Happy Father’s Day! Today, we are celebrating Daddy Bear’s first Father’s Day! Evie and I are so lucky to have such a great man in our lives that works so hard to take care of us. E loves her daddy so much and I don’t know what we would do without him.
Our journey through our first year of parenthood has not always been easy or even the smoothest. Lots of trial and error, just as with anything else in life. But I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to take that journey with. Even through the tears, crazy, and sometimes yelling (because come on, let’s be real here), I can always count on him.
For Father’s Day, I’ve decided to put the spotlight on the Daddy behind Life As Mama Bear and asked him to answer some great questions about being a husband and a dad. Most of these questions came from our friends and families when we asked for suggestions and they came up with some good ones! Enjoy!
- Do you find yourself doing things you remember your father doing? If so, what stands out the most?
Admittedly, I have a pretty terrible memory. That said, I do remember feeling in awe of my dad. He worked harder than any person I knew so that my sister and I could enjoy the life both he and my mom had given us. It pops into my mind any time I start to feel overwhelmed with anything. Dad got through it, and so can I. Also nicknames. Both my sister and I had one that he used almost exclusively. The tradition continues as I raise little Chub-a-wub.
- What one piece of advice would you give new dads?
Get ready to put yourself in the number 3 slot priority wise. Disclaimer, I don’t feel I’m qualified to speak for all dads, so this is just my opinion. I’m not saying ignore your own needs completely, but to me there are a couple people ahead of you line. After that baby came (and even 9 months before), I felt it was my sole job to make sure anything and everything, both tiny human, and regular love-of-my-life human needed was provided. It’s something I feel proud to do. I can’t always be there at home during the day because of work, but when I am home, I make the time count, to both of them.
- Why did you marry Mommy?
There’s the cliché answer of “because she was the one for me”, but that doesn’t really say much does it? There were three driving factors that made me want to marry Kristie. One, she made me feel complete. I remember hanging out with her after work while we were still at MSU, listening to music and just feeling like everything was how it was supposed to be. Two, I used to have the absolute worst time trying to fall asleep. After Kristie and I started living together, that was no longer an issue. It was like some invisible weight on my mind was lifted. And finally, because she can (mostly) put up with my shenanigans. Never discount a woman who can deal with your silly quirks (read stupid habits).
- What traditions did your father pass on to you that you will pass on?
Aside from the awesome nicknames as mentioned above, I definitely want to be active in one major extracurricular activity with all my children. My dad was involved with Boy Scouts with me from elementary school all the way until I graduated high school. Something like that, or coaching a t-ball/soccer/flag football team. Anything that I can make special for my kids that they’ll always remember.
- What’s one mistake you’ve made that’s taught you a great lesson in life?
It’s kind of a mistake I continue to make but am trying my hardest to change. Talking to my family on a regular basis. I get pretty caught up in my job, my house, now my little baby, that I take for granted that my parents, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins are all going to be there when I feel like I “have time” to talk to them. That won’t always be the case.
- What has been the hardest adjustment for you to navigate in becoming a father?
I’d have to say hands down, it’s patience. Easily frustrated, I found having an infant who doesn’t have the ability to easily express neither what she needs, nor what she likes or dislikes pretty rough. I can’t count how many times I had to tell myself “she’s a baby, you can’t get frustrated”. There were times when I couldn’t help it, and I’d lose patience with her and get upset, but the immediate feeling of guilt afterward helped me get stronger next time I felt frustrated. I’m still a work in progress on that front, but I like to think I’m getting a bit better and being more patient.
- Do you do anything differently when mom is gone and it’s just you and the baby?
To be honest, I’ve only been alone with E a couple times. When it’s during the week after work, I usually feed her dinner, play with her a little on the floor, then give her a bath and get jammies on her. So when I’ve had the opportunity to be by myself with her during the day, I find myself being a little more active with her since we’re not trying to get her to sleep in an hour or two. Activities include reading Star Wars to her, plenty of tickling and stupid noises and occasional bike rides/stroller walks. She also secretly likes dubstep and Metallica. But don’t tell Kristie.
- What has surprised you the most about being a dad?
I would have to say it’s the chance to see how humans learn. I find it seriously fascinating watching her learn new things and the processes she goes through to get there. Even though I probably should have, I never expected to be able to have that kind of insight into the human brain. Nerdy, I know.
- Who is harder to handle – a cranky mommy or a cranky baby!?
My dad sense tells me this may be a trick question….but I’ll ignore it and say, cranky mommy. I’ll be the first to admit Kristie does a lion’s share of soothing and settling baby down. I succeed on occasion, but the scales tip overwhelmingly in her favor. However if mommy is cranky, it’s a frantic scramble to rectify the situation before both mommy and baby become cranky. Kristie, unfortunately, can’t be soothed by nursing or tummy tickles.
- In what ways do you hope Evie takes after you and in what ways do you hope she takes after mom?
I hope she will have my deep seeded love for Star Wars and sports. Also, I hope she inherits my goofiness. Taking life too seriously never did anyone any good. As far as what she gets from Kristie, I hope she always wants to go on adventures. I’ll be forever grateful I ended up with someone who keeps my life interesting and I want E to share that with someone too. Also, I hope she’s stubborn. Kristie knows what she wants and (usually) refuses to budge. This could backfire on me, but I’ll take a daughter who knows how to carve her own path in life every time.
- Is there anything you swore you wouldn’t do before you became a father that you ended up doing?
I think for a brief period of time, I was all gung-ho about E never watching TV. I was going to provide her with enough entertainment and intellectual conversation she wouldn’t even know what that black rectangle in our living room was for. Needless to say….LOL.
- How does it feel to be half the reason your child will not grow up to be Batman?
While there is some disappointment that she won’t grow up to be a billionaire crime fighter, I am relieved that I don’t have to be dead and her to be an orphan. That said, I think there are plenty of heroic opportunities still available to her. Like She-Hulk. Or the starting scrumhalf for the Women’s National Rugby Team.
- As a father, are you more afraid of your daughter being a TIE fighter pilot or not making it into the Imperial Flight Academy? Please explain why, and your current stance on the Rebel Alliance.
An excellent question. I’d have to say I’m more afraid of her becoming a TIE fighter pilot. Not only would her training indoctrinate her with the signature lack of marksmanship the Empire manages to thrive on, but then there’s the added layer of intergalactic space flight. Enough to make any father worry. I refuse to have a stance on that pitiful little band. The Emperor has an entire legion of his best troops awaiting them on the sanctuary moon of Endor.
- Sum up Evie in 5 words.
Tiny, squishy hurricane of love.
Thank you Stanley for being a great dad and the best husband. We love and appreciate you more than you could ever know. Happy First Father’s Day!