Our 696th Dad in the Limelight is D. Doug Mains of DDougMains.com and DaddingDepressed.com. I want to thank D. Doug Mains for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing D. Doug Mains with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
After wandering through my twenties like a lost puppy, playing the hokey-pokey with education, and hopping from one payroll to another, I finally decided to pursue my lifelong dream of writing full-time. Having dealt with severe depression and anxiety, I stripped my life down to the studs and reevaluated the foundation. Friends, family, and my mental health became priority over status, position, and pay grade.
Now, I write, allowing me to serve my wonderful wife by staying home with our 10-month-old son, Isaiah.
2) Tell me about your family
Having been married for three and a half years, my wife, Lindsey, and I can confidently say that we have marriage figured out (just kidding). Lindsey works year-round for a camp. Our 10-month-old son works year round as little man of the house. He looks like me but hints toward the personality of my wife. They’re both passionate, determined, and their favorite fingers are their pointers.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
From the day he was born, I loved my son. I didn’t always like him. The first couple of months was emotionally exhausting and fearfully overwhelming. Sleepless nights, a new schedule, and feeling the weight of parenthood on my shoulders, I looked at my son cradled in my arms and often felt nothing. And though it was a pivotal time in seeking more aggressive help with depression, I don’t actually think that I am the only dad who has experienced such numbness. Few admit that it’s actually pretty normal for a parent, especially a dad, to take some time to warm up to a new baby and the extremely different lifestyle that comes with it.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Don’t be a dad from the couch. Humble yourself. Be a rug-burn dad, and get involved in your kids’ lives from the beginning. Live in the present, and let it be fueled by foresight. The future is made up of moments, and each one is an opportunity.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
One of my biggest fears about parenthood was that I might lose touch with the outside world, including close friends, family, and personal interests. The key word in combatting this, I’ve learned, is intentionality. Nothing happens without it. Parent or not, friends, family, and personal interests require intentionality in order to deepen and to thrive. Also, in the most appropriate ways, we try to welcome Isaiah into our lives rather than putting our lives completely on hold.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I want to surround myself with older guys–dads who have done it and can look back on successes as well as mistakes. Learning from them offers me perspective as I aspire to raise a healthy and caring man. The biggest thing I have learned from seeking such mentors is that relationships matter most. No matter who my son grows up to be, and no matter what he decides to do, he will always be my son, I will always love him and desire a relationship with him. It’s not about what he does, but it is about my love for him. I could give him all that he asks for, but what he most deeply needs is a relationship with his dad.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I’ve learned enough about fatherhood to know that I have a lot more to learn.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
I absolutely love to make my son laugh. I’m sure my humor will someday embarrass him so I’m soaking up my time as the comedian of the house for as long as he’ll allow me the microphone.
If you have any questions for D. Doug Mains, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!