Dads & Daughters

. May 31, 2019.
FathersDay_FAF_Splash_0619

Local dads dish on fatherhood and the special bond between dads & daughters

Ah Fathers Day! The one time of year us dads get recognized for the endless piggyback rides, human cannonball pool throws, tea parties, makeshift backyard sports fields and everything else we love to do with our kids. And no, we don’t really need to be recognized for any of it but if you are going to give us a day to get some ties, and (if we are lucky) homemade presents and cards from our kids, well, then, we’ll take it.

As a dad with a 12 year-old girl and two younger boys, I’ll admit the boy stuff is usually pretty easy because it’s everything I enjoyed as a kid. But with my daughter it’s a little different because the dynamic changes, particularly as she gets older. The previously mentioned activities turn into trips to the mall, conversations about her friends, neighborhood walks with the dog and my handyman services in modifying her room…several times over. In celebration of Fathers Day, I interviewed a few local dads to get their thoughts on the holiday and raising their daughters.

John Altman

John-Altman

John is a 21 year law enforcement veteran who is currently a District Commander for the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He has twin 15 year old daughters – Kelli and Molly Altman.

What do you love most about being a dad?
The answer to this question has changed over the years. It is always great to know that your daughters need your help to solve problems no matter what age they are. Now that my daughters are 15 years old it’s great that they still come to me with problems, let me give them advice and involve me in their lives.

What’s your favorite thing about having a daughter?
Getting to see them grow up and become confident, caring and successful young women. It is an awesome thing to know that something I have said or done has molded them into the person they are and who they will become.

What’s something you hope she learns from you?
I hope that when my daughters reflect back on their time as children they realize I showed them the importance of hard work in everything they do! I hope that I’ve modeled, exemplified and showed them by never quitting and working hard they can accomplish anything!

What advice do you have for her as she grows?
I remind both my girls life goes by fast and to enjoy the moment. I remind them they are only 15 one time and to not waste time worrying about what other people think. Along those same lines, I remind them life is way too short to spend time with people who do not respect you and lastly, never let someone else defineyour happiness.

How do you manage a work/family balance?
Balancing work and family is a constant struggle for anyone who cares about what they do and the family they love. Although it is important that I show my daughters you can be committed to your family, health/physical fitness, and your chosen profession.

What’s your ideal way to spend Father’s Day?
Probably not realistic but would love to wake up at a beach house with my family. I would enjoy an early morning workout before everyone got up. Finally, spend the day at the beach with my family.

What do you really want for Father’s Day?
I would like a day with my family without running from place to place. Life gets so busy and the schedule can be draining. A day just being together that ends with a big salad and a juicy steak would be great!

Chris Russen

Chris-Russen

Chris is an Annuity Wholesaler with two daughters ages 12 and 6 – Bella and Cora.

What do you love most about being a dad?
Watching them grow and develop into young ladies is pretty cool!

What’s your favorite thing about having a daughter?
Having three nephews, this brings out my softer side.

What’s something you hope she learns from you?
I hope they learn how a husband/dad should treat their wife/daughter, and how to deal with the challenges and hurdles that life throws at you. I also hope they see how my wife and I interact with each other, and remember how important a healthy marriage is.

What advice do you have for her as she grows?
Follow their dreams, nothing is out of reach, and her mom and I will always have your back.

How do you manage a work/family balance?
Working in Ann Arbor, when I’m home I try to focus on them, and not bring work home. I also try to take days off to make memories and be part of school, etc… and be present as much as possible.

What’s your ideal way to spend Father’s Day?
Relaxing at home with my girls (wife included), and often my extended family.

What do you really want for Father’s Day?
Get a round of golf in and more family time!

Justin Motsch

Justin-Motsch-Photo-(revised)

Justin is a stay at home father to three children – his two daughters are split between middle school and pre-school.

What do you love most about being a dad?
The best part has always been the uncertainty of how they react and grow as life goes on.

What’s your favorite thing about having a daughter?
I was terrified when I found out I was having a daughter, because I knew nothing of little girls, coming from a family of all boys. What I didn’t know at the time, was that it was a blessing, allowing me to discover this entire other side of life of which I had zero exposure.

What’s something you hope she learns from you?
Of all the lessons I hope they learn from me, it’s the importance of liking yourself; being able to look in the mirror and appreciate both strengths and flaws, discovering self-worth.

What advice do you have for her as she grows?
I believe the best advice for them is their mother’s advice: learn how to be your own person; not to be totally reliant upon anyone, but to cultivate their own identity and purpose in life.

How do you manage a work/family balance?
As a stay-at-home father, my family life encompasses so much of my own time, but I’m always shocked when people feel guilty for making time for themselves that does not include their children. We lead by example, and we cannot teach our children how to be happy and well adjusted if we spend all our time on our children.

What’s your ideal way to spend Father’s Day?
My ideal Father’s Day would be spent with family, whether going out to a zoo or ball game, or staying home.

What do you really want for Father’s Day?
The best Father’s day gifts are gag gifts that embody the spirit of “dad jokes”!