Our 371st Dad in the Limelight is Rich Gallagher. I want to thank Rich for being a part of the Dads in the Limelight 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)
I’m 31 years old, living in NYC (Long Island City in Queens). I’ve lived in the city 10 for 10 years, originally from Detroit. I am a PR & marketing consultant specializing in indie games and apps. Not sure how much it qualifies as limelight, but I write weneedmorebathrooms.com, and serve as. The weekend activities director with the NYC Dads Group, and am a certified instructor for our weekend New Dad Bootcamps. I’m the guy in the green shirt in this clip:
2) Tell me about your family
I’ve been married for 5 years to my lovely wife, Mindy. We have 2 daughters: Sadie (3.5 years) and Hailey (6 months on July 1). We also have a dog, Hank. He’s a rescue Schnoodle we got 4.5 years ago.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Finding a job that would offer the balance and understanding for family life so I could be the kind of involved, important parent I wanted to be. I spent 10 years in PR firms, and it’s unfortunately an industry-wide issue. Ultimately, I had to go out on my own and establish a consultancy.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Enjoy the ride. A lot of the questions we get at New Dad Bootcamp come out of a feeling of stress, and generally a lot of the expecting dads worry they won’t measure up. Fatherhood’s changed dramatically for our generation, and so a lot of us are doing things that we never saw our dads take on. So I would encourage other dads to not worry about the “right” way to diaper, feed, play, etc. Do what works for you and establish your own parenting style.
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.
For me, it all comes down to time spent with my girls. PR agency life involves a lot of “face time,” a lot of meetings. So I was at a point where I was working on my dream brand, but it got really draining because I was hardly ever seeing them. I started my own practice so I can find a lot of those little moments in the day where I can take a few minutes out for them. I’ll take one of them with me to walk the dog, sit and eat lunch with one and talk about their day, and I can shut it down at the end of the day and be there for baths and stories and bedtime.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
The great thing about NYC Dads is I encounter dads from so many different kinds of families. I’ve met surrogate dads, single dads, adopted dads, stay-at-homes… a great mix. The common thread that I’ve seen in all these guys is that if you really care enough to WANT to be a good dad, you ARE a good dad.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Being a good husband/partner is still critically important for dads. I think a lot of the time parents will throw themselves so completely into parenting that they tend to neglect their marriage. Spending a little time together every now and then, whether it’s a day date lunch or a quick dinner on the weekend, and talking about something other than the kids, really helps remind me why I married my wife in the first place.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
We delivered our second daughter on New Year’s Eve, so that was a surreal experience. She was the first end born in the hospital that year, and just an hour or so off from being Baby New Year. Watching the countdown from Times Square during delivery, and cabbing over to the hospital and seeing dressed up, drunken revelers… it was pretty unforgettable. Also, I was particularly proud of how my older daughter handled a visit with her great grandmother: http://weneedmorebathrooms.com/2013/03/27/courage-wears-pigtails/. Their ability to handle things maturely always surprises me.
If you have any questions for Rich, 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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