Our 468th Dad in the Limelight is Torsten Klaus. I want to thank Torsten for being a part of this 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)
Hello from England. My name is Torsten Klaus (…eeehhm, doesn’t sound English, right?) – and I was born in East-Berlin. I grew up in East Germany until I was 12 when the wall came down (yes, I actually had a little hammer and broke off a piece of that wall myself… it’s probably worth $100 today… but I have no clue where it is, damn.) Tried many things in life: student job in a supermarket where I was told to stack beer boxes. I did well until my beer tower somehow lost balance and 50+ bottles decided not to end up in someone’s fridge or rather someone’s tummy. What a shame. I got fired after half the shift. From there life got better. I trained as a journalist (where you actually drink the beer) and worked in media in Berlin. Later on I met my lovely wife and she really, really, really wanted to study in England. Well, what could I do? I loved her so much, so that we packed two suitcases and left Berlin… to start from scratch on the island. Life seemed more difficult again as I didn’t speak much of the language on arrival. That made it slightly difficult on my first visit to the pub… 10 years later: After working with families, fathers and children for a decade, I started to become self employed as a Parenting Coach and Author. Life is good. Wanna see it? Stop by at my site www.dadstalkcommunity.com
2) Tell me about your family
I am married to my lovely wife. We have two, bilingual (English/German) boys. We love to be outdoors a lot: building dens, making fires and running through woods.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Going through a period of time where my wife and I both experienced post natal depression (and we didn’t know it). We nearly lost our relationship but through empathy, taking enough time to talk about things, and our deep bond we managed to reconnect and strengthen our relationship. My wife is awesome!
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Be authentic. Be honest. Be real. Don’t accept any labels from anyone! Be hands-on and be around your kid(s) as often as possible. Even when they’re small, they need you. Yes, your partner might do things differently, but that doesn’t mean your way is wrong. Love your child unconditionally. All children need empathic PARENTS. That’s dads included.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
Co-parenting rocks! For my family the best work-life-balance is when my wife and I work part-time. So both of us can do things outside the home and get inspired, as well as having enough time to be around the kids. I love it.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
How important it is to take enough time to reflect, to talk and to relax. Life is so busy that we often forget to pause. I learned to take brakes and to be honest with myself.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Before I became a father, I thought I was well prepared for parenthood. I read a lot of books, my wife and I chatted about it every night and we went to antenatal classes. But what I really forgot was to reflect on my own childhood. How was the relationship with my parents? Are there any scars left from that time – left and forgotten? Believe me, it’s so worth going back in time, to find out what happened then and how life events shaped you. Then come back to the present, work through things and become a loving father.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
If you have any questions for Torsten, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!