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#22 – Chris MacAlister – Creator of Matilda’s Lab

Ryan interviews Chris MacAclister. Chris is a dad of two and is the dad behind Matilda’s Lab. Matilda’s Lab is a YouTube channel and Instagram page geared toward teaching science to adults, inspired by his daughter. 

Chris MacAlister is a science communicator for parents. He founded his blog, Matilda’s Lab, when his daughter was a year old; filling it with ideas about how you can teach complex science to a child. The lessons are written for adults, not for children, so that parents can take the reigns of their children’s learning and enjoy the binding experience that discovery brings. The subject matter focuses on the science that we encounter on a day to day basis and how science and popular culture influence each other.

Based in North Wales, Chris has a degree in Zoology, quality manages a veterinary microbiology laboratory and has co-hosted a science news podcast. He combines his knowledge, experience, artistic background and sense of humour in sharing details of the most creative process in human history.

Topics covered:

  • Matilda’s fish tank
  • Chris being a jack of all trades with his understanding of science
  • The tone and narrative style he uses in the blog 
  • Repackaging themes to make it easier to explain to children
  • Fine line of making content for kids to be taught by adults
  • Now moving to questions that Matilda is asking.
  • The importance for a girl because the field is so male dominated
  • Favorite vide: How bats see in the dark
  • Process of having a second child
  • Differences between both children after 6 weeks
  • Hardest part of being a father.

Chris on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ14zJ92xI6su9jPwc02jLA
Chris on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/matildaslab/
Chris’ website: https://matildaslab.wordpress.com/

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#21 – Daniel Vanson – On Losing a Father

Ryan interviews Daniel Vanson. Daniel has a 19-month old son and he recently lost his father. Ryan lost his father in November 2020 as well. Daniel reached out to discuss the loss of a father and agreed to record the conversation as an episode of the Day by Day Dad Podcast. 

Daniel’s bio: Daniel is the lucky father to Aaron, his 19 month old boy. Daniel is a high school special education teacher, and in his free time he run an online social media cooking page called A Canadians Cooking where he inspires people to try some new things in the kitchen! Becoming a dad has been one of the best experiences in his life so far. It’s been full of ups and downs, but truly one of the most rewarding things in the world is to see his son’s smile in the morning!

Topics discussed:

  • How long have you been a dad?
  • Have you always wanted to be a dad?
  • What’s the most enjoyable part of being a dad for you?
  • What’s the hardest part?
  • Tell us about your dad and your relationship.
  • When did your dad get sick?How did you spend time with him before he passed?
  • Do you regret not doing anything before?
  • How did you speak to your kids about his passing?
  • What have you done to cope with the grief?
  • Tell me about your process of mourning him?
  • How do you make sure to remember him and honor his memory?

Daniel on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/acanadianscooking/

**

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. Please consider supporting the podcast by going to https://patreon.com/daybydaydad 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast.

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/and fill out the form.

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#20 – Kevin Thiruchelvam – Trust Yourself

On this week’s episode of the Day by Day Dad Podcast, Ryan interviews Kevin Thiruchelvam. Kevin has been a dad for about 2.5 years of his beautiful daughter. Kevin and Ryan have known each other for quite a long time but hadn’t connected in years. Luis Turcot, who appeared in episode 11, suggested speaking to Kevin. 

Kevin’s Bio: Kevin Thiruchelvam is a History and Religion teacher at Loyola High School. He coaches Rugby, Hockey, and Volleyball, and plays club rugby for the Montreal Wanderers RFC.

Kevin is happily married to Ellen Yambouranis for 5 years and counting. His daughter, Elizabeth Isla Thiruchelvam, is 2 1/2 and keeping him on his toes, despite being 6-weeks removed from ACL reconstruction surgery. 

He loves sports, whether playing, watching, or listening to sports related podcasts. In another life, Kevin would’ve probably been a sports writer/podcaster.

Topics Discussed: 

  • His desire to be a dad
  • The adjustments he’s made since the pandemic hit
  • The most difficult part of being a dad. 
  • Advice for new and expecting dads
  • Making sure time is spent at the dinner table

**

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads.

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast.

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#19 – Jamie Brasseur – Time Management

Ryan interviews Jamie Brasseur. Jamie was the first guest on the podcast when it launched earlier this year. I wanted to have Jamie back on for a couple of reasons; firstly, because of how he immediately jumped in to help me out when I was having a hard time a few months ago. I was in a rut and still trying to understand what my role was as the father of a newborn. I posted about it on social media and without hesitation, Jamie called me to check in and chat. That conversation meant the world to me because I know that a lot of dads struggle with the same issues but it is seldom discussed. The other reason is the main topic of the conversation. I asked Jamie what the hardest part of being a dad has been for him. His answer? Time management and balance.

Topics: 

  • Kids growing up immersed in technology
  • How the most difficult part of parenting can shift depending on the development stage
  • Covid exacerbating time management
  • How communicating a plan as a couple came about
  • Typical day’s priorities
  • Not being transactional with your time
  • How Jamie’s days are different now that he’s back at work
  • Typical afternoon routine with his son
  • How things are different today versus last year
  • Difficulty juggling working from home
  • Incorporating children into chores
  • What does being a good parent mean to Jamie?
  • How do you want to describe the pandemic to your child in 10-15 years?

**

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads.

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast.

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/and fill out the form.

Follow Day by Day Dad:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/daybydaydad2

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#18 – Jason Kreidman – On Empathy and Dad University

Ryan interviews Jason Kreidman. Jason is a father of two and is the creator of Dad University.

Jason’s Bio: Jason Kreidman is the founder of Dad University, an educational company dedicated to helping dads gain confidence in their parenting. Through his course, YouTube videos, podcasts , and social media he offers advice on father’s communication, work/life harmony, discipline, mindset, and more.

Topics:

  • About wanting to become a dad
  • Most challenging part of being a dad
  • The importance of patience
  • Relationship dynamic changing with your partner
  • Having empathy and how important empathy is in our lives
  • Don’t take things personally
  • Teaching children to be empathetic
  • Using the word empathy when teaching
  • Don’t say “I’m proud of you”
    • Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dPgIrc_UmM&t=379s
  • Focusing on improving yourself
  • Jason’s meditation practice
  • Cutting out alcohol
  • Why start Dad University?
  • What is the future of Dad University?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daduniv/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daduniversity/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DadUniv

Website: https://www.daduniversity.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dad-university/

**

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads.

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast.

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/and fill out the form.

Follow Day by Day Dad:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/daybydaydad2

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#17 – Nick Ponari – The Experience is Other Worldly

Ryan interviews Nick Ponari. Nick is married and is the father to a 7-month old son. 

Nicholas Ponari is an accredited angel investor and entrepreneur from Montreal, Quebec. Nicholas has been involved with funding tech start-ups for 4 years and has taken advisory roles in the context of finances and operations for various tech startups across Canada. Before getting into investing and the startup community, Nicholas started his career in the healthcare sector having worked on new cancer therapeutics, vaccine platforms, surgical robots and other experimental products. Today he is spending time as a full-time dad while sparing some time to work on data science projects, mentor new founders and finally getting around to doing some of those Coursera courses that interested him a while ago.

Topics: 

  • How long have you been a dad?
  • How was pregnancy?
  • Mom’s are superhuman
  • What Nick does for a living
  • How has becoming a dad changed Nick’s life.
  • How has the pandemic changed parenting?
  • Advice for new and expecting dads

Nick on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickponari/
Nick’s website: https://www.ponari.ca/

***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/and fill out the form.

Follow Day by Day Dad:
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Face Adversity

Becoming a father has come with challenges and those have been far outweighed by the incredible amount of love and happiness that my daughter has brought to our lives. I tend to shy away when I need to face adversity. I have typically looked for the easy way out of things that are difficult or at least sought the path of least resistance.

In becoming a father, I saw myself as the dad who would always be there. The protector of our little family and the provider. The one everyone can rely on whenever they needed. I think I’ve modeled my view of a father very much on my experience with my dad.

I have learned so much since my daughter was born just three short months ago. It already seems like she’s been in our lives forever. I think that is mostly due to the sheer emotional investment we’ve put into raising her and getting to know her. Seeing this little person grow and develop right in front of your eyes is absolutely astonishing. We’re already putting away clothes that she used to float in.

There have also been difficult times fuelled by a lack of sleep. Everyone can be more on edge and I’m most often the guilty party. Reframing situations and embracing meditation have helped. My experience with a lack of sleep goes back years so it has not been totally new. The hardest part, by far, is rejection.

It’s easy to understate just how reliant an infant is on her mother. Especially when exclusively breastfeeding. Yes, there are ways to incorporate the father into feedings like supplementing with formula or by pumping but those are easier said than done. As an example, pumping doesn’t work for everyone and in our case, it doesn’t draw nearly enough milk for one feeding. Aside from nourishment, breastfeeding is also a soothing activity for the baby. It creates a bond and a sense of safety in the arms of her mother.

My bond with my daughter has been incredible. She often settled more easily with me in the beginning and I truly value any time with her. She also enjoys bouncing around on my knee and when I make funny faces for her. Her smile melts my heart every time. Recently though, calming her down has become a very difficult task.

There’s some research that I’ve come across saying that infants do find more comfort in their mother’s arms at a certain point in the first few months of life. It’s totally understandable when looking at it from an objective point of view. This father, though, is far from objective when it comes to his daughter. It can be absolutely gut-wrenching to have her in my arms, wailing and being unable to sooth her. It makes me question every quality I thought I possessed to be the perfect father to my daughter. It’s an unbelievably scary feeling.

Having a partner there to bring you back down to earth is invaluable. In the moment, I find myself wanting to just run from the situation which has always been my modus operandi. It likely doesn’t help that these fits happen later in the evening after a full day. The best advice my wife has given me is, “sleep on it.” And sleep I did. I find it also helps to workout.

Looking at the last week of inconsolable fits from an objective point of view, I can see a total of 6 hours of difficult times surrounded by phenomenal bonding opportunities with my daughter. Yes, bath and bedtime have become difficult. I cannot let such an insignificant amount of time taint the entire experience.

Instead of running and hiding, I should face this adversity head on with the courage I hope to pass on to my daughter. I have to embrace that not everything is going to be easy. These are the same words I know I’ll be telling her the first time she hesitates to do something that seems too difficult.

She is just an infant. She is relying on instincts. Her instincts tell her that the one who feeds her is best for soothing her. I need to do the same and rely on my instincts and set my emotions aside. She is my daughter and I must care for her and protect her. If that means handing her to my wife and watching out for both of them, then that’s exactly what I’ll do. I won’t run. I will make sure she learns that she can sooth in my arms as well.

Writing these words helps to clear my mind and see things more objectively. I’ve always valued writing for that exact reason. I’m also writing this because I don’t think enough people speak about this stage in infancy. Sleeplessness is often the topic of conversation. I have never heard another father discuss the sense of rejection he felt during the early stages of becoming a father. I hope this helps to broaden the conversation.

 

 

#16 – Doug Sweet pt2 – Trust But Verify

Ryan interviews Doug Sweet for the second time! Doug is a father of two girls, age 10 and 12. Doug is an officer in the US Army. He has been married to his immensely patient, and thoughtful wife for 17 years. Together the family shares a love of the outdoors, travel and adventure. 

Doug currently works as an Officer is the US Army, serving as a Cyberspace Operations Officer. He and his family have had the chance to live in Texas, Germany and Virginia over the course of his career. 

Doug works hard to balance the demands of his career with his love of the outdoors and his desire to always “be there” for his family. 

Topics:

  • Rules governing screentime in their household
  • Providing a phone to his daughter and when was the right time
  • Communicating information before it becomes urgent
  • Conversations around sharing content and sexting
  • Youtube kids
  • Where devices are kept
  • Pushback on the rules and Doug’s approach
  • Showing that the parents respect each other
  • Never going to bed angry
  • Dinner time
  • Turning Survivor into life lessons
  • Planning the AT thru-hike

Doug on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dsweet2379/
Doug on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglasmsweet/
***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/and fill out the form.

Follow Day by Day Dad:
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#15 – Doug Sweet – Never Give Up

Ryan interviews Doug Sweet. Doug is a father of two girls, age 10 and 12. Doug is an officer in the US Army. He has been married to his immensely patient, and thoughtful wife for 17 years. Together the family shares a love of the outdoors, travel and adventure. 

Doug currently works as an Officer is the US Army, serving as a Cyberspace Operations Officer. He and his family have had the chance to live in Texas, Germany and Virginia over the course of his career. 

Doug works hard to balance the demands of his career with his love of the outdoors and his desire to always “be there” for his family. 

Topics:

  • Why join the military?
  • Never ruling out having kids
  • Nervous about bringing kids into the world
  • Communication being so important in parenting
  • Division of the workload
  • Love languages
  • Doug’s deployments overseas
  • Keeping in touch while away
  • Having a positive attitude during the pandemic
  • School in the fall
  • Doug’s plans for retirement and hiking the AT

Doug on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dsweet2379/
Doug on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglasmsweet/
***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/and fill out the form.

Follow Day by Day Dad:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/daybydaydad2
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#14 – Damon Dietz – Stay Enthusiastic

Ryan interviews Damon Dietz. Damon offers very important perspectives as a single dad and in trying to ensure his kids are active. 

Damon Dietz is a writer, filmmaker, and professional speaker, who shares his knowledge of finance, health and life from the perspective of a divorced dad over 40. He is a father to three amazing kids, and thinks dads are kick-ass, even when the rest of the world thinks we’re idiots.

Topics:

  • Raised by a single mom
  • Couldn’t wait to be a dad
  • Births of his children
  • Labor story
  • Not feeling an immediate connection to his kids during infancy
  • Separation and divorce
  • Being amicable during the process
  • Activities with the kids
  • Hiking
  • Introducing a new significant other
  • Calendar sharing and reminders for the family

Damon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/damondietzblog/
Website: http://damondietz.com/

***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/and fill out the form.

Follow Day by Day Dad:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/daybydaydad2
Instagram: instagram.com/daybydaydad
Facebook: facebook.com/Day-by-Day-Dad-102025921441675