Our 267th Dad in the Limelight is Dan Kulp. I want to thank Dan 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 reader’s knowledge)
In addition to being a comedian; I am also a writer, actor and the lead singer of the rock band The Dig Project. I toured for years with the band, but when the economy went south a few years ago, it got harder and harder for all five of us to be on the road. I had to figure out what to do with my life, and was led into comedy. I’m not very successful in any of these ventures, but add them together and they make up a pretty decent part time job…
2) Tell me about your family
My Wife Elizabeth and I have four children. Our first child, Simon, we have been told is the first child ever adopted out of Chinato the U.S. who has Down syndrome. This was huge for me because I grew up with four brothers and sisters who also have Down syndrome (three were adopted). Since adopting Simon, we have also adopted Danielle fromChinawho has a very rare Chromosomal disorder called Alfi syndrome. A little over a year ago, we adopted Shea from the Ukraine. He has SpinaBiffida. About a month after adopting Shea, my wife gave birth to little Emily – but we gave her up for adoption…Just kidding!
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Besides, the financial commitment and time management – balancing work and family, I would say not having a whole lot of energy. I get winded watching my kids put on their sneakers to go outside and play.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Rely on a few solid relationships with other men who understand your struggles at this stage in your life. Also, if you don’t have a spiritual life, a faith in God can be a great source of strength – so find a church in your area. This will also benefit your wife and kids too! And lastly, don’t ever leave your wife and kids. They need you – forever. I don’t care how rough things get, or how strained your relationship with your wife is, you gotta man up, because it’s not about you. (I’m really not as tough or as cool as that just sounded, but if you could imagine Samuel L. Jackson saying it I would appreciate 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.
When I am not on the road I am home with the kids quite a bit. This gives my wife time to get her energy level back up and we all benefit. Because my schedule is pretty flexible, I am able to work around not only the big milestones in life like birthdays and holidays, but also around the day to day things like Dr.’s appointments and school functions.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
The best one’s I know of all seem to have a strong sense of humor. I think laughter in the home and outside of the home is essential to staying sane…or somewhat sane at least.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I know I often compare myself to others and get aggravated that I am not super Dad. I get frustrated, I get stressed. Sometimes I snap at the kids or lose my patience. But, this is also an adventure where we get to work on ourselves all the time. The key is to never settle for where you are at, but always try and move forward as a parent. Is there really anything else that is more important? Also, you’ll notice I talked about my wife quite a bit in these answers. That is because teamwork is a huge help. I know there are many, many parents who do this whole child raising thing on their own, but God bless em, because I don’t think I could. Without my wife, my kids would attend school 4 days in a row wearing the same outfits. I’d never have a parent teacher conference because most of the time I don’t even remember their teacher’s names…or what grade they are in.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
All three adoptions were very special. Add on top of that witnessing the birth of my daughter Emily and wow! I realize I may not have much money, but I am a wealthy, wealthy man.
If you have any questions for Dan, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!