If you read Hawaii publications, you’ve probably read one of his stuff. If you’re like me, you’ve not only read his articles, you’ve been wowed by it. If you’re also a writer, you might even have got distracted a little and thought, “Man I wish I wrote like that!” I have. And then, I got to work with the guy, and was even more impressed.
In this installment of inspiring people, I talked to writer, editor, bartender, and first guy ever to be featured here, Chad Pata. He’ll make you rethink the word, “busy,” shatter your images of work at home dad, and even let you in on a few secrets that keep him going that may or may not have to do with alcohol.
TIB: What does a typical day look like for you?
CP: Starts at 6 am with my twin 17 month old boys Davis and Biagio, my wife leaves before they get up or we would have a riot on our hands trying to get her out the door without the boys losing their minds! Get my older two out the door by 7 am, thank god for the bike-ability of Kapolei which allows them to pedal to school, and then its breakfast and the park with the twins and I. Upon returning they are pretty happy to play with toys while I get some of my writing and editing done. Technology really is a life saver as I can take my laptop to wherever they are at and work on the go. Some people think it is impossible to work with the boys banging away on everything, but if you have ever been in a newsroom you know it is no sanctuary from noise or distractions. We all three nap from 11 to 1, I think I probably need it the most, then lunch and play until the big kids get home around 2 when we work on homework and snacks, not necessarily in that order. At 4 pm my wife gets home from her job as VP at Waialua Elementary and I head in to my night job bartending at Murphy’s until 1 am. I get home and in bed by 2 am and crash out because 6 am is coming… Repeat.
TIB: What’s one time management skill you’ve learned while balancing work and family?
CP: Eliminate unneeded distractions, namely social media and online games. They are time sucks and in the end do absolutely nothing toward fulfilling you as a person. You’ll be amazed how much you can do by putting down the phone.
TIB: What’s the best advice you can give to someone who’s struggling with juggling career and family life?
CP: Don’t rue the time you don’t have, cherish the time you do. All our time is limited so spend it doing things with your family: play games, ride bikes, talk, etc don’t waste it watching TV and movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies, but the limited time I get with everyone I don’t want to waste just sitting and staring in the same direction as them.
TIB: What’s one thing your kids taught you?
CP: They have taught me everything good in my life, I learned all the bad stuff on my own, but the number one thing is patience. We live in an instant gratification world, but kids make you slow down and enjoy the process.
TIB: Do you have a favorite way to de-stress?
CP: Whiskey, copious amounts of whiskey. But these days I just enjoy a good book or a swim, nothing will make your problems seem smaller than enveloping yourself in Mother Ocean.
TIB: What’s one misconception about being a work at home dad that you’d like to address?
CP: That we can’t do it, the number of times a week I hear, ‘where is your wife’ or ‘nice to give her a break for once’ is maddening. Sexism flows both ways, I laugh it off, but it is funny how many women think of men as incapable of taking care of our children.
Thanks so much Chad for your honest, humor and inspirational tips! You can find his work in almost any local publication including MidWeek, and Go Kapolei magazine.