Tell us about your family and your job.
I am the College and Career Readiness Counselor at Daviess County High School. Prior to moving out of the classroom, I was a social studies teacher. I am also a proud 2008 graduate from DCHS.
My wife, Maddy, is a Nursing Instructor at Owensboro Community and Technical College. We have been married for 4 years. We first met at Atlantis Swim Club as lifeguards. She didn’t like me much at first, but I eventually won her over! I pinch myself every day because I can’t believe I get to be her husband!
We had our sweet daughter, Sawyer, in December 2018– she just turned 1. We’ve been so blessed with a healthy, happy, and easy baby. We’re having a blast!
What do you love most about being a dad?
I am particularly enjoying learning things about bows, expanding my definition of colors beyond red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, and figuring out what the heck smocking is.
In all seriousness, I haven’t found anything I don’t like so I suppose what I love most about being a dad is everything.
The last thing I say to Sawyer every night is, “I love being your daddy.”
What has been the most special part of parenthood so far?
I made the decision to take an extended amount of time off when the baby was born— about 6 weeks. It was a hard decision for me because I am still relatively early in my career and I know men don’t usually take much time off due to their jobs. However, I figured I only get to be a brand new dad one time in my life and I wanted to have a front row seat. It was a “line in the sand” moment and I was alright making it clear that my family comes first. I wanted to be there for every diaper change and night time wake up. I wanted to get to see my wife transition into motherhood while simultaneously adjusting to fatherhood by her side— no matter the hour of the day (or night). I’m grateful to have colleagues that supported my decision and helped cover my responsibilities in order to bless my family with this gift.
I’ve climbed the Great Wall of China, been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, met Presidents of the United States, and even worked at Walt Disney World but nothing— nothing— has meant as much to me as that time bonding with our daughter and supporting my wife.
What do you recommend for other dads thinking about taking paternity leave?
IF YOU CAN DO IT, DO IT. The bonding time with your wife and your baby will mean so much to you. The chance to be a full part of bringing a baby home and truly being a partner to your wife is incredible. I have a feeling when you’re reflecting on your life when you’re near the end, you’ll look back on that time and be grateful you made the decision to take it.
Google “biggest regrets in life” and nearly every result will say the same thing: “I wish I had spent more time with the people I love most.”
I don’t think you’ll remember specific things you missed at work, but I do think you’ll long for the specific things you missed at home.
Best parenting advice for new dads?
Take time to be intentional about witnessing the incredible transition of the woman you love into a new amazing creature— a mother. If you think you love her now, just wait- it gets even better. Mother’s Day will become the most important holiday in your house!