Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Farfum Ladroma
I am so excited to spotlight a local dad on our weekly ‘Des Moines Parent Spotlight’ series. Although I do not personally know Farfum Ladroma, I have heard amazing things about this super cool dad. Learn more about his Des Moines favorites and his best parent advice below.
Give us a little background on your family and personal life! How many kids do you have? Have you lived in Des Moines all your life?
We are Ladroma’s! My wife, Ashley, and I have three children. Two boys, Oliver (5) and Henry (3), one girl, Marlow (10 months) and two white German Shepherds, Helen and JP. We are proud to have called the Lower Beaver neighborhood home for the last five years and the Des Moines area for about nine years. Prior to being blessed with our children, my wife and I very much enjoyed traveling and exploring the outdoors. We met in France while studying abroad during college and continued dating while I served in the US Peace Corps in the South Pacific nation of Tonga. Little did we know that our hometown was only 22 miles apart in Western Iowa!
I love being a dad. One of my goals is to showcase fatherhood and help build a community for dads that break away from societal gender norms. We are fully capable of taking all the kids to doctors’ appointments, errands to the grocery store, attending soccer games, doing laundry, and still have time to do my hobbies. It is about a new perspective on how to find a balance with modern-day parenting and fatherhood.
We love to travel and explore Central Iowa and beyond as a whole family. My wife introduced me to baby-wearing, and it has been a game-changer on so many levels. We have been lucky to have visited so many places with our kids throughout the US and internationally. It is always more fun with kids right?! Come follow us along through @adventures_with_dadlife on Instagram. Cheers.
What is your business, and what do you do?
I am a community college professional at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). I coordinate academic support services at the Urban Campus which includes tutoring, testing, and disability services. In my free time, I enjoy creating content for social media and hope to launch a new travel blog soon!
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play indoors?
During the winter months, our go-to-place is the Greater Des Moines Botanical Center. The bountiful scenery of plants is an oasis during cold and dreary Iowa days to recharge the entire family. The Botanical Center provides great programming for the whole family from “Garden Buds” hands-on children programming to live music with “Botanical Blues.”
Ultimately, we have the most fun playing at home. We enjoy imaginative and hands-on play with the kids from building forts to baking homemade pizza. The most important part of playing indoors is to engage the entire family together, whatever the activity may be.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play outdoors?
Parks, trails, and splash pads! We are lucky to call Des Moines home with all of its many parks and trails and activities available year-round. Once the kids were old enough to ride the Burley, we enjoy hitting the bike trail to visit MacRae Park. It is my kids’ favorite splash pad because the water runs through some natural waterscapes that the kids love to play in and watch the occasional frog or two! Also, the park has a beautiful view of downtown Des Moines and is often not too crowded. Other local favorites are Thomas Mitchell Park, Jester Park, Raccoon River Park, and Browns Woods. Lastly, the newly opened Des Moines Water Works natural playground is bound to be a new favorite for 2020 once the weather warms up.
Parent’s day/night out. Describe your perfect parent only day/night out in Des Moines.
A perfect day date …
1) Breakfast with the Mrs. at Waveland Café
2) A bike ride to one of the local breweries
3) Catching an afternoon matinee or honestly just taking an uninterrupted nap without kids
4) Pick up the kids with five minutes to spare.
A perfect night out … let’s be real who is not exhausted past 8 p.m. with three young children at home?
1) Early dinner or again hanging out a local brewery would be perfect!
What are some tips on juggling parenthood, working, and personal life?
Working full-time, parenting, graduate school, and all other duties are a lot to manage. Here are some of my tips to make it all work.
1) Don’t forget about your partner. The relationship with your partner is the foundation of your family. Do not forget that if you are going through a rough time, your spouse is probably going through something similar. Keep that open line of communication and make sure you do not forget to nurture your marriage or partnership as your family life evolves. Often, we are so focused on our careers and kids that we do forget about the sacrifices our partners making too. So, make it a priority to spend quality time with your partner without kids as needed.
2) Make time for yourself. Give yourself 20-30 minutes to yourself each day. Do something that you enjoy doing or find a quiet place in your home to recharge. Self-meditation or regular exercise is great for your mental and physical health which will make it easier to keep up with your little ones as they get older.
3) Google Calendar. Create a shared family calendar with everyone’s activities and schedules. It helps keeps things mobile and organized throughout the year. Our rule is if it isn’t on the calendar it probably isn’t going to happen.
4) Live the moment. Take a step back and just enjoy the moment. Living with toddlers and babies is no easy task-it is exhausting! The endless nights and boisterous sibling rivalries will eventually pass, and I know I will miss these moments. Be grateful for your kids, partner, and family. They will grow up before you know it and I guarantee we will miss building the forts and chaos to some degree.
What is your number one parenting tip?
Family comes first! When you are in a crossroads with your professional or personal life, whatever decision you and your partner make must be for the greater good for the whole family.