Dads in the Limelight – Jason Arnold of TassieDad

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 567th Dad in the Limelight is Jason Arnold of Tassiedad. I want to thank Jason Arnold for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Jason Arnold with all of you.

 

Jason-Arnold1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Jason Arnold and I’m 27 years old. I was born and raised on the North West coast of Tasmania, Australia. As a child, I was raised primarily by my father (my mother, being a nurse, worked a lot of long weird hours), so I understand how important a father is in a child’s life. I moved to Adelaide, South Australia in 2008 where I met the love of my life in 2011, Kayla. In 2013, we moved back to NW Tas, when we found out that Kayla was pregnant.
I started blogging at tassiedad.com this year, so I’m still fairly new to it. I hope to be able to document my sons growth and development, as well as show off this amazing (often forgotten about) part of the world. I want to blog professionally, as I don’t want to be away from my son at work.
Jason-Arnold

2) Tell me about your family
My son, Archer was born in January 2014. I married Kayla in January this year, just shy of Archer’s first birthday. We live together in Wynyard, along with our two cats. My parents live close, and they see Archer every week. Kayla’s mother lives back in Adelaide, but is currently in the process of moving over here to spend more time with him.

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
My son is only 1 year old, so I feel that the biggest challenges are still ahead of me. I hate the times when my son is in pain and crying and there is nothing I can do for him. It breaks my heart to see those little tears running down his red, puffy cheeks. One night it got so bad that we ended up taking him to the emergency department. His cries of pain and anguish could be heard throughout the department. He settled eventually, and we were able to go home, but it was still a tense few hours.
Another challenge I faced was the night he was born. I blogged about it recently in a post titled ‘Birth Story’, where I recount the struggle my wife had delivering, and then the emergency c-section that followed; and how I convinced myself that she’d died on the operating table.
Jason-Arnold
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Love every minute of it! It goes by so quickly (it honestly feels like only last week that Archer was born, and now he’s just about walking!), and can disappear in the blink of an eye. Also, some fathers don’t realise how important they are to their kids. I know that I wouldn’t be half the man I am today without my father (come to think of it, I wouldn’t be here AT ALL if it weren’t for my father.) Teach your kids, guide them, and turn them into the people you want to see for the future. To many parents are complacent when it comes to raising their kids, and as a result you get complacent children that turn into complacent adults, who then go on to be complacent parents to more complacent children.

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
I spend as much time with Archer as possible. We take him with us everywhere we go, and try to include him in our day to day lives. It takes a bit more time to get ready when we have to go out, including numerous trips back to the house for things we have forgotten. Its worth it though, seeing him experience new things is the most wonderful thing in the world.
Jason-Arnold
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I guess one thing I’ve had reinforced to me is that every child is different. I got fairly wound up early on with making sure that Archer was hitting the right milestones for his age. But seeing other fathers talk about their children has made me truly understand that I shouldn’t worry about Archer’s development, and just focus on making sure he’s happy and healthy.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
With the invention of smart phones and cheap digital cameras, capture every moment. My father was an amateur photographer when I was young, yet despite this, there are very few photos of me younger than about 8 months. Take photos, tweet milestones, keep track. You’ll appreciate it when your children are older and you can look back and see what was happening and when.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Definitely Archer’s birth. For so many reasons. Again, I went over the whole experience in my blog post ‘Birth Story‘.
Watching Archer learn is one of the most fascinating things. You can see the process on his face as he discovers something new. In just 2 days, he went from sitting to crawling, and when he figured it out, you could see the pride in his face. It was beautiful!

 

If you have any questions for Jason, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

——————————————————————————————-
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

Dads in the Limelight – CEO of Bear & Boo, entrepreneur and father of 3 boys, Shawn Fludd

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 565th Dad in the Limelight is CEO of Bear & Boo, entrepreneur and father of 3 boys, Shawn Fludd. I want to thank Shawn Fludd for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Shawn Fludd with all of you.

 

Shawn-Fludd1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is Shawn Fludd and I am the proud father of 3 boys. They are 2, 4, and 20. I had my first child at the young age of 16. Prior to starting Bear & Boo Children’s Boutique, I worked in the legal and nonprofit fields. I love volunteering and helping others. I am in the limelight because my life is not only devoted to my children, but also to every child through my volunteer work, and most importantly, the boutique I started. I decided to open a children’s boutique to sell trendy baby and toddler accessories that are affordable and unique, making it possible for every child to look great without breaking mom and dad’s bank account.

2) Tell me about your family

My family is awesome. I am married to the love of my life and my best friend. We currently have two wonderful kids ages 2 and 4 and she’s starting to hint about wanting baby number three. My 20 year old is a full-time college student and enjoys working out as much as I do.

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

My largest challenge has been maintaining constant and open communication with my 20 year old since I moved to the West Coast and don’t see him daily.

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?Shawn-Fludd

Listen! So often we strive to master the role of giving instructions, overseeing, etc. that we forget the importance of listening to our children. They need to be able to come to you with good and bad things, but if they feel that you will reprimand them and not listen, they will most likely not talk to you about the bad. Listening is just as important and speaking to your children!

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 

To me, parenting priority number 1! Being the founder of a children’s retail store pulls me in multiple directions each day, but I make it a point to get up early and take some time for myself at the gym then work early in the morning and later in the evening so that I make time to be an engaged parent.

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?Shawn-Fludd

Drive. Speaking to other fathers, especially fellow entrepreneurs, you learn that it takes drive to manage a business and to to it for the sake of your family, to give your children a better life than the one you may have had. I really take motivation away from nearly every conversation I have with fellow fathers.

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

Having been a father for 20 years and once being a single father, I would encourage parents to not look at young parents as bad or inexperienced parents, but instead offer them words of encouragement and if you are able, find a way to give them a hand. This could be buying a few extra items each month like diapers and baby wipes to give to a single parent if you know one, or finding a charity in your area that helps single parents and donating the items there.

I am forever grateful to one of my high school teachers who took me shopping for my new child (now 20 year old) instead of judging me.

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

So many moments are memorable, but I think one of the most memorable experiences so far was the first time I took my youngest kids to Disneyland. My 4 year old said “Wow! I can’t believe it!” as we approached Cinderella’s Castle. He felt the magic and so did I!Shawn-Fludd

If you have any questions for Shawn, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

——————————————————————————————-
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Sean Leacy ( @GeekAthair ) #DadSpotlight

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 564th Dad in the Limelight is Sean Leacy. I want to thank Sean for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

Sean-Leacy1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers’ knowledge)

I’m a 31 year old husband and father of 2 living just off the Puget Sound in Gig Harbor, WA. I work as a Network and Systems Administrator for Rite In The Rain© in Tacoma, WA and have been developing a small business doing web design and hosting for small to medium sized companies. I was born in Tacoma, WA but moved to the East Texas to be a part of a youth leadership and mission internship in 2005. While attending the internship I met my beautiful wife, settled down in the area and started our family. After nearly 10 years we felt God was calling us to move back to my home town to be closer to family and help develop a strong church body in the community. I love to hunt, fish, play music, and spend time with my family.

 

2) Tell me about your family

I’m one of the many blessed men to marry his best friend. My beautiful wife Heather is a constant encouragement to me and helps draw out the potential that God has placed in me to be a great husband and father. She is proud to be a stay-at-home mother, baby-wearer, apothecary and professional photographer (and I do my best to support her along the way!). Together we raise our kids with a solid balance of fun, adventure, discipline and natural living. We believe that our successes as (relatively new) parent’s flows from a desire to see Christ reflected in our marriage and a passion to give our kids a better shot at life than we had.

Sean-LeacyThe ability of my son (3) to figure out how things work stuns me. His incredible affiliation to “The Knack” (as Dilbert would call it) causes me to dread leaving the tools out in fear that I may come home to find he’s converted our microwave in to Soviet relay station. The only semblance of peace I find is that I was the same way as a child and we all seemed to survive that with only minor casualties (those poor hamsters).

My daughter (1) is quite possibly the most joyful human being in existence. We cannot walk in to a room with her without at least a dozen people turning and smiling back at her. The light that emanates from her face could be used as an alternate fuel source in developing nations. My concern with this one is that she may have an affiliation to “The Knack” as well… match that with her natural charisma and we may be seeing the catalyst for either world peace or the end of civilization as we know it.

 

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

I’d say it has been the same lesson I stated to learn after I got married: It’s not about you. Far too often dads want to continue living that single life (heading to get drinks with friends after work, fishing/hunting every weekend, working out in the garage on projects, etc.) and leave the raising of kids to the wife. When you made that commitment to your wife to spend the rest of your days with her things changed. When you made the decision (or the decision was thrust upon you… no pun intended) to have children things changed. I am a husband and a father and it’s my responsibility to protect and provide for my family.

I am grateful my son is now at an age where he can “help” me with projects around the house. If something needs to get fixed he’s the first to run and grab his wooden toolbox to help. Instead of always heading to the lake by myself/with friends I decided to pick up a kayak that was big enough so I can bring him along. He enjoys the time together more than I can possibly understand. It’s those moments that make giving up my own selfish desire to hide in the garage or escape to the lake that much easier to manage.

Sean-Leacy

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Make the time for your wife and kids. I know how little time you have when you get home and how much is on your plate. I work an average of 60 hours a week with quite a few side projects constantly vying for my time but only have 2-3 hours each day to spend with my family and need to prioritize it. If it takes scheduling the time on your calendar than do it. Being a father is more than bringing home a paycheck and keeping up the yard. We need to partner with our wives and develop a healthy and loving environment for our children to grow. NEVER yell at or demean each other in front of your children (heck, never yell at or demean your wife at ALL for that matter). When you have conflict take a step back, catch your breath and talk through it with a clear head.

Gosh… I could go on for days with this J

 

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

I try to keep my priorities straight: God > Wife > Children > Everyone/thing else; it’s not easy and I have to constantly remind myself of this but it’s helped to have a base line to go back to when things get crazy. As mentioned earlier I have the blessing of being married to my best friend so a night spent hanging out with her and our kids is typically a pretty awesome night. We hang out with friends and family a few times a month but try to keep our schedule as open as possible. Our desire is to build our relationship with God, strengthen our marriage, raise our children to love each other and those around them and if that means we aren’t social butterflies then that is totally fine (we are also introverts so we prefer to be by ourselves anyway).

 

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

I’m constantly inspired by the dads I surround myself with. We made a decision early in our marriage to surround ourselves with couples/families that we wanted to emulate. I’ve gained a ton of encouragement from the Baby Wearing Daddies group on Facebook lately learning to be comfortable
“wearing” my kids in public. I love to carry my son and daughter in carriers/wraps/ring-slings but there is such a negative stigma against dads and baby-wearing and these guys have helped me break that and parent like I believe it should be done.

Sean-Leacy

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

Set a weekly date night. You and your wife NEED IT! You don’t have to do dinner and a movie or even spend a penny but it is SO important to have one evening a week where the two of you can sit down and talk without kids in tow. Often this means time after the kids go to bed where we make a snack and sit on the couch talking through the week but it’s also important to get grandparents or a babysitter to watch the kids so you can get away. Your kids will greatly gain from you and your spouse being on the same page.

Don’t be afraid to apologize to your kids when you mess up. You’re human (at least I think that’s the target market for the blog… right?). You will be wrong. You will make mistakes.  You’re kids need to know that they can trust you and that you can relate to them when they are struggling or failing themselves. Be honest with them and quickly apologize when you mess up.

 

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

I can’t think of one specific event but my favorite moments as a parent are the times when my son says or does something that we haven’t specifically taught him but he’s picked it up from watching us and it’s actually something respectable. He soaks up everything we do and say and when it actually comes out as a positive thing it makes me feel like I’m actually doing something right. That said, I have a BLAST when I get to take my son out fishing in our kayak. He absolutely adores grabbing his little Spiderman fishing pole and helping me push the boat in to the water. I rarely catch anything when I’m out there with him (primarily because I’m trying to keep him IN the boat) but the time we have together in the quite of a beautiful lake are some that I will hold close to my heart for the rest of my days.

If you have any questions for Sean, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

——————————————————————————————-
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Paul Carafotes ( @CharlieBubbles5 ) #DadSpotlight

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 563rd Dad in the Limelight is Paul Carafotes. I want to thank Paul for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Paul-Carafotes1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

I’ve been a professional actor for 35 years. Numerous movies, television and commercials, etc. Recently finished a movie called, “Days Full of Nights” of which I play a detective named Reno. Was jiust on an episode of “Criminal Minds” and have a guest star appearance  in the new HBO mini series called, “Crime” In my career of my early experiences are some of the themes in Charlie Bubbles books. I grew up in a town just outside the heart of Boston called Somerville. I left there for NYC to pursue my dreams of acting when I was 18. I was lucky and landed a starring role in a 20th Century fox film called, “Headin’ For Broadway” which can been seen on YouTube. I was 20 years old at the time. from there many movies and tv shows including “All the Right Moves” Fight Club” “Knots Landing” “Damages”  To name a few.  PaulCarafotesIMDB
 
2) Tell us a bit about your family. Paul-Carafotes
My family is rather large. 6 children: 4 girls and 2 boys. I am the middle child, number 3. There are now 25 of us. My son Charlie who is the inspiration for “The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles”!  storybook series is the 12th grandchild, named after my dad.
 
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The biggest challenge? There are many, first, I’m an older dad, so the amount of energy that one needs is tremendous. It’s a young mans medium.  I would say consistency and following through.
Paul-Carafotes4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
To be in the moment. It goes by so fast. Time has wings. Listening and showing your feelings and realizing that they have feelings too.

 

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 

If outside life means an adult life… I spend so much time with my son, I coach his baseball team. I work with him on all his school projects  anything sports related, he is my priority, I was fortunate to have had a great young life and career I got to do many, many things. I traveled and enjoyed my single life so I don’t feel as though I’ve missed anything. But occasionally I do like some adult company and a night out.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Experience is key. Any time you can get someones experience strength and hope, do so. I realize that I know nada. Although, my ego likes to tell me differently.
Paul-Carafotes7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Love, laugh cry, get mad then let go of it all, rinse and repeat.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
My son has a way with words,  and he says these phrases, he utters such memorable things. I write down as many of them as i can.
 as far as actually experiences, He was about 15 months old, maybe younger and he got locked in the bathroom. I panicked. I didnt know what to do. I stood in the middle of the room trying to calm myself down. Then I got an idea and began to speak quietly to him.   He was crying. I made my voice as soothing as i could. then I began to wiggle the door knob, gently saying to charlie grab the door knob, jiggle jiggle jiggle, I repeated it. Then I continued to jiggle the door knob, Charlie I said daddy’s here it’s okay,  he stopped crying I said, can you grab the door knob?  He reached out his hand  and took  the door knob, twisted, in the next moment we were jumping up and down. whoo hoo! a magic moment for father and son.

 
If you have any questions for Paul, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

——————————————————————————————-
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

Having A Home Best Family Movie Night Ever!

Home-Best-Family-Movie-Night-Ever
 photo disclaimer_zpsaa1cb05b.jpg

I was not lucky enough to see the movie HOME when it was in the theater (though the rest of my family did). However, in saying that I was very excited to see the movie, as I loved the actors who were selected in the movie and my family all raved about how funny the movie was and how I HAD to see it. That being said I was excited to be asked to have a viewing party with my family to have some fun together and get into the movie action, and I wanted to share our experience with you!

Home-Best-Family-Movie-Night-Ever

Home Best Family Movie Night Ever

I was sent all of the above items (and more) to create the Best Family Movie Night Ever. I decided to make this a surprise, as the kids always love it when I throw something fun their way. I was particularly intrigued by the slushie makers as you do not even need to have an actual machine with these, only your freezer. If these work, I know that they will be a BIG hit!

Home-Best-Family-Movie-Night-Ever

Home Best Family Movie Night Ever

I set up the night and sprung the movie night on the kids and they were ecstatic. We decided to have it in the evening so it was jammy time and then we got out our supplies. In making the slushies, I can tell you the slushie makers were simple to use and I am very interested to try out making milkshakes next time (among other things too)!

Home-Best-Family-Movie-Night-Ever

Home Best Family Movie Night Ever

Home-Best-Family-Movie-Night-Ever

Home Best Family Movie Night Ever

As part of the fun the kids also received some light up headbands which allowed them to become a Boov themselves. They loved these too. The ears on the headband changed colors constantly and the loved seeing what colors would come next. We found ourselves talking about what it would be like if our bodies changed colors when we were experiencing different emotions like the Boov did.

Home-Best-Family-Movie-Night-Ever

Home Best Family Movie Night Ever

Home-Best-Family-Movie-Night-Ever

Home Best Family Movie Night Ever

Snuggling down to the movie I can tell you that we had a blast. Not only because our movie night was an epic one, but because we spent it together as a family.

Home-Best-Family-Movie-Night-Ever

Home Best Family Movie Night Ever

As someone that had not seen the movie, I found it to be a ton of fun. There were some great lines and O’s character reminded me so much of Sheldon, but that could also be the actor himself. That being said, the movie was not bound by the talent though. The message in the movie itself was so important to share. Too often we forget the importance of family and spending quality time like this together. This movie reminded us that we have to cherish our friends and family and be there for them no matter what, and we cannot simply back down and run away when things get hard or scary – great lessons to learn for all of us!

To get you ready for your own Home Best Family Movie Night Ever, below are a few fun activities that you can use with your kids! (You can download all of the HOME Party Activities)

 Home-Party4 Home-Party3 Home-Party2 Home-Party1 Home-Party

 

 

——————————————————————————————-

New to the Divadom or to Dad of Divas Reviews?

Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader

Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

Dads in the Limelight – Therapist, Leader and Singer, Siope Kinikini

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 562nd Dad in the Limelight is therapist, community leader and singer, Siope Kinikini. I want to thank Siope Kinikini for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Siope Kinikini with all of you.

 

Siope-Kinikini1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Siope Kinikini. I’m a therapist, community leader and I write a blog called Covering the Basses and am currently I’m creating a website to help parents. Most of all I’m proud to be a father to my exceptionally diva-ish daughter who is the light of my life. I’m wrapped around her finger and I’m not ashamed.
I guess I’m in the limelight every Sunday morning as I sing as a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for their weekly broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word.
2) Tell me about your family
I’m married to the most awesome, supportive person in the world. We had a daughter a few years later when we lived in Hawaii.
My family goes through the same adventures and trials most families go through: vacations, bedtime routines, science projects that we didn’t know about until the night before it’s due. Just the normal stuff.
Siope-Kinikini
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Balance. Finding balance between everything is always a challenge.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Three things.
First, I understand you have probably watched way too many animated movies with talking animals or objects but enjoy it. You will do things you would never do normally and it is ok. (Just ask me about doing facials with my daughter.)
Second, every moment is chance to create a memory, good or bad. Just roll with it.
Third, and most important, listen and pay attention. As a therapist my job is largely to listen and pay attention. Even though I am a “professional” listener, I still struggle. For example, my daughter now comes home after school and just starts talking about her day. I noticed that I would often be working. Last week she asked me if I heard what she just said and I nodded in the affirmative. Then she said, “So what did I say?” Dad fail. I was busted. I didn’t listen or pay attention.
I’m speaking from experience. Listening is important. I have since focused on her and her daily report and it feeds both of us emotionally.
Siope-Kinikini
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
It’s been really hard the past year and a half even though I can work from home. The blessing of working at home? I can do it in my pajamas. Curse of working at home? I’m always at work.
I created an Association for mental health in my state, I participate in community events, church and choir. Despite all of this I know that family time is essential. We make time to spend time together. We do things together. I have had to make some very specific choices on what gets my attention and what does not. I’m also random and sometimes we unplanned things just because we can. It keeps things exciting.
I should say this, being a dad requires me to be there 24/7 and I have no problem cancelling or missing anything else to fulfill my duty as a dad.
Siope-Kinikini6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I have learned that most fathers are always trying to do their best. I love talking to other fathers. We talk about our children and everyone is so supportive. I have also learned we are all figuring this out. We laugh, we joke, we cry (man tears, of course) and it is such a great community of men wanting to do their best for their children.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Be patient. Be open. Be accepting. I feel like I’m experiencing the world in a new way and it is amazing.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
There are too many to list. Something that comes to mind is that I was walking with my daughter to school once. As we came into the schoolyard she reached up and grabbed my hand. It was a simple gesture and nothing was said. It made my day.
It’s those small, unexpected moments that catch me off guard but will always be imprinted in my heart. It makes me so grateful for this experience. There’s nothing like it.

If you have any questions for Siope Kinikini, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

——————————————————————————————-
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

Dads in the Limelight – Web Developer and Intranet Manager Andrzej Marczewski

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 561st Dad in the Limelight is web developer and Intranet Manager, Andrzej Marczewski. I want to thank Andrzej Marczewski for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Andrzej Marczewski with all of you.

 

Andrzej-Marczewski1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
Hi. I’m Andrzej Marczewski. By day I am web developer and Intranet manager for a large consulting firm – by night I am a world recognized gamification “thought leader”.
That essentially involves blogging and researching about games and gamification as well as doing lots of talks on the topic! Before that I was also a heavy writer on the topic of games (www.yars.co.uk) (my original passion!). After 7 years that has started to take a back seat though.

 

2) Tell me about your family
I am married and have 2 daughters, 3 and 7. I am very fortunate that they both seem to have my passion for games, with the 7 year old just discovering the joy of playing Lego Batman with me on the Xbox :). They also have formed the basis of several blog posts as the subject of various gamification experiments!

 

Andrzej-Marczewski3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Oo, tough question. Adjusting to the fact that being a father actually means you have to make some changes to your life. It took me a really long time to realize that one! Other than that, staying sane in a house filled with women!

 

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Don’t listen to anyone else – there is no rule book. However… never get it into your head that your life doesn’t have to change! Oh and enjoy them when they are little and can’t speak back :)

 

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
I am not sure I have yet. I work, I parent, I sleep. It is really something I need to work on. That said, my wife is amazing. When I have to go away she makes sure that it is as easy as possible to do and supports me every way she can.

 

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
That we are all in the same boat and are all having the same experiences. That has been really important actually as often you can feel like you are the only one.


Andrzej-Marczewski
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
There are days filled with joy and others filled with just sheer horror. Hold onto them both as they will shape you and the way you parent. Never ever underestimate the work it takes to be a parent or under appreciate your partner if you have one.Oh and it is hard work – it really really is.

 

 

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Silly moments stick out. Playing with one of my daughters, lying on the floor and seeing that she is over me holding a plastic frying pan over my head saying “Close your eyes again Daddy…” The first moment they said “I love you Daddy”. The eldest nailing riding a bike and the youngest nailing a forward roll. Really too many to really write down!
If you have any questions for Andrzej Marczewski, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

——————————————————————————————-
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

Dads in the Limelight – Actor and Writer Doug Motel

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 560th Dad in the Limelight is actor and writer, Doug Motel. I want to thank Doug Motel for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Doug Motel with all of you.

 

doug-motel1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is Doug Motel and I am an actor and a writer. I am best known for performing solo plays for grown-ups but I have also done some sitcom and film stuff (occasionally still getting stopped by folks who were addicted to the live action series of The Tick or women who once watched every episode of Sweet Valley High.)

In addition to telling stories myself, I help support my family by helping businesses tell their story as a marketing coach or by taking people on writing intensives such as The Expert Book Journey.

 

I have also written a couple of non-fiction books with the newest one titled Toddler Wisdom: Five Powerful Things You Can Learn From Watching 2-Year-Olds.
.

 

doug-motel2) Tell me about your family

I was single for a long time and never really expected to have my own family. I was pretty sure that a serious relationship would be a career killer and I didn’t meet by wife Carrie until I was 40. Our daughter Maitreya was born when I was 44 and my life had an extreme make-over. Now I truly get a bad chill up my spine to think what I would be doing if it were not for these two powerful females. I am continually amazed by how grounding it is to have somewhere you have to be home to each night and people for whom you are accountable to. Even though I was ambitious and working toward goals, I was in many ways drifting before I became a husband and a father.

 

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

My biggest challenge as a father has been in finding ways to explain to my child just why the world is as messed up as it is. She is 8 years old now and her questions about the stupid things that humans do are getting more penetrating. War, famine, the effects of lovelessness in the world….my stock answer has become “Homo sapiens are still pretty young honey but we will work it out SOME day”. Steering her away from what passes as news is not easy. We don’t have TV so when we go to the supermarket and the tabloids (which are at her eye level) splash drama, she comes looking to me to explain what on earth is going on and sometimes it is frustrating and exhausting navigating her away from that brand of cynical commerce.

doug-motel

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

I would advise fathers to do their best to prepare for the fact that they will be required to completely kill off the person they used to be. If you cling to the guy you once were (the guy who could do whatever he wanted or only had his significant other to run things by) you are headed for pain.

 

My worst moments in fatherhood were when I tried to fit family into my old ways of being like nothing had changed, forcing my new circumstances into an old shoe that was the wrong size and shape. But the good news is that once you can say “that guy is gone, hail to that guy and thanks”. You can be a new guy. A guy who is part of a much bigger and potentially powerful story than the one you were starring in before.

 

doug-motel5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

Balancing is a continual process for me. It is not like a switch you can turn on and off it is in flux. I try to encourage my wife to go out and do things without me and my daughter and in turn she does the same for me. You can’t be a good partner or parent if ALL you are is an earning machine. One thing that really helps is the fact that my wife and I have a “production meeting” every Monday morning and we go through everyone’s meetings, rehearsals, etc… so there are less surprises. I also draw a wheel and I break my life up into 8 pieces: career, money, health & fitness, friends & family, romance, personal growth, recreation and physical environment. Periodically I will give them a number from 1 to 10 to see if I am starving off some part of myself that deserves attention.

 

doug-motel6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

Most of my dad friends are younger than me and I am happy to see that they are more hands on and more attentive than dads were when I was a kid. I have learned that there is no reason to be embarrassed to say that you love your kids and you love being a dad because most dads feel the same way.

 

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

I think that all we really want out of life is to feel love, plain and simple. But the funny thing about love is that you only get it by giving it away. Trying to demand it or pull it toward you or expect it doesn’t work. So if you want to give some love away there is no better place to pour it out onto than your kids. If you use them as a place to keep generating patience, fun, laughter, play and tenderness you will get an instant high and live a life filled with love and that’s just about all you can ask for in this crazy place.

doug-motel-stories

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

My most memorable experience as a parent was the day my daughter was born. I was cutting the umbilical cord and she was looking at me with these super intense eyes…creepy penetrating expression. So to break up the mood, I stuck my tongue out at her and she stuck her tongue right back at me! I thought uh oh this is going to be a wild ride and sure enough it is.

If you have any questions for Doug, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

——————————————————————————————-
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

Dads in the Limelight – Todd Natenberg

Dads in the Limelight Series

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.

 

Todd-Natenburg1&2) Tell me about yourself and your family, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is Todd Natenberg and I have been super happily married six years to the most beautiful woman, Reena. We have amazing now four year old fraternal twin sons- Ari and Teddy.
Mine is a story of perseverance, endurance, passion and second chances to live a life of fulfillment.
In 2006, after two divorces with no children, I was engaged to be married in Chicago, where I hail from. My then fiancée and I broke up amicably. 24 hours later, my estranged father- who I hadn’t spoken to in 3 years tragically committed suicide. 6 months later I was laid off from a great career as a K-12 district sales manager for the Discovery Channel. In 6 months, I lost a relationship, a home, a job and a father.
My only salvation was I was in endurance training to enter the Ironman Triathlon in Madison Wisconsin. I completed the 141 mile odyssey in an astounding 16 hours, 30 minutes, never giving up in September 2007.
Through a series of unforeseen chance meetings, I returned to journalism after being away from the profession for 15 years. During that time, I enjoyed a stellar career as a star sales rep, sales manager and trainer in telecommunications,highlighted by having owned a sales training company full time for three years. I self published a successful how to book, entitled “I just got a job in sales! Now what?” Endorsed by BrianTracy, Roger Dawson and Tony Parinello. The book was my second after writing The Journey Within: 2 months on Kibbutz, which chronicled my sabbatical volunteering on an Israeli Kibbutz at 30 years old in 2000.
 Todd-Natenburg

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.

 Todd-Natenburg
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Being the ultimate role model. Everything I do, say and act affects my sons. Every day they want to be “like me.” I am constantly asking myself these two questions in developing their strength, peace, happiness and fulfillment:
  1. Is how I’m acting how I would want them to act?
  2. 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?
I tell my sons all the time I love them more than anything, I’m proud of them and that them being born was “rebirth” for me.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
above answer for #1 and #2
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside 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.

 

Todd-Natenburg6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

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.

 

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
See 1-6 answers
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
  • 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..
My most memorable experience? Being the father I never had and have always wanted to be.

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!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

——————————————————————————————-
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

Dads in the Limelight – Clinical Psychologist & Dad, Steven Hanley

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 558th Dad in the Limelight is Clinical Psychologist & Dad, Steven Hanley. I want to thank Steven Hanley for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Steven Hanley with all of you.

 

Steven-Hanley1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is Steven Hanley and I am a father and husband with a wonderful wife, a 5 year old daughter, and a 2 year old son. I works as a Clinical Psychologist, running my own psychotherapy practice near Detroit, Michigan.  I spend my days helping people navigate through emotional pain and live healthier emotional lives.  It is a wonderfully rich and rewarding career.  If I wasn’t doing this I would like to try making documentary films, a career in which I have absolutely no training or experience.

 

I am also an active psychology blogger www.stevenjhanleyphd.com/blog, tweeter (@StevenJHanley), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/StevenJHanleyPhD, and overall social media junkie.

 

2) Tell me about your family

My wife, Kate, is the emotional center of our family. She’s my best friend and we make a great team.  She is bright, inquisitive, and an exceptionally hard worker, both at home and in her career in the publishing industry.

Steven-Hanley 

We’ve been blessed with two wonderful kids, Nora (5) and Owen (2).  The joys and challenges of fatherhood are beyond anything I imagined before having kids.  Nora is a question machine – she is curious about everything.  I love having conversations with her and watching her mind grow.  Owen is full of energy.  He is a doer.  He’s very physical and affectionate.  He loves building block towers almost as much as he loves knocking them down.

 

It has been especially interesting having one girl and one boy.  While there is certainly something to the idea that girls and boys are socialized differently (often in stereotypical ways) I am convinced that there is something innately unique about each of their developments as well.  It has been fun watching the kids interact with each other.  They are very sweet to each other (for the most part) and I hope that continues.

 

Steven-Hanley3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

I have two: balance and patience.

 

Everything takes longer with young kids.  Intellectually I knew this, but I didn’t really “know” it experientially until now.  For example, I love grocery shopping with my daughter (my son is still a little too young to enjoy that).  That really is some quality time for us.  But, it means preparing myself for finding the right grocery cart (the one with the steering wheel and kids car attached), stopping for the free donuts at the front of the store, 1 possibly 2 potty breaks (usually when we are furthest away from restroom and just about ready to pay), negotiating over what kind of bread to get, and convincing my daughter that we don’t need an 8 pound bag of sugary princess cereal.  That all takes extra time.  I could do it much more efficiently alone, but it gives my daughter and I time to bond.  It is a challenge to find that kind of time in our already busy schedules, so we make the most of it when we can.

 

“Daddy, you have to be patient,” my daughter often tells me from her car seat as I am driving the kids to school in traffic that isn’t moving.  Out of the mouths of babes.  We can learn a lot from our kids when we listen to them.

 

Steven-Hanley

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Put your cell phones and tablets down!  This is easier said than done and I am guilty of not always following my own advice.  I try though.  It is difficult in such a digitally “connected” world to really connect with our kids.

 

Never (or at least rarely) refuse your kids’ request to build a fort in the living room.  Yeah, it can be a hassle and mess but it is also a great deal of fun. There is a creativity and magic about telling and listening to stories with your kids under a bed sheet stretched between two dining chairs.  Try it!

 

Cut yourself some slack.  You are not going to be a perfect dad.  In fact, that is an unrealistic and impossible expectation.  I aim to be “good enough.”  I don’t think that is setting the bar too low.  Rather, it is setting an example for your kids, one that accepts imperfection as part of life.  It is important to let your kids know when you’ve made a mistake.  Your kids will appreciate that in the long run.

 

Choose your battles.  Carefully.  There is a time and place to set firm rules and boundaries.  But, do you really want to derail the evening by insisting that your daughter not go to bed with her raincoat on?  Not me.  At least, not anymore.

 

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

Steven-HanleyThis is probably the single most challenging aspect of our lives right now.  It is important to find time to check in with your spouse.  Schedule some date nights.  Find a good baby sitter.  All of this might be obvious, but it’s also the easiest to let slide in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  It is a bit of a paradox, but it takes some work and planning to relax and refresh.

 

In the safety instructions you get when you fly, you are told that if the oxygen masks are deployed and you are travelling with kids that you should take a breath first, then help your children.  I like to apply that principle to emotional lives as well.  At times that might require some professional assistance.  One of the coolest parts of my job as a psychologist is that I can help kids that I never meet by helping their parents manage stress and emotional difficulties.  Healthy parents raise healthy kids.

 

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

That our fathering styles are as different as our personalities.  There is no one right way.  There are certainly some wrong ways that many would agree on.  For the most part though, your fathering will (and should) be consistent with your personality.  The best thing you can do for your kids is to live a healthy, genuine life yourself.

 

Steven-Hanley7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

I think becoming a father naturally makes you look at your relationship with your own father in a new light.  It has increased my appreciation for the positive examples that my dad and mom have been.  I am beyond lucky in that way.  I know from my work that there are many people who have very strained or non-existent relationships with their fathers.  That can be very sad, but it doesn’t mean you a destined to repeat the same mistakes.  It might take a little work, but dysfunctional patterns can be corrected for future generations.

 

It has been wonderful for our kids to grow up with two sets of loving grandparents nearby.  It has been great for our parents as well.  That truly is a blessing and I feel very fortunate to have that.

 

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

Often the most memorable experiences are the simplest.  I’ve already mentioned a few, like grocery shopping or building a fort.  Here are some others:


Watching a beautiful sunset with my kids on vacation (see picture).  Jumping in the autumn leaves.  Listening my to my daughter teach her imaginary “friends” the same lessons she learned in school that day.  Watching my son try to peel an orange.  It has hard to beat those simple pleasures.  

If you have any questions for Steven Hanley, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

——————————————————————————————-
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at [email protected]

%d bloggers like this: