after I started blogging, I was pointed toward a group called Dad Bloggers, which has provided me with a wonderful forum for sharing, bouncing ideas off of people, and offering advice.  I can’t begin to say how much they’ve taught me in the brief time I’ve been part of their group.
Above all, though, I guess there are two major lessons that I’ve learned from Dad Bloggers, and other fathers that I’ve had the pleasure to interact with: 1) Time only moves faster as you get older and it’s essential that you take the time to be there for your kids NOW; and 2) As ugly as some days are, and as alone/maxed out/depressed/crazy as you may feel, you’re not the only one who has been overtaken by that darkness and found a way back out.  It’s OK to feel overwhelmed, and it’s OK to ask for help.

 

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far? What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

Being a good father is the most exhausting and yet rewarding thing I’ve ever undertaken.  Stop worrying about the little stuff like how long it’s taking to put your little one to sleep, or that they want just one more book before bed.  Stop thinking about the cleaning that you have to do before you can sit down, or how early you need to get up the next morning.  Learn to just stop and take pleasure in the moments you have with your kids, whenever possible.  They are frustrating, obnoxious, and embarrassing sometimes, but they’re also wonderful, adoring, and hilarious.  Enjoy every moment.

Oh, and don’t forget to document things.  A lot of what blogging is about for me is archiving; I want to be able to look back and remember what was going on while my boys were growing up, and share all of it with them, if they have the interest.

 

You can find Nerd Incognito at http://www.nerdincognito.com  on Facebook at facebook.com/thenerdincognito, on Twitter at @thnerdincognito and even on Google+ at https://www.google.com/+Nerdincognito1

 

If you have any questions for Sean, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Matt Hotze ( @matthotze ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 462nd Dad in the Limelight is Matt Hotze. I want to thank Matt for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Matt-Hotze1)  Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is Matt Hotze. I wear about four hats on a daily basis. Father. Husband. Scientific Editor. Blogger. I went to school for many many years and received a Ph.D. in environmental engineering for my efforts. At heart I am a pragmatic environmentalist who loves the outdoors.

My blog covers the struggle of being an environmentalist or “green” dads pulled in all directions (family, work, life) while still trying to make the most sustainable and healthiest choices their families and for themselves. I want to connect with and help any parents fighting this battle.

 

2)  Tell me about your family

We are three. My fifteen month old daughter is at the top of the pyramid though. We try to squeeze in as much time as possible with her despite both of our full-time jobs. My wife and I met in France in grad school and we pretty much lived out this Google commercial from a few years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnsSUqgkDwU

 

We love everything about our story so far, but life is busy and exhausting.

 

3)  What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

Learning to live with a more compressed schedule is a challenge. My wife and I were not the types to overbook our personal time when we first were married. We had tons of time to hang around the house, pursue our hobbies and relax. With a kid we need to schedule everything so we can enjoy each moment for what it is.

Matt-Hotze

4)  What advice would you give to other fathers?

When in doubt, close your eyes and take a deep breath, the answer will come to you.

 

5)  How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

I sound like a brat talking about this with only one kid, but with two working parents who have to commute 45+ minutes each way each day life becomes hectic very fast. As I mentioned above, our way of taking on this balance problem is scheduling. For example my wife and I alternate nights taking care of feeding and bathtime, this gives the other one freedom to take care of themselves (e.g., exercise, take a walk etc.). If one parent goes on a business trip this whole thing gets thrown out of whack, so we are still working on it.

 

Matt-Hotze6)  What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

My brother and my awesome sister in law, who have three children under 5, are an inspiration to me. From the start he was always repeating things like “being a dad is the greatest thing you will ever do.” I believed him, but I actually needed to be in that hospital room when my daughter arrived to truly understand him.

 

7)  What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

There is an idea trending about not trying to do to much as a parent. I think this is an important point. We tend to forget how much we were allowed to wander and entertain ourselves as kids and how much more our parents were allowed to wander and entertain themselves as kids. Your kid is going to be just fine, what you need to be is available to them (credit: Bill Peebles‘  awesome The Green Ball of Gratitude piece)

 

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

Seeing my daughter take her first steps was a huge one that happened recently. Seeing her face when she learned to turn the light on her ladybug on and off is another fun one (see picture).

 

 

If you have any questions for Matt, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Navdeep Singh Dhillon ( @navdeep_dhillon ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 461st Dad in the Limelight is Navdeep Singh Dhillon. I want to thank Navdeep for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Navdeep-Singh-Dhillon1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is Navdeep. I blog about being a Papa, books, and sometimes teaching on NavdeepSinghDhillon.com. I also blog about parenting and travel with my wife and now kids (!) on www.ishqinabackpack.com. I am a Papa, a husband, a writer, and an adjunct instructor of literature and creative writing in the NYC area (an extremely lucrative field, where much of my day is spent figuring out what to spend my huge bags of money on). I write about parenting for places like Mom.me, as well as on my own blogs, and write fiction. I hold an MFA in creative writing, which comes in handy when I read my 4 year-old daughter bed time stories and she demands I change the story to include things like princesses, dragons, unspecific monsters, and magic. Sometimes she makes up nouns and verbs to keep me on my toes, or wants family members to all play the part of the protagonist. I have taught ESL in China, served in the U.S. Navy, and grew up in Nigeria, Tanzania, England, and the Middle East. None of those things prepared me for the exciting world of Papa-hood.

 

2) Tell me about your family
I have a 4 year-old daughter, who loves stories and doesn’t see the contradiction in being a princess, a doctor, a pirate, a scientist, a mermaid, and a dragon slayer all at the same time (me either!). My son is a month-old and openly mocks me for not telepathically pre-empting what he wants before he even knows what that is. He has just discovered that his arms are attached to him, and that he can use them to draw more attention to his plight by flapping them around furiously.

My wife is a novelist, entertainment journalist, blogger, and co-founder of CAKE Literary (www.cakeliterary.com), a diversity focused book packaging company. We both spend a lot of time working from home. And we still like each other. In fact, we liked each other so much, we got married three times – once in Vegas for our traditional vows, and two big, fat, Indian weddings in New Jersey. Before we had kids, we went on a six month honeymoon adventure through India and blogged about it on www.ishqinabackpack.com.

Navdeep-Singh-DhillonWe still go on adventures, and made use of that whole kids under 2 fly for free by taking our daughter to her first active volcano in Hawaii. We thoroughly enjoy traveling as a family. Our favorite family activity is the art of the bed-in and as it is written in an ancient philosophy book, “the family who pajamas together . . . “ I forget the rest, but I’m pretty sure they end up with riches galore.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
When my daughter was still in daycare, my automatic impulse was to fix everything: scrapes and bruises, minor fall outs with her friends, behavioral issues; all of them had a simple solution. Now she’s started public pre-school and things aren’t quite as simple. The school is much larger, the teachers not as attentive, and I have to rely on my 4 year-old to tell me if there’s something going on with her at school. There’s a whole labyrinth of social mores I have to try to understand, as well as trends, fashion, and even social politics. Pre-school politics is no joke. I know the challenges will become more complex as she grows and the only solution is to always keep the lines of communication open, so she learns how to figure out her own way of dealing

Navdeep-Singh-Dhillon

with things.

 

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Don’t take advice from other fathers. Not really – take any advice that works for you and makes sense. My main advice for other fathers is to get involved from day one, whether that means doing the dishes, changing diapers, or behaving like a lunatic just to get your baby to smile. Accept the fact that once you find a parenting strategy that works, pretty soon it will stop working and you have to find something else.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 

When I first became a father, everything involving “the baby” was important and everything else wasn’t. This included things I did in my spare time like watching television or reading, going to the gym, and work related things at home: grading papers, writing. I had to haphazardly carve out times for the latter two. It was very inconsistent, and some of the fun things would take a backseat, or disappear altogether. After me and my wife came to

Navdeep-Singh-Dhillonour senses, we started putting important things that didn’t involve “the baby” on the calendar with the same importance as “PTA meeting,” or “Grocery Shopping.” There are always things that don’t quite make it on the calendar, but the kids go to sleep at 8pm, so if it’s really that important, it happens then.

 

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?As helpful as many fathers I’ve met through social media have been, the person I’ve learned the most from is my father. He recently retired and started a blog, with more fans and page views than I do. Are Grandfather blogs a thing? One of the most important things my father taught me is that making parenting mistakes and admitting to them is not a big deal. When he was in the wrong, he would always come up to me and tell me that he’d made a mistake. So on the RARE occasions I make mistakes, I feel no sense of failure or loss of authority in admitting I was wrong. Through other fathers, I’ve learned there isn’t one correct way of handling a situation. As parents, we have to be adaptable and know we will make mistakes.

Navdeep-Singh-Dhillon

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Things will change rapidly and your parenting skills will constantly be in need of updating and adaptability. But the most important thing is to just chill out and make sure your kids know you love them. Everything else will fall into place.

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

 

It changes almost daily. On the day both of my children were born, I thought nothing could top that feeling. Then my daughter started smiling, crawling, walking, babbling, and now at 4 years old, we have proper conversations about everything from death to love to nailpolish. One of my proudest moments was last Christmas, when I overheard my daughter (Kavya) chatting with her cousin, who is four years older than her. Her cousin says that her brother is a teacher. Kavya asks if her brother is a writer too, and the seven year old takes the bait and says that he is not. Then Kavya says, “Well, my Papa is a writer AND a teacher.” In yo face! Even if this memory is fleeting, for those few seconds, it was a Navdeep-Singh-Dhillonlovely feeling knowing my daughter thinks I can do anything. When she was barely able to speak more than one word at a time, she would point at me and loudly say, “Papa,” with such effort that it would wear her out. She wanted to make sure everyone around knew I was hers.

If you have any questions for Navdeep, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Art Eddy ( @dadatworknj ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 460th Dad in the Limelight is Art Eddy. I want to thank Art for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Art-Eddy-#limelightdads1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

I am a stay at home dad that writes for a bunch of sites including Life of Dad, MANjr, and Strait Pinkie. I also produce a few podcasts for Life of Dad and Masters of None. Before being a stay at home dad I worked in radio as a morning show producer as well the promotions department.

I am fan of everything Star Wars. I can’t wait for Episode VII. Love comic books too. Wolverine, Batman, JLA, and Spider-Man are my titles of choice. I am a sports fan as well. I follow the 49ers, Red Sox, Spurs, and Bulls. I am a sneakerhead. I have a large collection of Air Jordans, SC Trainers, and other Nike and Reebok kicks. I have been collecting since the late 90’s.

2) Tell me about your family

My wife and I have been married for 10 years. We met in college. We are blessed with two girls. They are six and three years old. We have fun watching movies, (especially Frozen) taking walks, playing games, and doing crafts.

I know it sounds cliché, but our daughters mean the world to us. Ever since I became a dad it is crazy to imagine my life without them. They brighten up my day and I am one lucky person to have my wife and my girls in my life.

Art-Eddy-#limelightdads

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

I think that the biggest challenge for me is making sure I take being a dad all in stride. I want to be perfect. I want to make sure everything I do and say will lead my kids in the right direction. I never want to feel like I am just mailing it in even for an hour in regards to parenting.

I would also say that ever since I was a kid I needed to work on my patience level. I will say that as a father I have gotten better, but it is something I still need to work on.

 

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

My advice is to other dads would just to try and enjoy every moment you can with your kids. It is amazing to see how fast time flies. It seems like only yesterday when we were bringing my oldest home from the hospital and all of a sudden she is six years old.

I would also say to never compare your kids. I have seen other parents go crazy with trying to make sure that their kids reached the same milestones at the same time. Each kid is different so embrace it.

 

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 

That is a tough one, especially when you just become a parent. Your baby needs your attention 24/7 so finding time to go out is very hard. Finding a babysitter is also tough too. Still my wife and I made sure that we both had time with friends so we could unwind and have our own time.

You need to make sure you don’t lose your identity too. So definitely make sure you make time for yourself independently as well as making time with your spouse away from your kids.

 

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

That we all care for our kids and being a dad is the best thing in the world. Since working at Life of Dad and talking with many fathers on the Life of Dad show I have learned that all of us dads want to be the best parent we can be.

The old image of a dad from back in the day sitting on the recliner is going away. No matter if you are the breadwinner or the stay at home dad, every dad that I have talked with takes fatherhood very seriously. It is really refreshing to see this great trend happening in the world of fatherhood.

Art-Eddy-#limelightdads

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

Don’t feel like you have to be perfect for your kids. If you are able to show your kids that you can learn from your mistakes that is one great life lesson that you can share with them. Honesty is the best policy. The more you drive that message home to them the better it will be for you and your children.

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

There have been many memorable experiences since I became a dad. From watching my daughters take their first steps to getting gifts from them that they made me has been a great journey so far.  One recent memory that I will share was when I came home from a long weekend trip. As soon as my daughters saw me and gave me a hug was priceless. Usually I am with them 24/7 and to see the joy in their smiles and the love from their hugs was a moment I will never forget.

If you have any questions for Art, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Nate Smith ( @buffdaddio_ ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 459th Dad in the Limelight is Nate Smith. I want to thank Nate for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Nate-Smith-#limelightdads1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge) 

My name is Nate Smith and I am the author of Improvising Fatherhood. I am a father of 2 boys, age 4 and 1. I have a day job as a financial crimes investigator, but on the weekends I literally step into the limelight as I perform improv and sketch comedy in Portland, OR.
2) Tell me about your family
My wife, Ashley, and I met in college and got married in 2004, a year after I graduated. In 2009 we had our first son, Chandler, and in 2012 Parker was born. That’s it. We’ve caught our limit. Chandler loves soccer, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and anything green. Parker loves going to raves.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The hardest part for me internally has been shifting gears from being a comedian who performed 3-5 nights a week to being a father who spends Nate-Smith-#limelightdadsnights at home performing to an audience of children. The lack of stage time in front of a live audience is what drove me to find an online audience with Improvising Fatherhood. After a bit of a hiatus, and with amazing support from my wife and my in-laws, I am finally starting to perform on a weekly basis again.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Lean in. Commit. While it was hard to give up my regular performance schedule, I would not have overcome that if I hadn’t fully committed to the idea of being a dad. I just had to tell myself, “This is my life now.” You’ll eventually find time and strategies for bringing your passions, hobbies, and social life back into the picture. But especially in the first few years, you have to commit yourself fully to the role of being a parent.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
Nate-Smith-#limelightdadsFor me the biggest draw on my attention was the need to create and perform comedy. My family time and my comedy time were battling each other. So I decided to turn my family time into comedy time by using my sons as the subjects of my comedy videos. This is a great technique as long as everyone is enjoying it. Another neat technique is the going days without sleeping.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
There’s no right way. There are certainly some wrong ways. But there are so many paths to the top of the same mountain.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Nate-Smith-#limelightdadsYou don’t have to get mad to discipline your children. A referee in a basketball game calls fouls and blows the whistle when rules are broken. But he never does this out of anger. Putting your child “on the bench” for a time out doesn’t have to involve an angry look and a raised voice. This doesn’t mean you let your kid get away with stuff. As the referee you can call a really tight game. Giving your children consequences for their actions doesn’t need to involve bringing extra emotion into the process.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?I’ve spent a long time trying to come up with a specific answer to this and I think it’s a lot like if you asked me to talk about my most memorable experiences from performing comedy. After a while they all just run together, but I know I’ve had a lot of good laughs.

If you have any questions for Nate, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Chris Davidson ( @buffdaddio_ ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 458th Dad in the Limelight is Chris Davidson. I want to thank Chris for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Chris Davidson, #limelightdads1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
I’m Chris Davidson, I’m a personal trainer and stay-at-home Dad in Ireland, and also run a blog and podcast to help Dads get in shape called Buff Daddio (www.buffdaddio.com). Basically I train clients before 9am and after 5pm, and look after our 3 kids 9am-5pm while my wife works in her fancy schmancy well-paid corporate job!
2) Tell me about your family
I’ve been married to my (Canadian) wife for 13 years and we have 3 kids – 2 wrecking-ball boys (6 and 8) and a little girl (2). We originally lived in London, England after we got married, and both had corporate jobs. Then when we were expecting our first child, this coincided with me wanting a more rewarding career, so I retrained to be a personal trainer. I’d always been into fitness and nutrition, and found I loved helping other change their lives around by getting fitter and healthier.
We moved back to where I am from in the North of Ireland, and I built up my personal training business, then we had our second son. My wife wanted to return to the corporate world, and so when our second son was 1 year old we decided that I would no longer train clients during the daytime, and would instead work 5 hours per day – early mornings and evenings. So basically I’m a part-time Personal Trainer now, and 9-5 Stay-At-Home-Dad, and we have a little daughter now too!
Chris Davidson, #limelightdads3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
I would say the largest challenge has been striking a balance between being a father-figure who my kids respect, look up to and learn how to be good people, while also being able to goof around with them, which is one of my favorite things in the world to do. I want them to feel comfortable wanting to play with me and chat about anything and everything, while also recognizing that I’m their father first and a friend second. Now we’re on our third child it all comes naturally, but I got it wrong a few times when the two boys were younger.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Be a good example to your kids – be the type of person you want them to be. Look after your health and fitness, show them the importance of respecting others and talking things through. And put down your damn smartphone ;-)
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
I am fortunate to go to a gym that has it’s own daycare where they can look after my daughter for an hour while I work out, and that is just an awesome thing to be able to do mid-morning a few days a week. I get to clear my head and do something for myself. In terms of social life, it’s been difficult as we don’t have many babysitting options! My wife’s family is in Canada, while my mother passed away before we had kids, so basically if ‘Grandad’ can’t take them then my wife and I are staying home on a Saturday night! But we go out separately with our guy-friends/girl-friends once a month without giving each other a hard time about it – we both get that wanting to get away from the kids sometimes doesn’t make you a terrible parent!
Chris Davidson, #limelightdads6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Oddly I have learned more good stuff from online Dads I interact with, rather than my own friends who live locally. My friends seem happy enough to give the kids a hug before school, then exchange a few words in the evenings before bedtime, then go play golf or do guy-stuff at the weekends – many of them still have a kind of 1950s mentality when it comes to parenthood – wife looks after kids even if she also works 9-5, husband is in charge of discipline and ‘needs a break’ at the weekend. I just don’t get that, as all I’ve ever known really is being around my kids all the time, listening to their crazy stories and escapades, helping them with stuff, kicking a ball around. I couldn’t imagine playing a bit-part role.
So the dads I’ve met online are the ones who inspire me, as they are also very involved, and can relate to how I feel too. I’ve learned from them that Dads are vital to kids’ upbringing just as much as mums are, and we need to be just as involved.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Not to worry if you don’t feel like a natural at fatherhood straight away. It’s not immediately apparent what to do with these little bundles when they arrive apart from feed them and keep them safe and alive. But in time you find your own groove, your own way of doing things, playing with them, talking with them, teaching them. And the annoying thing is that what works with one kid won’t necessarily work with the others, as they are all different – it takes time to get to know each child and for them to get to know you. Don’t fret it, just keep putting in the hours and you’ll noth get on like a house on fire eventually!
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Oh I have become such a wet blanket since I became a Dad. I get teary at the drop of a hat now – seeing them develop confidence and skills and feel proud of themselves gets me every time – appearing in the school play, getting a new belt in jiu-jitsu, mastering some soccer skill they’ve been working on, riding their bikes, swimming, remembering all the words to a song they love, reading their first book all the way through by themselves – every time they make the “I really did it Dad!” face it sets me off. I’m feeling emotional now just typing about it. I’m pathetic I know, but I love every minute!

If you have any questions for Chris, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Cormac McCann #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 457th Dad in the Limelight is Cormac McCann. I want to thank Cormac for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Cormac McCann, #limelightdads1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

I’m a stay at home dad, living in Drogheda, Ireland. I have worked on and off since my kids have were born, and ran my own business for a while until the 3rd child came along. I stopped working and decided to focus on minding the two youngest full time. In the evenings I’m keeping the blog beingaoifesdad.wordpress.com as another way to keep my brain engaged and working.

 

Cormac McCann, #limelightdads

2) Tell me about your family

I’m married to Orla, who is a primary school teacher and we have 3 kids, Aoife, 6; Aidan, 4 and Tomás who is 1.  So we have our hands full. The two boys are definitely daddy’s boys and dad’s the first person who gets called when they are unhappy. They are all avid readers and love reading themselves or getting told stories by mum and dad.

 

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

Like all parents I’ve had several challenges, some have passed others still linger. Initially the hardest was dealing with the sexism associated with being a SAHD, the expectation that I should be out working not minding the kids. I had to battle that not only with others but with myself. Now I have to try and maintain my own balance and have patience with the kids, especially Aidan who likes to play up and cause mischief when he gets the chance. We’re both getting better though.

 

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

I’ve two bits of advice, firstly seems obvious but remember they are kids, not the rational human beings that you would like them to be but they have reasons for why they behave as they do.  Secondly try and make some time for yourself and get out to meet other people. I go to Toastmasters every fortnight, I go running a few times a week (usually with Tomás in the buggy and I also go out to Parent & Toddler Group meetings. It gives me time to get some exercise, heads-peace with other adults to talk to.

Cormac McCann, #limelightdads

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

By the outside life I assume you mean other things I do other than mind the kids, which is my only real job at present, yes I have do all the house work etc, but that’s what we all do isn’t it? To maintain balance, because I don’t think you can just solely look after kids without anything else to engage your brain I follow my own advice as I’ve give above.

 

Cormac McCann, #limelightdads6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

I’m sure that most of your fathers have all commented on the role of their own dad’s on their upbringing. I was raised in the late 70’s early 80’s when corporal punishment was still used in schools and at home. My dad would have been quite strict with my brother Colm and I (I’m oldest, then Colm) I don’t know wither they realised after us that corporal punishment was ineffective but my younger brothers didn’t have the same treat. I don’t think that it adversely affected me but I do know that my son makes me very cross, especially when we’re both tired.  So I hope I’m learning from him that strict discipline isn’t always for the best. Although I must say my kids are brilliantly behaved when I am not there (school, granny’s and visiting friends).

 

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

Reading back through what I have written above it might sound like I’m a horrible abusive parent, which I am not, but I read recently a blog by a mother who is trying to go the year without shouting at her kids, I thought it was a good idea, and so I am trying to focus on my shouting at them, so that I do it less. I don’t believe that corporal punishment is an effective method of disciplining your child, especially as it is normally resorted to when you are angered.

 

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

I still have a warm fuzzy feeling about the first time I held my daughter, my wife was being looked after by the midwives and couldn’t hold Aoife, so I was the first to hold her, and held her asleep on my chest for around 30 min while my wife was being seen to. We have been close ever since.

 

Aidan’s birth was a bit traumatic, not much by the scale of some of the births I’ve heard of but when his cord was cut, the clip wasn’t on right and he immediately started squirting blood all over the delivery room as he was being carried over to be checked by the paediatrician.  I have to say though that he has always proven to be the kindest and most thoughtful child I’ve ever met.

If you have any questions for Cormac, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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