Our 127th Dad in the Limelight is Oren Miller from BloggerFather on Twitter, and the blog A Blogger and a Father. I want to thank for Oren being a part of this series. It has been great 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 Oren, which seems very exotic/strange to Americans, but is a very common name in Israel, where I was born. In 2000, I followed my heart all the way to Baltimore, and now I’m here with two dogs, two kids, and only one wife. I started writing a blog called People in the Sun in 2006, but eventually it ran its course. I write mostly now for A Blogger and a Father, where I try to highlight my favorite blogging fathers, while writing some of my own thoughts about fatherhood.
2) Tell me about your family
My wife is this amazing, smart, beautiful woman, and she has a heart of gold. Unfortunately for her, she found me before she had a chance to really see what’s out there. I’ve since stolen the best years of her life. We like folding clothes together. I’m better than her at Wii.
My 3-year-old boy is a beautiful bilingual genius. I also beat him at Wii. I also have a beautiful toothless 1-year-old girl. It goes without saying that I’m better than her at most Wii games.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
I don’t know much about what I’m supposed to do as a father, but I know what I DON’T like. Avoiding the stuff I don’t like has been my biggest challenge. I hate myself for raising my voice and for losing my patience, but I’m not Buddha, and I don’t always live in the moment, and my mind wanders, and before I know it I find myself yelling at my kid for asking too many questions. I’ve never spanked them (I actually don’t like the word Spank, because it implies something innocent and constructive, when really it’s just hitting a kid), thank God, but remaining calm while setting boundaries and without losing ground to my 3-year-old is an uphill struggle.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My advice has always been to remember to be cool. I try to give this advice to myself when I lose it, and I wish I could stand next to me when I’m nearly over the edge, smack myself in the head, and tell myself to chill. My best parenting, no matter what horrible thing I’m reacting to, is always done when I’m calm. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think yelling at a kid is child-abuse. I just think it’s pointless.
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.
There’s an outside life? See, I wasn’t going to define myself in terms of my family. I was happy being an individual who also had a family. But the change in my self-identity happened, and I can’t find the reason to fight it. I actually like it. I like having them constantly in my mind. I like the fact that when I look at photos of a Cancun hotel we might stay in for our first couple-only vacation in years, all I can think is that my boy would have loved it there… It’s a bit pathetic, but it’s who I am now.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
There’s been a “We’re all pretty much the same” vibe I got from the first interaction I had with another father, in real life or online. As men, we have our hangups and our oddities, and we come out most of the time as closed-up introverts. But in the end, I noticed that most dads love talking with other dads about fatherhood. We love our kids, and we love seeing other fathers let their guard down and show how much they love their kids too.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I love the Twitter machine. It’s full of good people who can’t wait to say a nice word. Sure, it’s also full of Sarah Palin, but you can set Twitter in a way that ignores the ignorant dumbasses and gives you only great people and great conversations. Being a stay-at-home parent can drive you a bit crazy. Parents used to escape the insanity by finding public places and adult conversation, but now with Twitter we can remain sane and have adult conversations without listening to Christmas music in September!
8.) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Ooh… Probably bringing the boy back from his granny to meet his sister for the first time (well, there was a first time in the hospital, but he really didn’t know what was going on). He came over to the bed and touched his sister gently, and smiled a real smile, which is something adults have forgotten how to do, and you could sense that he felt his world has changed.
If you have any questions for Oren, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!