This post is about dads, but before we get there I’d like us to start by remembering that before they became fathers they became our husbands (or the person we fell in love with). I realize we haven’t completely forgotten the timeline, however the further we get into parenthood the blurrier that beginning can become. So, let’s pause here. Take a moment just to reminisce about the man that you married. Recall how you met or your first date. Focus in and linger on a feature you adore most about him. Maybe it’s his laugh, his hands, or sense of adventure. This is where your family started. Days are different now and often harder. My hope is that this tiny glimpse into the hearts of some of the amazing men and fathers in our city will refresh our love and respect for our main squeezes. Enjoy, ladies and be encouraged!
- How has becoming a father changed you?
“Becoming a father made me hyper-aware of my words and actions. The responsibility that comes with molding the life of a child who watches and imitates your every move is huge, and I feel a lot of pressure not to screw it up with my own faults.”
“It has pushed so many fringe activities and interests I had before to the side and allowed me to sharpen my focus on my family, my faith, and the other things that are important to me.”
“The biggest thing for me is my time is no longer my own and my little ones have become the priority. And I want to do that (most of the time)! I want to spend time with them, see them grow and develop and be present as much as I can to pour in to them.”
- How has becoming a mother changed your wife?
“She’s singularly focused on providing for our children, primarily, and our whole family, secondarily, with herself at the bottom of the totem pole. Intimacy has changed a great deal, but the care she takes in being a mother is something to behold. She’s incredible.”
“Sleep deprived! Seriously though I think it has truly brought out her selfless nature. Mom mode is a real thing.”
“I’m not sure it has changed her so much as it has given her more outlets to showcase all of her best qualities. She loves this family so well and she makes everything that I struggle with as a parent look so easy.”
- What is something you hope your kids learn from your marriage?
“I hope our kids learn how to live life authentically. I want them to see us make mistakes and be willing to own up to them. I want our marriage to be an example of both asking for and offering forgiveness.”
“That she is the most important person in my life and we are a team. That our interests are aligned, starting with doing our best every day to make God the focal point of our life, marriage and family.”
- When are your kids the happiest?
“Usually when they are eating. After that it’s when we are all together. I am always surprised when one of the kids comes home from somewhere and the other two tell them how much they missed them.”
“When they are on an adventure and their creative juices take over.”
“When we’re all together – which is usually in the kitchen. Saturday morning pancakes or Saturday night dance parties while we’re cooking are the best.”
- How can your wife and kids best encourage you after a tough day at work?
“Giving me a little time to transition is helpful. Mostly I want to hear about their day rather than rehash mine. Hearing that they are grateful for my efforts is nice.”
“Just be there and be them.”
“Our kids screaming “Daddy!” while running down the hall with open arms is all I need. [From my wife] I think patience, understanding and knowing silence about my day does not mean I don’t want to talk about it but it rather is more of a process of unwinding from the stress.”
- What funny things are your kids saying these days?
“Whenever we tell her to do something she doesn’t want to, she tells us, ‘No! It’s not safe!’”
“He screeches like a dinosaur so I will call him my velosibaby.”
“Oh my Giggles.”
- Where is your favorite place to hang in Dallas with your family?
“Any playground is the answer. I like it when my kids can run around and make noise with no consequences. They need some unstructured play every day.”
“Braum’s. Ice cream is a cure for anything!”
“On a cold night, going to Katy Trail Ice House for chips and queso and a big bowl of venison chili while warming up by the fire.”
- How has living in the Dallas area uniquely shaped or influenced your role as a father?
“The Dallas professional scene does put a lot of pressure on us to prioritize work over family often which has been a struggle for me and has a ripple effect across my family. Conversely being a big city you see a lot of different parenting options so it forces you to think more about what choices you are making for your kids and has been helpful in pointing out ways I do or don’t want my kids to be raised.”
- How do you balance the pressures of working and living in a big city with being present for your family?
“I try to make sure that when I am home, I am home. I mean that I do my best to turn my computer off, put my phone down and quit doing email when I get home. There is time when kids go to sleep to keep working if I have to, but they are only going to be little once and I want to enjoy the time with them now.”
- Is there anything you would like the mothers of Dallas to know about the dads of Dallas?
“Not a day at the office goes by where I don’t pick up my phone and look at pictures of my family. Those pick me ups really get me through the day.”
“Dad Bod hurts. Stop saying it. That is not fat around our waists, that is an over-pouring of love from our hearts for our wives that just so happens to settle around our stomachs!”
“We’re really trying our best. We’re all learning as we go. We love our families deeply, even when our actions don’t always seem to align with that idea. Be patient with us.”
This survey is a culmination of selected answers from men in different parenting phases and neighborhoods across our metroplex including Lake Highlands, Lakewood, Colleyville, Preston Hollow, Richardson and Plano with parenting experiences ranging from first newborn – eight years.
Dads, are you reading? We’d love to hear your answers to some of the questions in the comments!