Dads in the Limelight – Ben Martin

Our 30th Dad in the Limelight is author Ben Martin of the blog thefatherlife.com. I want to thank Ben 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 mild-mannered web technician by day, but when I’m not doing that, I’m the CEO of The Father Life, the Men’s Magazine for Dads.  That’s my claim to limelight-dom.  Not only will people find me writing at thefatherlife.com, they’ll also find me behind many of the posts in The Father Life’s Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as through my own Twitter account, @scooterodell.

2) Tell me about your family

I’ve been married to my incredible wife, Jen, since college (which was longer ago than I’d like to admit!).  She is an amazing lady and my best friend.  We have four kids who range in age from 11 to 4.

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

I don’t find fatherhood challenging, per se. I have the usual worries that most fathers face at some point – am I spending enough time with my kids? How am I going to provide enough for my family? Am I giving my kids the right foundation to make it in life?  There were times earlier in my life when those worries and the challenges of balancing work and life loomed larger.  I don’t have all the answers, but as long as I keep my priorities straight, the rest of the challenges of fatherhood naturally work themselves out.

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

It’s not a magic formula, but make sure you prioritize your relationship with your spouse (if you’re married, of course) and your relationship with your children over your career and the rest of life.  Keeping those priorities straight will go a long way towards being a successful parent.

5) Seeing that you (or your position) is in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

I started my career as a radio personality, so even before The Father Life, I had to deal with limelight.  It’s been that way all along, so I and my family haven’t had to go through a time of adjustment.  This may sound repetitive, but it all comes back to those priorities.  A job or position that puts you in the limelight can be great and can have some great advantages, but your relationships at home have to always come first.  I was fortunate enough to learn that early on.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

I think the wisest words that I’ve heard have been from dads with some experience under their belt.  Invariably, their advice has been the reminder that we have limited time with our children and that time goes quickly, so make the most of it.  I haven’t always done that as well as I would have liked to, but I haven’t forgotten the principle, either.  It keeps coming back to me and helps me keep those priorities straight.

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

The awesome weight of being responsible for four little lives can be overwhelming at times.  It’s scary.  It keeps my ego in check.  And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

Holding my newborn children is something I’ll never forget.  Watching them develop into the incredible kids that they are has been a joy.  Going to Disney World for the first time as a family last year was also huge; it’s been our dream for a long time and it finally became a reality.

If you have any questions for Ben, 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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