Our 269th Dad in the Limelight is Chris Wakefield. 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.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers’ knowledge)
My name is Chris Wakefield, and I am the proud father of a 9 month old boy.
I started my blog, sociableenvy.com, about 2 months ago and so a lot of my time is spent on drawing in new readers as well as connecting with my existing ones. I post to the blog around twice a week so it’s not too hectic to manage around my main career as a development trainer for a debt help charity(and a sprinkle of internet marketing!).
2) Tell me about your family
I live in the UK with my wonderful partner, Amy. We are both of a similar age, let’s say mid-20s, and met through some mutual friends when we were younger. All in all, we’ve known each other for around 9 years and gave birth to our amazing son just 9 months ago.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
For me, I think managing my time has been the difficult one. I had always been accustomed to using my spare time to work on my career and personal projects. It’s all I had ever known so I think one of the biggest challenges for me was moving away from this concept. I do still work on these things, but they are secondary to my son now (so usually when he is in bed!).
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the joys and challenges of fatherhood but my advice would be to just enjoy every minute. My son is only 9 months but it all seems to be passing by so fast. Looking back at how small and dependent he was as a new born just emphasises how much he has grown and developed. He no longer needs me to support his head or help him to sit up. He is becoming more independent and curious every day. Don’t wish the time away by constantly chasing the next milestone. Just enjoy it.
5) Seeing that you (or your position) are in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? If you are currently not in the limelight per se, please still answer this in regards to how you balance parenthood and outside life.
I try to spend as much time as I can with my family, but I also really enjoy working on my blog and little projects here and there. It can be difficult. I try to make sure that, once he is in bed, I do a little bit of work on my blog, and the rest of the time with my partner. We both work busy jobs and so we really value that time we get together in the evening. I think that’s important. We usually have about three hours on an evening after his bedtime, so I spend about an hour on the blog, while Amy works on her own projects. Then, for the remaining two hours, we spend time together. We make sure that, as long as the little one is awake, he gets our full attention, but we also recognise the importance of time together.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I’ve not really had a lot of fathers of my age around to learn from unfortunately, so the parenting skills that I possess come from my own parents. I have a fantastic set of parents who I am really close with. They had me when they were 20, so there isn’t a huge age gap there. Both my mother and father have been great mentors for me in terms of their work ethic and morals. Its early days, but I try and maintain and instil the same ethics with my parenting.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Spending time with my son brings me all the joy in the world. It’s difficult to try and carry off being a father at the same time as holding down a career, not to mention all the other projects that might be going off. But don’t miss out on it. Don’t let it pass you by. Take plenty of photos and, my other big advice piece, be silly together!
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Yesterday, as of writing this, my son started walking for the first time! It was the most amazing moment of my life. He has taken small steps before but he was literally walking round our lounge last night. I honestly can’t stop watching the videos I took of it. He is so smart and makes me so proud. I wouldn’t change my life for the world.
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!