Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Christopher Streeter ( @daddy_camo ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 490th Dad in the Limelight is Christopher Streeter. I want to thank Christopher for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

Christopher-Streeter

1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My names Christopher Streeter from Brighton in the United Kingdom. I am currently a stay at home dad, stay at home carer and stay at home worker;
Running my own charity clothing brand called Saints and Soldiers Apparel currently involved in projects and promotion of The Juara turtle Sanctuary, Help for Heroes and the African wildlife foundation.
I run my own Blog under the name Daddycamo – Diary of a tattooed dad.
I am also the Head of research and marketing for a gas safety innovation company by the name of Gasfuse and to top it as off I started my own graphics and photography company by the name of CSGraphics and Photography dealing with fashion photography and 3D after affect graphics.
But most of all I’m a heavily tattooed father. Husband to a heavily tattooed wife.
It just shows, how tattoos don’t make a man any different.
Christopher-Streeter2) Tell me about your family
My family is quite large if I’m honest, but immediately revolves around my wife Kerry and my newborn daughter Daisy-Ella. Who are the lifeline I hold on to most dearest. I also have a great family in my sisters, Katie (who had a daughter by the name of Isla) who has been here through it all to give me great advice and Sophie who is the career minded of us all, who gives a kick up the backside from time to time. Then there’s my mother Jacqueline who lives near by who I can admittedly say has filled the gap as my father also.
And then there’s my father, Paul who lives in Austin Texas with his wife, the world record freehold diver Tanya Streeter and my half sister Tilly.
It’s a cool family who add so many different elements to the table.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
I found it hard, even in the pregnancy, to hold down a job or even to look for something that gives me a bit of leg room. The hardest part has been to start my own businesses and get my name out there. I want to be able to provide for my family but also to be there in the hard times at a beckoned call and be there for my wife.
Yet most of all, the hardest part for me was the labour. It was a very hard labour and emotionally draining. I have never been so proud and in awe as I was of my wife. She has been an absolute inspiration in my life and has helped me realise what type of man I can really be.
I can see a future and it’s all going to work out.
Christopher-Streeter
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Everything is going to change and be much harder. Try to find a routine with your family and child that suits you. We were given a lot of advice and as much as it was great we only used a small percentage as everyone was different.
Also try to find some time, even 5 mins to sit down and connect with your partner.. It makes the world of difference.
Your partner is going through the same thing as you. Even with that last grasp whimper of energy, make that effort and make them feel special. They have just given you the best gift you will ever receive.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
To be honest they’ve Intertwined with one another. Friends have changed, life has changed. The balance has been trying to find those small moments for me and my partner more than anything else. I’m a firm believer that once you are in a family, a family is for life not just for Christmas. So I will be here till the end. Apart from this I do find time to sit down and play a game or two on my Xbox and chat to my friends from time to time about what’s going on but always having Daisy-Ella firmly in my arms.
Christopher-Streeter
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I was not alone. Even in the first few weeks I felt as if the world had dumped everything on my shoulders and I was the only one dealing with it all. This is not true at all. I have met some great guys at my antenatal class to help me through everything as we are in the same position here in Brighton.. I’ve also found solace with the great guys at dadbloggers, they have been a massive help these last few weeks and have really inspired me. All of the guys there are bloggers and some of them have really inspired me when reading what they have been through.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Not be be crude, but suck In your gut and get ready for the ride… There will be an abundance of poop, pee and projectile vomit nearly every day. Just be ready for it. Funny thing is I prepared too much to the point of having a custom face mask made in Sweden and custom fitted surgical gloves.. I am a clean freak. I can’t say that anymore, I sucked it up and got on with it.. I feel proud that I’ve done so.
Christopher-Streeter8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
A low was probably changing Daisy-Ella a couple days back late afternoon where she periodically peed all over me and vomited in my mouth. I had a job to do so soldiered on.
I have 1 main high, it was Daisy-Ella having her first bath and was the most memorable moment of my life. Being a bit of a water baby myself, I was proud to see how excited and happy she was to be in the tub in the water.
Just waiting till the 6 week nod to take her for her first swimming lessons :)

If you have any questions for Christopher, 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 ) – Robert Graves ( @The_Scared_Dad ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 489th Dad in the Limelight is Robert Graves. I want to thank Robert for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Robert-Graves1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge). 
My name is Robert Graves, and i picked up the kinda obviously nickname “Gravey” while serving in the Marine Corps.  Yes, I served 10 years in the Marine Corps, and even though I had no desire to be in the military in my youth, it was the best thing hat ever happened to me.  I joined Sept. 9th 2000, during a time of peace, and one year later, forced into the time of war.  The Marines wee my family… are my family, and they helped raise me, mature me, and give me the courage and strength to be the man I am today.  I was born in Alabama, and raised everywhere else… that’s how I explain it to people.  My parents were never married, so I’d bounce back and forth to wherever the new house was.  Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York… lets just say I’ve had more “friends” than a child could remember.  Now I work for a contractor building landing systems for airports worldwide.  As grand as it sounds to travel for work, the job gets old, and the road gets long.
Currently I just finished my Bachelors and have decided that this road has taken me as far as I needed it to, and now I’m on the road to become a High School guidance counselor, so I’m in my Master’s program for that as of now.
I believe I’m in the limelight because I would like www.thescareddad.com to be a vessel for my voice as well as other fathers who can’t find the words to speak.  My experiences in life are vast, and I want nothing more than to transfer those into becoming a role model for others around me, especially my son.
2) Tell me about your family: 

I married my best friend.  I truly did.  We knew each other in high school and never dated.  I was a senior she was a freshman, but I was friends with her sister and we kept touch seldomly via myspace and such.  Once I’d gotten out of the military my new life started and we’d ran into each other.  We sat in a tree.  We were K-I-S-S-I-N-G.  First came love.  Then came marriage… then we made a baby on wedding night and there’s a baby in the baby carriage.  That’s right… Baby Boy.  Our first child, and the first boy in the family.  She comes from a family of 3 girls, and her mom had 2 sisters.  I have no siblings, so everyone thought we were having a girl.  Not to mention I work with radiation, and there’s a “myth” (although the favors are on the myth) that people in my job have a much higher chance of having girls cause of x-y chromosome mutalation and science stuff…  Needless to say, this last Mother’s Day, baby Jake graced us with his presence.

Robert-Graves3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father? 
I would say that the largest challenge I’ve had being a father so far, is self-internalization.  We have to make some pretty big decisions as human beings when it comes to ourselves, let alone when it comes to being the head of a household.  I briefly spoke on it before, but I travel for a living, and I can’t complain about the pay.  It’s literally gotten us to where we are today—debt-free-homeowners… well minus the mortgage and car payment.  But that’s pretty good compared to where we were.  But the thing is, I wasn’t raised in a traditional home.  I was in a separated household without two parents, and I lacked something huge.
Stability.
Well as my wife and I zoomed through the pregnancy, I had some serious choices to make, because I knew I didn’t want to miss my son growing up.  And these choices, although very rational in my mind, can really put us in a bad spot.  See I’ve decided to go back to school and leave a very well paid job doing something I am good at but feel like a robot doing, not to mention takes me out of the country for months at a time (and job security), to take a chance to start over new in a profession that I have to prove myself in all over again, and not even be guaranteed a job right away.  The work is hard, the pay is low, but it’s something I love and it keeps me home.
Making that decision has been the hardest thing to do as a parent so far.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
This one is simple… A Happy Wife, is a Happy Life.  But in all seriousness, I know there’s some men out there doing this all by themselves, and I commend you.  So here’s my advice to ALL father’s married and not… Remember always… There are little eyes watching and little ears listening.  Children are sponges and absorb whatever you put out there.  It’s our jobs to make sure they’re soaking in the right stuff.
Robert-Graves5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
Fortunately, my wife has two sisters.  That’s two auntie’s available most times.  Then there’s a grandma and a grandpa that we haven’t really asked of much from… so they’re on standby.  But realistically, if I could, I would take Jake everywhere.  We already go to the beach and the park, hiking, and shopping.  I want jake to be like “My little Buddy… wherever I go, he’s gonna go.”  It also really helps that my friends that I grew up with all have kids as well, so we can just meet up and call it a playdate.  As for other stuff like clubbing or parties, that kinda dwindled down once we became home owners.
I have to remember that even though we can leave Jake with a relative, we probably shouldn’t unless we have to.  My wife turns 30 next year and our 1 year anniversary is this August, so in my mind I thought I’d plan nice getaway’s for both times, leave Jake with family and enjoy ourselves.  But the parent in me decided that he’ll come with us and we’ll do it how we’re supposed to for at least one of the trips.  He’s our responsibility… he’s our son.
So that’s how I look at “outside life.”
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with? 
Oh man.  This is a loaded question.  the easiest way to put it is, I learn how to be a father from my experiences with other fathers.  I learn what works, and what doesn’t.  I learn what I’d like to incorporate or emulate, and I discard anything that makes me uncomfortable.  We learn from our mistakes, but we definitely learn from other people’s mistakes.
One of the most recent things that I’ve had to encounter and pull from, is how children can change marriage, and how hard it is when roles change.  When mom’s become dad’s and vice versa.  I know a lot of SAHD’s would hate me saying that, but just accept the gender stereotype for the example.  My home is traditional in the sense that my wife is home with the kid and I’m away at work.  But from this family’s dynamic, I learned that I need to be present and make myself available when I’m around, because my wife does more than I can imagine even if to me from the outside looking in, wouldn’t be able to tell.
Robert-Graves
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Kinda piggy-backing off the biggest challenge question, there’s things that I’ve searched inside to be a better person and asked myself if I need to do this.  For instance drinking.  I’ve been drinking socially and in my own right as an adult since the age of non-adulthood.  I don’t have an problem drinking, but I have been in troubles and fights because of drinking, so one day… for my son… I decided to stop drinking.  Just like that.  Sometimes we need to make big decisions, because it’s not about us anymore.  I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I was drunk and–I dunno, slipped, busted my head and went into a coma to wake up and find out that I missed 14 years of my kids life, just cause I wanted to have a little wet fun.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent? 
My most memorable moment(s) were the times my son and I have had that skin-to-skin time after he was born and still to this day.  He’s still very young, so there’s not much going on.  He’s a pretty boring baby, although my wife would argue against that.  But when that baby just relaxes on daddy’s chest… *gasp*  haha.

If you have any questions for Robert, 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 ) – Devon Bandison ( @nowlegacy ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 488th Dad in the Limelight is Devon Bandison. I want to thank Devon for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Devon-Bandison1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge). 

My name is Devon Bandison, and I am a father of 3 wonderful young people that inspire me everyday! I have dedicated my career developing programs focused on fatherhood, at risk(hope) youth and professional development. I have a blog called NowLegacy.com which discusses everything from fatherhood to personal/professional development.  I am a professional speaker, executive coach and agent of change that helps leaders and fathers become the best version of themselves at work and with their children.

Devon-Bandison

2) Tell me about your family: 
I have a 17 year old daughter (going into her senior year of High School), a twelve year old son (an avid basketball player), and a 4 year old son (who is filled with awesomeness)
 Devon-Bandison
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father? 
Not sure I would label them challenges. But each day I am faced with a new opportunity to try be a power of example and instill values like love, honesty, integrity, purpose, service, family and friendship in my children.
 Devon-Bandison

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
To understand the gift of love and being present. Not just physically present, but allowing yourself to be present and connected to your children socially and emotionally. I think one of the best things I can do as a father is believe in my children, encourage them to dream and support their goals in life. Also, it is important for fathers to take the time to look at how they were fathered growing up. Often times, the fathers I work with are amazed at how much their upbringing impacts the way they parent (both positively and negatively). Once you understand this, you can make the necessary changes.
Devon-Bandison
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
This is a continuous area of evaluation and adjustment.  I don’t believe that these necessarily have to be competing priorities. You can spend the time necessary to be successful as a father and in your career with the right tools, motivation and perspective.

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with? 
That they want to be great fathers but often times don’t want to share their fears about being a good father.  Most men I work with have been conditioned not to show vulnerability or ask for help.  I think blogs like Dadsofivas and others that provide resources and a community for fathers is important.
 Devon-Bandison

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far? 
It can be difficult at times but there is nothing more rewarding and soul satisfying. It is my responsibility to show my children that no matter what life presents, the choice to be happy, caring and giving is up to you. One of my favorite fatherhood quotes “Fatherhood, a son’s first hero; a daughters first love.”
Devon-Bandison8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent? 
There has been so many memorable experiences over the years and too many to fit in this interview, but here are a few:
  1. Watching my 4 year old son be born pre-mature (3 pds, 12 ounces), and growing into the happy health, (and big) child he is today.  
  2. Going on college tours with my 16 year old daughter and seeing her develop into such a beautiful, respectful and caring person
  3. Watching my 12 year old son step up and be determined to be the best big brother in the world. The way he treats his brother is the most unbelievable thing to watch.  He shows love, empathy, and patience that often teaches me a thing or two. 
In addition to that, the other memorable experiences come when my daughter tells me that guys are going to have a tough time when she dates because of the example I show her. The time we spend laughing and talking about life are priceless.
When me and my 12 year old recently went to the NBA Draft and he turned to me and said “Dad, this was the greatest day of my life”
When my 4 year old tells me “Daddy I love you”
I am a lucky man and proud father!

If you have any questions for Devon, 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 ) – David Stippick ( @davidstippick ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 487th Dad in the Limelight is David Stippick. I want to thank David for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

David-Stippick1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
I’m a 26 y/o recent college grad. A student minister. I have five brothers and sisters of my own. I’m a sometimes blogger. A pretty constant tweeter (not compared to some people. I’m not quite sure how often a person has to tweet to get to the 25k range like I’ve seen some people get to.) if I’m in the limelight at all it’s purely by chance. My job doesn’t really lend itself to that. I just really, really like social media. I’d like to write a book someday. I think everyone’s got one good book in them. Enough about me.

 

2) Tell me about your family
My wife (We’ll celebrate 2 years on August 4th) will be a first year teacher this fall. She’ll be teaching 5th grade math. We met when one of my best friends for high school married her sister four years ago. I knew she was the person I wanted to marry – it took a year or so of convincing for her to know I was the person she wanted to marry. She is wonderful and beautiful and creative. Our baby boy is five months old now. He was born 10 pounds 12 ounces – didn’t want to come out. His first name is Riker (I REALLY like Star Trek, and my wife liked the name), and his middle name is Levy after my former youth minister/mentor. I always heard people say, “We can’t remember what life was like before we had kids,” and I never really believed them. Until now – I have generally no recollection of what I wasted my time on before we had a tiny human whose life we were responsible for.

 

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The largest challenge I’ve had in being a father has been very recent. Our son might sleep forever if someone is holding him. But if you set him down? It’s over. World War Three might break out if you’re not careful. It doesn’t matter if he’s been asleep 5 minutes or 2 hours. We’ve tried “crying it out” for longer than I’d like to admit. There’s not consoling the boy he wants to be held. His lack of sleeping unassisted sometimes leads to a lack of sleep for us – or a messier living room or kitchen than we’d like.

David-Stippick

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
There’s almost too much advice out there. Here’s mine: Every kid is different. Read all the advice you want. Try a bunch of different stuff with each of your kids. See what works for each one. Do that. Until it doesn’t work anymore. Then do another thing. Good luck!

 

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
This has been a real struggle. For the first 3.5 months of Riker’s life I was a full-time student with a full time job. This fall, I’ll return to that as I work on my Masters degree. The best thing I’ve done is learn that “No” is not a bad word, and it’s not something I have to be sorry for. I can say no to people and events that conflict with me being a good father or husband, and that’s more than ok. I also have to recognize when we need a “break” and just go be an adult with my wife, with other adults and try our best not to worry about our son.

 

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
My dad died when I was 15, so I never really picked up a lot of the “being a parent” stuff like some of my peers did from their fathers. I’ve reflected, and learned from that. I’ve had a great community of dads to learn from. I’ve learned from two of my mentors that love and patience are key. These two men have allowed me into their lives and families – I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the heartbreaking – and I’ve seen that they live and act in those situations the exact same way I’ve heard them tell other people they would. So I’ve learned a bit about integrity in fatherhood from them as well. I’ve learned from my brother (a father of three under the age of eight) that not everything’s an emergency. Once we were working in his garage, and his oldest came out to tell us that his brother had hit him. My brother ( @joseelplomerosaid, “Are you going to die?” My nephew responded, “No.” “Then go back inside and I’ll talk to you both later,” my brother replied.

 

David-Stippick7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
It’s been…interesting. And life changing. In the best ways. When my son smiles at me, I know there is a miracle working God. And in some frustrating ways. I don’t go out with buddies as often or as late as I might have before. There’s a bit of romanticizing that parenthood will always be happy and easy and perfect. Unfortunately this isn’t always true. There are days where it’s my favorite thing in the world. And there are days where I wonder if we really knew what we were doing. As far as I understand it this is a chronic state of mind from now until I am not longer a parent.

 

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
I’ve had two. When we got Riker’s 2 week blood work back he had indicators for Cystic Fibrosis. We had to go to a specialty clinic two hours away and get him a “sweat test”. I’ll never forget how red he got from crying during that process as I had to hold him down. And I’ll never forget how comforting it was for me to hold him when it was all done. The other is a bit happier. We call it Morning Man Time. As a teacher, my wife doesn’t work at her career job in the summer. I do. At night our son can keep her up a bit with kicking (he sleeps in our bed with us) and feeding. I’m generally spared this experience. So when I get up in the mornings (our son usually wakes us up around 6 a.m. with noises and sounds) I take him into the living room and we read or watch The Office while I eat breakfast and get ready to go and let mom sleep uninterrupted for a little while.
If you have any questions for David, 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 ) – Mark Jimenez ( @myfamilydidwhat ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 486th Dad in the Limelight is Mark Jimenez. I want to thank Mark for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Mark-Jimenez1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name Is Mark. I never thought that I would settle down and get married, let alone have kids. Now here I am married with kids. Last year I was given the opportunity to stay at home with my boys. It’s been the most amazing year of my life.
2) Tell me about your family
My beautiful wife Lauren and I are the proud parents of two children. My oldest son Nathaniel just turned 3 years old and next month little Mark will be turning 2. We are both very strong willed and come from Hispanic families. My parents are Cuban/Venezuelan and hers are Cuban/Puerto Rican. Needless to say that our families are filled with very passionate people, but enough about them. My wife and I switched roles some time ago, which has quickly become the most rewarding year of my life.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Mark-Jimenez
I think that the largest and hardest challenge for me was to realize that I have to be a good role model to my children. I know that the perfect person doesn’t exist. I am human and humans are flawed. I need to be that best human I can be; through my actions. I need to not tell my boys how to be good people, but show them how to be one.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
I found that no amount of literature has prepared me for what fatherhood really is. I can’t emphasize enough that every child is different so don’t compare yours to others. Having children is tough, but make sure that they always come first. Have lots of patience and don’t be afraid to let out your inner child when your with them. I find that when I least expect it they do the most hilarious and amazing things. So never take any moment for granted, you might miss out.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
Mark-Jimenez
This is a tough one. I don’t think that I mastered balance yet. My wife and I try our hardest to achieve balance, but then again with toddlers I don’t believe that balance can be achieved. I think it’s easier to appreciate those few moments of silence and making sure that my wife and I tackle everything as a team.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with? 
I know fathers that hands off and just don’t get the whole stay at home dad thing. They claim it’s not the mans job. They can at times be condescending and borderline ignorant with their comments. I also have come across several dad’s that give me credit for being able to take care of the boys all day and being so hands on. To the first half I say, “Times have changed. Being a dad is more than just a title.”
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Prioritize! Your a father first. Don’t just put on the game, explain to your kids what’s going on and get them involved. Talk to them about thing that you like. I think my wife laughs at me sometimes because I talk to my boys like they’re older. They always seem to hang on every word I say, and the looks on they’re faces during. I know that they may not Mark-Jimenezunderstand everything I’m, but that’s ok.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent? 
Watching my boys grow and learn new things are the most memorable experiences to me. Second only to the memories of meeting them at birth.

If you have any questions for Mark, 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 ) – Nathan Mynarik ( @SpittinNShittin ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 485th Dad in the Limelight is Nathan Mynarik. I want to thank Nathan for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Nathan-Mynarcik1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is Nathan Mynarcik and I am a Web Developer for one of the biggest online dating sites in the world. Of course, that is my Clark Kent suit. Out of the office, I am a newbie Father that is learning the ropes on his first born (5 mths). Since becoming a father, I have started a Daddy Blog called Spittin’ and Shittin’. It’s geared towards the ‘rough around the edges’ moments us Dads experience daily.

 

2) Tell me about your family

My wife and I met via online gaming. Since, we have married, moved half way across the US, twice, and now are enjoying our first born son. Besides being a fantastic mother, my wife is also a freelance photographer.

 

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

The most challenging thing for me as a father, has been connecting my son during the first three months. It was after the 12th week I started to really bond with him. Maybe it was because I don’t produce milk or I don’t have a sweet lullaby voice. Now, I feel the strongest love for my son and it’s the coolest thing ever!

 

Nathan-Mynarcik4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Having to deal with Colic, Tongue-Tied, and feeding issues, I would say you will literally hate your life for the first 3 months. Keep your head up, power through and eventually things get so much better.

Also, you don’t have to “FIX” it. Sometimes men immediately feel the need to fix whatever the issue is. Things might be out of your control. So just being supportive and learning from what’s going on is the best thing to do.

 

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

Personally, I’m not doing so well at balancing everything out. In order to do all the things I want to do in a day, I sacrifice my sleep. I’m still working on the “zombie during the day” part. Socially, we try and do Mommy/Daddy Dates. Getting together with friends, especially those with kids close to ours, has been a great relief. Separating Daddy time with stuff like sports or manly DIY projects can really help with the balance as well.

 

Nathan-Mynarcik6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

Everyone has their own method to the madness. Yes, fatherhood can sometimes be considered “madness”. I also know that everyone’s experiences are their own. I follow a lot of Dads on social-media, and everyone’s story is totally different and just as entertaining. Some of the cool things Dads do with their kids I like to bookmark so when mine gets around that age, we can do it too!

 

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

I’m really getting excited with what the future holds. My son’s personality shines more and more every day. I’m also looking forward to being able to interact with him more when he starts to crawl, walk, talk. I’m stoked!


Nathan-Mynarcik8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

I got to witness the first real rollover in person. I still have yet to be pooped on. My first bottle feeding experience was the best feeling ever. Seeing him look up at you while you are nurturing him really makes you feel proud to be a father. Every day has potential to be a new memorable experience. There is truly nothing else like parenthood in the world.
Nathan, 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 ) – Treion Muller ( @Treeon ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 484th Dad in the Limelight is Treion Muller. I want to thank Treion for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Treion-Muller1)    Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

Treion Muller is a self-proclaimed “father in motion” of five delightful—but not perfect—children, author of two business books and three parenting books—Dad Rules: A Simple Manual for a Complex Job, and Reality Parenting: As NOT Seen on TVTreion moved to the United States from South Africa in 1995 to complete his bachelors and masters degrees in adult learning. He is FranklinCovey’s Director of Digital Learning Solutions Development, business book author (The Learning Explosion: 9 Rules to Ignite Your Virtual Classrooms and The Webinar Manifesto), national presenter, and social media expert and online learning expert. Treion draws inspiration from his experiences as a professional dancer, medic in the South African Army, missionary, university student body president (SUU), university mascot (the Thunderbird), professional speaker, and of course, father.

 

2) Tell me about your family

My wife, Soni, and I have five children—four beautiful daughters (fourteen down to five) and one boy (three-years old). We live on the Utah Wasatch mountain range near Salt Lake City. My wife is a on Mercy River, a trio of mothers that sing inspirational music and have four CDs available on iTunes and in stores.

 
Treion-Muller3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

Spending quality time with each of my five children. Kids need to feel loved, and the amount of time a parent spends with them is essential for their emotional well being. With a full time job, writing career, and all the other “things” parents do, it takes a good amount of planning to have one-on-one time with my children.

 
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Spend time with your children because “there is no pause or rewind button” with parenthood. In my latest book, Reality Parenting, I give a lot of advise to parents, but this one really hits home for me. Several years ago I would spend hours each night mesmerized by the magic box (it was still a box then). Losing myself in the thrill of the game or the latest plot or obscure and fascinating characters. It was easy to be sucked into a good story line, and before I knew it, another “season” and year was gone.

Sadly, while I was watching other people’s fake lives, my own life was passing by without me in it. My children were getting older, and I had lost quality time with them that I could never get back. In retrospect, I was quite pathetic as a parent. Thankfully, my wise and patient wife pulled me from the addicting clutches of the entertainment world before I wasted more time away from what matters most, my family.

It was at that time that we decided to turn off the TV and be present in body and spirit with our children and one another. I believe this decision saved our family. I think of it as an inspired awakening from being in a TV-induced coma.

Treion-MullerNot all television is bad . . . we will still watch certain television shows and movies, but we do so in moderation. The point is not to suggest that all entertainment is evil, but rather to warn parents of the dangers of excessive viewing habits and the harmful effects it can have on quality family time.

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

I have chosen to put being a husband and father above all else. So, I do what I have to do as a family man first and then fit in the rest in of the stuff. This way I have no regrets. I mean, who will look back on their life and say, “I should have player more poker with my friends” or “worked harder at work or in the gym?” No typically the regrets come when we say, “I should have spent more time with my kids while they still wanted to hang out with me.”

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

We are all different. We have different strengths, different children, and different circumstances…so don’t compare yourself.One of the goals in my book is is to help parents understand that there are no perfect parents, no perfect families, just imperfect “parents in motion” that are hoping they can survive the day.

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

Treion-MullerIt can be very fulfilling and rewarding if we want it to be. But you have to show up for the job everyday…being a father is not a part-time job. YOU have to put in the hours, even if you make a bunch of mistakes along the way.

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

There are so many it is hard to mention even a few, but the birth of all my children is definitely at the top of that list. But it is also the small kisses and unconditional hugs, the sweet memories and hundreds of “first times.” It’s those moments when you overflow with so much emotion that your eyes cannot contain it all. It’s all the cute made-up words your kids speak, and that you wish they will never outgrow. It’s watching them play in the dirt and get drenched in the rain. These are the moments and experiences I will cherish.

 

If you have any questions for Treion, 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 ) – Bryan Alkire ( @Kzoodad ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 482nd Dad in the Limelight is Bryan Alkire. I want to thank Bryan for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Bryan-Alkire11) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

About me, well I have been an At home dad for about three years now. I left the work force by choice, my wife and I wanted some one home with the kids. A promotion she received not long after that decision made me a stay at home dad. As for how I am in the limelight, about 6 months ago I started a blog (www.kzoodad.com). With the blog I have tried to share my experiences with being home as well as a creative outlet for myself. It is something I have wanted to do for a while and finally got the guts to do it.

 

2) Tell me about your family

My family is my wife Stephanie, my two beautiful daughters Sophia, who is two, and Ella, who is four. A plethora of aunts, uncles cousins, and friends help keep our lives interesting as well as provide the support we need. Oh and of course i’m in there too.

Bryan-Alkire

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

With the exception of a major medical problem my oldest went though, My largest challenge would have to be staying involved. I struggle with the temptation to sit them in front of the tv and just read a book or play on my phone. I like to think I am usually successful with this, although I will admit to moments of weakness. You can only play candy land so many times before you start to zone out.

 

 

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Be Involved. Like I said in the previous question don’t give in to the temptation. I know it’s tough trust me. But it is the most rewarding thing you can do. Get on the floor and play with the kids. Make a fool of your self, that will mean more to them then any toy or movie. It is also not nearly as aggravating as candy crush.

 

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

Luckily my wife is very understanding with this. She lets me get away to play golf (badly) or meet some friends at the bar after the kids go to bed. I think this is very important. If you lose yourself in becoming a parent you will have nothing to give to your kids. Sometime to step away is important.

Bryan-Alkire

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

I learned I am not a lone. It sounds obvious to say it now but I struggled for a while when I first stayed home. I was lonely I felt isolated, and I felt others didn’t understand. Other fathers I have spoken with mostly though a couple of great Facebook groups, have helped me feel part of a community. The support is amazing.

 

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

No one is perfect, every thing doesn’t have to be special, just give your kids your time.

 

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

The obvious answer is my kids being born. But as I alluded to above we had a major medical problem with my oldest. I don’t want to get into the detail here, you can find the story on my blog. That is something I will never forget. It shaped who I am and did a lot to show me what was important in my life. It is an experience I will never forget.

 

If you have any questions for Bryan, 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 Boyle ( @DinnerbyDad ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 480th Dad in the Limelight is Nick Boyle. 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-Boyle1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Nick Boyle and I’m a mid-20s first-time Dad. Why/How am I in the limelight? I don’t know… you tell me! I currently work as an SEO Manager for a luxury fashion brand during the day, then rush home to be with my partner and son, Isaac for the rest of the evening. In my spare time, I document my experiences over at Dinner by Dad to share the highs and lows of fatherhood with my readers.
It’s a real balancing act – but I love it. Coming home to that little man at the end of every day is just the best feeling anyone could imagine.
2) Tell me about your family
My family still has its ‘L’ plates on! We’ve jumped headfirst into parenthood and both love all the joys and challenges it has thrown our way. My partner, Nikki, is on maternity leave as I write this – and she’s a fantastic mum to Isaac. We met around 10 years ago on our first day of college – and despite going our separate ways for a few years, we found ourselves together and were soon buying a house and expecting our first baby!
Nick-Boyle3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
To put it simply: going to work. Leaving the little man and Nikki behind in the morning is really difficult – even after 7 months. Sure, there have been loads of other challenges (nappies, feeding, projectile vomiting, etc.), but missing out on small yet significant developments is pretty tough. Nikki does a great job with recording the mischief Isaac gets up to – but I can’t help harbouring a slight feeling of jealousy at times that I wasn’t physically there to see something.
That being said, there’s no other (acceptable) way to earn money than to head out and work; and knowing that I’m putting food on the plates of my family gives me a growing sense of pride and responsibility. I work hard to ensure my family are safe and healthy, so despite not enjoying leaving in the morning, my motivation has never been stronger.
The drive home from work always starts off a little downbeat after a stressful day, but by the time I’m turning that final corner into the driveway I’ll have a big smile on my face!
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My first piece of advice is: love every minute; love every smile, every gurgle, every burp, every snore. Just love it all.
My second piece of advice is to be patient. Sure, your little one may have been screaming for 30 minutes straight… but it’s their only way to communicate how they feel at that moment. Patience, my friend, will get you through. Remember that your child doesn’t know as much as you, so don’t get frustrated when they fling a tomato-based meal over your cream carpet, they didn’t mean to!
Nick-Boyle
My final piece of advice is based on teamwork. You and your partner have entered this together – so no matter how tired you are, how hungry you are or how annoyed you may get at each other, you a part of a team; a team that your little one wholly relies on. Work together to get things done; ask each other what you find difficult and come to a joint solution. Not only will you both grow together, but you’ll convey a powerful and meaningful message to your child – one that will stick with them forever. Remember, they are part of your team too – so never leave them stranded.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
Before Isaac was born, Nikki and I had a chat about how we’d retain certain elements of the lives we had become accustomed to. I would continue to go to the football (soccer, for those of you based in America) on a Saturday to cheer on Preston North End, and Nikki would continue to go out for meals with friends, etc.
In reality, this has been a little more difficult as parenthood takes over; but it’s something we’re working on! We still have ‘date nights’ every week, which is great. We’ll put Isaac down to bed then put a movie on and have a nice tea; having that time together is really important.
Nick-Boyle6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Friendship and a strong collective identity. Dads are fantastic friends to have; whenever something isn’t going right, just like your closest friends, they will be there to pick you up. I’ve been touched by how welcoming and open many fathers have been and how strong the community is. The year of the Dad Blogger is upon us… #Dadpower
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Remember that your child is your child – so when someone says “I would do this”, or “You should do that”… take it with a pinch of salt and just smile in response. You make the calls, you make the shots – don’t let other people’s opinions govern the way you father your child.
I’ve been told how to father my child by many a passer-by. Sure, they may just be offering harmless help, but they don’t really have a right to tell me how to look after Isaac. It’s the one thing that annoys me about some people’s perceptions of fathers. I will proudly say that I am a good father; I work hard to pave a happy future for my family and I regularly show my son the unconditional love he deserves.
There we go, it’s off my chest now!
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
So far, it has to be Isaac’s transition into crawling. He spent so long trying to move across the room, only to be floundered by his own arms getting in the way. Seeing him actually move in the direction he wanted for the first time filled me with pride… and tears! Now, though, we can’t stop him – he’s absolutely rapid when he wants to be and a nightmare to catch sometimes! I’m so proud of my son – he’s taught me so much about what really matters in life in such a short space of time. Never did I think I could love someone so much.

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 ) – Chris ( @DadUnderfire ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 481st Dad in the Limelight is Chris from DadUnderFire.com. 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-dadunderfire.com1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is Chris and I’m 34 years old and a recently separated dad of two amazing boys, Lucas (5) and Jack (2). I am also a professional firefighter in one of the top 5 largest Fire Departments in North America. When I’m not working or spending time with my boys, you can find me watching sports or playing them. Besides playing hockey and baseball, I enjoy running and try to fit in at least one half-marathon a year. I also like to paint and write and I have created an outlet for that on my website DadUnderFire.com which I plan on returning to after a small hiatus.
2) Tell me about your family

My family is literally the reason I get up in the morning. They are the reason I am here today. When you go through a separation, you can find yourself in some dark places with only your thoughts. Being with my wife for 16 years makes being single again a real challenge. Whenever I’m depressed, I look at pictures of Lucas and Jack and I’m instantly reminded what my purpose is. They give meaning to my most meaningless moments. They are at such an awesome age right now, both with their very own personalities and mannerisms. Gone are the days of babydom and here are the days of jokes and silliness.

Chris-dadunderfire.com
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

Without question, my largest challenge as a father, is trying to tightrope walk the fine line of being a good dad, while avoiding the mistakes my dad made. My relationship with my father is rocky at the best of times. I will always say he raised me to be a successful and respectable human being. Sadly, our father/son relationship suffered for it. I am completely independent because of him, and completely handicapped emotionally at the same time. It allows me the freedom to do the job I have without breaking down (most of the time) but often creates pitfalls when it comes to my own boys. It’s a balancing act that I don’t foresee levelling out anytime soon.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

My best advice is that just because you fathered a child, it doesn’t mean you’re a complete “father”. Every new milestone my boys reach, I’m reminded how much more I have to learn. Early on, it was a matter of making sure my son was clean, full of food and safe. Now that he’s older, I have to worry about the example I’m setting for him. He’s fully aware of right and wrong now and I can no longer just talk-the-talk, I have to actually walk-the-walk it as well. He’s constantly keeping me in check for things I’ve said to him. You slowly progress from Do as I say to Do as I do and it’s scary but fulfilling at the same time. As my son learns to become a man, I learn to become a better man. Don’t ever forget that. No one is above improving themselves while in the process of improving others.

Chris-dadunderfire.com
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 

For me, my outside life involves mostly my time at the Firehouse. I work 24 hour shifts and over a year, it means being away close to 100 days. It’s very difficult when trying to raise a family and work schedules but the credit goes to my ex-wife. She is an amazing mother and she does a great job at ensuring the boys are handled when neither of us is available because of work. It’s also important to maintain a social life after babies. Being separated has allowed both my ex and me to go out more and meet new people. It’s scary, but helps mentally on those days and nights where things at home are incredibly stressful. The best way to balance it all is to not be afraid to ask for help. It really does take a village to raise a child. The sooner you accept that the sooner the stress will ease.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

I’ve learned that dads are awesome and very capable of raising their children. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is the way mainstream media gives the illusion that dads/husbands/boyfriends in general, are just big kids who don’t make good decisions. To advertisers, it’s funnier if we don’t know how to dress our kids or change a diaper. That’s why it’s refreshing to see dad bloggers and websites like DadOfDivas that are out there giving us dads a respectable voice for what we do. Twitter alone is filled with incredible dads that would be an advertiser’s nightmare because of how capable they are at being an amazing Dad/Husband/Boyfriend.

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

Looking back on my first 5 years as a Father, I would have to say, for every one day filled with stress and angst, there are 4-5 more days of fun and happiness. It challenges you every day and while you may not realize it at the time, you are becoming a better person for it and not in spite of it. The early years are when you pay your dues. You get little glimpses of the dividends throughout, like first steps or first words and as the challenges get more difficult, the rewards get more special. I’m not looking forward to those teen years, but I cannot wait to see my boys get married, start their own families and careers and improve upon the mistakes I will undoubtedly make myself along the way.

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

One of the things I will always remember is the excitement on my oldest son’s face when he caught his first fish. There was so much excitement in his voice and the smile on his face was huge. I was so incredibly proud of him and how he handled the whole thing. There was no fear and when it was over, he couldn’t wait to catch another one. That was a moment when I saw him change from my son to my fishing buddy and that was an incredible feeling.

 

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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