Our 529th Dad in the Limelight is Luke Alvarez of Good Luck Dad Blog (http://goodluckdad.com/). I want to thank Luke Alvarez 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)
I’m a Southern California husband and father. I’ve been married to my wife for 13 years, and we together have raised a boy and a girl. With my faith and family as my base and foundation, I have MANY hobbies and interests. I currently work two jobs. First, I work my very early hours (starting at 5AM) doing real estate. My second, and very part-time job is a youth sports coach, where I teach children a variety of sports. Well, let’s admit it. I mostly play. I’m also a backup singer for a local band in the area. And while I enjoy singing, my heart musically belongs to my bass guitar. I’ve also had the pleasure of sharing my musical talents by training and working with young musicians here and there. With all that taking up most of my pie, I still find room for my local Los Angeles teams such as the Lakers, Dodgers, Kings, and Trojans. Yes, I still find time to geek on technology, gadgets, video games, photography, video and photo editing, then finally my latest venture: Good Luck Dad Blog (http://goodluckdad.com/). Here’s to pitching in, and doing a cannonball into the pool of awesome dad bloggers out there!
2) Tell me about your family
I’ll start off with my best friend and wife, Yolanda. She’s so amazing and talented, and has always been my support through everything I’ve ever done and tried. Now, I find myself as her biggest fan and supporter in her new, and already successful children’s clothing venture, Cute As Claire. It’s her small business with which she sells her high quality, handmade clothing online at her CuteAsClaire store on Etsy.com! Shameless plug! Haha She is so awesome, and the main reason I am a father twice over. My son, Isaac, is recently 12 years old and he is my main sidekick! Video games? We’re there. Play some sports? Let’s do it! Create and edit homemade videos and music for social media and YouTube? He’s already a mastermind! He has my humor, my dark skin, and my occasional laziness. He’s my real life mini me. That’s too bad for my 6 year old daughter. Well, now that I think of it, she loves him! These two are inseparable. But, on her own, she is very independent. Wanting to do it all on her own. Yet, she’s still player three on Xbox with the boy and I. She plays outfield when I pitch the baseball to my son. And she competes in our in-house dodge ball games, which my wife hates. She also has a soft spot for mother earth, and is a go-getter when it comes to recycling. With all the tomboy-ness though, she’s still my baby girl. She says that won’t change. Let’s hope this is true.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The balancing act. It is something that I have really had to learn and work at. Correction: I still am learning at working at it. And all my fathers out there, throw your fists in the air when you agree, fatherhood is work. But, as my own father once told me, “you work hard. Then you play hard.” We’ve all heard it in life. No work. No Play. It’s like there are balancing acts everywhere we set foot! I didn’t know I was signing up to be in a high-wire balancing act my whole life. But, that’s what it feels like. Between being a father, a husband, a friend, an employee and everything else in between, we as fathers must work at and learn this vital balancing act. Because we all know our children want to play. And we must somehow do all this while, maintaining every other aspect in our life.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Keep. Momma. Happy. I know. What does that have to do with being a dad? Let me tell you: A LOT. By unconditionally loving on the women who gave her body up to make you a father, you’re teaching your son how to VALUE the future love of his life. Sure, you’re not specifically telling him how or what to do. But with your actions, you’re teaching him to love, respect, and honor women. In turn, he’ll see the joy of a happy marriage, and want the same joy for his family in the future. But it’s not only for the boys. It’s especially for the little girls. Show the little princess what a knight in shining armor does for the woman he loves on a daily basis. Make your daughter not want to settle for anything less than the best! By watching you treat her mother like an absolute queen, you’re giving her a memory of internal movies to reference, so she knows what to look for in a good man. She will look and settle for one who will treat her like her father treats her mother. Don’t worry dads. I’m not perfect at it. But I do my absolute best. So once again. Keep. Momma. Happy.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
Let me give you one simple phrase: Be intentional. Make intentional efforts. Whether it is to play for an hour with the kids, or work for an hour on a business project. Be intentional. Sure, distractions come. But, by having an intentional mindset, you will have no problem pushing through, and staying on task. Trust me. Your children will understand the value and importance of this as long as you stick to your guns about it. They will be confident that their time with you will not be bothered by work. And by showing them that, they will understand work time is work time, mommy and daddy time is mommy daddy time, and so on. An intentional life is a balanced life. Just like everything else, I’m still working on it. But, I’m getting better.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
There’s one thing that I have taken from meeting just a few of the millions of fathers out there. There’s a large community out there who are supporting and lifting up each other. From help for new fathers, to celebrating the accomplishments of those dads whose children may have already left the nest, it seems like there’s a community for every type father out there, no matter what stage of fatherhood he is in. It’s so awesome! And I have come to appreciate this so much. Mainly, because I have a son on the cusp of becoming a middle school teen, a daughter who already acts like a teenager, and because of knowing my wife and I still want just one more child. So, I’m ready to meet even more dads who will gladly give me advise in those respected areas. And I’m ready to connect with fathers that I can also help.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I think one last final piece of advice as an intermediate father, is this: Make memories! Just have fun as a father and make memories. Fatherhood is one of the most rewarding gifts we can be given as men. So, we need to relax, and have a great time with our children. Make and create epic moments. Big and small moments. Let’s give our children memories they can hold onto forever. Because, let’s be real and face it dads: We won’t be around forever. And being a son who lost my father at 17, I know this all too well. Lucky for me, I had a father who gave me plenty of memories to last a lifetime. And they certainly have.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
There are just so many things that have been memorable, but here are a couple that stand out.
The birth days. Yes, the annual ones are great, and we celebrate every year. But, I’m talking about that first birth day. Brand new life warmly wrapped in my arms. How could this not be one?
Our annual road trips. We’ve been lucky to have been able to hit the road many, many times. All the pit stops, pictures, hilarious moments, visiting monuments and memorials, crazy weather, and hotel stays from coast to coast, will always replay in mind. We’ve been very blessed, but very intentional about these!
Finally, our weekly evening wrestling/ninja/zombie matches before bed. Sometimes they happen a few times a week. Sometimes my daughter switches teams between her brother and I. Sometimes her brother switches team between his sister and I. And sometimes it’s a free for all with stuffed animals, pillows, plastic balls, nerf balls, or masks and capes. I rise from the dead. They revive each other. The rules always change…if there are rules at all that night. Sometimes, we all get in trouble with mom. And somehow, that in itself brings us closer together. But again, it’s all about being intentional about moments. And it’s these are definitely moments that I will cherish forever.
If you have any questions for Luke Alvarez of the Good Luck Dad Blog, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!