#NEWDAD started because my daughter was born 6 weeks early. We spent 22 days in the NICU, and if you’ve ever had any experience there, you know that sleep is not an option. Somewhere in those 22 days, I left the hospital to go buy breast pump supplies (welcome to being a dad!). Exhaustion took over, and I dozed off at a busy LA stoplight. Mere seconds went by, but due to that funny in retrospect kind of moment, I tweeted “I just took a nap… at a stoplight. #NEWDAD.” And it got a few Lol’s. So I came up with more Tweets, and hired a photographer to take some “Instagram” like photos, and published a book: www.hashtagnewdad.com.
Since then, I’ve recently moved to Kansas City from Los Angeles after 15 years in the TV business, and am happily living a slower life with my wife, 18 month old daughter, and 6 year old cocker spaniel.
– What’s your blog about and why did you start it?
For me it’s a bit of a chicken and the egg situation. When my tweet, “I just took a nap… at a stoplight. #NEWDAD” hit social media, the result was moderate success. But those few eyeballs and comments made me think, you know this could be more. So I built on that social media style and created www.hashtagnewdad.com to support my new photo book. The blogging came later, though I’ve been a professional writer as long as I can remember.
– What’s been your favorite post to write and what do you think is your readers favorite post?
I just took a nap… at a stoplight. #NEWDAD
– What 3 tips would you give to dads or expectant dads to help them on their quest into fatherhood?
Chill out… Chill out… Chill out… You can do this. You have to go with the flow. Adapt. Don’t take things personally. Live in the moment, and remember each moment with your child, is a blessing.
– What’s the best thing about being a dad? (Or expectant dad?)
The best thing about being a dad… is just that you ARE a dad. Its really something you have to experience to get. But every laugh, every smile. Watching your wife/partner with your child. Hearing those words, “Da-da.” You’re a different person now, and no matter what anyone says, if you’re being a good dad, you’re a better person.
– What’s the biggest challenge(s) about being a dad? (Or expectant dad?)
The biggest challenge in parenting has to be the overall affect a child has on your pre-existing relationships – with everyone. Perfect marriages get harder. Friends without kids drop off the map. Friends with kids of varying ages are not hard to coordinate with due to your child’s age. It’s all very alienating. But remember… everyone is feeling the same way you are. A dad at the park… In the grocery line… Waiting for fast food… Just say something. Say Hi. I guarantee they’re feeling the same way you are. Work on your relationships, and don’t let them die. But also be ready to reach out and make new ones.
– What message would you like to give to The Dad Network readers?
I’m far from an intellectual. I’m an average middle American white guy who likes drinking Budweiser on the lawn. But the message here is really simple, and one the intellects of the world have gotten right – Enjoy Every Second. You only get each moment once. That never really mattered to me until I had a child. Now… I try to remember that. No matter how tired I am, I’ll only get so many bath times. I’ll only get so many story times. I’ll only get to serve so many breakfasts in the high chair. So each one is special. Each one is important. Make yourself enjoy it, because nothing else really matters.
In the wise words of Kurt Vonnegut, “Until you die… Its all life.”
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