Dad Interviews Dad Series – MadDadSkillz
Since becoming a father, I have been able to relate to my own dad in a different way than before. Instead of the usual Father-Son dynamic there is now an element of Dad-to-Dad understanding, a shared experience.
As a Dadblogger I enjoy commenting on and analysing my own parenting style but I haven’t previously spotlighted the parenting I received. I thought this might the case for other Dadbloggers too.
So, in celebration of Fathers Day 2017, I asked some of the top Dadbloggers in the UK & USA to sit down with their own fathers and see how, or if, parenting has changed much in a generation. I sent them a list of suggested questions and then let conversation flow from there.
A different interview from a different blogger will be released each day this week on MadDadSkillz.com
Dad Blogger Three – Mark Roeder
Today’s Dad Interview is with Mark Roeder. Mark is the American blogger responsible for All Good in the Fatherhood. One of the reasons I reached out to Mark about this project was because I felt we have a lot in common. Mark is a former Military man and you can tell from his blog that this was a positive, and formative, time for him. I’m a serving military man and know the highs and lows of time at sea away from family.
I particularly feel we share a self-reflective style in our blogs. Mark’s piece on “I was a tough military man until fatherhood unleashed all my emotions” will definitely speak to a large number of us Alpha Dads. Also in “Dad, where’s Mom?” Mark is not afraid to delve into the gender-role discussions that are so pertinent to modern parenting.
Mark and his Dad’s story is a fantastically positive tale about how men becoming fathers (and grandfathers) can really bring them full circle and bond them together in new and delightful ways.
Mark & Dad
I was asked to do an interview with my dad to be a part of a series called Dad Interviews Dad and I thought it was a great idea! We have had a lot of bonding moments over the years and we have become closer than ever since I’ve grown up and become a father myself.
He really has become one of my best friends that I know I can always go to for advice, when I need someone to bring over a few beers, when I need to vent or just laugh about everything going on in the world.
At any given moment, I can open my phone and I always see his name and usually CWF under my recent text messages (he doesn’t like to text or bother me to call so I get Call When Free all the time). I think that it is great to move back to my hometown and be so close to him again, we love walking as a family over to his house on a Sunday afternoon and playing in the yard and just spending time with him.
This project was a lot of fun and I love spending time with him and the family or just the two of us enjoying some great food, brews and of course sweets. Below are some of the questions and answers from our conversation the other day.
1. How do you remember feeling when you found out you were going to be a father?
He told me that he remembers thinking that the whole world was going to change and now he was going to be responsible for another living, breathing thing. Since I was the second child, I asked how that was different and he laughed at me and said it was nowhere near as scary the second time around but there were still so many unknowns.
2. What is your favourite story about me as a kid?
I actually didn’t remember this at all, but he tells me that when I was around 3 years old and we were at the pool, I looked up at some girls that were walking by and told them, “nice legs” then got all embarrassed, jumped in the pool and swam away.
He laughed that I could’ve said anything and it was just as cool that I swam away without any help at that age and the girls looked nervous because I jumped right in the pool.
3. Which phase of parenting have you found the most enjoyable and conversely, which was the hardest?
He said that the most enjoyable phase has definitely been us as adults. He did make sure to mention that we still give him a lot of stress and he worries about my brother and I all the time but at least he can treat us like adults now.
He said the hardest was when I was in High School and my brother had just graduated because he was so worried about what we were getting into and he knew we were lying to him all the time and he couldn’t control what was happening.
4. What has been the most challenging aspect of being a father?
He said that it was very difficult to transform into more of an extrovert to be around all of my brother and my friends and be around so many people with all of the activities. He also brought up how hard it was when I was leaving my family behind to deploy when I was in the Navy with so many unknowns in such a tumultuous environment.
5. Do you think you changed when you became a father?
He said that he definitely changed, see the last answer haha! He quit smoking once my older brother was born and he had to become more responsible.
6. How do you think parenting has changed between your day and mine?
He actually laughed out loud at this one. He said that everything has changed since he was a dad, we have so many more resources these days and everyone is more open to talk than 30 years ago.
The technology today makes parenting very different, a lot easier in many ways and yet way more difficult at the same time with all the dangers of today. He also mentioned that when we were younger, there weren’t as many moving parts as there are today with so many activities and everyone being more social and easily reachable.
7. How do you think we differ as dads?
We differ a lot, he mentioned that he was 40 when they had me and I was 24 when we had Brennan and 26 when we had Lilly. He also said that I am a lot more outgoing and can be a lot more open with everyone, including my children.
My dad was always involved with weekend events which I remember but with such an age difference, I don’t remember him being outside and playing sports with us after school whereas I am almost every day.
8. What do you think is the most important thing a father can give his children?
He told me that the most important thing he gave was attention with a solid dose of discipline.
Growing up, my mom was usually the first one to give the discipline out, but when we got threatened with her telling my dad or if he actually got mad at us, we knew that we really messed up.
9. Is there anything you would go back and change in your parenting style?
He said that my brother and I both ended up being well-adjusted adults so he wouldn’t change his parenting style at all, he always tried his best with both of us.
10. Do you have any fatherly advice for me?
He said it’s too late haha! He said that he thinks that I’m doing a great job with my little ones but he is always there for me to help however he can, and he definitely has throughout the years.
He also wanted to add how much the last few years have meant to him, since I got out of the Navy and moved back to the area. He loves that he gets to spend Saturday mornings at the soccer field with my brother, his fiancé and their kids watching me coach my son’s soccer team. We get together quite often as a family and though he may not admit it, he loves some of the chaos of 4 kids running around yelling and being goofballs.
Thank you for taking part Mark and thank you for letting us glimpse into your relationship with your Dad a little. I know many people will identify with what you’ve said and I’m sure they can reach out to you on Twitter and Facebook.