We love Tyler's digital diary where he shares moments of his family + sweet fatherhood journey.
What is a real life dad moment you have had recently?
My kids are 8, 6, and 3, and I'm still not sleeping through the night. Neither are they, and some nights I think that we're raising sleepwalkers. My wife and I put our daughters to bed in their beds, but someone always wanders out at night and finds their way into our bed. And in a sense, I've become a sleepwalker too, because I often wake up in another bed too, because I've moved in the middle of the night. I get kicked, smacked, and stepped on, so my main source of protection is just to flee my bed when they come in. We're clearly out of the newborn stage, yet I'm still suffering from that lack of sleep.
What is something that has surprised you about your kids?
My daughters are all so different, yet I appreciate that I've been able to find ways to connect with them individually. When we were expecting our second daughter and then our third daughter, I wondered if my love would multiply and if I'd be able to love the new baby as much as the ones that came before. Early and expectant fatherhood is such an emotionally fraught time, yet discovering new things about each daughter has been amazing. I love seeing them grow, change, and develop new hobbies and interests. I'm continually surprised by how exponentially my love can grow for them.
What is your current dad win?
I'm about to celebrate a successful end of the school year, and commuting with my two daughters on scooters, nearly two miles each way everyday. We live in New York City and commute in all weather. We've navigated a brutally cold winter, and many soggy spring mornings. I cherish the time with them each morning, but also acknowledge that at times it's a mentally and emotionally taxing routine. I've gotten them to school on time, every morning. That's a definite win!
How have you grown since becoming a dad?
When my first daughter was born, my head and my heart were completely rewired in ways that I couldn't have anticipated. My perspective on life completely changed. As TidyDad, I've shared some of my personal "tidy up my life" journey at thetidydad.com, but am finding that as my daughters get older, I crave even more simplicity in my life. I love teaching at the same school where they attend. I love being able to walk them to school everyday. I love our Foodie Friday adventures. I'm not a perfect dad, but am trying my best to be present to them and their ever changing needs.
What is one thing you want to share with other dads?
I want other dads to know that there's not a perfect parent out there. We're all trying to do the best that we can, with the time and resources that we have available. The more that I've been able to own my own "stuff" and figure out what I'm triggered by certain things or why I feel things the way that I do, the better that I'm able to relate to my girls. The only thing that I can truly control in life is myself, and how I react. Life is full of ups and downs and when we show up in a meaningful way to our kids, it makes all the difference.
What are your favorite activities to do with your kids?
I'm an avid swimmer and love teaching my girls how to swim. I'm working with my older two girls on the breaststroke, freestyle, and backstroke. And I'm working with my three year old on putting her face in the water and swimming independently without her floatie. It's been amazing to see their confidence and determination grow. I love showing that we're able to set goals and focus on progress, not perfection.