One of my fellow bloggers who I greatly love, is another father Fred out of Houston named Mocha Dad. This month he has asked me along with six other great fathers to be interviewed regarding great topics in a roundtable discussion on his website. Below is the SECOND of four interview sessions. If you missed the first, <click here>. However, after reading my responses I would prefer you go to his site (see link below) and read the other six panelist and comment or discuss on his blog. Thanks – Fred
Mocha Dad: What do you teach your son(s) about manhood? Your daughter(s)?
Fred: My number one mission is to drill home to my children that their goal in life is “To be a servant to others.” Rick Warren got it right in his bestselling book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” The secret to life is “It’s not about you.” True manhood and success in life, comes from serving others and the attitude you have towards accomplishing that God given goal. Whether you are a waiter or the President of the United States—your measure of success is how we’ll did you serve mankind. True manhood or womanhood is learning and exemplifying this fact.
Mocha Dad: How has being a parent affected your marriage?
Fred: It has taught me how utterly selfish I am as a human being. This reality teaches me to better serve my wife. I don’t think I would be as good a husband had I not had kids that reflect my own selfish nature.
Mocha Dad: How do you keep the spark in your marriage?
Fred: I didn’t get it right the first time—didn’t even make it down the aisle with my daughter’s mother. Thankfully God is a God of second chances. So when I did get married, I married up—way, way, way up the food chain. My wife, Karen is smarter, quicker, faster, and better looking than me just to name a few of the many quality that she has. She keeps me on my toes and I am always playing catch up. From that frame of mind, I view marriage a little differently than some. For starters, I am always thankful to be married and always feel I have not arrived and could be better. This mindset helps me think of her first in most things I do. For the perfect spark, you have to have date nights, get away from time to time (without the kids), and remember that the marriage is superior to parenting. Spouse stays, kids leave. Any questions?
Mocha Dad: When you and your spouse disagree about a parenting issue, how to do you deal with it?
Fred: I think my wife has been wrong once, but I can no longer remember the exact details. We agree on most everything—our parenting styles are very close and we constantly over-research most parenting issues. That said, we don’t see eye to eye on everything—not to burst your bubble. If I truly disagree with Karen on a parenting issue, I will defer to her—always. She has alpha dog power on parenting issues. Now if it deals with finances, work, business, laundry, money or dishes; I supersede her—I’m alpha parent on these issues.
Mocha Dad: How do you balance work, marriage and raising children?
Fred: This is my greatest struggle! I am the bread winner. I’m a work at home, entrepreneur, world raising/kid changing, twitterholic, social media freak, who can do his job with a cell phone and a laptop. I take my laptop and cell phone with me everywhere I go—which is both good and bad. To add insult to injury, the more I work, the more money I make. There is neither a floor nor a ceiling. Therefore, I have to really plan downtime with both my wife and my kids. So here are a few tips I sometime utilize: (1) I try to go technology free from 6 p.m. on Saturday to 6 p.m. on Sunday. No emails, no cell phones, no laptops and no twittering. It’s tough, but my family should be able to count on me during these times. (2) I come out of my home office room at 5:30 p.m. and don’t re-enter until after the kids go to bed—or at least that is the goal. (3) I try to have lunch out with my wife at least once a week. (4) We try to take a vacation out of town with the kids and without the kids at least once a year. (5) We try, although not always successful, to have a date night at least twice a month. (6) I attend all school activities, volunteer regularly in the classroom and stay very involved in the PTA. I have a pulse on what happens at my kids’ school.
Again there there is more to come, <click here> for the next of a four part installment.