Dads in the Limelight – Chris Singer

Our 25th Dad in the Limelight is Chris Singer of http://sahdinlansing.com/. I want to thank Chris 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)
I’m a first time father and stay-at-home dad to a beautiful 1 year old (as of today) daughter named Tessa. I currently live in Lansing, Michigan but grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania. I have a lot of different interests, and a wide variety of skills. I think that explains why I’ve worked so many different jobs in my time. I’ve worked as a cook, appliance salesman, teacher, child abuse prevention educator, sportswriter, recreation coordinator, communications manager, and even was a private investigator. I have also owned a skateboard shop and ran a respite care business for parents of children with special needs. However, my current job as a stay-at-home dad has been, all at once, the coolest, happiest, hardest, most exhausting and most rewarding of anything I’ve ever done. Besides being a stay-at-home dad, I also work part-time from home where I run my own consulting company (Harambee Consulting). I also write a column for Easy Baby Life as their “Expert Dad.” 
I guess I could be considered a “dad in the limelight” because of my blog: Stay At Home Dad in Lansing. I do a weekly review of dad blogs which has received some attention online. I’ve also been featured for a local story on Lansing Online News and have made several radio appearances to discuss my life as a stay-at-home dad.
2) Tell me about your family
I’ve been married to my best friend, partner and Tessa’s mommy, Deb, for almost 6 years now. Deb is a native Michigan girl but we met in New York through an online dating website. That was way back in 2000. Deb was just out of the Peace Corps when we met. She’s a crunchy lass into environmental sustainability, toe rings, Netflix, and all-natural and healthy foods (high fructose corn syrup is a bad word in our house). Deb runs or bikes to work almost every day, but I can still beat her in a short distance running race. Deb has helped Tessa get off to an awesome start to her life by breastfeeding, and now is making all of her baby food. She’s a terrific mom, wife and friend.
My daughter, Tessa, is the joy of my life. I’ve had a blast being her dad, and everyday brings a new adventure. Yes, it’s exhausting and I’ve spent the last year completely and utterly sleep-deprived, but I think I must draw some energy from the bond we have developed. I say it all the time, but I’m very fortunate to be able to stay home with her. I don’t see being a stay-at-home dad as a negative at all.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The hardest thing for me was dealing with how huge an impact the birth of our daughter had on our relationship. It was a huge adjustment for us that I think we both severely underestimated. Those first three months were the rockiest ever in all the years of our relationship. However, because of the love we have for Tessa and for each other, we’ve come through even stronger than we were before.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My advice to new dads would be to just jump right in there. Don’t be afraid about how good you change a diaper and things like that. A lot of dads feel helpless in the beginning, but there’s a lot you can do to be not only helpful, but to help your child get off to a great start (i.e. supporting mom breastfeeding, giving the baby a bath, burping the baby, doing laundry, etc…).
5) Seeing that you (or your position) is in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
I do most of my blogging at night while my wife and Tessa are asleep so it doesn’t interfere with our family life. Life overall has definitely changed in terms of my ability to engage in activities outside of the home. It hasn’t been a negative for me personally. My wife and I both coordinate our schedules to help each other have the time to do other activities with friends, volunteering, parenting groups, etc… It took us awhile but we’re both comfortable with how all of that is working out.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Writing the blog and connecting with our dads on Twitter has been really helpful for me. It’s allowed me to share some of my experiences, and also to read about other dad’s experiences with their children. By making this kind of connection, I’ve been able to become more confident as a dad knowing I’m not alone in having some of the experiences or thoughts I have as a dad.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I really enjoy being a stay at home dad. I wasn’t terribly confident going into this, but I’ve realized how lucky I have been to spend this first year of Tessa’s life watching her grow and develop. I have no doubt that my being home with her has been a good thing for both of us. I’ve learned so much about myself this past year, and I think I’m a better man, husband and father for it.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Watching Tessa’s birth was the best experience of my life. It was amazing to see my daughter for the first time. I still go back and watch some of the video from those first moments of her life. 

If you have any questions for Chris, 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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