Meet Matt! - Columbus Moms Network

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

We have our son Tuckerman who is 3.5 going on 12.

How long have you lived in Columbus and what made you decide to live here?

I have lived in Columbus for the past 11 years, but for a total of 15 (I went to college here, but moved back home out of Columbus for a short stint). If Ohio is “the heart of it all,” Columbus is for sure the center of it all and that’s where I knew I wanted to be…or anywhere more south than the snowbelt where I grew up. My wife Heather and I call Westerville home. We both went to Otterbein.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Hands down my favorite part of being a dad is being silly with my son and making memories.

What does your family enjoy doing together when you have free time?

Our family loves listening to music, playing made up games, watching “Parks and Recreation” (Tuckerman calls it “Ron Swanson” and that makes me happy) and of course going on father-son hikes.

How did the Dadass Podcast get started and tell us a little bit about it.

The Podcast began when our little guy was a few months old. I wanted to learn to be a great dad and even better husband from more seasoned men. I asked Shaun, a friend of mine who is a mental health professional, to come on four seperate times before making it an offical partnership. The podcast shifted from just a father focus to “figuring out this whole parenting and adulting thing.” As a result, more than half our listeners and followers are women.

Now you can sort of say The Dadass Podcast is the podcast your wife wishes you listened to.

Tell us about the “Dadvocate for Change Campaign.”

Last spring, we began this campaign dadvocating for more changing stations in public men’s and gender-neutral restrooms. This is a small way to make a bigger difference in breaking down gender sterotypes, promote more active fathers and allows families to support local businesses with their family. Through our efforts, we recently partnered with four dads on Columbus City Council to bring back the Changing Table Accessibility Grant, which was first done in 2017. Working alongside Council President Hardin and Councilmen Dorans, Bankston and Remy we were able to get 130+ changing stations into nearly 60 small businesses and all Parks and Recreation restrooms throughout Columbus. The businesses will be able to pick up their changing stations at a Family Resource Fair hosted by the City of Columbus on Wednesday, June 14 from 1-6pm. This campaign has helped us connect with Donte Palmer who started the #SquatforChange movement and Rep. Jimmy Gomez who broke the internet by bringing his six-month old son to the Capitol earlier this year and who started the Dad Caucus. We were also honored to be closing keynotes at HomeDadCon in Phoenix in fall of 2022 hosted by the National At-Home Dad Network.

What prompted you to start this campaign?

The Dadvocate idea began on our son’s second birthday when I was changing his diaper out in the parking lot during an October rainstorm because the extremely family friendly venue didn’t have changing tables in either restroom. When we first began this campaign, we met with and teamed up with the moms who founded Pluie (recently on “Shark Tank”) a self-sanitizing changing table. We hosted a kickoff event at North High Brewing – Dublin where they installed the first table in Columbus, along with a diaper drive supporting Bottoms Up Diaper Bank and their World’s Largest Diaper Drive. We collected 1,800 diapers and 750 wipes that benefited 127 families in need.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me begins around 4a.m. Three days a week I teach Spin for Esporta in New Albany and I love my quiet time while everyone is asleep. The rest of the day I have the privilege of serving as the Executive Director of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce where I collaborate with more than 535 area businesses and nonprofits, along with community leaders. At home, we spend the evening eating dinner, playing games and watching “Bluey.” Then every so often we record a future podcast episode.

How do you balance work and family?

I always say I’m a husband first, dad second. Before a work event or podcast recording is calendared I ask my wife what she thinks for us. We share a calendar and every Sunday we review our calendar for the week ahead. If it weren’t for my wife and our ability to support and communicate with one another, I wouldn’t know how to balance any of this.

What is the best piece of advice you have received from another dad?

Never stop dating my wife. I was a husband first and if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be a dad. I hope that I’m still living up to that advice.

A close second-best piece of advice came from when we were expecting our first and that was to start liking bourbon. That was a pro dad tip right there.

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