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Just in Time for Father’s Day: DCG Superdads Share Their Secrets

Father’s Day is coming up, and three DCG Superdads recently shared some insight into their experience with fatherhood and advice for new dads.

Meet the dads:

Ben Deady | Kiddos: Leo, 5, and Lily, 3

Nick Wills | Kiddos: Anna, 4.5 years, and Aly, 7 months

Brent Wingfield | Kiddos: Max, 12, and Harper, 22 months

Brent Wingfield and his family
Brent Wingfield and his family

What has been the most rewarding aspect of fatherhood for you?

Ben: In my parenting experience, the ratio of work to reward is … well … lopsided. Ultimately, the most rewarding aspects of fatherhood are the little things and the ephemeral moments. For example, on a recent family vacation, I took my son into the ocean with a life vest. As we were bobbing around in the surf, his high-pitched laughter and toothy smile created a seminal experience that I’ll cherish for years to come.

Nick: Spontaneous hugs and kisses.

Brent: Realizing that fatherhood is the most important aspect of my life. It’s wild how such a tiny human’s fingers wrapped around your thumb can make YOU feel so small, yet so important at the same time! My kids give me the motivation to “show up” every day, especially when it’s hard to, to work harder, and to be better, for them.

Nick Wills and his daughter Anna
Nick Wills and his daughter Anna

How do you balance the demands of work and spending quality time with your children? Does DCG’s flexible working environment help create this balance? If so, how?

Brent: I don’t have to worry about commuting to/from work anymore, which saves countless hours that I’m able to spend with my family instead of sitting in traffic!

Ben: Like most people, my professional and personal lives are demanding — it’s more of a juggling act than a “balance.” I’m lucky to have a wonderful co-parent, resources to use on services like daycare, and a very flexible work schedule. DCG’s culture helps too — the focus on high-quality outcomes versus bureaucracy is one of the reasons my tenure with the organization is approaching the 10-year mark.

Nick: DCG’s flexible remote work affords me more time to get everyone off to school and pick them up. And to get a bit more sleep than I otherwise would if I had a nightmarish work commute. I think DCG’s flexible working environment ultimately helps preserve the precious energy I need to meet my family’s priorities.

Ben Deady and his daughter, Lily
Ben Deady and his daughter, Lily

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to new or expectant fathers?

Nick: Things get easier each year. By age three, you’ll be having conversations with your child, and they will often be hilarious and, occasionally, enlightening. Up to that point, children tend to be very mom-centric for the first few years, and many fathers like me can take it too personally. We can sometimes feel ignored or vastly underappreciated compared with Mommy, and it can be painful. Then one day, seemingly overnight, your kid will draw a picture of you with hearts around your little stick figure head and everything changes.

Brent: Take more pictures with your kids, especially while they’re young. Also, get used to everything you do taking 10 times longer than normal. Putting on shoes? Going to the store to buy milk? Better clear your calendar.

Ben: You can’t control much, but you get to choose your daditute! And remember, you can always do more to help your baby’s momma!

Nick Wills’ daughter Aly
Nick Wills’ daughter Aly

Can you share a memorable experience or moment you’ve had with your children that stands out to you?

Ben: Recently, at my five-year-old’s soccer game, our team was down a few players. I asked my three-year-old if she wanted to play. Not only did Coach Ben get “yes,” but my little kicker was one of the best players on the field. I just might be the parent of a future member of the USWNT and Washington Spirit!

Nick: The first time when, unprompted out of the blue, my oldest daughter said, “Daddy, guess what? You’re my best friend.” [Insert sad eyes emoji here.]

Brent: My son, Max, was born in Germany, and we flew on a 13-hour flight home from Frankfurt to Los Angeles when he was just a few months old. With the changes in altitude, his poor ears wouldn’t pop, and he kept getting very uncomfortable/unhappy, to say the least. Everyone near us on the plane was miserable because of his screaming. I tried everything I could to get him to stop crying but it was no use. So, I started twiddling his lips with my finger while he cried, so it would at least sound kind of funny (“buh-dub-buh-dub-buhhhh-dub”). Many of the people around us started laughing, and even Max started laughing, too.

Ben Deady and his son, Leo
Ben Deady and his son, Leo

What’s the one thing you do that guarantees a smile, laugh, or groan from your children?

Nick: Only my wife and kids will ever know this, but I can do a spot-on voice impression of every Sesame Street character. They elicit smiles, laughs, and groans (all at once).

Brent: If my kids ever throw a tantrum in public, I’ll join in. It usually embarrasses them so much that they stop.

Ben: My kids love to sneak into my room in the morning and “surprise” me while I’m sleeping. The best part is they’re not stealthy. If their little footsteps don’t wake me up, their pre-surprise laughter rouses me. It’s so innocent and precious — and there’s no better start to the day than a family snuggle.

Just in Time for Father’s Day: DCG Superdads Share Their Secrets was originally published in DCG Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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