*Editor’s Note* I met Chad in October 2010 at the DaddysHome,Inc Annual At-Home Dad Convention. He was running for an officer’s position and gave one of the funniest campaign speeches I’ve ever heard. Chad is using the *enhanced* PDJ questionnaire specially designed for At-Home-Dads by Hogan Hilling, Media Relations Rep for DaddysHome. (Yes, it’s our regular questionnaire on Viagra.)
HOMETOWN(S) Born and raised in Mahomet, IL, currently live in St Charles, Mo
GOOGLE+ Chad Welch
ON THE WEB Chad Welch.blogspot
NUMBER OF CHILDREN Two
FAVORITE CHILD if applicable* (we’re joking*) Depends on the day
DAY JOB At-Home Dad
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Married
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?
I stay at home full time while my wife works as a pediatrician. The initial year was a little rough as we determined our roles and what this arrangement would look like. Since then it has been fairly smooth sailing.
I wouldn’t trade what I have been able to do for the world but sometimes I do feel guilty that I can’t give the same gift to my wife.
What’s your favorite team?
What do you feel you do well as a husband and dad?
As a husband, I try very hard to give my wife everything she needs. Whether that’s some alone time, a nap, or time with the kids. I’m not saying I never fail at it, but it brings me joy to give her what I can.
As a dad, I think I am a pretty good mix of discipline and fun. I enjoy being with my kids but I am not afraid to punish them when they need it.
What is it that you contribute to your kids that your partner or wife can’t?
I love my wife and she is a wonderful mother. She contributes things that I never could. But I do think I have more patience with the kids. I think I’m able to play with the boys in ways she can’t, like rough housing, etc. I think I’m more flexible and easy-going.
What are the three toughest things about being a dad that a woman might not understand?
1. One thing is that there isn’t the built-in support group that moms have. Moms have been doing this for much longer and in larger numbers, so it makes sense that they have networks in place that we don’t. At-home moms certainly do deal with isolation, but for at-home dads it’s worse.
2. If you want dads to participate you need to make things open for dads. For example, emails calling for school volunteers are still often addressed as, “Hello Ladies.” Despite the fact that I do volunteer, when the PTO volunteer coordinator calls and I answer the phone, she still asks for my wife. Some dads will volunteer despite these things, but know that you may be chasing some off.
3. I am not a fill-in for mom. I am not babysitting. I am a fully functioning parent. Yes, I may do some things differently. But different does not automatically mean wrong.
What do you appreciate most about your partner or wife?
What I appreciate most about my wife is that we are equal partners. Our roles and responsibilities have shifted over the years but we have always been partners. I know it’s a cliche, but she is my best friend.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?
When our first son was around a year old my wife was in residency and I was still working full-time. I would take my son to daycare in the morning and then head into the office. At lunch I would pick him up and, since I worked on web pages, they would allow me to telecommute in the afternoon.
One night he was fussing and the only thing that would calm him down was Elmopalooza. I put the video in the VCR in our bedroom. He would watch the show and I would start to doze off. As soon as the video was over he would start screaming until I could get the tape rewound and started again. We did that all night.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint one moment. Maybe it’s because I stay at home or maybe I just don’t have a good “best moment” story. But honestly, it is a lot of little moments that make up the best moments for me.
That time when a kiss and hug can still cure a hurt knee. When your little one comes home from school all excited about what happened that day and wants to share it with you. When they’re having a bad dream and you cuddle in bed with them until they calm down and fall asleep in your arms. When you unexpectedly get a big hug and “I love you daddy.”
It’s all these little moments that I cherish. When dealing with tantrums and problems at school, it is these moments that keep me focused.