It’s been a week of love here at Austin Moms Blog . . . Vanessa and Matt celebrated their first anniversary and began the 40-Day Love Dare, and Ashlee gave us some ideas for showing the love to our teachers for the upcoming Teacher Appreciation Week . . . not to mention our amazing giveaway from Little Miss Pepper Designs that we all ADORE! I was also so excited to finally get my husband’s “Austin Baby Daddy Spotlight” back from him– a little later than those for Matt, Wesley, and Brandon, but I guess he has a good excuse: he JUST finished his MBA from UT last week!! Congratulations to my amazing husband, and thank you for being an incredible Austin Baby Daddy! ~Jessica
What was your reaction when you first learned you were going to be a daddy? Where to begin on this one? The best way to describe the reaction is transcendent. I remember thinking to myself, “Alright Vin, you’ve gotta think like a Dad from here on out.” I obviously knew it was a possibility, but it never prepares you for the news. I remember questioning how I was going to handle this with work and school?! And finally, I remember forcing myself to not get too excited. Life can throw some curveballs at you and I wanted to temper my excitement until I knew new all systems were a go.
What is one thing you could work on in your relationship with your wife?This is an easy one. I could let her know just how in love I am with her. Day to day life can take out the “romance” in your love for your spouse. This is cliché and so overplayed, but unfortunately, true. This is not a slight on our relationship. We have about as rock solid of a relationship as a couple can have. We are best friends after all. With that said, she feels too much like a Mom (rightfully so), and I need to make her feel like my beautiful bride who has given me happiness beyond my wildest dreams. So with all of that, I need to work on making her understand how much I love her and how in love I am with such a beautiful, strong woman.
What has been the biggest surprise of fatherhood? It is unreal how much you can love something so tiny who can’t reciprocate the feelings. I would have never guessed how strong my love for my little girl would be. I was also so surprised how weak I am. The thought of seeing her hurt or sick or sad ruins me. I feel like I have a physical reaction to her cry. Oh, and it never ceases to amaze me what lengths I will go to just so I can get her to laugh or smile. It can get a little out of control, and I will just leave it at that!
What is your biggest fear as you raise your child? First and foremost, health and safety are no-brainers. When she catches a cold, I play doctor and diagnose her with some horrible disease. It is a little twisted. Good thing Jess is there to tell me to man up and that she is fine. On a deeper level, my biggest fear is that I won’t be able to teach her self-worth and self-confidence. I know she will have so many amazing characteristics and skills and talents, but I also know that growing up as a kid can be tough. If I can teach her to respect herself and to know how loved she is, I feel like that will provide her with the armor needed to get through tough times as a youngster.
If money were no object, what do you think your wife would like as the ultimate appreciation gift? Three words: Castles, Edinburgh, Pints. I would love to take her on a nice long relaxing vacation back to Scotland where we could relive our more care-free days and bask in the history, countryside, and beverages of the Scottish.
What’s your idea of a perfect family activity in Austin?What weekend are we talking about? That’s the beauty with Austin. Just about every weekend there is something going on. If it’s not music festivals, it’s a food trailer festival or Eeyore’s Birthday. And with so many families with young kids in Austin, just about every place you want to go, your kiddo can go, and why not bring the dog?
What “pregnant woman” stereotype did your wife fit? Oh my God. Her obsession with fast food got a little out of control. The Sonic bags and Chic-Fil-A bags piling up in the car were borderline frightening. Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for a nice greasy fast food meal every once in a while, but it got to the point where it was just flat out gross. I think about those days when I need to eat healthy. It helps. (Jessica’s note: Thanks, honey.)
Are you ready for more kiddos? Hell no! Was I ready for the first one? Absolutely not. You are never ready. You just have to take the plunge. With a full work schedule, on the road constantly, and neck deep in MBA studies, we sure as hell were not ready for the first one, but we managed (and quite well, if I might say so myself). It is a little scary to think about having another one, but there is no doubt in my mind that we want one.
If you could snap your fingers and talk to your pre-daddy self, what would you say? I think I would have mainly given him confidence that although you have never done this before, you can handle this. I had a lot of anxiety leading up to the birth of Tori. Oh yeah, and enjoy the time with Jess because once the kiddo comes, your time together changes quite a bit.
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And let’s all send out some collective *love* and prayers to the family of Baby Avery who passed away at only five months old this week from her battle with a disease called SMA.