Happy Father's Day to all the father figures and mead fans we have out there! We happen to have three wonderful dads here at Groennfell: Chris our shipping manager, Trevor from our facilities staff, and of course, Ricky the Meadmaker.
And just as we checked in with the Groennfell moms to learn about being a mom and working in brewing, we wanted to check in with Team Dad too. I sat down and interviewed our dads this week to get the skinny on all things dad and mead.
Tell us about your kids!
Ricky: My kids are FABULOUS! They like gardening and being outside and eating weird foods and reading books (and, in Erik’s case, eating weird books) and dancing and everything else that you’d want in a kid. Most importantly, they absolutely adore each other. In fact, Erik’s first word was “Nora.”
Trevor: I have two daughters (16 and 2) and two stepsons (14 and 11). They are all a bunch of goofballs with very different personalities.
Chris: I’m a father of one, soon to be two. Being a new father is one of the most profound and uplifting experiences I’ve had in my life. Every day, whether it’s been a hard day, a sad day, or even a happy day, I am reminded that none of that really matters when I pass through the threshold of my home to little bright smiles, pat pats of small feet and the most enthusiastic greeting of “da da”.
How do you balance being a dad with your work here?
Ricky: The kids are with us all the time, so it’s mostly about keeping them entertained and safe while I’m operating the canning line. Luckily Kelly and I can usually take turns. In many ways, it’s more like being a farmer than anything else.
The whole concept of a “work/life balance” gets pretty fuzzy when you live and work with your family and everything in your life is so deeply connected. A new trick we have, though, is (since five-year-olds love putting stickers on things anyway) Nora has started putting the shipping labels on the boxes! Does that count?
Chris: I’m lucky to work in a place as dedicated to their staff as they are their family. I’ve found it a fairly seamless balance between my work and home life and I am grateful every day for all of the hard work that goes into protecting that space for all of us here at Groennfell.
Trevor: Since I currently only work Saturday or Sunday and my wife doesn’t work on the weekends it is not too difficult to balance being a stay at home dad and the work I do at Groennfell. It is also a lot easier as the company is very accommodating and allows me to choose what day and time I come in.
What is the hardest part about being a dad? The best part?
Ricky: The only thing that’s challenging is finding time for all of the things that we all want to do. Then again, I felt that way before I had kids, so I guess being a dad just adds complexity. So maybe that’s the best part? Now I can prioritize things that bring all the members of my family joy.
Chris: Simultaneously the hardest part, and the best part of being a father is coming to terms with the fact that I no longer am living for just myself. Everything I do stems from my desire to provide for, care for and guide my son as he grows and learns. I personally struggle with balancing that with taking care of my own individual needs, as I am still a person with my own interests and dreams and at times it can be difficult to justify to myself doing anything, no matter how small, for myself without feeling some guilt even though my brain knows that that is ridiculous.
Trevor: This is a difficult question to answer within a paragraph. I suppose I will say that since only the youngest is home all the time the hardest part is that I don’t always feel like there’s enough time to do all the things I would like to. The best part is when they all are here together they all get along amazingly and we have a lot of fun.
What's your favorite Groennfell/Havoc brew?
Ricky: Today, Valkyrie’s Choice.
Trevor: I would have to say Valkyrie’s Choice is and always has been my favorite. Valkyrie’s Choice was my first real experience with mead and it opened me up to a whole new world and an amazing company. It was not long before I was trying to brew my own!
Anything else about dadhood you'd like to share with us?
Ricky: I waited my whole life for them, and now that they’re here, it’s even better than I could have possibly imagined.
(Ricky and family)
Trevor: I have done many jobs so far in my life but being a dad has been one of the most difficult but rewarding ones. It is amazing to spend each day watching your child grow, learn and to become their own unique person.