Today’s daddy in the #40Days40Dads campaign is a special treat for me, as my brother-in-law Rob takes the plunge and shares his experiences. My wife is one of 10 children–5 sons and 5 daughters–so spending time with her enormous family has been quite a new experience and education for me. Rob is the youngest of her brothers and almost the same age as me. He has so far contributed three of the 24 nieces and nephews making up the next generation of the family tree.1 There is obviously a lot of parenting to do in this family, so I feel fortunate that Theresa’s brothers are all incredible, exemplary men who are doing an incredible, exemplary job raising their children.2 With a family this large, it would be pretty awful if they were terrible people raising a new generation of even worse people. Thankfully, all of my nieces and nephews are awesome and I love my Indiana family. In fact, I’m heading down there again this weekend to see everyone for the first time since Christmas!
I have been watching the parenting methods of my brothers-in-law closely for the past three years that I have been a part of the family and I’ve seen a lot of things that I hope to incorporate into my own fatherly playbook. Thanks to Rob for offering a little more insight into his role as a Dad!
Dad #9: Rob
Rob is the father of 3.5-year-old twins (a boy named Chase and a girl named Charlie) and a nearly 1-year-old daughter named Brooklyn.
What was the moment when you first felt like a father?
First heartbeat checkup. Even though we only got to hear Charlie’s heartbeat.3
What’s your favorite part about being a father?
Hearing my children laugh with pure joy.
What’s the hardest part about being a father?
Learning how to let the little things go and when to stick to your guns with discipline.
What’s the dumbest/funniest thing that your kid has cried about or fought with you over?
Bedtime. (I count this as dumbest. Because we fight about this one 3 or 4 nights a week.)
What are you most proud of having taught/shared with your kids or what are you most looking forward to teaching/sharing with them?
Brooklyn is learning to walk as I’m typing this. Hearing Chase and Charlie pray along before dinner is also a pretty good one.
What’s your favorite thing about your kids?
When I come home after work and hear “Daddy’s home!” and Brooklyn comes crawling to find me.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice when you first became a father, what would you say?
Be the head of the house but also ‘fun dad’ at the same time. I think this is one reason they are happy to see me when I get home every day. Time to play!!
Any other comments to share on fatherhood?
We were sitting at our six-seat dining room table the other night and Charlie says, “We need another kid to sit in that last open seat.” And mom spit her drink out.
Also, if you’re gonna have twins, do it the first time around.
Don’t forget to carve out some time for the Mrs.
If you’re a father or you know a father who would like to share his story, send him to this link to answer the questions. Stay tuned for another dad’s crib notes tomorrow!
- It’s fitting that a family with such a huge family tree would also actually own a tree farm. Insert your own joke here.
- And I’m not just saying that so the rest of them will fill out my #40Days40Dads form…but they should!
- “We had two heartbeat checkups and only found Charlie both times. Chase was found chillin’ on the side at our first ultrasound at 19 weeks.”