HOMETOWN(S) None (moved around a lot as a kid) / Omaha, NE
ON THE WEB
NUMBER OF CHILDREN Four
FAVORITE CHILD if applicable* (we’re joking*) Whichever one is not asking for a snack.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Married for sixteen years.
DAY JOB At-home Dad to four; current President of Daddyshome – The National At-Home Dad Network (elected Feb 2011. Officers change yearly.) Daddyshome is a 501c3 that supports, educates and advocates for at-home dads and is the host of the annual At-Home Dad Convention. I also earn a small income as a freelance writer for Momaha.com.
IN A PREVIOUS LIFE I was an advertising sales representative for the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. I have a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Advertising and History from Iowa State University.
*Editor’s Note* We’re so pleased to have Al join our project! He, and a few of the other fathers we met at the 16th Annual At-Home Dad Convention on Oct 8, hosted by DaddysHomeInc, have graciously offered their POV on parenthood. At the suggestion of Hogan Hilling, the current Media Relations Rep for DaddysHome, we offered a slightly different questionnaire for this special at-home dad group.
We know you’ll enjoy Al’s story — and be sure to stay tuned for more tales of at-home fatherhood!
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?
I take care of the home and the kids. My wife makes our family’s income.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOU DO WELL AS A HUSBAND AND DAD?
I love my wife and kids. I hug and kiss them all the time and do whatever I can to show them that I love them.
WHAT ARE THE THREE TOUGHEST THINGS ABOUT BEING A STAY-AT-HOME DAD THAT A WOMAN MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND?
1. Playdates: Scheduling playdates is awkward. Why is a married man calling a married woman, not his wife? This is still an uncomfortable situation.
2. Discrimination: Society mocks fathers. People still think fathers are bumbling fools who don’t know which way the diaper goes on. Movies and advertisements still depict fathers as incompetent. This hurts. Dads are not incompetent. We want to be more involved with our children and feel like it’s okay to do so. Women need to think back to how they felt 20-30 years ago when they were wrongly discriminated against in the workforce to understand how dads feel today.
3. Birth: Women go through a lot, physically and emotionally, when having a baby but dads do too. Men, in general, like to “fix” things, but this is one thing we are powerless to fix. Our wives are lying there in terrible pain and the best we can do is say “Remember your breathing, honey!” It’s frustrating and humbling for us. And it’s emotional too. While you are enduring the pain, we have to watch and be strong for you while the whole time we are stressing out inside. It is very difficult to do.
WHAT DO YOU APPRECIATE MOST ABOUT YOUR PARTNER OR WIFE?
My wife is very understanding. She has rarely criticized my housekeeping abilities or tried to tell me how do things around the house or how to parent our children. This has helped me develop confidence in myself, especially in those first years of me staying home with the kids.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?
Leaving the ER before my son was treated. He got hurt at home while I was making dinner. My wife was out of town (she is always out of town when we have to go to the ER) and so all four kids and I went off to the ER.
The x-rays on his arm were negative but he was still complaining of pain. The nurse gave him some ibuprofen for the pain and was going to send a tech in to wrap his arm in a sling because they suspected he had a fracture that didn’t show on the x-ray. We waited over 30 minutes before my patience wore out. We were all crammed in a small room and the kids were hungry. I got their coats on and walked out.
The nurses tried to stop me but I yelled at them for making us wait. I was not proud of the way I behaved and the poor example I set.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?
Watching our two oldest daughters run to Cinderella’s castle for breakfast at Disney World in their princess dresses. That was the purest joy I have ever witnessed.