Our 559th Dad in the Limelight is Todd Natenberg. I want to thank Todd Natenberg for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Todd Natenberg with all of you.
A former staff writer for the Chicago Daily Herald, Pulliam Fellowship recipient at The Arizona Republic and University of Missouri-Columbia star journalism graduate, where I also wrote for the Kansas City Star in college, I found myself freelancing for the Chicago Sun Times business section in 2007.
I relocated to Kansas City to accept a position as a staff writer for the Kansas City Business Journal to cover telecommunications.
In Kansas City I met my wife, a Canadian tenured piano professor at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas just outside metropolitan Kansas City.
Today, I have the dream job as a top K-12 account manager for School Specialty, selling furniture, school supplies, art, pe, early childhood, special needs and curriculum to inspire students. I freelance fatherhood columns locally and nationally.
I love my sons and being a father more than anything. It was my dream to be the best dad ever, as I did NOT have that myself.
- Is how I’m acting how I would want them to act?
- In terms of nurturing, comfort, protection, and guidance, is what I’m telling them, acting to them, and understanding them what I would have wanted my father to do with me at this particular time in my life?
My dream job enables me to be super dad. I make a great living financially and have freedom to be at all events, take them into school and even pick them up. My wife and I are a true team, we split everything in terms of household duties, individual time with our individual sons and balance our individual strengths: I’m the sports jock coach for all their athletic endeavors, she is the piano intellectual side of the house. She performed at Carnegie Hall last year and is chairperson of the University’s piano department.
As part of that, I realize the only way to be the best father is also to take care of myself- physically, spiritually, socially and emotionally. I can only be the best father when I’m at best.
I work out every day, have a strong circle of social friends and take time for myself. I try my best to provide Reena the same opportunities to take care of herself. As a very passionate, charismatic, and energetic father and husband, the key to balance is for me to show compassion, support, empathy and understanding for Reena- as well as myself. That makes me not just the best father and husband but Reena the best wife and mother. When all comes together- as it is and continues to – Ari and Teddy are the strongest, most peaceful, happy and most fulfilled.
Unfortunately, what not to do and how not to be. Beyond my fatherhood writer friends- like you- way too many don’t like being fathers. Or amazingly if they do they find “honor” I’m saying they don’t. Boggles my mind.
My dads favorite “joke” in my youth was saying, “I hope you become a father so your sons can do to you (negatively) what you have done to me.”
How pathetic! So many fathers I meet today still do that approach. I never complain about my amazing sons publicly. Of course, I’m human with challenges. But that’s for my wife and I to address privately. Every day I hear other fathers – and mothers- say, “Wow twins! I can’t imagine how hard that is.” Every day I retaliate with, “not at all. love into death. It’s the best!” They are always shocked and accuse me of lying about being happy. Very sad state OTHERS sometimes live in.
- Daily hugs, kisses greetings
- their minute by minute development
- But nothing is greater than when they quote me, accept my guidance and say they want to be like me. They love the movie,l Field of Dreams because I do, they love the Roysls becuse I do, they sit in my home office to “be like me”! Teddy bats left because I taught him to. They always high five hurt people in wheelchairs because I taught them to. They play in six year old sports leagues- 2 years ahead because I got them involved so young and have coached them to loving the games..
If you have any questions for Todd Natenberg, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!