Father’s Day is a special day and we hope fathers of every type feel loved and seen this weekend.
This year, we are honoring the fathers on our own team! We interviewed Clint and Dan to learn more about them and how they celebrate Father’s Day.
Clint is the founder and creator of Plan to Eat! What started as an idea to help his family eat healthier food and eat together more often, turned into a program that’s helped thousands of families. As senior developer, he creates new features and fixes bugs. As a entrepreneur, he does everything else.
Dan is a Software Engineer at Plan to Eat. He develops new features, fixes bugs, and manages deployments for www.plantoeat.com and the mobile app. He’s been on our development team for two years.
Q: What does Father’s Day mean to you?
Clint: I’m generally neutral on holidays and do not celebrate Father’s day. Without being too cliche, I genuinely try to celebrate every day and moment. I’m also a bit of a rebel and tend to push back when anyone tells me I need to do anything.
Dan: I think we focus most of the year on the work we do in the market—building apps, supporting customers, writing blog posts, whatever it may be. But there is an enormous amount of work performed by mothers and fathers, for free, all year round. Mother and Father’s Day, to me, are there to honor the work parents do to support their children.
Q: How has Father’s Day changed for you since becoming a dad?
Clint: Because of my first answer, not that much. With that said, if I am in a work/productivity trance and not connecting with my family, or the people around me in general, Father’s Day can potentially remind me to be more present and check back in with my life.
Dan: Well, I do the work now! I don’t think anyone quite appreciates how much it is until they do it. My daughter, Emma, is 7 months old, so that means diaper changes, peek-a-boo, recording her expression when we give her a new kind of baby food, and trying to prevent her from landing on her head when she falls over.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on Father’s Day
Clint: I don’t have a favorite thing for Father Day, but if I did, it would be spending time with my family in nature, quiet forests are my favorite. But also, building or creating something with my hands. Carpentry, Masonry, Code, etc.
Dan: My dad just wanted Father’s Day to be stress-free when I was growing up. I think I’d echo that, but maybe with part of the day devoted to something family oriented. We’re planning to go on a hike this coming Father’s Day, so we’ll see!
Q: If you got to request your favorite meal for Father’s Day, what would it be?
Clint: Anything that I have cooked in the smoker all day long. Hamburgers are always a good fallback. Really anything that my entire family would enjoy eating.
Dan: An Italian dish with gnocchi, cheese sauce, and chicken or steak is probably my favorite meal. But in stereotypical dad fashion, I would never say no to a cheeseburger!
Q: What advice do you have for other dads, or soon-to-be dads?
Clint: Proactively take care of yourself first. Good food, exercise, sleep, play, and everything in moderation. Your family (and the world) needs you to be physically and mentally healthy! Your children (from day one) are just as perfectly complex and unique as you are. Give them a relatively safe space to grow and thrive, but mostly, let them experience life – the easy and the hard. Treat them they way you want to be treated. You will cherish meaningful conversation with your kids as they grow up, so give them a reason to talk to you. Be curious, listen, and only give advice when they ask for it. Let them learn from your actions, not just your words.
P.S. This is also my advice to myself, and sometimes I succeed.
Dan: Don’t try and work with your infant on your lap. It’s making it very hard to write these answers.
But for real, the world has moved on from the nuclear family where Mom does all the housework and Dad works at the office. This is a good thing, because it’s much easier to empathize with the stresses and challenges your spouse faces when you share them.
Every relationship is different, to be sure, but if we expect Mom to be part of the workforce, we need to expect Dad to join in at home. Embrace it! It gives you so many more opportunities to bond with your family.