Welcome to Meet a Dad! Here is where we like to feature an at home dad from within our community, through interviews conducted by Mike Andrews
This week, we have Michael Bryant from The Purposeful Pappy. On top of maintaining his own blog and awesome Instagram account,he has also been featured on Mamalode. An all around great guy and somebody I enjoy interacting with.
Where to find him:
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
My son Asher has just turned three years old and my Daughter, Harper, just turned one
Why did you become a stay at home dad?
At first I was just a part time stay at home dad because I was attending Grad School with the intent of becoming a University Professor. However, when I was at home with the kids it just felt right. My wife saw that as well. She also saw the joy that I had being at home with the kids and that I had a true passion for it. Once she and I began talking seriously about homeschooling and the ways in which we could begin our children’s education even at their young ages, something inside of my lit up and my wife wanted to foster that.
Other than spending time with your kids, what do you like about being an at home parent?
I enjoy the freedom to make my own schedule (with the exception of nap time) and the ability to create days full of adventure and learning for my kids at the spur of the moment.
What do you like least?
We live in a rural community, about an hour from any type of largely populated area, so in terms of being a stay at home dad, I feel isolated sometimes. I don’t really feel comfortable calling up the local SAHMs that I know and going to lunch and taking the kids to the park. Thankfully through church and through long term friendships I have a good support structure! It would be very nice, though, to have a SAHD near by to hang out with sometimes. That is really my only complaint.
What is your normal daily routine like?
My son will come climb in bed with me and wake me up and we will watch about half of a show on PBS before we get up and I make him breakfast. Somewhere along the way my daughter wakes up. While he eats I feed her and let our dogs out. They get about an hour of screen time while I have my coffee. Then the TV is off while we play outside, feed the chickens, and try to burn some energy. Then it is usually craft time, which my son loves. After lunch, it is nap time. I am lucky and my three year old still sleeps for a couple of hours. My daughter, on the other hand, only goes down for an hour. But that hour of quiet is a great time to center myself and just have a moment to relax. She and I play on the floor once she is up and at some point my son joins us. At this point he gets a snack and has to play independently while I do some cleaning and begin to start supper. If he insists, he gets a little more screen time, but I try to avoid it. I try to make sure the house is at least straightened up and that our clothes are clean before my wife gets home. That isn’t anything she asks me to do, I just think it is a nice thing to do for her since she has been working all day. Then it is dinner and family time. Kids go to bed between eight and nine. My wife and I catch up and talk and are in bed by 11:30 or 12.
If you were to change one thing about yourself as a dad, what would it be?
That I had more patience and that I was better about cooking healthier meals.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read. Now that it is summer I love to work in my yard and my garden. Spending time outside hanging with friends is always great. And sleep haha.
Why did you become a stay at home dad?
Because it is what I was born to do, although I didn’t know that!
What advice would you give a new At Home Dad
Give yourself time to create your own schedule. You can look online at what other people do, but the best thing is to take time to find out the natural rhythm of your own family. Remember that you cannot do it all no matter how bad you want to. My friend gave me a sign for my den that says, “Excuse the mess! Our children are busy making memories!” Your house needs to be clean, but it is usually a mess when you are having the most fun!
What does your spouse/partner do?
She works for our local County Government.
What is your best memory of your father?
My dad is great! He is still very involved in the life of me and my kids. My best memories of him are just simple everyday moments when we were fishing, or building something, or just laughing. He is a great role model and my kids love their Pop.
How did this effect the way you parent your kids? He and I both have a kind of short fuse.
What has your experience been as far as how others see your role as an At Home Dad?
By and large it is a positive one, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that our families are very supportive so I really don’t care if anyone else thinks how we live is weird. My family is healthy and happy so the glares of the Playground Moms and the condescending comments about me babysitting my kids usually just roll off my back.
What cartoon character are you and why?
As an 80s kid I am He-Man of course!
Who is the better cook in your home? What is your best meal to cook?
My wife and I are both great cooks, I think I just enjoy it more. And I am a beast on my grill!
Are there any “Dad Groups” in your area that you participate in? If not, what do you do to connect with other parents?
There is one about an hour and a half away and I hope to do something with them sometime but they aren’t super active. I haven’t tried to plan anything with them either, though, so I hold equal accountability. I have a great group of guys on Facebook that are SAHDs and I could not make it without them!
What is your least favorite kid’s show?
Caillou. He isn’t allowed in our house!
What was your best moment as a father?
Every time my kids crawl up in my lap and hug me with me asking for one.
What was your scariest?
The first seconds after they were born while I waited to hear them cry.
What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want you kids to remember you?
I want my kids to think of me and smile. I hope they will know how much I love them and that I would give anything in this world for them and their happiness. I want my legacy to be shown in the way they parent (if they chose to). I pray they will nurture those in their lives and show compassion and love to all that they meet, while living a Godly life they are proud of.