In an effort to provide a dad's perspective, today's post is an interview with Rick, my husband of 10 years.
Me: OK, I am going to interview you for DotMoms.
Rick: But I am looking at your back, do you have to type?
Me: Yes, I have to type, come over here and you can sit on the corner of my desk.
Rick: But, I'm really liking this chair.
Me: Fine, I will turn around when we talk and then I will type.
What is the most important thing to you about being a dad?
Rick: Making my kids happy. Inspiring them. Passing on virtues and goodness and giving them strength to face bumps in the road.
Me: What is the difference for you in raising girls versus raising boys?
Rick: It is a hard question to answer because our girls are older than the boys and they are tomboys, which I really like, so it is harder to compare. I actually don't see a lot of difference. But, if you think back to when the girls were the age of the boys now there seems to be less negotiation with the boys. I would stop there because I am afraid someday one of our kids will find this and not be comfortable with it.
Why don't you ask me what I admire about you as a mother?
Me: No, because it is too self-promoting. Why don't you talk about what you admire about motherhood in general?
Rick: Well, mothers in general? I truly admire the daily balancing act most mothers do between raising a family, contributing to the world through work, community service or education and, on top of it all, finding time for themselves somehow. I think women have a better handle on how to care for the outcome of this world than men, because they are mothers. They care for things, they nurture. Guys, in my experience, have a tendency to be more nomadic, selfish, driven, yes, but it is more about competition and less about sustaining. So, I guess that it is more about what I like about women than men. That transfers to mothers too. There are exceptions on the guy thing, of course. Lots of the dads who blog, for instance, seem to get it.
Me: Alright, then, any message for me directly?
Rick: (laughing) I could go one route, but I won't.
Me: Good. My mother might read this.
Rick: How about this, is it really necessary to clean up every night?
Me: Um, yeah. Can you pick up that crumbled Ritz Bit?
So, did you feel prepared for fatherhood?
Rick: I would say, did we feel prepared for parenthood? Did nine months get us in that frame? I think it is important to appreciate -- as parents for the first time -- the necessity for drastic change in your life. I think the thing that got me most prepared for parenting was our strong bond and that we wanted to share that with a child. There is a sense that it is the next logical step if we are so happy and understand each other and relate to each other on so many levels. I think you have to have that understanding.
Me: OK. Do you think we knew what we were doing?
Rick: No. But I will say life changed forever when you found out you were pregnant that first time. Well, every time for that matter. And we had a lot of family cheering us on.
Me: Do you have any moments that stand out in your eight years as a dad so far?
Rick: The four times you gave birth to our children. Each time I was completely blown away by the magic of childbirth and miracle of childbirth and how lucky I felt to be there. I will never forget it.
Me: Anything else?
Rick: Well, those definitely stand out. But something less heavy would be teaching our kids to ride two-wheeler bikes for the first time, watching the first step, performing on stage the first time and taking their first bow, scoring their first soccer goal, first days of school. When our 3-year-old said, "You're a good daddy."
Me: Any regrets?
Rick: No. Maybe a little less TV, less time at work and more time at home.
Me: In summary, as a representative dad, what would you like to say to DotMoms readers?
Rick: I am starting to see some marriages fail because I think many men don't understand what their wives' interests, goals or passions are. Try to find a balance so that you as a mother can explore a life that doesn't relate to motherhood. Communicate it. Help men, who often don't get the big picture, understand what shakes your tree and what will get you through this madness. Men need to be more like women, women don't need to be more like men.
Other than that I would say this: Moms are miracle makers.