Our 254th Dad in the Limelight is Senior Editor of Cars.com David Thomas. 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.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
I’m the managing editor for Cars.com which means my job is to not only review and test new cars but to keep the editorial department running smoothly. I also am in charge of our content on social media networks. You can follow me @DaveLikesCars on Twitter.
I blog personally at Dad Therapy and have been a longtime blogger. I launched both Autoblog and TVSquad for Weblogs Inc. before the company was bought by AOL.
I’m a Pearl Jam fanatic having seen them dozens of times and own way too many bootlegs and posters. Even though I moved to Chicago in 2002 I’m still an avid Miami Dolphins fan and spend most Sundays in the fall cringing.
Folks can always ask me car buying advice on my Facebook page too
2) Tell me about your family
My wife Courtney and I met in college at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. We didn’t date until after graduation though and I finally made the plunge to relocate from Florida to Chicago and we got hitched a few years later.
Our son’s name is Carter and he’s four. Our daughter Evie just turned three and there are NO plans for a third.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
I’d say the toughest part was not having a complete roll model to base my fathering off of. My parents were divorced when I was very young and I saw my dad once or twice a year even though for extended periods like for entire summers, but that day-to-day parenting example wasn’t there. My step-father came along later in childhood and didn’t have other kids. So I definitely feel like I’m winging it sometimes.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
At this stage I would not give one bit of advice to anyone. I’ll wait until both kids are safely grown and out of the house before I feel like an authority on the subject.
Here is a tip though I think every dad should know. Buy a full set of allen wrenches. Every piece of furniture or toy set comes with the proper sized wrench but what are you going to do? Keep a cup full of them in your kitchen? Just buy a set so when it’s time to breakdown the crib you don’t have to go searching.
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 incorporate the kids with what I do as much as I can. So when I have a new car to test I want them to get excited about it. Carter could identify any car brand by the logo at age 2 but it took him another year before he wanted to check out engines. The kids are constantly telling me “Slow down or the cops will pull you over and put you in jail.” Something their mother taught them that they say even when I’m going the speed limit.
They definitely help in my car evaluation too. I know how cars will accommodate families with young kids better than any single reviewer could. Both Carter and Evie have “starred” in our advice videos too.
When I travel for work I’m always trying to catch the earliest flight possible so the kids don’t go too many days without me around…and to save my wife’s sanity.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
We’re all pretty much in the same boat. It seems most dads I know have a similar position at work where they are fulltime and trying to advance their careers and usually so are their wives. That means we need to try harder to make sure the kids get as much attention as possible when we’re all together as a family.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
It’s as rewarding as I always expected it to be but I didn’t quite understand how much work kids are. I’m not talking about the basic care aspects like making dinner or doing laundry. I mean figuring out all the requirements for school, the calendars, the lessons, the playdates, the birthday parties. It all builds up. If my wife wasn’t there to organize all of it I have no idea how I would handle it. She’s also been great at making sure that on weekends we’ve always got activities planned so we’re not couch potatoes which I love.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
There aren’t really many huge events I can point to. What blows me away on a regular basis is when one of my kids will come to me and tell me something they learned at school or when I started noticing Carter color inside all the lines for the first time. It’s these growing and learning moments where I can see them maturing right before my eyes that always get me.
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!