Our 616th Dad in the Limelight is husband and father, John Wahl. I want to thank John Wahl for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing John Wahl with all of you.
I’m John Wahl, a husband and father living in Crystal, MN. Last year my brother Adam and I created MegaDads.org. It’s a website for geeks and gamers adjusting to the whirlwind life as a parent. It features a weekly blog on video games and family as well as a comic strip and podcast (Mega Dads Live) and has been some of the most fun I’ve ever had.
2) Tell me about your family
I’ve been married to my awesome wife Cristina for nearly 10 years. We met through a mutual acquaintance at the hospital where we both work and got engaged in Paris, France. We have 2 amazingly weird young daughters, Chloe (7) and Samantha (3).
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The biggest challenge other than financial (daycare is $$$!) would have to be finding time for my wife and I to get away and spend some time together alone. We love going to new restaurants around town but time, money and babysitters are sometimes hard to come by. It’s also tough finding time to get a little “me” time. For me that’s usually playing video games and involves waiting until late at night after the girls have gone to bed.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
It’s pretty cliché to say that childhood goes by quickly, but it’s seriously true. Take the time to enjoy every second of it, especially the little moments like helping them with their homework or playing make believe. Before you know it, they’ll be all grown up and Daddy won’t be the center of the universe anymore.
That’s tough. For me being a dad is the most important thing in the world and everything I do is for them. But you still need to take the time to do your own thing as well. Get a babysitter and go do what it is that makes you happy. Whether it’s going to a restaurant or a concert or whatever. Even though you’ll still probably be thinking of your kids the whole time!
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I’ve learned that as tough as it may sometimes be, there are thousands of other dads going through the exact same thing. Many of them in even more challenging situations than we are. And if they can get through all of the tantrums and diaper explosions and sleepless nights than so can I.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Patience is incredibly important. It can be really easy to lose your cool when you’re tired, stressed and overworked. But you have to remember that they’re just kids and they’re not trying to be difficult, they just don’t know any better. Take a deep breath, step away from the situation for a moment and then come back at it with a clear head.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Besides watching the actual births, I’d say watching them learn. My oldest daughter just finished the 1st grade and seeing her learn so much in a short amount of time has been amazing. From learning to read to seeing her develop a love of science, it’s so much fun to watch her begin to transform from that small helpless child into an intelligent young girl.
If you have any questions for John Wahl, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!