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Dad of the Week: Marc Sala

Marc Sala works as a physician and lives in Chicago, IL where he is raising his daughter and son! Every Dad of the Week answers the following questions, read on to learn more about Marc and his family!

  • What was your first reaction when you found out that you were going to be a father?
    • I didn’t think I would be ready or good enough. To me, being a father was the ultimate responsibility, so I always put off the idea in fact. I figured, if you were going to do it, you would need to do it well and be completely invested. So I put a lot of pressure on myself. I still do, but I’ve come to realize the obvious that no parent is perfect and you kind of learn as you go. 
  • When you knew you were going to be a father, who or where did you turn to for advice?
    • My dad and my mom. I liked their approach to parenting, and let’s be honest, when you think of how you should handle a new scenario with your kids, your first reflex is generally, “what would my parents have done with me.” That’s for better or worse.
  • How would your kids describe you as a dad?
    • I think they see me as laid back and fun. I try not to bring work home with me, but sometimes I have to decompress before I interact with them so that they don’t see the stress or sadness.
  • What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
    • I have a short fuse, and so being mindful that raising my voice isn’t always the solution — in fact, usually it’s counterproductive to what I’m trying to accomplish, which is usually something time-dependent like getting shoes on, for example.
  • Looking back on your life as a father, what would you change if you could?
    • Time. Always time. It’s all they want from you: undivided attention. The rest seems to fall into place if you just pay attention.
  • What do you do for fun with your children?
    • Taking slow walks and just listening to them talk about whatever the hell they want to say. It’s fun for me at least. 
  • What advice would you give to other dads?
    • Let them mature at their own pace. So much weight is put on milestones, and to a certain extent, that’s obviously important for monitoring healthy development and intervening early. But I always focused so much on making sure my kids were on target with milestones that when they started growing up, all I could think was how much I should have just let them take their time, enjoy learning at their own pace, and have just spent meaningful time with them.
  • How have you come to balance fatherhood and outside life?
    • I do not. Practicing medicine in the time of COVID is ridiculous and unbalanced, especially as an ICU doctor. But when I come home, I try to be there with my effort and focus.
  • What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a father?
    • Ultrasounds/Deliveries, birthdays, and the ridiculously funny things they say when they’re not even trying to be funny.

If you’d like to be spotlighted in the weeks ahead, please fill out this form.

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