1) Why did you create gayswithkids.com and what was your biggest motivation?
BR: When we became first-time dads to our son Levi almost six years ago, my husband Ferd and I found the world of parenting focused very much on moms. This left us feeling alienated and wanting (and needing) to connect with other gay dads. When we couldn’t find a community of gay dads online, we knew then that we wanted to create one. But we were busy being new dads and planning the expansion of our family, so we didn’t have time to act on the idea. A few years later, when all our kids were off bottles and mostly out of diapers, we revisited the idea and were surprised that there was still no real community of gay dads online. So we created Gays With Kids, and we started with a focus on sharing stories on how gay dads are creating families and issues that arise while raising them.
2) What would be your top 3 tips to anyone considering co-parenting?
- Seek legal counsel. It’s best to get all the major elements of a co-parenting relationship defined and agreed upon before you begin the process.
- Be honest and thoughtful about your expectations, and encourage your co-parent(s) to do the same.
- Refer back to my first tip: Seek legal counsel!
3) Do you have any advice for gay dads coming out after years of being in a serious heterosexual relationship?
BR: We have written numerous articles on the topic and our resident therapist has even created a video of tips to gay dads coming out. Naturally, advice differs for coming out to heterosexual partners versus to children. I strongly encourage anyone considering coming out, or who has already started the process, to watch our short video: bit.ly/ComingOutTips
4) What advice would you give any gay guys using coparents.com who are looking for a co-parenting partner? As in traits to look out for.
BR: Again, be honest and thoughtful about your expectations and the type of co-parenting relationship that you believe will work best for you or for you and your partner/husband. And you may want to consider looking at the parents or family members of your intended co-parent(s) to make sure that they, if they’ll be at all involved in your child’s life, are also respectful and supportive of you and the relationship with your co-parent(s).
5) What are the biggest challenges first time Gay dads have to face?
BR: I don’t think our challenges are very different from what other first-time dads face: Being a dad can be exhausting, whether to a newborn, toddler, or even older child. And you’ll quickly learn that being a dad means that your priorities change instantly as your focus is no longer about you or about you and your partner/husband, but instead about your child(ren).
Ferd and I became dads through adoption (Levi was a newborn) and surrogacy. We started to feel a strong connection with our kids only after they began responding to us with smiles and coos. Especially challenging for us, when we had our twin girls, was the sheer workload of feeding two babies, changing diapers all the time, doing endless loads of laundry, trying to get them to fall asleep in the middle of the night after a feeding. For a long time we felt like we didn’t know what we were doing, until we realized that most every first-time parent feels like that. Everybody is an amateur-parent!
When you’re co-parenting, you will get some time off when the other co-parent(s) take over, so that must be nice! It will give you the chance to reconnect with your partner/husband and friends, to catch up on sleep, to read a book, and to have a conversation that’s not about bowel movements and burps.