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Ep 67(97): Dad Space- Dave C. FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jey (00:08.458)

All right, settle down, settle down. Big thank you to our live in-studio audience. Welcome into another episode of the Young Dad podcast. I'm your host Jay, and I'm really happy to be with you guys once again for another great episode. I'm joined today by my friend Dave. Dave hosts the Dad Space podcast, along with many other podcasts. Dave has been a dad for over 25 years, been with his wife for nearly 30 years, and...

Now he's gone from the before, during, and after phases of having kids. So we're going to talk about all those different things. Dave, thanks for coming on. Happy to have you, excited to have you. Go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself, your dad journey, and kind of your life to this point.

Dave Campbell (00:52.22)

Jay, it's awesome to be here. I love your podcast. I love what you're doing for dads. It's exciting. I'm one of those dads that's an empty nester. So I have a little different perspective now that my kids are now out of the house. I've got three kids, boy, girl, boy, and they're off doing life. And we're excited for them, happy to see them move forward and chase their dreams. It's always fun. But now it's just my wife and I, a couple of dogs, a cat, and we have all of their stuff left behind because we're not allowed to get rid of anything.

But yeah, it's weird to be in this stage of life when you don't have everybody under one roof in your house, in your home as a parent. So it's really fun. I live in Canada. I live really close to Niagara Falls and a little bit of snow today, which is always fun as we're doing this, but happy to be on your show. Jay, I'm excited to talk all things dad with you.

Jey (01:42.378)

No, I'm excited to have you. So tell us a little bit. So how old were you when you and your wife had your first child?

Dave Campbell (01:49.484)

We were about 24, 25 years old.

Jey (01:53.566)

Okay, so you were not old, not like a old first time dad, but still rather young at the same time. For myself, I was, I was just talking about this the other day. With my ex-wife and I had our first, I was, I was 22. I was, I was young, young. We were both working at a Sonic. I was an assistant general manager at a Sonic and then got promoted.

Dave Campbell (02:09.998)


Jey (02:22.098)

shortly after we had gotten, I don't even think we were pregnant yet, I'd gotten promoted to get my own location. I was like 21, 2021. And they're like, here's a million dollar store, go be the GF and turn this place around. Which I don't think I've ever told that story is, so we were together, we met in college, we got jobs after we got married because there was a new Sonic opening up, Sonic

in where we were going to school. So we both got jobs there. I moved up fast. In three months, I was a manager in training. Within a month, I went from just being hired to a manager in training. By three months, I was an assistant general manager at a brand new location, which was expected to pull in $2 million in income revenue. And then by my six month mark, I was given a store that was

That was a $750,000 location, so it was down $250,000 in sales from the year before. So I was given the keys to the kingdom and told, go turn this place around $250,000 and make it a million. I made it a $1.25 million short in just a year of being there. But that was probably the craziest year of my life because I was 20, 21, brand new store. I barely was going through puberty.

I felt like newly married and it was just, it was nuts. I was like super young and it was, it was weird bringing in a kid. I was, if I could go back and do it again, I think I still would do it the same, you know, thinking about it. I would still want to have my girls young at the ages I had them and I don't regret it at all. I just feel like.

Could have been more ready. Or I could have done things a lot differently. But of course, you know, hindsight's 20-20. So with some of those things, like, considered, you look back now, what are some of those things you might have done different going from zero, going from no kids to one kid to two kids to three kids? What are some of those things that you did differently between each kid or shoulda, coulda, woulda, but didn't? Of course, hindsight 20-20 and all those things.

Dave Campbell (04:44.52)

I think the biggest thing is you just think you have all this runway in life. You know, your kids are going to be around forever and you're always going to be at home. And you never really think about the idea of them leaving home one day to go to school or whatever, to move out of the house and go on with their life. You only really have if you think about it, like 17 summers with them until they're like off to school or something, right. Finishing high school, whatever they're going to do. That's not a lot of time. And when the kids are little.

and all you want is a break, you know, because you feel like you're at home with them, doing the diaper thing, feeding, cleaning, just like you feel so exhausted. And you're like, I just wish I could have a break or go back to that time when I didn't have kids. And you feel a little selfish in the moment, but you can kind of get burnt out when your kids are little. But then when they're gone, you long for those days when they needed you and they were here. And they're all under one roof at the end of the night when you went to bed.

That's a really great feeling, but you only get about 17 years, 18, 20 years of that. And then it's gone. You're never going to have that back again to the same way you had it. So I think if I look back, one of the big things I would tell myself is enjoy the moments as stressful and as hard as they might seem, as tired as you are and exhausted, you will miss these days. And I didn't really understand it, to be quite honest. And people would tell me that. And I'd be like, yeah, yeah.

And I'm saying it right now and people listening are going, yeah, but there is going to be a moment where you're going to think, you know, I really do miss this. This is really, really tough.

Jey (06:21.97)

No, I hear that. You know, I'm trying to, I'm soaking that all in and I'm hearing it and I'm holding it back while we're recording here. And it really brings, you know, hearing it firsthand, hearing it from you brings a whole new light to the song, You're Gonna Miss This by Trace Atkins. You know, every dad knows that song and brings a whole new perspective, kind of hearing it from you go right along with that. And, you know, I...

Dave Campbell (06:40.852)

Great. Yeah.

Jey (06:50.486)

There is this quote that I seen and so then I did the math for myself is that we're going to spend about What was it? It was 75% of the time we're going to spend with our kids is going to be between be between the ages of zero in their lifetime is going to be between the ages of zero and 12 And then we're going to the other

20 the next 15 percent 75 to 90 is going to be 12 to 18 and then 18 plus we're only going to get about 10 with them. Of course it was a quote I don't I didn't see if there was any research behind it and stuff but it made a lot of sense so that I was doing that math for myself being divorced having my kids half the time one of my daughters is six and I was like holy crap I'm already pushing 40 percent of the time I've spent with her.

And it really puts it in perspective for, at least for me and for other people I know, when you put that number to it, when you put numbers to it for men, it makes a lot more sense and it's just like a, whoa, because, you know, men, logical thinkers, warehouse brains, you go and play with a box, you put your box back and grab your next box kind of thing. But it's like, I've just spent, I've already lost, not lost, but I've already spent this much time and I didn't even realize it.

And it's very easy to take all those moments like for granted, you know, and I think it's really easy to Like you said to get exhausted, you know, I get when I have my week with my kids, I'm just like I'm so tired No more cuddles. No more this and no more play-doh I don't want to do that or I don't want to do this or I'm trying to talk them out of going to doing something and

Dave Campbell (08:33.621)


Jey (08:42.794)

Convince them to do something else inside with some other motivation just to change it so I don't have to go anywhere but you know it's really easy to do that and take away from our kids from what they want to do, but You know at the same time doing those things with our kids is so important because How many times are we really gonna get to do them? Like you said you we think it's an endless runway as parents. We think that it's

Never gonna end it's just gonna go on and on and on forever because at least for me I had that perspective for a really long time because it's like, oh, I'm young like I'm so young like I'm gonna have They're always gonna have my best years best time all these things Like I never have to worry about it kind of thing and now I'm pushing I'm almost 30 and so now I'm pushing 30 and it's like whoa Okay, now they're older. I'm a little bit older. I'm starting to feel it

Maybe I do need to slow down with them and whatnot. You know, that's kind of the whole thing is slow down and enjoy it. Enjoy each and every single moment because who knows when that moment is going to be your last. I guess for you, did you and your wife at any point ever realize or for you realize like this is the last time I'm picking up this kid or this is the last time I'm going to pick up this kid? You know, I remember all.

Dave Campbell (09:52.245)


Jey (10:06.69)

all the first days of school, I've only had a few of them so far, but on each first day of school, I'm just like, I get back to my car and I start crying because it's just like another grade older, another school year, like, oh my gosh, like the light starts at the end of the tunnel starts getting a little brighter. And then the kids start talking about the next grade and the next thing and looking forward to it. And it's like, let's just not talk about that kind of.

Dave Campbell (10:09.045)


Dave Campbell (10:15.688)

Yeah. Right.

Dave Campbell (10:34.108)

Yeah, let's just stop. Here, stop it. Yeah.

Jey (10:36.25)

Yeah, and so for you, what were... So between the first... what was harder, the first times or the last times for a lot of those milestones and moments?

Dave Campbell (10:48.424)

I think for the first times when you experience stuff, you don't really appreciate it. You don't really understand it is the first time. And it's like it just becomes a blur of all this stuff. Especially when the kids are little, like there's such little sponges. They're just soaking everything in and learning so much that's going to shape the rest of their life. When you look at the things that happened for the last time, those I remember really well, like, for example, my daughter, when she's growing up, she'd always climb up on me. I'm sitting in my chair watching TV before she went to bed.

And she just do that little snuggle thing. You know, she put her head on her chest and, you know, you had that time together. We would talk, tell stories, laugh, tease each other. It was our thing. And then she got to be in high school. And it's like not as cool to sit on your dad's lap when you're in high school, because that's weird. And you can remember her at like 17, 18, even coming and sitting jumping on me. Now she's almost bigger than I am sitting on me.

Jey (11:34.134)


Dave Campbell (11:45.796)

And I can remember the last time she did it. And, and this is like, Oh, I'm never going to have this again. That feeling, that connection that we had all through her entire life. That's, this is the last time we're going to do this. And I'm like, I get it. I'm, you know, you're, you're an adult now. Obviously you're not going to do that when you're 30, but you just, you're not really, really prepared for that last time that somebody's going to have.

Jey (12:10.954)

No, it makes sense. And I think, like for me at least, like my oldest daughter, I get to coach her baseball teams. You know, I get to coach her and do a lot of her extracurriculars with her. I'm that dad that's always saying, yes, I'll do it or let me volunteer, let me sign up. I'm that dad. I always encourage other dads, other parents, if you can do it, do it. Volunteer, help out, be involved because there's nothing like it.

But I even think about it, you know, I was like, is this the year where I finally don't, and of course I'm gonna push baseball on her. I was a baseball player throughout life and whatnot. So like, is this the year that like, I really let her step back? The answer is no. But I think about that sometimes when I'm like, man, this could be the last time I go on a field with her where I'm the one coaching her and teaching her like.

How many more years of this do I get? Like, obviously I get it with my little one when she's old enough to do the same. But it's like, how many more years of this do I get with her specifically before she wants to do something else or change of sports or goes from playing little league baseball and goes and starts doing softball full time? Because she should do softball versus baseball kind of thing, cause that's gonna be more her path anyway. Or it's just like, how many more years of all this do I have?

I think about that from time to time and it's kind of like bittersweet, you know? It's... I definitely appreciate the moments where they just climb up on me and want cuddles and things like that, even when it's like, oh, I really don't want cuddles, but you're already on me, so I can't say no. You know, and it's hard because you don't...

Dave Campbell (13:42.752)


Dave Campbell (13:55.492)


Jey (14:03.33)

You don't want to think about those things. It's just, it's reality. But it really helps you appreciate it when you're in the moment. Especially I feel for other single dads and divorced dads who maybe only have at most, not all the time, some dads do have full custody, some, but very few. But most dads that maybe have a weekend, three, four days a week, not a whole, half of the month at a time like myself. So.

It really makes you appreciate the times that you do have versus the times you don't have. Um, but for you now transitioning to not having kids, what was that like first night when there was everyone was out of the house? What, what was that like? How did that feel?

Dave Campbell (14:52.868)

I'm very, very empty, very, I felt like I wasn't doing my job because I didn't know where they were. I didn't know if they were safe. I, yeah, I know they're safe, but in my mind as a dad, I didn't know. And I had no way to check up on them. Right. And that's just, that's kind of what you think. You're, you're, you're hardwired to be thinking about your kids from the moment they're born. Somebody told me when I was a new dad that you have to get used to your heart beating outside of your body. The moment you become a dad.

because your kids are carrying a piece of you into the world and it leaves you and you'll never get it back again as a dad. So my kids are a representation of me and they're doing life. And it's just such a weird feeling to, like, do we leave the door unlocked? Like, what if they come home? What if they need us? So one thing we told our kids when they all pursued their path and left the house is, this is your house. It's always been your house.

You don't need a key to come in. You don't need to knock. This is your home, right? So we wanted them to still have that identity of this being their house and that being their bedroom. Obviously things look different now because they're not here all the time, but we wanted them to have a sense of home. So no matter where they went in life, travel the world, they knew they could walk through that front door and it'd be, they'd be just as welcomed as if they were here the entire time.

Jey (15:55.577)


Jey (16:14.806)

I love that.

So how have you guys adjusted? Because it's quiet now, I'm sure. I remember my, I still remember it, and it pierces my brain sometimes of that very, very first night of, after my separation leading up to my finalized divorce, not having my kids with me. Because it had been their whole lives. I was always there at night, always had them, always with them.

Dave Campbell (16:20.04)


Jey (16:45.904)

first night where they weren't there. I remember that silence and I just remember

Jey (16:55.202)

how hard that was. I'm pretty sure at the time I wasn't, you know, as involved with my current church, I was kind of in a really dark place with the whole divorce and everything. So I'm pretty sure I couldn't even stand it. And I went to, I'm pretty sure I went to the gas station, got some, I didn't get like drunk or anything, but I got some, went to the gas station, got a couple of drinks, just to try to help.

get through it, I guess, because that silence, and I don't think it's talked about nearly enough for empty nested parents or even for dads when you're first single and you have that very first night. Like that silence is so loud. Like there's never been a louder moment in my entire life. And I've been in the delivery room twice.

Dave Campbell (17:26.505)


Dave Campbell (17:45.408)


Jey (17:50.77)

kind of thing like there's nothing louder than that very first night of silence after years of having your kid so what for you what was that like first that very first night of silence like for you

Dave Campbell (18:04.464)

Just overwhelming. Just there's a lot of stuff going through your brain. I mean, a lot of regret, because again, you can't get that time back. Right. We talked about 17 years together, really, before they're gone. Like the whole idea, like, you know, the family trip in the summer. Kids are off. We take our holidays. We go we go somewhere. We go to a cottage or a camping or something, and we all go together. That's not going to happen now because they all have their partners. So there's a lot of us when you put us all in one room.

because of all the things that are different now, but our family. So the fact that the five of us could go do something and be together, that's never going to be recreated to the exact same way it was when they were little. So there's a lot of regrets that, oh, you know, we should have done more. But I remember my wife saying, we did our best with what we had. We didn't have unlimited funds. We didn't have unlimited time, but we use the money we had. We use the time we had to the best of our ability.

with the limitations of holidays and work and paying bills and all of that, we did our best, right? Could we have done better? 100%. But I think in that silent period, what I really needed was a voice like yours in a podcast, for example, that I could listen to and know that I'm not the only dad out there that is a single dad, or I'm not the only dad out there that's an empty nester.

There's someone out there that knows what it's like to do what I'm doing right now. So listening to your podcast gives them an opportunity to go. I'm not alone. And in this silence, you know, there's someone else who gets me. There's someone else who understands exactly what I'm feeling in the moment. So I have community through a podcast by listening to your show allows me to connect with other dads, connect with you as the host and reach out and go, man, that was a great podcast. That really helped me.

You're there. And I think the biggest thing we're all struggling with right now, Jay, is it's like an epidemic of loneliness that's happening. Whether you're in a relationship with your partner or not, there's an epidemic of loneliness, especially for dads where we're just giving and giving and giving and giving. I can remember driving home from work. I'd have a two and a half hour drive to get home from my job. I pull in the driveway, my son would come running out to me and I'd be taking him off to taekwondo class. I didn't even go in the house.

Dave Campbell (20:27.38)

I just got, he got in the car and now I went to the next thing. So it'd be like 9 PM before I actually walked through the front door of my house every night. And I'm like, I'm so exhausted. Right. But I just didn't have a good men's group, a good connection with other dads through a podcast or whatever that I could then build relationships with other guys. So I love what you're doing with your show and that you're putting this out there to help other dads, because this is what we need more of. We need more voices.

more support, more helpful leadership and conversation for dad. So that's why I love what you're doing with your podcast.

Jey (21:05.746)

100% I really appreciate that and I think you know the whole reason not the whole reason but this podcast came Because of a podcast my friend Craig who has been on the podcast I believe I've had him on twice now really good friend of mine But when I was going through my divorce and when I was sitting in that silence I had a really good friend of mine at the time tell me like you just have to sit in it Like you like that's what you have to do like you just have to sit

Dave Campbell (21:31.801)


Jey (21:35.09)

and be okay with it. Like you just have to learn to be okay with the silence. And this definitely taught me a lot now in my career because now I work in mental health and now there's a lot of silence. But I found my friend Craig's podcast at the time he was doing it. I don't think he's doing it any longer. He does more writing and things like that now. But his podcast was called Single Dad Reboot. And at the time, this was only about three years ago.

There was not, there's not a lot out there for dads. I mean, my show's probably one of the longer going shows up there with like the art of fatherhood and dad can we talk just for like the length and how many episodes there are of the show for people to enjoy and listen to. But I started talking to him and that's, you know, that was like my guy, he like taught me.

He didn't even teach me anything. He just talked to me. You know, I reached out to him on Instagram after listening to like 10 of his shows and started talking to him because he said some things that like really stuck with me and I'm like, man, thank you, you know, for what you're doing. I told him my situation. Now we're just really good friends. Like we text and we talk and he's just great. And then that led me to seeing like a quote sometime then after, like not very long after when me and my brother were kind of going back and forth about like a podcast because

toward the end of my marriage, we would always play games together on PlayStation and talk and chat and stuff. It was like, this would be a great podcast and just joke about it and, you know, have every great podcast get started. It starts as a joke. And as I saw this quote that really just like changed it for me after my divorce, I think it was a Brene Brown quote that said, your story of how you got through it will be the blueprint for someone else.

Dave Campbell (23:07.142)


Dave Campbell (23:22.27)


Jey (23:23.938)

And that really just kind of launched me into the field, launched my creativity into creating this podcast. And I think you're so right, like with the epidemic of loneliness. Like now I'm engaged, I'm getting married this summer. I've been with my fiance for coming up on a year now. And it's been a great year, but there are times where like, maybe because she still lives with at home.

Dave Campbell (23:37.388)


Jey (23:51.358)

and whatnot and there will be times where I'll just feel like super lonely. Where I'm just like we're literally talking on the phone or just put the kids to bed or something and it's like I feel super lonely. I feel super just depressed, tired, run down. Like I had to leave work on Thursday this last week.

because I kept being given like random extra tasks to do. And I, again, I'm a yes guy. I say yes a little bit too much. I don't say no enough. But again, that's kind of how it is being a dad. You kind of just say yes and you do the thing and you make things happen. I don't know how many times I've been asked or it's like, how do you do all, how do you go to school, work full time, coach and be involved in that extracurricular, sleep, podcast, write, do all these things that you're doing. I'm like, I just do them.

Let's do them. Like I want to be tired at the end of the night. Like I enjoy that tiredness to an extent until it catches up with me. And does it, a boy doesn't catch up with you. But you're so right. Like the loneliness epidemic for men is just crazy. I mean, there's a big reason why the men suicide rate is four men to one, especially for middle-aged men.

you know, as they get, you know, 40s, 50s. There's a big reason why that's the most at-risk population for suicide. That's why it's so important to find your group, find your people, find your tribe, as I see it portrayed on social media. I don't really like that phrasing because it's a weird connotation, but like find your people, find your tribe, you know, find your village, all those different adages, but it's so important.

for dads especially because if you don't have that, it's instantly worse. If you don't have a group of friends, if you don't have a network, and there's some really great organizations out there now. My friend Brock Lush, he runs the Home Dad Chat podcast, and that's a platform for stay at home dads to connect and whatnot. We, there's...

Jey (26:14.454)

the Dads Move organization, which is an organization that's here in Washington. I wanna say they're in Idaho, Oregon, so they're in Pacific Northwest. I believe they're also in other parts of the country, but they're really cool. They create like dad groups, weekly meetings, bi-weekly meetings, just kind of that support group. Really cool. They're expanding into different areas. So that's super cool. You know, my friend Anthony who runs the Dad Can We Talk, he does an annual dad's walk.

which just gets people out to community with their kids, big barbecue, big events. I believe he's doing like two or three different dads walks throughout Florida this year. So super cool to see these things changing. There's some great groups on Facebook. There's also some really, most of them are pretty awful. Very unsupported, very full of lots of projection, hate, not a lot of support, it's very sad. But there's a Bluey Dads group.

Dave Campbell (26:50.846)


Dave Campbell (27:01.172)


Jey (27:10.218)

It's based around Bluey, you know, Bandits. It's probably the most wholesome dance group there is. It's very supportive, very well monitored, very well maintained. I can't recommend that group enough. But you do have to understand Bluey to get like 90% of the references that are made. So if you don't watch Bluey, you need to. A new season just dropped. We're not affiliated with Bluey at all. But Bluey is one of the best shows for kids.

Dave Campbell (27:32.115)

I'm sorry.

Jey (27:37.634)

lot of fun. They talk about just so many different topics without kids really realizing it. They've talked about miscarriage and sibling dynamics and just all those really hard topics that if you're paying attention as a parent it could definitely help open the door and have those conversations a lot easier which I really love. But no it's so important to find to find your people because dads are lonely.

I mean, it's a lonely life being a dad. You wake up, you go to work, come home, you do the extracurriculars. Maybe you get to walk in for a minute before you head right back out. You say hi, you say bye, you're back out, then you're back there, time for bed. Good night, love you, and do the same thing again tomorrow. There's not a lot of, there's not always a lot of time. Like for me on my weeks, my kids, like I'm still working nine to five, I go and pick them up.

They're, we get home, it's pretty much straight into night routine, you know, during the week, showers, dinner, dessert, maybe a little bit of homework, some TV time, a little bit of relaxing for maybe hour ish, depending on how fast they eat, how fast they shower and everything. Um, and then it's bedtime and then I'm in, and then I'm doing whatever I need to do homework and one they're sleeping. And it's like, wow, that was just.

three and a half hours that just flew by like super quick. And it's the same thing tomorrow, an hour up, get them ready, out the door, same thing. And then the weekends are a lot more fun, a lot more time together, of course. I really, really value our weekends together because that's the time we get to spend and just hang out, do things, play games, go and do things. Our gym has an indoor swimming pool, so I'll get to take them swimming or.

Dave Campbell (29:08.596)


Dave Campbell (29:30.152)


Jey (29:30.602)

One of our mall has an indoor play area, so this last weekend I got to take them to that too, even though it wasn't my weekend, I took them to that and had some fun with them. So it's definitely about maximizing that time. So for you, kind of looking back, what are some of those things that you feel you did like really, really well? And what are some of those things that you would encourage your kids to do better than you did?

Dave Campbell (29:57.948)

Great question. I like that. Some things I think I did really well was I treated each of my kids as their own person. They're not, even though I have three, they're not all the same by any means. They all have their own different paths. You discipline differently. You, how they how they receive love was different for each of them. You really have to get to know each of them and their unique characteristics and not just treat them all the same. So

That's one thing I really did is I really focused in on what they loved instead of imparting on them what I love and making them love what I love. I tried to figure out best as I could what they were into and I would get into that as well. So that's a great little tip for anybody. Just make sure you understand your kids as best as you can and spend time with them and find out what makes them tick. Like what why are they different? What lights them up? Then go in on all that. That really helps.

And then what I'd love for them to do different than I did is there's more resources there now than there ever was when I was a young dad. Again, podcasts, I'd go back to that a lot. There wasn't this kind of free information and connection through podcasting when I was a young dad. And what I do when I host my show, my dad's space is I think about a dad who might be sitting in a waiting room, waiting to be ushered down the hallway to see their baby born for the first time.

become a dad for the very first time. What does that dad need to know? What would I love to tell them before they walk that hallway? Get on all that gear and step into that room with all the beeping and noises and sounds and scurrying of nurses and doctors around the room. What does that dad need to know? What would I love to tell them if I was sitting in the waiting room with them knowing they're going to become a dad in a few minutes, right?

Jey (31:48.598)

100%. What would you tell him? Because I have an idea of what I would tell myself. But what would, for that specifically, what would you tell that dad, kind of walking down that hallway, walking into that room?

Dave Campbell (32:00.156)

You don't need all the answers. You're gonna be a great dad. Even if you've had a really bad example of a dad in your community or in your life growing up, you're not the results of all the people in your life that were good or bad examples to you. You're your own person. And be confident in who you are and what you bring to becoming a dad. And you can make a million mistakes as a dad.

Your kids are still going to love you. They're still going to care for you. They're still going to look up to you and want you in their life. So as much as we're not perfect, we're going to do our best. We're going to show up. And one person said to me a long time ago, said, wherever you are, be all there. And I think that's something we as dads need to do is show up. And like when I took my son to Taekwondo, for example, I mentioned I could be one of the dads sitting on my phone.

you know, watching YouTube videos, or I could be cheering my son on as he's learning taekwondo, be the dad that's engaged, be the dad that shows up. And wherever you are, be all there. And I think you can do that in your marriage. You can do that with your kids and applies across the board. Just show up and be there and be engaged. Don't disengage. Make sure you're engaged with your kids. And I think you'll be fine. Don't worry about it. And what really got me was we took our son out.

our oldest for the very first time, first time parents, we walked to the exit with our son, we're leaving the hospital, we're going home for the first time. And I look back and nobody followed me. The doctors didn't follow me out, the nurses didn't follow me out. They're just kind of waved at you and said, see ya. And you're like, nobody's gonna check up on me to make sure I'm doing this right. No, you're good. And I'm like, okay, I've been a dad for like two days. You're sure you trust me with this new life? Yeah, you're good.

And I think that's what dads need to understand is you're going to be fine.

Jey (33:59.686)

100%. It'll...

For me, and I'll never forget it, I was a mess that first kid. It was a terrible experience for myself. It was just, it was a mess. It was just terrible. Um, it was not a good time for anyone involved. And we were there for a really long time because the delivery was a lot work. My work wasn't cooperating, like trying to give me any like time off or anything. Like they were just being awful. I mean, it's Idaho. Idaho has some very not work friendly laws.

parental laws they still don't they're off they're the worst but just kind of thinking about it like I would go back and I would just tell my I tell myself and I remember my dad telling me this is like just remember it's not about your it's not about you anymore like it's just it's not about you anymore like

do the thing and just do it. It's not about you. I think that's so important. But also realizing you're going to be okay. It's going to be fine. You're going to figure it out. You're going to adapt and overcome. I think that's so important. And like you said, just be engaged. Show up. Show up and be present. And you're going to win 98% of the time.

Sometimes your kids probably won't want you there, but then when they're all said and done they'll be appreciative that you were there even if they don't tell you. But yeah, super important to show up and be engaged. Let's touch on, so a little bit about your relationship with your wife. You guys have been married nearly 30 years. What has that been like for you guys going before kids, having multiple children, raising kids and now both being done?

Jey (35:50.15)

through all those different stages of your relationship. What have you guys done to, I guess, make it last, make it work, transition through all these different phases and what was it like before kids, during kids, and now after kids?

Dave Campbell (36:05.756)

Yeah, so I don't take it lightly. Like, I know that there's a lot of dads listening that struggle in their relationships with their partner. And I don't think of our relationship as something really super special that makes us better in a relationship setting that was together this long. But for us, we had time together before our first born was here. So we were able to build a foundation together, the two of us. So travel.

celebrate, have fun, just be us, and get to know each other. That was fun. I'm glad we had those few years before my oldest was born. But I think the big thing for us, we've both worked the entire time our kids were raised in our home. So we were both out of the house juggling schedules. I think the biggest thing for the two of us, we just knew we had each other's back. We knew that if one was low in energy, the other one would step in. When my youngest son was born, every Saturday I would take him.

in the morning and the two of us would leave and go do like a dad date where we would go to watch like a local sports team hockey or whatever in the morning and then we'd go to like McDonald's and he could go play in the play area. So my wife got to stay home, had some sleep, had some rest and that was her time. So I did whatever I could to create time for her so she could relax, she can unwind and just not be a mom for a while. So that's kind of what I did is I stepped in and then she would do the same for me. There was times when I just, when I was done.

I had nothing left in the tank. She knew it. So she would step in and she would do some of the stuff that I would normally do. So we just kind of know each other as like a team. It's like we're on the same team in sports. We just knew when the other player couldn't step up or do their thing, we would cover for them. We had each other. So that kind of relationship makes everything easier because again, you're showing up for the person that means something special for you in your life. So by doing that, we knew we had each other. So...

I guess that took us all the way through the younger years of our kids as they're growing up. And then into the later years, high school and stuff, was again, just we both parent differently. So we were able to compliment each other. And we never, we never pit ourselves against the other one. So it was never a go ask your mom type thing, go ask your dad. It was, well, let's all talk about this. Right. So our kids couldn't, kids couldn't play against us. No, no, that could happen because we're all on the same team.

Dave Campbell (38:30.496)

And I would just, there was an element of trust that I think you need in any kind of relationship, newly married, together for 30 years, whatever you can do to build solid trust and respect between the two of you is the best way to go through life. So again, congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I'm excited for you guys. That's what I would say to you is just, what can you do to reinforce trust, demonstrate trust, and...

Jey (38:52.098)

Thank you.

Dave Campbell (38:59.596)

How do you just make sure that person knows that when you're not in the room and you're not around that they can still trust you? Whatever you can do to make that stronger, then do a lot more of that.

Jey (39:10.826)

I love that. That's a great way to just build that really sustainable relationship with your significant other, with your partner. I love that. How about with your, we'll just touch on this and then we'll jump into the YDP-3, but what kind of things have you done for yourself as a dad to help create like a really long term sustainable relationship with your kids? So that they want to come back. So they want to come home. So they still want to call you and talk to you and be like, hey, dad, guess what? Like, I'm super excited about this thing. Like,

done or did you do, I guess have done is the same thing. What kind of things have you done to help create that long term sustainable relationship with them?

Dave Campbell (39:50.636)

The hardest thing for me to do was to create space for them to do the things they want to do. I want to be there. I'm the guy who drove you to all those sporting things. I'm the guy that sacrificed and gave and gave up my time to do what I want to do to be there for you. I want to be the one that's there sitting in front of them at the same front of their house, waiting for them to leave to go to work and being like, hey, it's me. I want to be that guy, but I can't. So I got to give them space. And that hurts.

because again, I have a lot of space in my calendar. I have a lot of space in my home with the kids not here. So I want to be in their space as much as I can be. But I know I have to give them that space. And as hard as it is for me, I have to back away and allow them to do stuff. The hardest thing is seeing my kids struggle with maybe finances, credit card debt, or struggling to pay their rent.

And I just want to jump in and do it. But as a dad, they're not going to learn anything from that. If they're not handling their money well, they need to learn those lessons. So I have to give them space. Even though I want to jump in and save the day. Sometimes I can't. And that's the hardest thing to come to come to grips with is that I can't be that person every moment of the day, because they're never going to learn anything as a dad. And now my youngest son.

is a father as a father himself. So now I'm a grandfather. So now I'm in a totally different space because that's not my kid. I have my ideas of how I would love to see that new girl raised, but that's not my call. So my job now is to be a support to be there. You need diapers and you don't you can't get to the store. I'll go get them. Like I can do that. You know, don't worry, I'll pay for it. I'll cover it. So

Jey (41:44.31)


Dave Campbell (41:46.82)

Little things like that I can do to be a supportive grandfather now allows me the opportunity to still give space and still give love. But from a distance that gives them enough space to be their own parents and be their own adults. That's tough to do when your kids are little. Can you imagine just saying, okay, you guys are good. I'm going to just back away now. It's hard to even think of. But one day you're going to need to do that. So create space as you can.

Jey (41:49.586)

Mm-hmm. I love that.

Jey (42:03.583)

I love that.

Jey (42:11.028)

Right. 100%.

Dave Campbell (42:14.748)

Let your kids be their own people and give them the opportunity to make their own decisions. It's going to help you when you get to my stage in life and they're all out of the house. You can't be there. I can't be three places at once with my three different kids. So I have to trust that everything we've learned in our entire life together is going to serve them well as adults.

Jey (42:29.651)

Very true.

Jey (42:36.302)

No, I agree with that. I try to do as much of that as I can by giving them control choices. Giving them a chance to make choices. Like, hey, what do we want? I let my oldest daughter, I let her help pick what we're going to have for dinner throughout the weeks where we're together. So she gets to pick the meals that we're going to have every day because she's the better eater of the two. So it's like, okay, I know that and she also can communicate better. And so she picks out the meals we're going to have.

Also like, every day, at least on weekends, I give them quiet time in their room. I'm like, I don't care what you guys are doing, it's just like, that's my little hour for you guys to rest so I can rest for a little bit and recharge for a minute. But it's like, you guys get to play in your room, watch TV, do whatever you want. Only thing is you have to hang out in your room. If you need something...

call for me, but if you don't, then just hang out, do your thing. You know, I try to let them, as much as I can, I try to let them do things like for themselves. Even my little one, who's three, like I try to let her just, you know, pick out her own pajamas or try to get herself dressed or I let them shower together, the two girls, I let them shower together and bathe together and do those things for themselves. So I'm just, I'm just like, you do it.

My little one, once I say goodnight and I put her in her bed and we pray and she goes and she's tucked in, it's just I'm out and closing the door and now you're left to fall asleep and you know to do it on your own kind of thing. So there's a lot of different ways that you can do that even with young kids. To give them that space to try to let them do their own thing. Of course, don't check in. Don't let them run crazy.

Dave Campbell (44:21.932)

I'm going to go ahead and close the video.

Jey (44:22.326)

But even like when I take the trash out to the dumpster and my oldest one's still awake at something at night, I'm like, okay, I'm gonna run this to the dumpster real quick. Like you're in charge. Like don't let nothing happen. It's gonna be three minutes maybe just to walk there and back, dump it. But like to try to give her that responsibility to be like, okay, I got this. Most of the time she just zones out and just hangs out with the dogs. They're just sitting on her anyway. So, but no, super fun. But no, I love that.

Dave Campbell (44:46.338)


Jey (44:51.298)

try to give them space and let them be their own people. A question just from myself. How did each of your kids approach you when it was time? Or how did you guys have that conversation of them moving out and going and starting their own lives? With a partner or for themselves and going into their own space or own apartments or whatever?

Dave Campbell (44:56.679)


Jey (45:20.574)

Were those conversations like, how did they approach you or how did you approach them or how did you guys have those conversations?

Dave Campbell (45:27.52)

So that whole period of time from the time all three of my kids are under the roof with us here to being out of the house happened in about a four to five week period. And you're like, wait a minute, what? Yeah. So when the pandemic was on, my employer and my wife's employer came to us and said, if you guys want to work here in Canada, you have to make sure that your circle is small. And we need to know where all of your family members are and who they're in contact with every day.

so that you can work here. That was kind of the stipulation for having our job, which we need to pay our bills. So we went to our kids and said, guys, like we for now, because at that point it was early in the whole process. So we thought maybe it's gonna be a few weeks. Can we just all agree that we're all gonna take a break from all of our activities outside of the house and just stay home and so that your mom and dad can work. And they're like, no, no.

Jey (46:01.763)

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Dave Campbell (46:25.416)

I have my new relationship. I have my friends. No, I can't commit to that. And we're like, okay. They're like, so I'm going to move to their house and live with their family. I'm like, wait, what? So yeah, it went really quickly and talk about ripping the bandaid off. And I think we're still stinging a little bit from the whole exit from how this all happened. It wasn't out of anger or anything. It was just...

I don't want to be bound by those rules and I want to be with my significant other and I'm going to I'm an adult now. Again, my kids are all adults, so I can't I can't say no. You know, you're 15. Obviously you're not leaving. But when you're 20, then it's kind of hard to say no to that person if that's what they want to do. And again, going back to my comment, giving them space to make their own decisions and pursue what they want to pursue.

I had to eat my own medicine, take my own medicine there because I said that's important to me and then when they challenged me and said, I want my space to go and do this and I can't live under those rules for that period of time, then I want to go. And we could have said no or made it difficult, but we're true to our word. We said we'd give you space. So they've all gone and done their own things. And you know what's really amazing? All of the lessons that we've taught them from the time they were little have not come to place now.

They're learning how to balance their money. They're learning how to take care of others. They're learning how to take care of paying their rent. They're doing great. So all of those lessons did come true. So give your kids space and you never know what's gonna happen. It's gonna turn out well.

Jey (48:09.19)

I love that. I love that. All right, let's jump into the YDP3 to get us wrapped up here. So the YDP3 is three questions I ask every single guest since like episode like 20 or 30 something. So it's been a really long time I've been asking these questions. Listeners are familiar with it. YDP3, the first question here is where are you rooted? And this can be where you're like physically rooted, like where your roots are, but like also like core values or things that

as a person.

Dave Campbell (48:39.612)

Yeah, so I was raised in the church. My dad, when I was little, was a minister, so I kind of grew up in that environment. So I grew up in a place of serving others. And I know that when people hear the word church, they're like, oh, but for me, church is all around community and helping other people. I can remember people coming to my home when I was a little kid and my parents taking food out of our cupboard to give to people who didn't have food. And that was normal. That was normal for me. I remember

my dad giving away money that we needed to pay our bills because someone else was standing at the front step asking this minister in a small town to help them pay their bills or feed their family. So we were in a, I was raised in an environment where if you had something you gave it away if you could and everyone else matters. So you always were looking outward and not so much inward. So that's something that really rooted me as a child.

is understanding that our role in this world is to not get a big house, put up big fences to protect everything we own and go inward. We need a big, instead of building a big fence, we need to build a bigger table and bring more people into our life that we can serve and we can help. That's really what's really important to me from that, those days of seeing that. And I get to do that now. My parents are gone now. I don't have them in my life anymore. They've long passed on.

But I get to carry that forward through my podcast, through what I do with my family, I get to give back to people and keep that alive and those lessons alive. So that's really my focus. That's how I'm rooted. It's all about others and what we can do to serve other people.

Jey (50:25.07)

I love that. Next question here is what grounds you when you're feeling kind of out of whack, out of sync, escalated at all? What brings you back? What brings you back to center?

Dave Campbell (50:39.26)

Relationships, again, going back to why podcasting means so much to me, is having a conversation with you. Like, how would we have ever met otherwise? So having conversations with other dads, building that community and giving back to that and building a space, holding a space. That's why I call my podcast Dad Space, because I'm just holding space for dads. And I just think that. As much as we are here to give, give and give and give, and that's the new normal as a dad.

There's got to be a moment in time when somebody gives back to you. You can't do life on an empty tank. I can't drive my car on empty. There's going to be a moment in time when it just stops. So as a dad, you need to get filled up somehow. And I find that through relationship. So rooting through relationship really helps me to, to find the motivation to move forward to the next thing. So find whatever that is, that fills you up. For me, it's relationship and building community.

And that's kind of how I keep going.

Jey (51:40.522)

Awesome. Alright, last question here is let's say I don't know you, you don't know me, but I somehow walk into your neighborhood, I see through your window, like that guy looks like he's got it together more or less. I just come up and knock on your door, per chance. I don't know you, you don't know me, I just was inclined to come and knock on your door. I knock, you open, and I don't need money, I don't need food, I don't need nothing. I just am like, look, I don't know you, you don't know me.

But I'm a dad, I'm really struggling right now just with all the things. Tired, I'm stressed, I'm exhausted. I can't keep going on. I'm just dark. You can feel the heaviness and the darkness coming from me. What kind of thing, what you get to tell me one, maybe one and a half pieces of advice or wisdom that you're embarking on me.

Dave Campbell (52:32.224)

Hmm. I love it. Okay. I would say to you in that moment.

Keep searching for people that will bring you value. Keep searching for that thing that lights you up. Don't lose yourself as a dad. Again, we give, we give, we give our time, our money, our attention, we're always giving. And there's nobody coming around for us. I remember when my son was little, my wife would take him to like a baby shower to get presents for him. And I'd be sitting at home by myself. And I'm like, why can't I be a part of that celebration? Why can't I be there?

I know it's a room full of women celebrating and talking about babies, but who celebrates dad? Who celebrates me? I don't I don't see that happening as much. And I think we need to start our own party. We need to celebrate us as dads. So I would celebrate you and just I would try to bring out all the things you're doing well. And I'll be I'll be realized that as much as it might seem dark right now, your kids think you're Superman. So.

You need to show up and just be that person with all of your flaws, with all your failures, all your mistakes. There's no one else that's going to love those kids more than you are. Your dad, that's a piece of you staring at you and they're there. They're looking at you going, you're the biggest best thing in the entire world. So just realize your audience and you'll be fine.

Jey (54:03.106)

Love that. Well, that's the perfect place to end it. Dave, I really, really appreciate your time, your wisdom, everything you shared today, all the amazing golden nuggets that the listeners are gonna take from this today. I'm definitely taking a lot away from this. Again, I'm probably gonna go cry in the shower post this, but...

Dave Campbell (54:21.416)

Ha ha

Jey (54:25.202)

dads or listeners, I'm really sorry that I didn't tell you to get some tissues before we started, but I hope you enjoyed your juice box and your snack. And thanks for talking with us today here on the Young Dad podcast. Dave, where can the listeners find more about you, a little bit more about Dadspace, hear more from you? Go ahead and plug yourself and then we'll head on out of here.

Dave Campbell (54:46.636)

That's awesome, Jay. Thank you again for the opportunity. I love your podcast. I love what you do for what you're doing for dads. I just want to encourage you as a fellow podcaster hearing your voice and hearing the great guests you have on your show. Awesome. So to your community, thank you for allowing me to be here and chat with everybody. I really appreciate it. I'm in Canada. My website is because I'm in Canada. It's a simple place to find all things dad.

And our podcast is we have dads on from all different walks of life. Dads with adopted kids, dads with foster kids. We have dads who are on the spectrum who have children on the spectrum. We have probably the most amazing dad stories that I've ever heard. I like you go cry in the shower when I talk to these dads because they're so inspiring. So if you're a dad out there and you're looking for support and for love and community, tap into Jay's podcast. Follow it.

subscribe to it, leave a review for Jay. Let him know how much it means to you to have this podcast and tell people about Jay's show. Let people know, let another dad know. And if you see the dad sitting at McDonald's or some restaurant and he looks exhausted and his kids are climbing all over him, you be the dad that sits down in the seat beside him and gives him encouragement today. That's your homework. Find a dad, give him encouragement this week.

say something that speaks life into them and as them go who was that person that would sit beside me and tell me something or just tell me that I'm doing a good job. Be that dad this week and put something put some action behind the words you heard today to help somebody else. Put your radar up. You're gonna see so many dads now. Now that you heard us talk about this there'll be dads sitting in booths in restaurants on a park bench at a playground. They're looking wiped out.

You're going to see them. I want you to walk up to them. Jay wants you to walk up to them and just give them life. It could be something simple. You're doing a great job. Your kids are awesome and walk away. That's it. That's all it takes. But that dad needs to hear it in the moment. So Jay, I'm going to do it. You're doing a great job with your girls. Keep going forward. Don't stop. They love you. And they think you're the best dad in the entire world. Okay, so don't stop. You're doing great.

Jey (57:07.614)

100%. Thank you so much for that. I really appreciate that. And I also encourage everyone to go and do the same. Now that you heard it, now you're going to see it. Now it's going to be in your conscious, the conscious part of your mind. So if you see that dad, wherever you're at, that'll just look tired, exhausted. Be that guy that just goes up to him. I had a lady at church that I see every week a few weeks ago, maybe it was more than a month ago, but it's like burned into my brain now. She just...

She just said something along the lines of like, your girls are so lucky to have a dad like you. Just randomly, just so randomly. And it just, it made my, I think I was having just like a really hard weekend. And I think my ex and I got into like a really big fighter argument. So, you know, there's no coincidence there. There's no mistake time and place in person to how that happened. But it was just everything I needed in that moment to really get me through. So, but yeah, no, I...

Dave Campbell (57:38.944)

See you.

Jey (58:02.622)

I love that. Go and find a dad. I'm going to do my absolute best to take that message and do the same and to try to do it every day to breathe some life into another dad because that's what we need. We need more of that and we need less negativity. So I love that challenge. I love that charge there. But Dave, thank you so much for your time. I really, really appreciate it. Thank you to all our listeners and to everyone out there. Like Dave said, like, review, share. Share this podcast with another dad that you love, another mom that you love, a parent that you love.

Dave Campbell (58:15.392)


Jey (58:31.714)

Whatever circumstance or situation they're in, we've had a guest that's probably been in the same circumstance. So go ahead and go talk to them, listen, find the episode, message me directly on Instagram at YoungDadPod. I'm posting every single day on my show, on my page. So posting just different stuff, relatable content. So definitely check it out. Send me a DM. I reply directly to all the DMs. So there's no automation. It's all straight from the dome. So sometimes it's ugly or butchered, but.

That's just what you get here. So appreciate you, Dave. Appreciate our listeners. And we'll see you next week.

Dave Campbell (59:01.536)

Ha ha ha.

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