Rad Dad: Michael, Father of Three

Rad Dad: Michael, Father of Three

When did you become a father, and how many children do you have? 

I became a father 14 years ago when our son entered into the world. One of the best days of my life, we were living in New Orleans at the time and will never forget the amount of joy and love that day. 10 days later we hit the road road living nomadically with a newborn and endless dreams for our new family. Two and a half years later we were blessed with our oldest daughter. She was born at home which was a totally different experience for my wife Amanda and I, she is so brave and strong. Home births are amazing, nothing like having the comfort of your own home and being together as a family…and the dog there, too.

When we had our third, our family and friends were calling us crazy for having another kid and being out-numbered. They weren’t wrong, but we cannot imagine it any other way. The idea of a perfectly balanced family did not feel right for us. Our youngest daughter was also born at home and what a great experience to share with our other two kids. I didn’t know I had a big enough heart to have that much love and I am truly blessed and thankful. My cup is full and my heart is exploding with the family we have created and life we are living.

"When we had our third, our family and friends were calling us crazy for having another kid and being out-numbered. They weren’t wrong, but we cannot imagine it any other way. The idea of a perfectly balanced family did not feel right for us. My cup is full and my heart is exploding with the family we have created and life we are living."


Did you always know you wanted to be a dad? 

No, I did not always know that I wanted to be a father. When I was younger my main focus was my career and my own selfish desires to explore this world. It wasn’t until I met my wife, Amanda, that I thought, "Oh, having a family someday with this amazing person might be in my near future." The idea of raising a child and passing on values and traditions has always been something I respected but didn’t know what that looked like for myself. Now that I am a dad, I can't imagine my life without my little ones. Being a father has been on of the best blessings I have been gifted. 


What’s your favorite part about being a father? 

My favorite aspect of fatherhood is being a part of something that is greater than myself. Being a part of a team with my wife Amanda. Working together to raise our children to be kind, loving, and hardworking individuals. It brings me immense joy and pride to see them grow and achieve their own goals, but ultimately, it's the overall big picture, the family dynamic and the impact we hope to have on society that truly fulfills me as a father.

What would you most like to teach your kids? How would you like them to remember you/think of you decades from now? 

As a father, one of the most important things I want to teach my child is the values of kindness, empathy, and resilience. I hope to instill in them a sense of curiosity and a love for learning, as well as the importance of being true to themselves and following their dreams.  Decades from now, I hope my children remembers me as a loving and supportive father who always encouraged them to reach for the stars and never gave up. I hope to continue to be their biggest cheerleader in their corner and a shoulder for them to cry on for guidance and support. Basically the best rad dad role model.


Who were some of the father figures in your life? What was one of the most important lessons he/they taught you?  

Some of the father figures in my life include my own father, my grandfathers, and my uncles. Sure, they taught me how to fish and hunt all those manly things, but one of the most important lessons they taught me was the value of hard work and perseverance. They instilled in me the importance of never giving up, no matter how tough the circumstances may be. Watching them work hard for our family and all that they provided motivated me to always strive for excellence and to never settle for mediocrity. I credit them for my hardcore work ethic.

Another one I would like to acknowledge who had a significant impact on me was actually my grandmother. She was the one who introduced me to the world of film photography with her old film camera. To have a creative and open mind to see the world differently. Through her guidance and encouragement, I discovered a passion for capturing moments and telling stories through the lens. 

I am grateful for these leaders in my life and the invaluable lessons they have imparted on me and I strive to follow in his footsteps as a role model for my own children.


What has surprised you most about it? Any mistakes you made that you’d be willing to share? 

The one thing that has surprised me the most about being a father, is how fast it’s all going. They say it gets easier but it really just changes and before you know it your baby is a teenager going into high school. Time is flying by with all the school events, carpools to activities, and other commitments. I am sure lots of parents can relate to being an Uber driver. I am trying to balance the work / life loads while being full volume with both, it is super challenging. I am trying my best to savor every moment. 

In terms of mistakes, I have definitely made my fair share along the way. One mistake I've made as a father is not always picking up on the cues my child is giving me and focusing more on trying to fix things rather than simply listening. Listen to them, validate their feelings, and provide emotional support, rather than jumping in to solve their problems right away. Amanda helped me realize that this is where the growth happens, each struggle a brick laid. The importance of active listening and being a supportive presence for my child, resisting the urge to repair for them, is a reminder to prioritize connection and understanding in my role as a father.


What’s the most (embarrassing) dad thing you do? (e.g., tell dad jokes, throw barbecues, etc.)

There are so many embarrassing moments, would love to ask my kids this question. I will share one story that comes to mind. 

Amanda and I were living in Portland, OR at the time, our son was just about one year old. I was working late nights, he was having a tough spell with sleeping through the night. When I walked in the door at 2am Amanda was there exhausted trying to get him back to sleep. She needed to get some rest and it was my turn to take the baby. I took off my dirty work clothes, took our son and began to try to soothe him. Not happening. Delirious from working the 16-hour day, I decided to put him in the car seat and try the go for a drive trick…it usually works. While driving, I reaching back to help calm him down, I guess I was swerving a bit, as the lights of a police car lit up his face. The policeman walks up shining his flashlight into the car with a screaming baby and me in the drivers seat wearing nothing but my underwear. He continued to question me thinking I was a drunk driver, a kidnapper, or both. 


In your own words, how would you define “fatherhood”? 

Fatherhood is guidance, support, love, and being a good human, a positive role model. It is a lifelong commitment and a job that is worth every second. I love being a father and wish everyone can experience this weather its serving fast a father, grandfather, or the favorite uncle. 

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