Ten Things I’ve Learned Being a Dad

June 14, 2018


Enjoy the moments, cherish the memories and love a lot – all dads have a few things in common, but we’ve asked two different dads in different seasons of life to write ten(ish) things they’ve learned so far. Allen is only just starting his journey as a dad; he has a three-year-old son and a six-month-old daughter. Jim has been living the dad life for a little bit longer with his twenty-one-year-old daughter. Being a dad, whether new or old, is something to celebrate. 



Jim Pollard


  1. Being a father is the hardest but most rewarding role you will ever have.

  2.  Children don’t come with user manuals. You learn as you go.

  3.  You WILL make mistakes. Learn from them.

  4.  Respect the differences in personality, likes and dislikes and the worldview that evolves between you and your child/children.

  5.  Say, “I love you” often and “I’m sorry” when you need to.

  6.  Savor the moments. Cherish and hold onto memories – such as the memory of when a little green tree frog I was showing to my daughter jumped from my grasp and attached itself to her face.

  7.  Talk with your child; don’t lecture or preach.

  8.  The teen years are tough for both child and parent. Keep the long view. Remember, you both will eventually grow out of it.

  9.  Mutual trust means everything.

  10.  Learn to let go. Don’t hover.

  11.  Encourage, encourage, encourage.

 Jim Pollard is the father of Sarah Kate (21), one of PORTICO’s summer interns.

Allen Butler


  1. I never thought I could be as nervous as I was before having our first baby boy…and then came our baby girl.

  2. Oddly enough, “dad jokes” just start popping into your head involuntarily, and before you know it, you start saying them out loud.

  3. The most stressful thing you may ever have to do is cut your child’s fingernails. 

  4. The word “potty” only slips out once when excusing yourself to use the restroom in a professional setting. Never again.

  5. Absolutely anything can be made into a song.

  6. Nothing can prepare you for pre-solid food diaper changes. Having said that, I also know way more about poop than I would like to.

  7. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

  8. The only person as excited as your child when they successfully accomplish even the smallest task is you. 

  9. My wife is a super hero.

  10. Though you can’t wait for the many sleepless nights to fade, it’s not long before they are walking and talking, and then all you want is for time to slow down.



Allen is the father to Rowan (3) and Raegan (6 months) and is the husband of PORTICO’s art director, Tarah.

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