Note from Kelli and Mindi: Typically, we feature a local SWMO mom in our 5-minutes with a mom posts, however, in honor of Father’s Day, we wanted to honor the amazing dads in SWMO! Take a minute to learn about local dad, Brent. He is dad to three kiddos and husband to Kim. He is also a stay-at-home dad. We loved getting to know you, Brent! Keep up the good work! And kudos to all the awesome dads here in SWMO!
Kid’s names and ages: Kinsley (7), Cameron (5), and Parker (1) – and my wife is Kim…won’t list her age. =)
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Southwest Missouri? Originally born and raised in Springfield MO. Graduated from Logan Rogersville High School in 1996, and then went to Drury, graduating in 2000. I met my wife in college at Drury, and she graduated in 2003. After her graduation, we moved to St. Louis for 9 years, and then returned to Springfield 3 years ago in July of 2012.
When did your family decide it would be best for you to stay at home with the kids? How did you arrive to that decision? I began being a stay-at-home dad when we moved back to Springfield 3 years ago. However, we knew I was going to do that about a year or two prior to moving back. We moved to St. Louis for my wife to attend medical school, and knowing her residency was ending and she’d be looking for an attending position somewhere, we had decided that I would stop working at that time and be home with the kids (only two at that time). We decided that for benefit of the kids, and it also made sense for us financially to make that life change.
Describe your typical day. Is there such a thing as a “typical” day with three kids? =) Because I don’t have them. With the ages of my kids, things are different each day in regards to if school is in session, if it’s a pre-school day, is it summer or not, do we have dance that day, do we have piano that day, did my wife notice something new on sale at Target that she wants me to pick up that day, how did the baby sleep and what does that mean for his naps, are we going to the pool today, do I have outside volunteer activities to get done that day, is the fridge empty, do we have soccer practice that day, etc. As you can see, nothing is typical with three kids the ages I have and that are involved in lots of things.
What is your favorite part of the day? The fully honest answer…five minutes after bedtime. Because it’s peaceful and quiet. But with the kids awake, hard to say. It’s usually when we find something all of us can enjoy, whether that’s the park, watching fun Youtube videos, playing music, playing outside. Again, no typical day so no set “favorite part” at this time.
What is the most challenging part of the day? That’s easy, mealtime. They all want different food, they may or may not be hungry, you spend an hour making dinner and they destroy it and the kitchen with a mess in 10 minutes. I do look forward a few years and think dinnertime will actually be a favorite time of the day. Once our youngest is probably in Kindergarten and the whole family can sit around the table, eat dinner, and have a conversation, without arguing or fighting over which plate they get or where they sit.
How do you find “me” time? My wife is good at knowing and realizing that I need some me time. So she lets me “off” when she can. We are fortunate enough that she generally has a day off during the week that allows me some time. Also, as the older kids are in school / preschool and the youngest one just started some part time preschool, that has given me some regular alone time.
Do you find the time to network with other stay-at-home dads? Not so much. I’m involved with my oldest daughter’s school, but have not met any other stay-at-home dads there…just moms. =) I do know one other stay-at-home dad in the area that I met recently that has given me someone to share life circumstances, issues, problems, successes with.
What is the most enjoyable thing about being a father? Even when I was a working dad, I just love being involved in the lives of my children. I enjoy helping them to grow into a person that loves God and follows Jesus, loves people, and will make a positive influence on those around them. I know schools, governments, friends, etc all help shape our kids, but I firmly believe the biggest influence on children is their parents and that is a big responsibility that I take very seriously. I make mistakes all the time, but hopefully the good outweighs the bad in the end.
What is the most challenging part of being a father? Patience, patience, patience. There are many times, sometimes multiple times a day, when I’dlove to go back a minute in time. It’s usually when I’ve blown up at one of my kids due to my own lack of patience, and it’s something I’m trying to work on, albeit unsuccessfully.
If money and time was not an issue, what would be the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day? Family trip to Hawaii for golf and beach time!
Do you have any advice for men that may be considering staying at home with their kids? Whatever you think this role will be and however you think the days will go…you’re wrong. Not always for the bad, but it’s just different than what you anticipate. However, it’s also more rewarding and in a different way than you would expect.