Meet Brad Coull, our "Father of the Year"
Our Father of the Year, Brad Coull, tells us why it's important to put family first
Brad Coull is appropriately named, he is one of the “coullest” people we know. He has worked in the pharmaceutical arena for many years, first as a sales representative who called on clinics and now as a senior manager for corporate accounts. While his job does involve lots of parties, events, and meetings, it also means traveling about 60% of the time. Brad tells us how he makes it all work and how he makes sure to put his family first.
Tell us about your family
We are fortunate to live in the beautiful state of Maine. However, the inside joke at my house is that I live at Delta Airlines. I share my home with my wife Erika of 19 years, daughter Ella (15), son Liam (12), and our petite kitty, Saison (2). Erika is by far the hardest working member of our family, and since I’m frequently away on business travel, functions as a single mom to keep our busy kids happy and on time with their incredibly full schedules. In the springtime, we enjoy the kids’ softball and baseball games, while for good measure Liam is golfing and Ella is experiencing her first real job at a local café.
Best part of being a dad
The love and appreciation I experience from my family.
Best gift ever for Father’s Day
I have always felt appreciated on Father’s Day, which is the best gift! My favorite memento is a photo book my family made for me about 5 or 6 years ago. Erika was clever and included pictures of handwritten notes the kids had written to me over the years, for birthdays and other events. The book sits on top of my bureau so I see it regularly. Looking back at their handwriting and little faces reminds us how short our time with them truly is.
What’s one thing you didn’t know before becoming a dad?
I did not fully appreciate how closely my kids would study my behavior. Once, I found my son was very upset because he felt he wasn’t good enough at sports. This was heartbreaking because I have always been careful to be positive and affirming and of course I am so proud of them. In talking it over, I discovered that Liam was comparing himself to my own high drive to succeed. The mistake I made by not seeing how my standards could intimidate the kids was a shock. It taught me to be very conscientious of the message I transmit to the kids, especially the unspoken ones.
Describe the best day ever
My best time with the kids usually involves outdoor activities, away from electronics and in nature. We are blessed to live in a place where we can visit the lakes and ocean, and in the winter spend a day skiing in the mountains. It is amazing how we open to more meaningful interactions when we are without our devices! I am a lifelong beach bum, and any day spent on the beach with my kids is a sure favorite.
Advice for new dads
Trying to balance fatherhood and work can be difficult, but my advice is to enjoy every single minute of it. You will not believe how fast time passes. Never compromise on putting your family first.