Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Duncan Browne ( @yellowbellydad ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 519th Dad in the Limelight is Duncan Browne. I want to thank Duncan for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

Duncan-Browne

1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Duncan Browne. I am a 34-year-old sports writer in Boston, Lincolnshire – a quiet, flat but beautiful outpost in the east of England. I am currently learning parenthood on the job, a frantic, tiring and brilliantly rewarding role which I document on my blog (https://yellowbellydad.wordpress.com/) and elsewhere on social media.
2) Tell me about your family
I live with my fiancee Laura, our newborn daughter Caitlin and our two cats. Even the felines are female, which means I’m totally outnumbered in my home and far too many things are pink, frilly and totally devoid of masculinity (except the sofas, which have just been ripped to shreds by the cats).
Duncan-Browne
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
With Caitlin only a matter of weeks old, it would be wrong to to blow things out of proportion here. I’m yet to witness my daughter suffer illness, setbacks or her first broken heart. Right now, apart from a bit of colic and some overflowing nappies, I’m just enjoying time with my daughter. However, Caitlin’s birth was very traumatic and, at times, touch-and-go. It was hard being a spectator and totally unable to do anything to help. I guess I’m just blessed to have two very tough girls in my life.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
The same advice I’d give to anybody in life – always look for the positives. Life throws curve balls at you at every opportunity, and unless your existence is brought to a standstill by an epic tragedy, it’s always better to think the glass is half full. As a parent you’re always going to get baby vomit on your best shirt before an important meeting or have to cancel plans to meet up with friends. You’ll love life a lot more if you can just laugh at yourself and move on.
Duncan-Browne
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
I’m extremely fortunate that my day job is sports writing. If I was to tell Laura that I was abandoning her and Caitlin to spend mySaturday driving half way across the country to watch a soccer match then I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make it out the house without the rolling pin stuck in my head. Fortunately, when it’s work you get a free pass. Making a living out of your hobbies and interests helps me with that balance as I have spare time to spend with my family without feeling I’m missing out in life.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
There’s that look isn’t there? Every time you, as a new parent, tell another dad about your experiences they stare deep into your soul and give you this expression which says ‘oh, I know all about that mate’. It’s a shared sympathy, mixed with a little bit of smugness that their sleepless nights are mostly finished with now. But the best advice I’ve been given came from a work colleague who told me: “Do what’s best for your daughter, but never feel bad about doing what’s best for you too. If you don’t get the sleep and rest you need then you’ll never be at your best to be a parent.”
Duncan-Browne
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Choose very carefully when and when not to use the word MILF.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
I’m at the stage that right now everything is memorable. That first feed, that first nappy change, that first long sleep, that first smile (was THAT a smile?). The list goes on and every day there’s a brand new first for me. I must admit, I’m loving it.

If you have any questions for Duncan, 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 ) – Euri Giles ( @euri_giles ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 518th Dad in the Limelight is Euri Giles. I want to thank Euri for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Euri-Giles1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

Hello, my name is Euri Giles – I was named after my grandmother Urabell (nickname Euri, but it’s my full name.)  I always feel like I have to explain that it’s not Russian.  I am a married father of four who works full time in Healthcare IT, and keeps a side hustle blogging about my journey through, Life, Love, Family, Career & Style but mostly just Dad Stuff!  The blog (#Clareifi) is what has put me in the Limelight recently.  I have had an overwhelming response of support, and met so many wonderful people as a result of simply sharing stories about my family.

 

2) Tell me about your family

I am bi-racial (dad is African American, mom is Hispanic).  I choose to identify myself as a human being, or sometimes – “just a dad”.  I am happily married to the most beautiful woman in the world!  This month is our 10 year anniversary.  I am the proud father of four amazing children – Three boys – Lil Euri (not so lil – 17yrs.)  Isaiah – 8yrs, Caleb – 7yrs, & my favorite (sorry boys) – my daughter Leah – 2yrs.  We live in the Texas oasis known as Austin.

 

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

I’d like to think that after 17yrs as a father I can say that I’ve been there done that, and I’m a seasoned pro at this dad thing, but the truth is the largest challenge I’ve had being a father is the uncertainty of what’s next?  What’s the next thing that I have to explain to my children about racism, or war, and why their showing someone get their head cut off on YouTube.  I want more than anything to be able to protect my children, give them a perfect world to grow up in and live in.  The challenge is I have no control of this, I can only protect them within my own bubble of existence, and attempt to educate, and prepare them to be good people who make a positive contribution in our world.

Euri-Giles

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

The best advice I think I can give to other fathers is to listen!  Listen with the intent of Listening to your children.  Talk to your kids, ask them questions, and seek to understand their response.  Respect their opinions, and encourage dialog with them.  You are your children’s first teacher, don’t miss the opportunity to set them up for success.

 

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

I am fortunate enough to have married my best friend who is also my partner in balancing parenthood and outside life.  My wife is a SAHM who keeps the household in order, homework done, music lessons practiced and food in our bellies.  When dad gets home from work – Family time is priority “numero uno”.  We have themed dinners like “Taco Tuesday” and “Pizza Night” usuallyon Thursday’s.  Weekends are for picnics in the park, or exercising together as a family by taking a walk or playing a game of Nerf football.  If dads working on the blog it usually involves the family anyway too, everyone’s input is considered.

 

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

What I’ve learned from interacting with other fathers is that being a dad can be one of the most challenging, and the most rewarding things that any man will experience in his lifetime.  And that fathers of daughters retain a caveman like chromosome that will stop at nothing to protect daddy’s little girl.

 

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

The only other thing I could share regarding my experience as a father is in regards to children’s health. Isaiah (my 8 year old son) has a congenital heart condition, classified as Severe Tricuspid Regurgitation – a disorder in which the heart’s tricuspid valve does not close properly, causing blood to flow backward (leak) into the right upper heart chamber (atrium) when the right lower heart chamber (ventricle) contracts.

We have been told that Isaiah will most likely need surgery to repair or replace the valve.  You can’t see a heart disorder on the outside – When you look at Isaiah you will see a healthy looking, gap toothed grinning, book reading, video game playing, no vegetable liking, silly, smart  alack kid.  Of course as parents we worry & stress about doctor visits & his future, but we have to move forward with optimism.  I have faith that he will grow up to be a beautiful person, and a good man

 

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

Wow! That’s a tough one.  My first thought is the miracle of birth of each of my four children.  But there have been so many wonderful milestones along this Dad trip I’m on!  My oldest son’s first gig on drums, Isaiah’s first academic award, Caleb’s first time speaking in front of an audience, or the first time my daughter said “I love you daddy.”  I know there will be so many more wonderful memories to be made.  Life is a journey, and this dad is enjoying the ride.

If you have any questions for Euri, 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 ) – Oren Miller ( @BloggerFather ) #Dads4Oren

dads4oren
This evening our world lost a great father and friend. In tribute to Oren Miller I am re-running his Dads in the Limelight post that first ran on May 15, 2011. God speed Oren, you will be missed.

Our 127th Dad in the Limelight is Oren Miller from BloggerFather on Twitter, and the blog A Blogger and a Father. I want to thank for Oren being a part of this series. It has been great 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 Oren, which seems very exotic/strange to Americans, but is a very common name in Israel, where I was born. In 2000, I followed my heart all the way to Baltimore, and now I’m here with two dogs, two kids, and only one wife. I started writing a blog called People in the Sun in 2006, but eventually it ran its course. I write mostly now for A Blogger and a Father, where I try to highlight my favorite blogging fathers, while writing some of my own thoughts about fatherhood.

2) Tell me about your family

My wife is this amazing, smart, beautiful woman, and she has a heart of gold. Unfortunately for her, she found me before she had a chance to really see what’s out there. I’ve since stolen the best years of her life. We like folding clothes together. I’m better than her at Wii.

My 3-year-old boy is a beautiful bilingual genius. I also beat him at Wii. I also have a beautiful toothless 1-year-old girl. It goes without saying that I’m better than her at most Wii games.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

I don’t know much about what I’m supposed to do as a father, but I know what I DON’T like. Avoiding the stuff I don’t like has been my biggest challenge. I hate myself for raising my voice and for losing my patience, but I’m not Buddha, and I don’t always live in the moment, and my mind wanders, and before I know it I find myself yelling at my kid for asking too many questions. I’ve never spanked them (I actually don’t like the word Spank, because it implies something innocent and constructive, when really it’s just hitting a kid), thank God, but remaining calm while setting boundaries and without losing ground to my 3-year-old is an uphill struggle.

 

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

My advice has always been to remember to be cool. I try to give this advice to myself when I lose it, and I wish I could stand next to me when I’m nearly over the edge, smack myself in the head, and tell myself to chill. My best parenting, no matter what horrible thing I’m reacting to, is always done when I’m calm. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think yelling at a kid is child-abuse. I just think it’s pointless.

 

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.

There’s an outside life? See, I wasn’t going to define myself in terms of my family. I was happy being an individual who also had a family. But the change in my self-identity happened, and I can’t find the reason to fight it. I actually like it. I like having them constantly in my mind. I like the fact that when I look at photos of a Cancun hotel we might stay in for our first couple-only vacation in years, all I can think is that my boy would have loved it there… It’s a bit pathetic, but it’s who I am now.

 

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

There’s been a “We’re all pretty much the same” vibe I got from the first interaction I had with another father, in real life or online. As men, we have our hangups and our oddities, and we come out most of the time as closed-up introverts. But in the end, I noticed that most dads love talking with other dads about fatherhood. We love our kids, and we love seeing other fathers let their guard down and show how much they love their kids too.

 

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

I love the Twitter machine. It’s full of good people who can’t wait to say a nice word. Sure, it’s also full of Sarah Palin, but you can set Twitter in a way that ignores the ignorant dumbasses and gives you only great people and great conversations. Being a stay-at-home parent can drive you a bit crazy. Parents used to escape the insanity by finding public places and adult conversation, but now with Twitter we can remain sane and have adult conversations without listening to Christmas music in September!

 

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

Ooh… Probably bringing the boy back from his granny to meet his sister for the first time (well, there was a first time in the hospital, but he really didn’t know what was going on). He came over to the bed and touched his sister gently, and smiled a real smile, which is something adults have forgotten how to do, and you could sense that he felt his world has changed.

If you have any questions for Oren, 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 ) – Charles Lee #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 517th Dad in the Limelight is Charles Lee. 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.

Charles-Lee

  1. TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF.

My name is Charles F. Lee.  I am 83 years old.  I received my BA degree from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.  I subsequently obtained a master’s degree in Mass Communications from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.  I served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.  Following my military service, I spent fourteen years in various technical and executive positions with several contractors of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), moving from basic research to test site activities in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I am a retired Department of Defense (DOD) employee.  I am currently a free-lance writer and the author of the book The Adventures of Ickle, Packy, Pickle and Gooch, the book The Threat from Within and its sequel The Threat from Within Defeated.  I have contributed a dozen articles to The Texas Gun Collector magazine and one article to the Journal of the Company of Military Historians.

 

  1. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.

I was married to Dorothy J. Lee for over 60 years.  My wife passed away March 31, 2013 from complications following open heart surgery.  I miss her very much.  Together we raised two fine daughters.  Our oldest daughter Deborah Anne Lee, MD, PhD, is currently senior medical director, Lundbeck Pharmaceutical Company.  Our youngest daughter Nancy Ellen Lee, BA, Ma, MMSC, PA-C is currently assistant professor, Touro University Nevada.

 

  1. Charles-LeeWHAT HAS BEEN THE LARGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE HAD IN BEING A FATHER?

The largest challenge I have had in being a father was keeping the family together, happy and providing for my growing family during my college years and the numerous moves both in country and overseas during my professional career.

  1. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER FATHERS?

My advice to other fathers is to love your wife and children through the good times as well as the tougher times.  And most of important provide the guidance your children will need as they mature and become responsible adults.  There will be times when your children will want to do things you don’t really approve of like becoming a skydiver.  As a father you wonder if your 17 year old daughter and weighing only 85 pounds is mature enough to handle the rigors of such a deadly desire.  After three days of ground training our oldest daughter made her first successful parachute jump and then went on to make more free fall jumps.  The key to a parent’s decision regarding their children’s wishes is he or she mentally able to handle what they are seeking permission to do.  As our oldest daughter’s skydiving instructor told me it’s not the strength in her arms that counts; it’s her mindset knowing if she doesn’t pull that string, she won’t have to worry about a thing.

Charles-Lee

  1. HOW HAVE YOU COME TO BALANCE PARENTHOOD AND OUTSIDE LIFE?

Balancing parenthood and outside life can be real tough at times.  During my college under graduate years I went to school during the day and worked full time at Argonne National Laboratory during the evening and night.  This did not leave much time for me to spend with my family as a husband and father to our first daughter at the time.  But both my wife and I knew by completing my college education would provide for a much better future for our family as well as fostering the desire for advance education when it came time for our two daughters to pursue an education beyond high school instead of entering the working world.

 

  1. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THE FATHERS THAT YOU HAVE INTERACTED WITH?

The most important thing I learned from the fathers I interacted with is to always love my family members and provide for them the best I could throughout my life.

Charles-Lee

  1. WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU SHARE REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A FATHER THUS FAR?

I believe the hardest thing I experienced as a father was to balance the needs of a professional career against the needs of a sound and favorable family life.  At times this can be difficult when your job and career demands require long periods of absence from home and family.

 

  1. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES THAT YOU HAVE HAD THUS FAR AS A PARENT?

I believe the most memorable experiences I have had as a father is to live to see both daughters grow up to become responsible adults and very successful in their chosen professional careers.  My late wife and I are extremely proud of our two daughter’s accomplishments.  And I can truly say as a father I have greatly contributed to our daughter’s success in their careers through our loving family life throughout the years.

If you have any questions for Charles, 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 ) – Nigel Higgins ( @NigeHiggins4 ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 516th Dad in the Limelight is Nigel Higgins. I want to thank Nigel for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Nigel-Higgins1)     Tell me about yourself (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Nigel. I’m a dad of five, a husband to one and a painter and decorator. In my spare time I’m also a blogger/vlogger! I enjoy watching all kinds of sports, mainly football, My dream is that Wales will one day reach a major championship final (world cup etc) so that I can go and support them!
In my job as a painter and decorator one of the most satisfying things for me to see is the transformation of changing a very tired looking room or house into a fresh and vibrant living space.
I’m in the limelight as a person that can balance all these aspects of my life and still enjoy being a dad and husband.
2) Tell me about your family
I am married to Emily, my wife of three years. We’ve been together for around 11 years and together we have beautiful three year old twin girls.
I also have three other children from a previous marriage. Two girls and a boy. My eldest is 19, followed by a 17 year old and a 15 year old.
Nigel-Higgins3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
All children are a challenge at some point in their lives. They certainly test your confidence and ability as a dad. My first three children who are grown up now, I can remember many testing moments from toddler to teenager. It’s interesting now that my twins are nearly three you’d have thought that some of the challenges that I faced with my older three would have prepared me to deal with them better.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced as a father is that as your children enter their teenage years the hormonal changes going on can leave you with very temperamental children! The challenge is knowing when to stand back and say nothing or when to intervene and advise that maybe there’s a better way to deal with the situation whatever that may be. There’s a very fine line between being helpful and completely falling out with your child.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
The only advice I would give to other fathers is to always believe in your own instincts for your own child because 99 times out of 100 they’ll be right because you know your child best.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
I’ve always made a point of not allowing work to dominate my life so that I am able to spend good quality time with all of my children thus forming solid relationships with them all. I’m fortunate enough to work for myself which means that I can work around my children. So if they have a sporting activity etc that they’re a part of I’ll always be there to support them.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
To be honest with you after almost twenty years of being a dad I’ve not learnt anything from other fathers. I’ve found my own feet and sometimes when you don’t get it right you make it up as you go along and learn from your own mistakes.
Nigel-Higgins
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Being a dad is a 24/7 job. It’s stressful, expensive and tiring, but it’s the most rewarding experience you can ever have in your life.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
There have been many memorable experiences. A few that spring to mind are:
* My 17 year old daughter being picked to play football for Wales
* My 19 year old daughter achieving top marks in her exams and then going for her first job interview and securing it
* My 15 year old son being named as player of the year in his football team
* My twin girls, after 27 days in special care coming home from hospital healthy and happy
Although these are just a few memorable moments, I have to say how very proud I am of all of my children in everything they done and achieved. I feel very blessed to have such lovely children.

If you have any questions for Nigel, 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 ) – Rob Candelino ( @RobCandy ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 515th Dad in the Limelight is Rob Candelino. I want to thank Rob for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Rob-Candelino1)     Tell me about yourself (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

I’m the Vice President of Marketing/General Manager at Unilever, a large consumer products company, where I’m responsible for some of America’s favorite beauty brands including Dove and Dove Men+Care, Suave, and TRESemme. I joined the company in my home country, Canada, in 1997. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to live and work in a variety of countries and exciting roles.


2) Tell me about your family

I’m the luckiest man in the world. I have an amazing wife and two fantastic little boys, Christopher and Julian, (age 3 and 1.5) who are my greatest joys.  Every day they do something to make me laugh, that inspires me, and makes me feel so unbelievably blessed to have them in my life.  It’s amazing what two little boys can teach us grown-ups about what’s most important in life.


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

Definitely carving out enough time to do it right. Being a parent is hard.  Being a REALLY good parent is REALLY hard, especially when one has so many other demands on his/her time. Just last night, Julian woke up at 2:00amand didn’t go to sleep until 5:00am.  The entire time he was in my arms, and I honestly loved every second of it because I got to see and hold him. However, I then had a very full day at the office leading a big team and a very large business.  Naturally, I was tired and wasn’t at my best as a business leader. It’s just one small example of how difficult it is find the time and energy to do both brilliantly, as well as I need, and want, to do them.

 
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Get involved. It’s like anything else in life – spectators don’t get nearly the same experience as participants.  The rewards for being a deeply involved dad are far, far greater than being a bystander. 

 

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

Truthfully, I haven’t. Nor do I believe “balance” actually exists.  Most of us live in a world that is much more fluid and dynamic, so seeking balance isn’t practical.  My view is you need to prioritize the things that are most important and give as much time and energy to those. If you have anything left over, that’s for you!

 

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

There is no longer a stigma around dads being very involved. Our generation is the first to be really public and open about being a very involved parent. As we always say on Dove Men+Care, guys can be comfortable in all aspects of life – whether its having a tea party with their kids or hanging out with the guys watching sports. It’s a real phenomenon- I see it everywhere in New York City, whether on bikes in the park or going grocery shopping during the weekend. I’ve learned that guys are very aware of their changing role and are embracing it wonderfully. I don’t think there’s any angst about it, and all of the men I know are excitedly stepping up to their role as dads. Frankly, it’s awesome to see, and I believe society is far better for it.


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

I just recently spent a long weekend with my 12 closest guy friends – most of whom are dads.  Interestingly, mostly every conversation started and centered around our kids, and the surprising part was how natural that felt. I was reminded, yet again, that guys care deeply about their kids and want to talk about them with other guys.  Be there for your friends.  Listen to their stories and problems and reciprocate generously.

 

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

The truth is that you get memorable moments every day. Julian was successfully potty trained for the first time just recently, but it’s just as memorable as him waiting for me at the front door when I get back from work. There are just way too many and too frequent memorable experiences for me to even pick just one. Every word they say, every hug they give, every smile they share – they are all gifts that I try to cherish for as long as my memory will allow.

 

If you have any questions for Rob, 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 ) – Nick Jaworski ( @NBJaworski ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 514th Dad in the Limelight is Nich Jaworski. I want to thank Nick for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

nick-jaworski

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

I am a dad who spent the last 9 years living abroad in Turkey, Vietnam, and China with extensive traveling thrown in.  My daughter just turned 2, but has been able to travel with my wife and I to 6 countries already.  I am an educator at heart and have been involved in teaching, training, or school leadership for over 10 years now, mainly because I love working with kids.  I had wanted to be a father for a very long time, but wanted to do so later in life after having explored the world and building up a bit of a career.
Being in the limelight as a dad has been very recent with my entrance into the dad blogosphere and my determination to raise my daughter speaking Chinese (which I still don’t speak that well).  This is a constant challenge and comes with doubts from myself, my readers, and those around me.  If I can succeed, I know I’ll have given my daughter a huge advantage in life.  I’m always interested in connecting with others trying to raise a multilingual child.

nick-jaworski

2) Tell me about your family

I met my wife in Turkey (she’s Turkish) and we had our daughter in China, so I have become acutely aware of the importance of raising my daughter to be a global citizen.  This is one reason we are currently trying to teach her 4 languages.  We use the One Parent, One Language strategy for Chinese and Turkish, send her to 3 Spanish classes a week, and know she’ll pick up English once she enters preschool.  This past January, we moved to the US to Chicago’s North Shore suburbs from China.

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
By far it has been the time spent working.  I would much prefer to be at home to be able to spend time with my daughter and help her grow and learn.  Unfortunately, my work is often demanding and can take me away from home for 50-80 hours a week.  I used to work for Disney and then built a bilingual immersion school down near Hong Kong in China and I was always gone.  When I wasn’t, I was stressed about work.  After getting the bilingual school up and running, I took a 3 month break and knew I needed to be home more.  I took on some project work, but got to spend a lot of time with my daughter, so now the most important thing for me is maintaining a strong work-life balance.  I don’t bring work home with me and, if I have to do events on my days off, I bring my daughter with me.  The US is a very expensive place to live compared to other countries I’ve lived in, so it can be very hard to make ends meet, which requires taking more demanding positions with better salaries.  But, I know it’s important to work for a company that values and respects family, which I have been lucky to find.
nick-jaworski4

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
On that note, my advice is to be present.  Being present and in the moment with your child is the greatest gift you can give them.  Work and other events too easily follow us home and distract us.  Being present may be as simple as turning the cell phone off, but, more often, it means not letting life’s other demands distract you during time with your child.  Stop thinking about work, bills, or family issues and just play.  You’ll have plenty of time to stress later :)
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
I enjoy spending time with my daughter most and she comes with me everywhere.  I just ignore people if they feel where we are isn’t an appropriate place for children and such.  It’s sometimes hard to find time for myself for reading, working out, or other projects, but I don’t mind putting those off until after she’s asleep.  When it’s possible, I have her play alongside me. For example, when working out, it often takes twice as long because she’ll jump on my back or want to roll around on the floor and play between (or during!) sets.  But it becomes a game and we both have a lot of fun while I get my workout in.  As we all know, things simply take longer with kids and that’s ok.
nick-jaworski3

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
On a different tact, I have learned a lot from sons of fathers who aren’t around.  I have managed schools that cater to an upper demographic and I also have done a lot of work with at-risk youth, particularly in domestic violence situations.  In most such cases, I see children who struggle, who have negative behaviors because parents aren’t around or because the parental influence is rife with negative emotions.  These kids really just want parents who are there for them and support them.  This is why I have been so excited joining the dad blogger community.  Outside the US, I wasn’t even aware it existed, but came back and saw all these great dads being not just a hugely positive influence on their children, but also on other parents around them.  It’s very inspiring.
nick-jaworski1

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Get your child learning a second language as soon as possible.  It only gets harder to learn as they get older and the life advantages are far greater than other activities like sports (which also doesn’t have windows of opportunity that close in the brain as they get older, so you will always have time for it).
 
Other than that, I’d say enjoy it!  They grow up so fast.
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8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
I think, as dads, we are good at allowing our children to take risks and to learn on their own.  My favorite moments are when my daughter first learns to do something new on her own like eat with a spoon even if that means making a mess all over herself and the floor.  I don’t mind cleaning it up.  Just this week, my daughter put her pants on for the first time all by herself and she was so excited, she jumped off her bed and gave me a hug.  Those moments are really precious to me because she’s excited and I also know I am helping her learn new skills like independence and self-confidence.
I’d love to connect.  I post a lot about multilingualism, education, and awesome parenting.  You can find me on Twitter @NBJaworski (https://twitter.com/NBJaworski), Pinterest at Nick Jaworski (http://www.pinterest.com/nick_jaworski/), Facebook as Where Are We Going, Dad?(https://www.facebook.com/wheregoingdadblog?ref=hl) and, finally, I blog for Chicago Now at Where Are We Going, Dad?(http://www.chicagonow.com/where-are-we-going-dad).   I don’t know about you, but keeping up with all this social media stuff is a challenge!

If you have any questions for Nick, 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 ) – Dennis Miranda ( @runningtowinpgh ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 513th Dad in the Limelight is Dennis Miranda. I want to thank Dennis for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

Dennis-Miranda

1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
I am a follower of Jesus, husband to my High School sweetheart, and father of two boys and a baby girl. I am also a blogger and aspiring writer who is in the process of writing my first book which will be published sometime in 2015. The title of the book and it’s premise are taking from my blog post with the same name: The Strength of a Dad”. I am also a retired U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant who, in 2009, completed 20 years of honorable and faithful service to our country. I am also a former endurance runner who has completed 5 marathons and 3 ultra-marathons. One of these ultra-marathons I created and ran in 2008 with 4 other Marines I knew (http://1775.weebly.com/) to raise awareness and $14K for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. I am a recovered alcoholic and running was God’s way of getting me clean and sober. Although I no longer run marathons, by God’s grace however I am over 8 years sober today. I now run the spiritual race and blog about my experiences with God on my site Running to Win Pittsburgh: www.runningtowin-pgh.com)
Dennis-Miranda
2) Tell me about your family
I am married to my beautiful wife Tina for over 25 years who is also my High School sweetheart. Tina is also a chef who has worked in the restaurant industry for over 15+ years and is now a Chef Instructor to High School students at a local Vocational Technical school where she teaches. We have two biological sons who are now grown men and in college: Denny is a handsome 25 year old hipster who is majoring in Asian studies with the hopes of someday going back to Japan to work and study. We lived on the island of Okinawa for 3 years when I was in the Marines and that tour was one of Denny’s favorite. My other son Darren is 22 and is studying graphic design. He is an amazing artist who I believe is going to change the world someday through his art! In May of 2014 my wife and I adopted an infant girl from Pennsylvania. She was just 2 days old when we met her and since then we’ve been head over heels in love with her. Sophia Hope is our first and only daughter. She has the most beautiful smile and prettiest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. And yes, she has me wrapped around her little finger!
Dennis-Miranda
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
When my sons were little (birth – 8 years old) we had a lot of fun. We did lots of stuff together and we enjoyed horsing around with one another, playing video games, etc. Once they reached pre-teen/teen years it seemed we sort of drifted away. I was crushed because I felt I was losing them and I didn’t know how to handle their adolescence. I was never really taught how to be a father and so the only way I could cope with the stress of being married, raising a family, and work was to drink. I wanted to be a good Dad but didn’t know how at the time. Today although I’ve learned a few things about fatherhood, raising a girl seems to be a bit more of a challenge. With that said, I wrote a piece in a recent blog titled “The Strength of a Dad” where I’ve learned not only where my strength comes from in being a father but knowing how to be a good one.
Dennis-Miranda
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My advice to any dad with regards to raising their children is what I like to call the 4 P’s of parenting: Pray, Provide, Protect, and Presence (see my blog “The Strength of a Dad”). Praying for our children and over them is very important. I like to also ensure my kids have all that they need to become happy, secure, and successful; protecting them at all costs spiritually, physically, and emotionally without being over protective; and finally to be present not only in the home but in their hearts as well.
Dennis-Miranda
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
Being a Marine I like to try and keep things as simple as possible; “Marine proof” if you will. Therefore I go by the ‘yes/no’ principle. Before I commit to saying yes to any work project, hobby, or even church activity I have to know what I will be saying no to. Typically as Dad’s we have a tendency to sacrifice family time with working longer hours at the office or going golfing with the guys. It is critical for me to identify ahead of time what is most important and then prioritize from there.
Dennis-Miranda
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
That being a Dad is tough on many levels but it is so much more rewarding than any corporate job could ever offer and more worthwhile than any hobby we could ever pursue. Our role as a Dad is so much more important than we ever realize and more so than the world will ever give us credit for. So it is crucial that we don’t throw in the towel the moment things get a little tough. Above all our relationship with God is of the utmost importance. One of my favorite authors, Henry Blackaby, in his book “The Man God Uses” stresses this importance by saying, “The chance my children and grandchildren have may well rest upon my walk with God”. This is a quote I have inscribed on the inside cover of my Bible.
Dennis-Miranda
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Because I believe that 80% of life is just simply showing up, as Dads we need to continually make the effort of being present in the lives of our children. You don’t have to be a perfect Dad. Last I checked the only perfect father is our Father in heaven. Just try being a good one. Invest in your kids early in their childhood. Doing so will pay huge dividends when they are older and yield a great return on your investment. If you are married ensure you invest first in your relationship with your wife. There is no greater ally to a Dad in the fatherhood fight than a Mom who feel loved and cared for.
Dennis-Miranda
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Receiving the news of my first son being born while I was in boot camp and my Drill Instructors having the entire platoon sing a long drawn out rendition of “Happy Birthday” while I did push ups. Later I received pictures of Denny when I was out in the field and I remember just being so happy and proud that he was my son. The other was being actually present this time for when my second son was born aboard Camp Pendleton. My in laws flew out from New York to California to visit. Lastly, one of the most memorable was when we got the call to meet our daughter whom we were to adopt. After my wife received the call from our agency she contacted me right away. She was sobbing profusely and it was hard to understand her. I remember thinking to myself, “Oh crap, who died this time?” But after she calmed down my wife shouted the good news that we had been chosen and that it was a girl! The next morning we were at the hospital. My wife and I were filled with anxiety and joy at the same time. As we were led into the NICU where Sophia was staying – and would stay for the next 6 weeks – we met for the first time the most beautiful and tiniest of God’s creatures. From that day on she became known as my “little lady bug”. Fatherhood to me is like being led to a cliff, peering over it’s edge, and then diving head first into the river below. But once in the water you are instantly swept away!

If you have any questions for Dennis, 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 ) – John Luiz ( @dadflashes ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 512th Dad in the Limelight is John Luiz. I want to thank John for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

John-Luiz1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

I am mid-50s father of two teenaged girls. This year, I started a daddy blog at www.dadflashes.com. Every Saturday morning I offer five new “dad flashes,” which are lighthearted observations about the perils and joys of parenting and marriage.

 

2) Tell me about your family?

My girls are 17 and 14. They are very different. The oldest is smart and funny and passionate about fashion. Every day, when I listen to hear talk, I feel like I’m getting a master class in clothing, accessories and make-up. The youngest one is a talented musician and has a scientific mind, always curious about the ways the world and physical objects in it work. As a former English major who took 0 science classes in college, it’s a bit of a challenge to keep up with her. The two of them keep my wife and me on our toes constantly!

 

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

John-LuizThe biggest challenge is to resist the urge to lecture them in the “wise old person of experience” mode every time they have a problem or challenge. It’s much harder to stay quiet for a bit and listen to them. But when they start to open about the issue from their perspective, it often becomes apparent that the situation is more nuanced, and the lecture I had prepared for them wouldn’t have worked anyway. Once they reach teenagerhood and have that level of independence that they don’t rely on you for everything, having an open conversation and throwing ideas back and forth about how they could address a problem usually works much better.

 

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Following along the lines of my answer above, the main advice I would give is to resist the urge to lecture, and have your first impulse be to listen to your kids. When your kids know that they’ll be heard, they start to open up a lot more. If all they expect to hear is a lecture on what they did wrong, and how they should have handled something better, they won’t tell you very much.
John-Luiz5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 

I started having kids in my late 30s, so I was at the stage when I wanted to spend my time outside work with my wife and kids. So there wasn’t a lot I wanted to do that they would have prevented me from doing.

Once they started to get out of toddlerhood, I was able to pursue a lot of things I always wanted to do with them. I always wanted to take up skiing, and I learned to ski with them.

Now that they’re teens, I’m the one begging for them to spend time with us. Fortunately, ours is the hangout house, so we get to see them a lot. It’s great because we have a lot of the same tastes in books and music and movies, so we share a lot of interests. We love laughing, and my kids have opened my eyes to a lot of YouTubers I never would have discovered otherwise. Jenna Marbles I discovered (if you don’t mind a lot of F-bombs) is as funny and entertaining as anyone you’ll find on network TV.

 

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

Since I joined the online community of dad bloggers, I’ve gained some insight into the challenges stay at home dads have, and I’ve been impressed with the successes they’ve had in getting advertisers to stop potraying dads as buffoons, incapable of changing a diaper.

John-Luiz

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

I am fortunate in that my wife is a therapist. So we have had a lot of conversations over the years about parenting. It was really from her I learned the importance of giving kids a safe environment where they feel free to talk and open up to you. It’s hard to resist that urge to tell your kids what to do, or to try to steer them away from the hardships you experienced and help them avoid mistakes you made. It’s more difficult to take a step back and let them navigate their lives on their own, knowing they do have a parent they can trust when they are ready to turn to you for help.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

Every day is really an adventure. Last year, I had a conversation with my youngest about what it meant to her to be an eighth-grader vs. a seventh grader. That was so long ago for me, that all of junior high — or middle school as they call it — was lumped together in my mind. But when she talked about the change in status to be the highest rank grade at their school, and all the big adventures eighth grade would bring — a school trip to Washington, a semi-formal dance — I started to remember just how much was going on in her life, and how her “easy world” of junior high was in someone ways more challenging that my daily responsibility of going into to work at the same place where I’d been for more than two decades.

My kids and I also like to travel. Our entire family had a great time when we visited London two summers ago, and last year my oldest and I visited Barcelona. (The picture of the two is taken on one of the archways in Gaudi’s famous cathedral. Her high school Spanish proved to be extremely helpful!

If you have any questions for John, 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 ) – Brad Lawless ( @BradLawless ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 511th Dad in the Limelight is Brad Lawless. I want to thank Brad for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

brad-lawless1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

I work as the vice-president of social strategy for Collective Bias, a shopper social media company that solves shopper marketing problems for brands by coordinating the production of engaging story-based online content that connects their products to specific retail channels.  I grew up in Southern Arkansas and have lived in Northwest Arkansas for the last 20 years. I love to write, read, play video games and help those around me achieve their goals.


2) Tell me about your family

We’re a modern day Brady Bunch. My wife, Courtney, and I were previously married before getting together. We married in August 2013. She has three girls, ages 5, 8 and 10, and I have an almost 11-year-old boy and and almost 13-year-old girl. Sometimes we have no kids with us. Other times we have a few or all of them since since their other parents have primary custody.


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

Staying connected to my kids after the divorce. They’re entering that pre-teen/teenage phase where they want to see more of their friends and maybe don’t tell their parents every detail of their day. When I don’t see them every day, I have to come up with creative ways to ask them about what’s happening in their lives to avoid getting the “nothing special…it was just a regular day” answer. I don’t see this as too different from most parents with kids at this stage. My weekday conversations just happen on a phone rather than in person.
brad-lawless
Learning how to be a step-father brought it’s own challenges and rewards. I’m now lucky enough to have 3 new girls in my life, but I’m not their dad. I’m the guy that married their mom. When they live with us, I’m there to love them and guide them, but we decided early on that any discipline comes from their mom. The same goes for my kids with Courtney. All our kids are really good kids, so this is rarely an issue, but we want to ensure that the step-kid/step-parent relationship is as healthy as it can be.


4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Be honest with your kids….about your fears, your hopes, your dreams, everything. We are their authority figures, but they also need to understand that we make mistakes, too. None of us have this parenthood thing figured out. There is no manual. We may not make the best decisions all the times, but we do it with the best of intentions. Read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It will change the way you look at parenting.


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

I don’t know that I have. Since my kids live with their mom most of the time, I try to do all my work when they’re away. On those weekends and holidays when they’re at our house, I try to focus all my attention on them. I know I don’t succeed all the time, but that’s the plan.


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

I try to learn from everyone around me, not just fathers. I’m always looking for people who can show better ways to live in the moment, show more compassion and meaningfully connect with those around them.

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

Just that I love all our kids (mine and my wife’s) and I love watching them turn into the people they’re becoming. It’s really fun watching them get to know their all of our kids get to know each other as well.


8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Which ones do you choose? Watching my children being born (one in the hospital and one at home.) Watching my daughter dance or listening to my son describe a video game he wants to design. Having all our kids participate in our wedding last year. Laughing together with all of them as play games and watch movies late on a summer night.

If you have any questions for Brad, 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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