HOMETOWN Gettysburg, PA
ON THE WEB http://TheRealMattDaddy.com
NUMBER OF CHILDREN One
DAY JOB At-home Dad
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Married!
FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK My daughter’s favorite book is titled “Thank You God For My Family” from Flying Frog Publishers. She has the pages memorized, and we read it all the time. Mommy and I love the Duck and Goose books by Tad Hills.
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?
My story begins when our daughter was born; we felt very strongly that one of us would be an at-home parent. At the time, I made more money, and because of the breastfeeding, it was easier for my wife to stay home. After the first year, we were trying to find a way to get more quality family time since my retail management job kept me out of the house between 60 – 70 hours per week. We talked about me looking for a new job, but in this economy, we didn’t want to take the risk. My wife had a full time offer from her previous employer, and I decided to stay at home to be the primary caregiver. We now have more quality time together. My wife loves her job, and I love being at at-home dad. We have our nights and weekends back, and our marriage is stronger than ever.
HOW HAS PARENTING CHANGED YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL?
I am more cautious of the way I speak and the way I act. I try to behave the way that I want my daughter to behave. I value my time with her and I prioritize my life around her instead of my desires.
HOW HAS PARENTING AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
Well, our marriage is stronger than ever. We have learned to communicate more effectively, even if it’s just to guarantee that one of us has given our daughter a bath this week. We have more meals together, and we have more time together to do things as a family like take walks or go out.
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AS A PARENT AND WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
My wife says I have incredible patience. But sometimes I patiently wait too long to get things done.
WHAT ARE YOUR SPOUSE’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
My wife is incredibly strong to bear the burden of breadwinning and be a great mom. She is proof that you can do both. She is also really great about giving me my own time to interact with other adults so that my IQ and vocabulary don’t regress to Sesame Street levels. Plus, it gives her quality one on one time with our daughter.
WHO ELSE PROVIDES CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
My wife’s mother helps out every week. My wife teaches two nights a week, and grandma always takes one of those. She also watches my daughter while I work an occasional part time job.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?
One day while we were cleaning up her room, I caught my daughter throwing her toys. Just as I was about to get on her case for throwing her toys, I remembered that she watches me clean up when we’re in a hurry, and I am often guilty of throwing her toys. I was ashamed that I wasn’t setting a better example, and now we both gently put the toys away.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?
It has yet to come. When it happens, potty training will be a huge accomplishment in this house!
On a serious note, we had to deal with the loss of my wife’s grandmother recently, and that was very hard to talk to my daughter about. But we got through it, and I feel that it was one of my stronger moments.