Dads in the Limelight – Mike Bates (Mile-High Dad)

Our fifteenth Dad in the Limelight is Mike Bates of Mile-High Dad. I want to thank Mike for being a part of this series. It has been great getting to know him and now sharing him with all of you!

1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Mike Bates and I am the Mile-HighDad, I am the Primary Care, At Home Dad to a 7 year old  fireball named Dakota who thinks he is going on 19YO, therein lays the problem!  You see, I am still 19YO for what, 29 years now!  I have been Blogging about my exploits, on one platform or another,  since my job started 7 years ago. I have been married since1996 with one son.  In my previous life I was an internationally trained lead ski lift mechanic/constructor at Keystone Resort who assisted in the building of the resorts first two high speed quads and 2nd, actually 3rd if you know of their history, Gondola.
On the home front, I attend the yearly AtHomeDads Convention to meet and discuss hot parenting trends by other like minded Dads and have met some very cool people in the process.  I am also an Assistant Den Leader to the Tiger Cubs in Pack 262 here in Castle Rock Colorado.    I can be found on Facebook as well as Twitter.
I currently run an All Pro Dad Breakfast Group help once a month at Dakota’s school which provides a positive bonding between The Dad and his son(s) or daughter(s) in a school setting because all too often the only time the Dad is at school is because there’s a problem.  

I am also doing Family Leadership Training which as a highly involved class that teaches  a first-of-its-kind family civics program.  Program graduates spend more than 120 hours to develop skills needed to become effective leaders in their communities. Once recruited and accepted in to the program, participants attend a 20-week curriculum that integrates personal and child development, leadership training, civic literacy and civic participation skills. The curriculum includes four components:

  1. An initial retreat
  2. Two 10-week sessions that focus on knowledge about the change process, skill building, and tools of civic engagement
  3. A community project.  My community project is currently looking at the prospect of starting as a 501c3 non-profit that gives fathering programs, both online and locally in person. 

In only 20-weeks, Institute graduates make a significant impact within their communities. Through their community projects they demonstrate that when given civic and leadership tools, families can guide public policy and decision making directly and indirectly through their actions and commitment to children, youth and the community.

The Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI) started from a public-private partnership between several statewide organizations, business leaders and community members.
Collectively these organizations discovered three things: 1) Families are eager to learn how to participate in democracy; 2) Civic leaders and organizations benefit from informed families; and 3) Communities are strengthened when the voice of the family is valued.

FLTI reflects a vision for the future – a vision that sees all families participating to make their communities healthier, cleaner, safer and better learning environments for children, and that creates support and encouragement for those activities.

If you are a Dad in the Rocky Mountain region, please consider joining

2) Tell me about your family
Like I just mentioned about my son, Dakota, we have a mom, my wife, named Claire who works relentlessly crunching numbers so I can peruse my passion of being the best Dad I can be.

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
At fist, it was getting accepted by other Moms at the playground because I was doing this cool job before it was ‘hip’ to be ‘cool’!  Next was meeting other AtHomeDads, see previous sentence if you need further explanation, but recently I have met other local dads (thank you WWW) and we now do a monthly DNO.

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?  

Just Be There For Your Kids!

5) Seeing that you (or your position) is in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
Parenting is the only true 24x7x365 job around so balance isn’t really the keyword here, adapt fits better.  Adapting is a life reshaping, because life is no longer about YOU anymore.

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
We all face basically the same challenges in life, see question 3.  The only things that change are location, kids and wifes’ names.

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
It’s the best job you never wanted, but wouldn’t change now for the world jobs!

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
  1. Seeing my son get awards at school just like he did this morning!
  2. Seeing my son ride his bike without training wheels before he was 4!
  3. Seeing Dakota swim the length of our community Olympic sized pool without assistance or floats, grabbing the ropes or walls!
  4. Help younger kids or read to them!

If you have any questions for Mike, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

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