Our 873rd Dad in the Limelight is Marlon Gutierrez from the website Being Papa. I want to thank Marlon Gutierrez for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Marlon Gutierrez with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Marlon Gutierrez. I’m the dad to a really smart & funny 2-year-old who makes me gleem with joy. As far as the spotlight goes I’m usually seen in marketing conferences in my career as a growth marketer. More important to me though is the work I’ve been doing as the organizer of the Orlando City Dads Group and instagramming & blogging about my adventures as a dad to my daughter through Being Papa.
2) Tell me about your family
I’m married to one incredible woman who owns and manages a real estate management company from our home. She’s the type that reads right through my BS and knows how to pull me back when I go down a black hole stressing about things that don’t really matter. Together we parent our daughter, who at two years of age can manipulate me into what she wants me to do plainly because she’s the most hilarious kid I have ever encountered. She’s the daughter I never knew I needed so much in my life and I really can’t function without her around. She’s spunky and brave– loves scary Halloween decor, reptiles and dinosaurs, and while we live in Orlando, the literal home to Disney Princesses, the one princess she got a fascination towards so far has been Fiona from the Shrek series– and only in ogre form!! She’s also incredibly sweet, loves to sing and dance, and loves going shopping for clothes!! As a family we’re always out on the weekends, travel often and spend most of our days together.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
So far, the biggest challenge that I’ve had while being a father was realizing that there were many elements from my own upbringing that I didn’t want to pass down. I recall my childhood being extremely positive and happy for me but there were a lot of little elements that passed down from being raised in a more traditional environment that led to toxic behavior in my late teens and early twenties. Further, I’ve had to acknowledge that a lot of my culture is very heavy with toxic masculinity and I’ve had to really learn how to challenge what was wired to me and become aware of feminism, gender issues, and equality. Realizing I was part of a large problem was extremely hard for me, but my daughter has been a huge motivator for me to get educated through all the resources available.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
This one would particularly be for working fathers. Make the shift in your mindset that your role as a provider means so much more than providing financially. In fact, we have it all wrong. The second you learn that role is to provide time for your family, everything starts aligning into place. Remember that your kid would rather be living in a box and get to have playtime with you than in a house without getting a chance to ever see you.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
More and more, I’ve learned to start integrating parenthood and outside life as opposed to trying to balance them. We travel often as a family to take advantage of the time we have with our daughter before she spends her days in school. We also both work-from-home, so we are able to be present throughout the day for her while also working and getting stuff done. Sometimes there are better days than others, of course, but between both of us, we make it work. We also think it’s important for us to have the chance to “do us”. My wife and I will alternate if I just need some time to for self-care. (Usually consists of a dinner with a friend or sitting out to read a good book).
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I’ve learned that a dad’s superpower really comes in the form of play. We’re not afraid to get on the playgrounds with them or take them out to the toy store and get just as excited about a toy they’ve never seen before. I live vicariously through my daughter’s excitement in play, and given that children learn very well through playtime, I think playing with our kids is time very well spent.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I used to very much align my identity with that of my job title and career. Being a father has taught me that I’m so much more than that: that in reality, my job is just the paycheck that allows me to do what I need to. The second my job makes me unhappy or starts to take away from my family in an unreasonable manner, I’ve become very quick to be able to quit and look for another. So far, it hasn’t impacted my career growth and it’s made me continuously improve job environments for the better.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
It still has to be the moment my daughter was born. I went through Bradley classes with my wife and I very much went deep into the information. My wife had a natural birth and I was able to pull my daughter out and be the first person who ever held her. The memory of seeing her face and feeling her slippery tiny body is so incredibly vivid and without a doubt always fills my eyes up with tears. It was the moment my life changed for the better.
If you have any questions for Marlon Gutierrez, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!