We love our Mom Mondays, but we are interrupting them for the month of June to celebrate Father’s Day. That’s right – it’s Dad Monday! Our dad who kicks off our month celebration is Mat Thompson. We met Mat through his company, Bazaarvoice and were eagerly awaiting his arrival in Chicago for a meeting (he lives in Texas), only to get a phone call that Mat could not make the meeting because his little bundle of joy decided to make her debut early! Mat glows with daddy pride so we had to interview him.
As a first-time dad, how did you approach getting ready for your baby?
We had a hard time containing our excitement. We were amazed at the amount of planning required to have a baby. We had literally hundreds of decisions to make over 9 months. We had to research the best products to buy, the proper tests to have, facilities, plans…it was pretty overwhelming. Fortunately, we were able to rely on the experience of others to help us make informed decisions.
Your baby arrived early. What was it like going through the roller-coaster of emotions of having a preemie?
My wife, Christina’s pregnancy was going perfectly. I was returning from a late evening mountain bike ride when my wife went into emergency early labor. We were pretty shocked and scared. That night the doctor on call looked at me and said “you guys are having a baby tonight”. I looked back and told her – “no we aren’t.” But, the doctor was right, Maggie was on her way. It was honestly both the worst and best night of my life. I was terrified at the thought of losing both girls in my life. Thankfully, both Mom and daughter were happy and healthy. Maggie was just over 5lbs, and did so well, that she did not have to go into the NICU.
Also, that night I had to utter the dreaded, “I’m sorry, you were right” words to my wife. As I was standing in the hospital, sweaty and still in cycling attire, Christina reminded me that just a few days ago I was teasing her about packing for the hospital six weeks in advance.
What has been your biggest surprise about fatherhood?
I remember sitting in the hospital the first night, holding my tiny baby. I told my wife, “I’m amazed how you can love something so much, so quickly”.
What is your biggest challenge?
So far, parenting has been a team effort, but make no mistake, my wife is the Quarterback and I’m the Punter. Christina is breastfeeding, so she carries the majority of the workload. I think my biggest challenge is letting her know how much I appreciate what a great Mom she is.
If you could receive ‘expert advice” on one aspect of parenting, what would it be?
Christina and I were talking about this just last night. It seems like all of the books prepare parents mostly for the delivery and the experience in the hospital. We really wish that we had been better prepared for the first eight weeks at home. It’s tough, and there are so many things that would have made the process easier for us. For example, get a swaddling blanket, in fact get three.
Random fun with Mat
What is your must have baby care product?
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. It works. Plus, I really enjoy speaking with a ridiculous Cajun accent when I change Maggie’s diapers.
Favorite pastime pre-baby?
Cycling. I love to ride both Mountain and Road Bikes.
Favorite pastime post-baby?
It remains Cycling. My wife and I try to do our best to share responsibilities and allow each other to pursue personal interests.
I-phone or Droid?
I-phone. It is my favorite device ever, I mean, aside from Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.
If someone was going to put your life to music, what genre would they use and what would the title of the song be?
I live in Austin, Texas – The Live Music Capital of the World, so music is a big part of my life. I even play a bit. Genre wise, I tend to gravitate towards Americana. I’ve given up on lullabies and just sing great songs to Maggie at night. She seems to prefer Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones, so it appears she inherited her Dad’s great taste in music.
A song that matches my life would be one of my favorites, “Just Us Kids” by James McMurtry. It lays out the different stages we go though in life and how at the end of the day, young or old, we are still a bunch of kids hanging out in the parking lot.
Here at Kolcraft we love this video mat sent us of when they were learning the gender of their baby. Mat was spot on, so we are thinking maybe he can pick the winning lottery numbers for us! And we know you won’t have a dry eye after seeing this video montage of Maggie’s first moments.
If you have any questions or comments for Mat, feel free to leave them in our comments section.