Hi friends, welcome to my 12th Playdate! Today’s feature is extra special to me because one, it marks my one year anniversary of running this series – w.o.w! (many thanks to this lady/cool mom for giving me the push.) And two, in honor of Father’s Day, I’m featuring my awesome and incredible husband, George Hu.
A few months ago, I came up with the idea of featuring a cool dad for my Playdate. I kept thinking…“who do I know? who can I feature?” I even asked George if he knew anybody. While a few cool dads came up on my list, I suddenly realized that the person who I go on playdates the most is the person standing right in front of me — my husband!
I mean, I guess he’s pretty cool, right? He’s already a second-time dad to a beautiful pair of girls, Hayden (3.5 years old) & Hadley (16 months old). He’s married to a, *ahem*, great wife-slash-blogger-slash-entreprenuer, and is a pro-UX/UI designer with experience in small to large start-ups, and now a recent transition to a Senior Product Designer at Salesforce. Believe it or not, this multi-billion tech company has the most attractive workforce in SF, according to this article. Not that I’m suggesting my husband is hot or anything. :)
Anyway, I thought featuring my husband would be meaningful… and to also give a new twist on seeing a man’s perspective on parenthood. We decided to do what we do best, grab a coffee and play at one of our favorite city spots. And this time, we grabbed coffee at the Beachside Cafe and let the kids play along at the Ocean Beach.
Your wife thinks that you’re a pretty awesome dad and say that you’ve been very hands-on from the very beginning. Is being a father a natural thing to you? How did you know you were ready for a child?
Well, my wife is right, I am an awesome dad. Ha! Jeanne must be rolling her eyes right about now. It was love at first sight with both of my kids, so everything just felt natural. One of my personal goals in life was to have kids in my early 30s. I wanted to maintain a close enough age gap, so that I can relate to my kids when they become teenagers in my 40s. That’s a whole other set of challenge, I know.
What are your favorite traits of Hayden?
Hayden has always been daddy’s little girl. Whenever she misses me, she would come over to my arms, lay there for a few moments, and tell me she loves me. She’s a real sweetheart.
Hadley is quite the explorer. She challenges her surroundings (and sibling) and definitely more daring than Hayden. Her feistiness is definitely a characteristic that puts a smile to my face.
Mothers have what’s called a “mother’s guilt”, like putting their child in daycare, not breastfeeding, putting career a priority, etc. Is there such a thing called a “father’s guilt”?
There definitely is a “father’s guilt.” Work/Life balance can be hard to achieve. This past month has been a real challenge for myself to find time with the kids. There is a sense of guilt when I am not 100% mentally present for their needs. Finding that career and family balance is very important for any family man.
What’s the most challenging part of being a father?
Most challenging part of being a father is adjusting to new challenges. From poopy diapers to “I don’t want to eat dinner,” I’m constantly calling audibles on my playbook on how to handle new situations.
And what’s most rewarding?
The reward is definitely seeing how both my little girls have grown to become such beautiful and healthy individuals.
If there’s one thing people should know about being a father, what should that be?
Stay in the moment. Most of us operate at a 1000 mph, and life can be very routine. Take a pause each day and really appreciate your time with your child. Even after a long day at work, I always make time to play princesses & castles with my girls, and I absolutely enjoy it.
Where do you go for tips & advice for fatherhood and parenting?
Friends, family, and even some blogs like Dad Or Alive (thanks to Jeanne). Chatting with other parents have been a great way to learn new tips.
Snack time! Our girls can’t get enough of the Quaker Chewy granola bars. We love that it offers 8 grams of whole grains. Along with milk and fruits, this is the perfect mix to give the energy our kids needed to play!
And for this summer, Quaker is teaming up with NERF to help families get out and stay active together. When you buy three specially-marked boxes of Quaker Chewy, you can enter the codes online to get a free NERF sports item!
Do you own a diaper bag? If so, which one?
I own a Herschel backpack. It’s versatile, holds a lot of stuff, and keeps my hands free.
Where do you shop for clothes and tech gadgets?
When it comes to clothing, I’m quite brand loyal. When I find clothing that fits my cut and style, I tend to shop from the same vendor again. Currently, I love the fit of Gant. As for gadgets, I have all the Apple essentials, so anything new is usually discovered through social media, or my favorite blog shopsweetthings.com. haha! Seriously though, Jeanne recently introduced me to the B&O H6 headphones, and they are so slick.
Any advice on marriage after having kids?
Having kids is not your golden ticket to avoid romance. In fact, you’ll have to try even harder than before. You’ll probably be busy juggling life, work, and kids. But do not, I repeat, do not forget the wife. Be romantic and go the extra mile. =)
On me: Denim Jacket, Vintage Levi’s | T-shirt, Uniqlo | Linen shorts, Zara | Tote, Honey & Bloom | Espadrilles, Gap (similar) | Bracelets, Madewell | SPF 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen , La Roche (new at Target)
Anything you learned from your “father” on being a father?
My father is a very patient and calm individual. As a single parent, he raised both my brother and I with a lot of care. When we were kids, our father would make crepes from scratch, layer it with peanut butter, and sprinkled with sugar. It was the most comforting smell in the morning. He inspires myself to be the same type of father to my kids. So now, I prepare the same breakfast for my kids and Hayden absolutely loves it. I hope I can inspire her to carry this tradition for her kids.
What advice would you give to a first time dad?
You don’t need to choose between being a good cop or a bad cop. You can be both, and know when to switch roles. Hayden and I have a great relationship, but when she throws a tantrum, she knows she can’t use that relationship as a way to get what she wants.
What’s your best technique on calming a crying baby?
Hushing and humming while holding the baby worked quite well, until it didn’t.
A crying toddler?
Toddlers are much more challenging. When Hayden throws a tantrum, I respond calmly and give her some space away from the situation. Once she’s calmed down, I try to talk her through while she was upset. So far it’s working!
What’s next on your agenda – work wise? Kids wise?
Since I recently joined Salesforce, I’m focusing a lot of my energy on building some amazing products for the company. If you’re going to Dreamforce, you may see some of my work being demo’d. =) As for kids… hmmm, maybe 1 more? Ha! Jeanne and I keep teasing each other on this thought. Realistically, we have outgrown our 2 BR apartment, so we can’t fit another human being in this home.
What do you want most for Father’s Day?
A hand-drawn card from my girls and quality time with the family.
Many thanks to my husband for sharing his daddy wisdom! The unconditional love he has for our girls is something I truly admire and am grateful for.
Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads and dad-to-be out there! And many thanks to Ashley Batz for another great Playdate shoot!
This post is kindly sponsored by Quaker, serving up wholesome goodness in delicious ways. Quaker Chewy helps give kids the energy they need to play. That’s why Quaker and NERF are teaming up to fuel backyard fun, helping families get out and get active together, right in their own backyard. When you buy three specially-marked boxes of Quaker Chewy, you can enter the codes online to get a free NERF sports item!
All opinions shared here are my own. Many thanks for supporting my sponsor and my playdate series! xo Jeanne