Before leaving for our roadtrip, I sent Matthew some questions to ponder so that those who were not familiar with his writing could get a bit more info about who he is, both on and off the web:
1) You started your blog in 2004. Had you done any other writing prior to that?
I had not. In fact, for the first year or two I didn’t even consider what I was putting on my blog as “writing.” Over the years, however, I have come to love the writing aspect. Many of my posts are told in story form or there is a setup to a punch-line and I enjoy crafting those posts.
2) How has blogging changed (for you) since then?
Blogging has changed a lot since I started my blog. My cousin Maggie (Mightygirl.net) turned me onto blogging and back then not many people knew what blogging was. Back then there was a relatively small amount of parent bloggers and we all seemed to be having kids or had young kids. We would add each other to our blog rolls and comment on each other’s blogs and that’s how we built up readership. Now there are so many blogs that it’s very difficult to stand out.
3) Please share the story of how you came to be a speaker on the upcoming panel at this year’s BlogHer.
I’m still not sure how I became a speaker on the BlogHer panel! I was looking at the BlogHer website shortly after registering and noticed there was a proposal for a panel called Vaginally Challenged – The Men of BlogHer. It was proposed by Adam Avitable of Avitable.com. I think I clicked on something that volunteered me for the panel but then I completely forgot about it. Until I got an email saying I had been selected to sit on the panel. I’m very excited about to experience my first BlogHer conference from this perspective.
4) Please share your children’s (nick)names, age and gender.
5) How do you maintain a healthy relationship with your children? With your wife?
I have maintained a healthy relationship with my children by being as involved in parenting my children as my wife. As a father, I think it’s important that my children see me in a similar way that they see my wife. I also try to maintain consistency with my kids from my wife to me. The kids know that my wife and I will back each other up and that we will consistently enforce rules so there is no pitting mom vs. dad going on.
My kids also know that I am there for them. I keep my promises to them and I think they know they can count on me.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with my wife has been much more difficult. Having twins was extremely challenging for us and the first year, especially, was the most difficult year of our lives. Our relationship certainly took a back seat. We are only now beginning to try and schedule time for the two of us that doesn’t involve kids because it’s so important to keep our relationship strong.
6) Kids say the cutest things. What is the funniest story you recall about each of your children?
Kisses, in our family, have magical healing powers. Boo boos are kissed and made better. One day, my son fell on his butt and when I tried to soothe him, he turned around, stuck his butt in the air and yelled, “KISS IT DADDY! KISS IT!” I did.
My daughter is a devious one who is learning how she can play Daddy like a cheap violin. Just recently she caught me off guard by telling me what a good job I do as a daddy and giving me a piece of chocolate as my reward. I was so touched that my little girl was reaching out to me like that. She then asked for a bite.
7) What is your proudest parenting moment?
I don’t have just one moment. I am proud that my kids see me as an equal parent and that I am equally responsible for the upbringing of my children. I’m proud that I have made the decision to make my children a top priority all of the time.
8) What is your biggest parenting challenge?
My biggest parenting challenge is balancing time for me, my work, my wife and my kids. I always feel like one is suffering and often times it’s the “me time.” I’m trying to figure that one out. If you know the answer, please let me know!
9) What’s your favorite family-friendly restaurant in
? San Diego
My favorite family-friendly restaurant in
is Chick-Fil-A. I can get healthy alternatives for the kids, the kids often get a balloon and they can play in the play structure while I eat fries and drink milk shakes. San Diego
10) What’s your favorite activity you enjoy with your child(ren)?
I love going to the park with the kids. I love watching my kids take risks on the playground equipment, interact with other kids and then I often play along too. It’s fun being out and about with my kids and I hope I can keep doing well into the future.
11) What advice would you give to new or expecting parents? And to those expecting twins?
New parents need to talk about their parenting philosophy before they have kids. Both parents need to be on the same page about what’s important and what’s not. I think also that moms should help dads become more involved in the parenting – particularly if the dad isn’t sure what his role will be.
As for parenting twins, I think it’s extremely important to get the kids on the same feeding and sleeping schedule from the get go. It will make your life so much easier.
12) Who or where do you go to for parenting advice?
I read blogs and I read books but the biggest person I go to for advice is my wife. She’s an extremely intuitive person and she is a big researcher who has the ability to take information and make it relevant. I don’t know how I would be as parent if I didn’t have her support.
13) How would your children describe you?
My children would describe me as silly, a bad dancer, and someone who loves hugs and kisses.
If you have any other questions about Matthew, his family, his writing, or his appearance at BlogHer, head on over to Child's Play X2. You can discover all you need - or would ever want - to know about him by checking out his list of 100 Things.