Our 867th Dad in the Limelight is David of Life with Benjamin. I want to thank David for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing David with all of you.
1: Tell me about yourself
Hi, my name is David, or @life_with_benjamin on Instagram. My story as a father started during the Canadian economic downturn of 2015. At this time I was rudely canned from my job as a Geologist. My termination also coincided with the pregnancy and birth of my wife (Krista) and me’s first sob (Benjamin).
Around Benjamin’s first birthday, my wife went back to work, and I became a stay at home parent. This was also the time I started messing around with photography, to maintain my sanity.
It didn’t take long before I alienated myself from everyone by constantly trying to show him or her photos of Benjamin. I couldn’t even catch people off guard because anyone that owns a DSLR knows that these cameras aren’t exactly stealth. When you walk in the door with a suitcase, backpack, and computer people instinctually know you are going to try to show them photos.
So I went searching for a larger audience.
Enter Instagram, the largest photo sharing thingy out there. Instagram started as an outlet but has slowly grown over the past two years to the point that I’m now almost 1/1,000,000th as popular as Selena Gomez.
2: Tell me about your family
My wife and I met in school, both studying Geology. She currently works as a Geologist in Calgary. Our son, Benjamin, is almost 3 years old. We are expecting our second child at the end of March 2019, a baby girl.
3: What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Being a stay at home father has unique challenges. I have heard on a few occasions’ moms exchanging phone numbers and arranging separate play dates with their children. The reality is that, for me to attempt to arrange a one on one play date with another mom ultimately feels wrong. As harmless as it is, the questions that could arise from such a thing aren’t worth it.
So it can be isolating as a father, especially in a mom dominated world.
4: What advice would you give to other fathers?
Be involved when it comes to knowing the schedules, routines, and quirks of your children. I’ve seen older generations of fathers feel like outcasts because they can’t play the games right, or make dinner properly.
5: How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
This is definitely a struggle. Having children makes you feel like you are always shuffling priorities. However, for me, it comes down to scheduling. My wife and I share a calendar so this has helped a lot with making sure that I can play hockey, attend events, etc.
If it’s on the calendar, then I can see when we have things as a family, when my hockey games are, or when my wife has something to attend. My wife and I have always worked well together when it comes to planning schedules.
6: What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I’ve really been amazed by the fact that most fathers seem envious that I get to stay home with Benjamin and do a little bit of freelance work.
Prior to talking to them, I thought most fathers had a more “traditional” view fatherhood. Similar to how my father was. He viewed a fathers role as providing for the family and the mother was responsible for taking care of children.
But, that really isn’t the case. Most fathers I talk to that are similar age to me, are very open to being the primary caregiver of their children. It’s really enlightening and amazing.
7: What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I always find it funny how much I tried to prepare for becoming a father only to find out that nothing really prepared me. It is something that could only be experienced for me. The ups and downs, the really long days, and extremely short years.
It simply amazes me how Benjamin can argue with me all day about every single detail. But then, he’ll turn to me and say, “I love papa today”, and all is forgotten.
8: What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
When Benjamin was first born he would get up every few hours to feed and change. So my wife would mostly do that. However, there was this magical time in the mornings that Benjamin and I would spend together.
Benjamin would usually wake up around 7 am in the morning. So during this time I would get up and take him downstairs so my wife could sleep another few hours. During this time Benjamin and I would lay chest to chest on the couch and just stare at each other. He was looking at me and I was looking at him.
I cannot stress how much I cherish this time we spent together. I think about it to this day. I was a proud father bonding with my newborn child and helping my wife stay rested and healthy during this sleep challenged time.
If you have any questions for David, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!