Often times I follow other fathers that I come in contact with via our site somehow. Friends of friends, or folks that have commented on the page, and so on. Occasionally I find folks that seem so positive and inspiring that I have to ask them to take part in our Rad Dad feature. Keith is one such person. A very funny and hard working dad that shows on the daily how important it is that he is a father. Very dedicated, very hard working, and infectiously positive. It’s my pleasure to introduce Keith to you all.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
My name is Keith Franco from Long Island NY. I am the father of 2 beautiful twin girls who just turned 5. I’m a NYC union ironworker with Local 46. I’ve been lucky enough to work on such great projects as rebuilding World Trade Center Towers 1,2,3 , Citi Field, the new Tappan Zee Bridge to name a few. I dabble in photography & stand up comedy but as
of late having a hard time to do those while being a full time single dad. The balance of my career and being an active dad can be rough and easy depending.
Construction trades can be feast or famine sometimes, so when I am working it can be rough and when I am off or rained out, a tad easier.
My average working day starts with me waking up at 430-5 AM & getting my shit together before the babysitter comes in. She gets them ready and drives them to preschool where they do a full day and then picks them up. When I get home anywhere between 3:30-5 PM I hang with them, start dinner, do baths, into PJ’s, blow dry hair, get them to bed then make lunches for next day.
When I am off I do the whole school drop off/pick up thing and the day isn’t so frazzled and we can enjoy more hang time. On weekends we relax a little, kid play dates or adventures.
We work hard, play hard.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
I guess it means to me I have to help mold/teach these two little minds into being respectful citizens while at the same time encouraging them to explore and try things that they like to do and find their own identities while also at the same time giving sound advice to help them make own decisions while also being on the lookout that they aren’t in danger or about to fuck up majorly.
3.How did becoming a father change your life?
Being a father changed my life in so many ways. I now have two people who I love unconditionally and vice versa. It also forced me to basically be unselfish. They will always come first and eat before I can think even think of eating…and if you know me, you know I love to eat.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
I think the greatest part is watching them grow and learn. Just when you think you’re so stressed out, overwhelmed or in a bad mood, all of a sudden they say something new yet so
profound and you think ‘ wow, that exactly right….how the fuck did you know that???!!! ‘
Also, seeing them happy and smiling. That;s always a good feeling.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
I guess the first story that comes to my mind is I came home from work one extremely hot July day. I’m covered in black steel dust, I’ve been sweating since 7am and I just want to take a shower. Both my kids are sitting at the kitchen table coloring and snacks and they both begin to roast me. ” Daddy you smell.” ” Daddy you smell gross, you need to shower.” ” Daddy you smell and you’re fat and we’re gonna have a party and not invite you.”
They basically bullied me, fat shamed me & ostracized me while using the crayons and snacks that I F’n bought.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
My advice is never take them with you grocery shopping. You’re setting yourself up for failure.
Also, find time for yourself. Before I walk in the door home from work I sit in my Jeep and enjoy the silence for a few minutes. Maybe smoke a cigar, swipe right on tinder a few times or listen to a song.
Seriously though, just because you have kids doesn’t mean your life is over and you’re not allowed to have fun. Go get a babysitter here and there and be a normal person.
It;s good for your soul to talk and hang with people who don’t yell at you to fill up their juice cup.
Thanks so much man. Keep doing your thing. You definitely are an inspiration to us dads out there.