Welcome to a new feature here at The National At-Home Dad Network called Meet A Dad. Learn about our stay at home dad members through interviews conducted by Mike Andrews
First up is Bryan Alkire, a stay at home dad of 2 years from Kalamazoo, Michigan, who went through every parents worst nightmare. You can read all about it at his blog KzooDad.com and follow him on Twitter @kzoodad.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two girls. My oldest, Ella, is 4 years old. My youngest, Sophia, is almost two. I may have more with the destruction that happens at my house every day I don’t know how there could only be two but these two are all I know about.
Why did you become a stay at home dad?
I became a stay at home dad because my wife and I were unhappy with how much time Ella was spending in daycare. We both traveled a lot, and were unhappy that some one besides one of us was raising our daughter. Based on “temperament” and the uncertain nature of my pay check (I worked in sales) we decided that we would follow her career and I would stay home.
Other than spending time with your kids, what do you like about being an at home parent?
I enjoy the feeling that I am making a difference in my kids. I like the feeling that I am playing such a strong part in molding them into the people they will become. If that is a good thing we will see.
What do you like least?
I miss the interaction with adults. This job can be very lonely. While I am surrounded by kids it is very hard to talk about the worlds events with a two year old.
What is your normal daily routine like?
My oldest is in preschool 3 days a week, so those days it is myself and the little one. We sped a lot of time playing, I am her favorite jungle gym. When ever I sit on the floor she can’t wait to try to tackle or climb me. When my oldest is home, we have a lot of activities planned. This could range from gymnastics, to trips to the library, to lunch with Grandma and Grandpa.
If you were to change one thing about yourself as a dad, what would it be?
If I could change one thing I would want to be more patient and not get bored as easily as I do. The kids keep me jumping but it quickly becomes routine and I sometimes struggle to have another tea party, or play dress up again. I am about as immature as they come and even I get tired of cartoons and Candy Land.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I play golf (badly) when ever i have the chance. I also write, work on my never ending list of home improvements, and have been know to enjoy a craft beer or two.
What advice would you give a new At Home Dad?
My advice is the same for new or seasoned dads. Find a support group out of the home. This could be a Facebook group of dads, some dad friends or old college buddies who are willing to get a beer, watch a movie, play golf what ever. Don’t get lost in your kids lives.
What does your spouse/partner do?
My wife works in IT training members of the sales force how to use the new tools IT creates for them, – I think. To be honest I am only sure that she leaves around 7 and returns around 6. The rest is a mystery.
What is your best memory of your father?
Lately my dad and I have grown close. We play golf together once a week. Once I was able to communicate with my after as equals we got a long better.
The worst? How did this effect the way you parent your kids?
My Dad worked a lot when I was younger. He worked swing shift, and was gone a lot. I remember that being rough. Not seeing him much for a few weeks followed by a few weeks home.
What has your experience been as far as how others see your role as an At Home Dad?
So far it has been a great if lonely vocation. I love being with my kids, seeing them grow and learn. But I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m lonely. My wife works a lot sometimes traveling for weeks at a time with only quick visits on weekends. I miss her and I miss having an adult to make small talk with. I do get some of that on weekends but I feel very needy and a bit of a burden on my friends when I dump a weeks stress on them every week.
What cartoon character are you and why?
This is a hard question. Do I pick Wall-E because of how much trash I pick up each day? Do I pick Mr. Incredible because we are both dads? Do I pick Donald Duck because we both seldom wear pants? No, In the end I pick Ralph from Wreak it Ralph. We both struggle with a lonely job that offers very little recognition, but in the end is worth it because of how we effect others.
Who is the better cook in your home? What is your best meal to cook?
Me. Not. Even. Close. My best meal depends on my mood. I am probably best at sauces, but I don’t eat a lot of pasta due to health concerns. I can say that for now I am the reigning champ at a local burger cook off. So I go that.
Are there any “Dad Groups” in your area that you participate in? If not, what do you do to connect with other parents?
None in my area. I am working on building one in my city. So far the results have not been exactly what I have hoped for. Most of the dads I meet don’t consider themselves stay at home dads. They work nights or work from home. The idea of a group of dads is strange to them.
Favorite kid’s book growing up?
Monster at the end of the Book. Still a favorite.
What is your least favorite kid’s show?
Caillou. Dora is a close second.
What was your best moment as a father?
So far I would have to say become a father. The birth of each of my girls still out paces any thing else. ( Getting to see The Lego Movie in the theater with out being creepy is a close second).
What was your scariest?
With my wife 8 months pregnant with our second daughter my oldest, then two, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She made it through but it was hands down the scariest time of my entire life. I recently posted the story on my blog if any one wants to hear the whole thing.
What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want you kids to remember you?
I want my kids to know how much I loved them and did my best. – I figure that if they tell the therapist that at least some of the blame should fall on their mother instead of me right?