Our 324th Dad in the Limelight is Richard “RJ” Jaramillo. I want to thank RJ 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 Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, I am a Dad Blogger and owner of two websites; SingleDad.com and CookLikeAdad.com. I live in San Diego, California with my children for the past 25 years. I am a self-Employed Entrepreneur.
2) Tell me about your family
My oldest Daughter is Alexa-Gianna. This is her first year of college and she is a freshman at UC Davis, (Biology Program). My second child is my son, Richard- Mossimo. He is Junior in High School and loves spending late nights with me working on his 1969 Mustang. My youngest, is my daughter Mia-Isabella. Mia is a 7th grader in middle school and you can always find her with a pint brush in her hand, (She enjoys painting). All three of my children are special to me. They are special because they each chase separate passions and dreams. My oldest wants to n=be a doctor, my son loves the outdoors and my youngest loves anything to do with the arts… I am in awe of their skills and talents.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
As a Divorced Dad, time is precious so I make every moment count with my three children. Having joint-custody only makes it harder because when you look at a calendar, there are only 182 days a year I get to spend time with my kids. This makes it tough being a father because I am always trying to be present in my children’s lives as much as I can. I also have to respect the boundaries that are drawn with their Mother and her time she gets to spend with the kids. It gets very difficult for everybody involved trying to find the balance between shuffling kids between two homes and providing a stable environment. My father moments are captured throughout the year… My challenges are unique to my household because each of my children needs something different from me as their father. For Example, my oldest was leaving for college this past summer. I had to move her out to her dorm room. There was a lot of anxiety between us. She had the courage to ask me if we could go see our family counselor to have a talk about her transition to college. I think it was a powerful moment between us. Over the next few weeks, I saw a huge change in our relationship. I learned not to “Fix or Rescue” her when she feels stressed; I also learned how to see her as an adult and my daughter at the same time. It was a long drive to Sacramento to drop my daughter off. I laughed cried and was genuinely happy to see her go off to college.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My advice on the Stages of Fatherhood:
Newborn to Toddler: You are the Supporting Father; do everything you can to support and nurture your relationship with your child.
Pre-School to Elementary: You are the Hero Dad. Do everything you can to “Rescue and Fix” every situation with your child
Tweens: You are going to be “Un-Cool” for a while, but don’t get down, persevere! At this stage the old parenting habits need tweaking. My advice is to begin the practice of listening and disciplining with anecdotes of your own experiences.
Teens: They want to be right all the time… practice patience and more anecdotes of your own experiences to discipline, ( “This is what happened when I was your age, there was no internet, there was only Playboy Magazine and your grandfather caught me with a whole stack of them and this is what happened to me…”)
Young Adult: My daughter is in college and lives far , far away from me. I practice patience and try not to let me mind wander off too much with my worries. She has a boyfriend in the dorms now… Yes, a boyfriend too far for me to show off my home, gun collection to… I am learning many new things about my Fatherhood right now.
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 have multiple lives when it comes to the limelight. Fatherhood and Family come first, Career second and my personal life is third. I spent many years alone and keeping myself out of the limelight in San Diego. Once I started getting on TV, it was hard not to be noticed in public. Keeping myself grounded is easy; I have kids that keep me grounded and a new girlfriend that is not from California, (She is from the South, a whole different culture all together).
I am the first to tell you that I am far from perfect, but perfectly happy on all the events that have happened in my life and open to talk about my personal and professional struggles.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
We all have it the same. It doesn’t matter what part of the US you are from; our challenges are about the same…
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
There are a few reoccurring themes that come up with Dads who share their challenges with me. The most common theme I hear is how often men don’t remember their own father’s having to participate in their own lives at home. It surprises me to hear from so many Dads NOT remembering their own father playing a pivotal role in their upbringing.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
I am grateful to be one of those Dads who had a camera or video camera tied to his waist when his children were young. I recently gave my oldest daughter a Christmas present of some old , Sony-Cam videos converted into a DVD. I had everything from her mother’s sonogram visit, to the day of the birth, to her very first steps captured on that DVD for her to see. She loved the gift and it made her feel loved and special… That’s all a Dad wants in life!
If you have any questions for RJ, 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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