Our 745th Dad in the Limelight is Kipp Jarecke-Cheng of Lazy Dad’s Guide to Everything. I want to thank Kipp Jarecke-Cheng for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Kipp Jarecke-Cheng with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers’ knowledge)
By day, I lead the global communications team for Publicis Health, the world’s largest healthcare communications agency network. By night, I write about the joys and terrors of being a dad on my blog, Lazy Dad’s Guide to Everything. TBQH, blog life has lost a lot of its charm for me, so nowadays I just post pics of my kids and what we’re eating on Instagram. I’m also a columnist for MediaPost, where I write about Millennials, and I’m the national tech writer for Red Tricycle, where I write about tech aimed at kids and families. A coupla years ago I was invited to speak on a panel about fatherhood at the White House, which is proof positive that any yahoo can make it to the White House, amirite?
2) Tell me about your family
My partner of 20-plus years, Mark, and I have two kids: a 10-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter. I like to say that Mark and I were set up on a blind date in graduate school, we had a few drinks and 12-and-a-half-years later, we accidentally adopted our first kid. Mark hates it whenever I say that, despite how obviously hilarious it is. Prior to adopting our daughter, we experienced two adoption disruptions, which were traumatic and awful, but we ended up in a much better and stronger place as a family. There’s a high probability that I am raising a pair of child geniuses. Mark and I also are parents to a geriatric, manic-depressive dog.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
I always knew that I wanted to be a dad, and since I waited until I was in my mid-30s to adopt my first kid, I felt totally prepared for the task. It helped that my son was and is temperamentally the easiest, most-chill kid any parent could have. I suppose the greatest challenge for me when it comes to being a dad is raising a daughter who isn’t the easiest, most-chill kid a dad could have. While my son is even-keeled and rolls with the punches (like Mark), my daughter is high-strung, demanding, and capricious (like me), which drives me batty, obvs. I’m working on not being so hard on my daughter, who is too smart and too much like me for her own good.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My first piece of advice would be: Don’t take advice from random strangers on the Interwebz cuz that’s just weird. My second piece of advice, aimed at adoptive parents: Make sure your kids always know their personal histories and where they came from. They’ll thank you when they’re older. My third piece of advice: Raise boys and girls the same way.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
I’m on the board of a terrific organization called ThirdPath Institute, which provides resources, education and support to help individuals, families and organizations redesign work to create time for family, community and other life priorities. Work-life integration is a personal passion, and since becoming a dad, I’ve conscientiously prioritized parenthood over my career, probably at the expense of my so-called career. Fortunately, I’ve been lucky to work for incredible companies that share the same values and don’t seem to mind that I have a lot of tattoos.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I think fatherhood can be somewhat isolating at times. It’s not as if we have a lot of opportunities to meet with or talk to other dads. The nice folks at Dad 2.0 have created a terrific community of dads and I’m always delighted to see them, if only once a year. The two things that I’ve learned from other dads are 1) we all want many of the same things for our children and 2) there isn’t just one way to be a good dad.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Being a dad is the best, most-rewarding, most-life-changing thing I’ve ever experienced. I hope to land it as a full-time gig one day.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Bar none, the most memorable experience I’ve had as a dad so far was the day I received the e-mail from our adoption agency with an attached photo of the baby boy who would become my son. I was at work when the e-mail came through and I still have vivid memories of that day. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the start was an amazing adventure that continues to this day.
If you have any questions for Kipp Jarecke-Cheng, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!