Dads in the Limelight
Our 346th Dad in the Limelight is EB from Dad On The Run. I want to thank EB for being a part of the Dads in the Limelight 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 a southerner transplanted in Chicago for the past 3 and a half years. I became a private investigator after college and was the VP of Operations with a nationwide investigative firm when I made the move to “retire” and become a stay home father.
I’m flattered anyone would think my life is lived in the limelight. I have a blog (Dad On The Run) and I’m addicted to the interactions with my followers, but I’d say I’m pretty small potatoes at this point. Maybe you just wanted to get in the ground floor, and that’s great because I’m on my way! To what? I’m not sure.
2) Tell me about your family
I’m married to an amazing woman, VV, who is a business analyst (Level: Expert). Those skills combined with her work ethic bring our family the means to survive on one income. I met her at a music festival and we’ve been dancing to the same beat ever since. I later proposed and married her at the same location.
We have a 4 year old daughter, J Bean (yes, this is an alias for my blog, but as you might guess her name starts with J). She gave me the crash course on fatherhood and now I feel pretty comfortable with it as I deal with our little tyrant, Link, who is 12 months old.
We live in Chicago away from all of our extended family with two cats and a fish named Bobo. VV’s job often puts us on the move and we are looking forward to possibly embarking on a new adventure in a new international location soon!
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Knowing what to do. I don’t have to tell your readers that these little tykes don’t come with instruction manuals, so the challenges have come in the form of learning to swaddle and change, feed and burp and have now moved in to figuring out how to instill a sense of empathy and morality within these tiny beings. I think my biggest challenge has been trying to handle discipline in a consistent non-violent fashion. Growing up in the south, “sparing the rod” was considered the largest mistake one could make in raising children. I know that isn’t the truth, but it has been challenging forging our own parenting style without the model of my own upbringing to draw from.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Be firm, be fun and be consistent. When you engage (I mean REALLY engage) children, no matter how young, you will discover their capacity for communication and teaching you lessons is far beyond what you might expect. Consistency in discipline and expectations can easily take the place of a corporal punishment approach. I know plenty of “good” parents who spank or spanked their children and many of them attribute their success to this small aspect of their parenting, but what I find is that it has nothing to do with the form of punishment and everything to do with consistency in application. Hitting a child will not make a good parent out of a bad one and it will not take the place of a careful and consistent approach. On the flip side, I’m not saying at all that spanking makes a parent bad either, but if we come to realize we can obtain the same results without it, then why would we? Personally, I feel out of sorts when I even yell at my kids. If I need to yell, then I have failed in my approach and I must figure out how and why. I guess what I’m trying to say to other fathers is, don’t fall in to thinking that if you were raised a certain way that this is the only way to go. Examine yourself and you will find the ways to become a better parent. Hint: It’s by becoming a better person. The good thing is kids are great motivation for self-improvement.
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.
My limelight is more like a soft glow at this point, but I can see as my page grows the need for balance. When my page started gaining a following (especially on Facebook) I found myself checking my phone for updates constantly. It became a distraction from my kids and a point of contention with my wife. I’m still learning and trying to impose restrictions on myself and my time so that I don’t lose sight of my priorities. There are so many great people out there and so much great content I wish I could read, absorb and discuss but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I try to limit myself to posting and commenting during naps, TV shows and late at night after all of the non-insomniacs in the house have hit the hay.
As for separating my parenting life from my outside life, it is hard. I don’t get out with VV nearly enough and I don’t get out with my guy friends as regularly as I would like, but I do make sure to do both and as often as I can. Sometimes one needs to step outside the world of diapers, Dora and baby drama.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I’ve hooked up with a great group of blogging Dads (and Moms for that matter) who provide a support system of like-minded adults, which is important for a stay home father especially during these mid-west winters.I also have a local group of stay home Dads, these groups crossover a little and I’d like to expand that. I’ve learned that Mr. Mom is a bad word, they’ve taught me that being a man or being a father is not defined by one set of rules and they’ve reminded me of the fraternity of friends I had in adolescence. They’ve also taught me a lot of inappropriate jokes.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Well, that’s what I do on my blog. So I’d have to tell any interested in readers to head over there. All I can really say, in general, is that as a stay home parent I have developed an appreciation for all of the stay home parents and the job they do. It helps me to see my Mom in a new light and gives me some pretty strong feelings about gender equality. I want my kids to be able to do whatever makes them happy in life whether that be running for POTUS or taking care of a few rugats while their spouse is at work. Fatherhood is so much more than I could have imagined and I look forward to learning and experiencing new phases of it as my children grow up.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Traveling with our family has provided memories I will always hold on to. I’ll never forget my first trip to the beach with J Bean when I first discovered the wonders of “poopsand.” I also have great memories of traveling with the kids.Those flights across the country are always something to remember; I’ll never forget the time a sippy cup full of baby formula exploded on our way to Florida soaking us and most of the passengers nearby. Good times.
This year marked the first family trip to include, Link, and we went all out with a week at Disney. I have a truckload of memories from that trip including how my daughter was more impressed with the bunk bed at an impromptu cheap hotel than she was with the parks themselves after our plans had to change unexpectedly. What is the moral of the story? Until your kids are over 6 years old, you should just vacation anywhere with a swimming pool and bunk beds and forego the stress and expense of a more exotic family vacation. Everything under the sun is new to a child.
Dad On The Run
If you have any questions for EB, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!
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Dad On-the-Run says
Thanks for the opportunity! Given all the retweets, I think this is officially the most limelight I’ve ever seen! Must be the supermoon.