One of the best parts of blogging is the community. In the two months I’ve been authoring The DADgum Blog, I’ve meet some great people, some amazing bloggers and some truly dedicated parents. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to be part of such an incredible group.

This week I accepted a challenge set forth by one of the shining stars of that group: Cécile, author of The Frenchie Mummy Blog. If you’re interested in taking part in The Daddy Tag Challenge, you can find it here. Big thanks to Cécile for letting me participate!

Are you a Stay at Home Daddy or a Working Daddy?

Being a daddy makes me a working daddy, but I do happen to have a full-time job, as well.

Would you have it any other way?

Maybe I would change the kind of work I do, but I think having a full-time job helps teach my boys about the value of money and working hard to advance. Now if I suddenly got a few novels published or if Apple decided to endorse my blog, I would be out the door in a heartbeat, responsibility lessons be damned!

Do you co-change dirty nappies? Even the very smelly ones?

I wouldn’t still be married if I didn’t! Wife and I are all about equitable division of baby duties. Raising children is hard enough when you have a spouse to help. I can’t imagine what it would be like if one of the parents dumped the entire load into the other’s lap.

A little fairy gives you the possibility of breastfeeding? Are you going for it or do you run away?

Oh boy, now there’s an image for you! I would probably give it a try. Our initial plan was to breastfeed, but it turned out to just be something else we had to learn as new parents. I was admittedly a little disappointed when Wife wanted to switch to formula, but I eventually realized it was her body and her choice. Formula ended up being way easier anyway, but I’d give breastfeeding a go just so I could say I’ve shared in the experience.

What is the one must-have item for a daddy?

An outlet. I love my wife and boys more than anything in the galaxy, but daddies and mommies need something they can do on their own, something that allows them to just shut their brains off for a little while. The time apart gives you the chance to miss your little ones and makes you appreciate your time together even more. And if I could add a second must-have item, it would be a super awesomely fabulous wife, which I happen to have. I win!

How many kids do you plan on having?

Wife and I decided from the beginning that we never wanted the kids to outnumber the parents. Now that we have our two boys, we are all set. I made sure of that right after Boo was born, if you catch my drift.

Lads’ nights? How often do you have them?

All my buddies and I ended up with kids at the same time, so we are all in the same boat when it comes to organizing anything sans family. We do have a standing fishing trip every May, which we start looking forward to around June. But since we all have kids around the same age, we manage to get all the families together for birthdays and barbecues about once a month.

Your children’s favourite achievement?

Boo is still a little young to have any favorite achievements, but Bubby, who is four, is so so so proud of himself every time he cleans his room. Wife and I try to make a big deal about it and really layer on the praise, but he spreads his little arms out to showcase his good work and gets so pumped up when we walk into his nice, clean room.

What is your best memory with your kid(s)?

Aside from the day they were both born, which is something I will never forget, my favorite memory is the first time Bubby met his little brother Boo. Wife and I were still in the hospital, of course, but Grandma and Grandpa brought Bubby up to visit. He sat down and held this little guy who, in his mind, had been nothing more than an abstraction in mommy’s belly for the last nine months. It was the first time I had both my children in the same place, and since Wife and I had already decided we were only having two kids, it was the moment I knew our family was complete.

Name one thing you miss since being a daddy?

Wait, let me convince myself it’s ok to long for parts of life before fatherhood.

Ok, now that I have that out of the way, I really miss the time I used to have. Wife and I talk sometimes about what we did before we had kids. It’s really hard to come up with anything, which tells me we had hours and hours of free time when we did absolutely nothing. If I had even half those pre-child hours back, I would have already published a novel and still had time left to be a lot more engaged in my blog. Of course, I have to qualify all this by saying I wouldn’t trade my boys for anything in the world.

Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now? And we mean YOU DADDY, not the mummy!

I will not make any friends with this proclamation, but I’m only about ten pounds heavier than I was in high school, and most of that weight was gained in college. The kids definitely limit the amount of exercise I can do, but I try to watch what I eat and squeeze in some push-ups or a quick walk when I can. So no, no weight gain associated with pregnancy.

Dream holiday with your kids?

Assuming money and other resources are not an issue—this is a dream, after all—I would love to take my boys to all thirty Major League Baseball stadiums. I’ve been to six of them on my own, mostly as a result of following my hometown St. Louis Cardinals, but taking a boys’ trip for a few months, eating hot dogs and nachos and watching men play a boys’ game would be a dream come true.

Dream holiday without your kids or even without the other half? (You’re allowed to dream)

Wife and I are trying to figure out a way to finagle a dinner date with Jennifer Lawrence. Assuming she’s not available in the near future, we would love to spend some time at an all-inclusive resort, where all the food and drinks are on the house. We would arrange some hiking trips, scuba sessions, and other excursions during the day. At night we sit outside, watching the sun set over the ocean, listening to whatever live band is serenading the crowd under the tropical stars. And maybe Jennifer Lawrence would be staying at the same resort…

How has your life changed since having kids?

How hasn’t it changed?! My choices are no longer my own. Every time I make a decision I have to think about how it will impact three other people. Would I want my boys to do what I’m about to do? Would Wife agree with how I’m handling the discipline right now? How will my vote for president impact my kids’ lives in twenty years? Life is now viewed through the lens of parenthood; there will never be another way to see things.

Finish the sentence “It makes my heart melt when…”

…other people compliment my boys on their behavior. Wife and I hold them to a fairly rigid standard of discipline. We expect to hear “please” and “thank you” every time, we expect them to ask politely and not make demands, and we expect them to do as they are told the first time we ask. It’s a battle, but one we believe we’re winning when we hear strangers in the grocery store or Bubby’s pre-school teachers tell us how well-behaved our kids are. It’s a sense of pride and love that is seldom paralleled.

Favourite beers brands and football team?

I’m going to call an audible on this question. First of all, I’ve heard football means something a little different across the pond. Second, we just lost our football team here in St. Louis, MO. So I’m going to list the Cardinals as my favorite baseball team, since I spend more time following them than any other professional sports franchise. And when I’m kicked back watching the Cards on TV, I likely have a frosty Budweiser product in my hand. Now if I want to drink a beer that actually has some flavor, I’ll go for an Angry Orchard, Blue Moon, or Shock Top.

Huggies or Pampers?

We go generic. Neither of us can justify spending an extra $15 per case when they all end up full of poop anyway.

Have you always wanted kids?

Yes. I didn’t have the greatest childhood on the planet, so it has always been important to me to start a normal, happy, healthy family. Having been raised by a single mom, I know how critical a strong father is to a child’s development. Plus having kids gives me a great excuse to play with Legos and Captain America toys.

Best part of being a dad?

Aside from the Legos and Captain America toys? I now have two little walking embodiments of my ability to support other human beings. Everything they know they learned from Wife and me, which is simultaneously fulfilling, mind-blowing, and terrifying. They will one day go off on their own, make their own choices, get their own jobs, make their own friends and make their own mistakes; it all started with lessons they learned at home. I can’t think of a better feeling in the world than knowing I’m directly responsible for the men they will one day grow up to be.

the Frenchie Mummy Blog