Jon DeTrinis

Jon DeTrinis fully embodies what it means to be a “Dad About Town.” When he’s not teeing up for the golf course with Bluey or the Paw Patrol gang, he’s hitting the town with his wife and children, attending any local event (food-based or concerts– they’re not picky!) they can find, or he’s finding a way to help serve and defend the Nola community. As a born-and-raise New Orleanian, it’s no surprise that he cares deeply for those around him as he candidly reminds parents that with kids, you still can have it all. 

What is the greatest thing about being a dad?

JON: Being able to live through your children’s experiences, live life through their eyes, and take joy in watching their reactions to life’s experiences. Enjoy your experience with it, and have your own experience watching them experience life. 

How would you describe yourself as a dad?

JON: Playful and energetic. 

How has becoming a parent changed you?

JON: I’m definitely more mature. I’m not as selfish. I would say more understanding of what life throws at you. Not having kids in your 20s and being young compared to being in your 30s and having children is a completely different livelihood. You’re asleep at 9 o’clock most nights due to exhaustion and schedules (when I was trained on NOLA late nights). I haven’t finished a full movie in years. Our television entertainment has completely changed as well to mostly Bluey and Paw Patrol. 

How do you tackle challenges you may face as a family?

JON: We kind of lean on each other. We both have opposite personalities in a way. We’re able to use that to our advantage. My wife is very ahead of the game, and if we’re going on a trip, she’ll be packed two weeks ahead, and I’m very lax with it. This stresses her out how last minute I can be with preparation, but I also can calm her down with my relaxed attitude over things. When a challenge presents itself, we get it done together. We try to succeed and get the job done together so we can live to fight another day.

What is your favorite thing to do as a family?

JON: New Orleans events and experiences like that.  For example, the girls were sick last week, so I took William to JazzFest, coached his first tee-ball game, and then went to Zurich all in one weekend. As a family, if they weren’t sick, they would have been going to JazzFest with us and going to Zurich with us. But we like to do New Orleans events, like go see music or anything to get out of the house and include the children. We were like that before children also. We were always doing stuff, whether it was a concert, festival, trip, whatever!  After Jazz Fest, we are already looking towards our weekends of things to do for the summer like beach trips; vacations; or kid-friendly events. We kind of go with the flow and try to figure out what we can do every weekend with them. And with children, you can always figure it out on how to make it work. I mean, obviously its more difficult going out on the town with two kids added to the party, but it’s also worth it and fun in different ways.

What personality traits of yours do you see in your children?

JON: They’re persistent and strong-willed. Both of them are different, but they’re very goal-oriented. The youngest is still blossoming, but William’s kind of come into his own, and he’s becoming more sociable with his friends and classmates. Whether it’s going to baseball practice at school, or swimming lessons, or even building a monster truck tower, he is always looking forward to taking on a challenge.  

What are some things you hope to teach your children?

JON: To be well-rounded; self-sufficient; to follow through with whatever their passion is; to not accept “no”; and to find their happiness. If they want something, go get it. If they figure out what makes them happy, pursue it.  Most importantly, I hope that they have a natural desire to care for others. That is something that was ingrained in me from high school and that I have carried onto my adult life, whether it’s through my work as a mentor at Son of Saint or through raising money with friends at Hogs for the Cause. As long as my children are well-rounded and live a life that makes them happy, then I will be a satisfied and proud father.  

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

JON: We hang on my wife a lot, and she leans on me for things. We both work full-time, and she has a tough job as a Nurse Practitioner at Children’s. So there are times when she might need to unload things on me and take breaks and the same thing– I might need to work late, and she carries a lot of the parenting workload when I’m not there.. So, both of us are very understanding that we both have double lives of work/parents. I think we work great as a team and that we have done well figuring out how to make it work for both of us. To maintain the work/life balance, having the right partner is priceless.  We are also very lucky to have family that lives close and helps us when we need it.

What’s your favorite date night with your wife?

JON: I like going to see live music, obviously, and going out and doing stuff in New Orleans, such as enjoying some great food and drinks. We lived a much more exciting and crazy lifestyle before kids with no curfew on our date nights. Now that we have kids, our nights are way more tame than they used to be, with us probably home before midnight.  There’s always something to do, especially during festival season. So, if we do have the opportunity to get a babysitter or get one of our grandparents to watch the kids, we’ll just jump right into whatever the weekend is offering.

Do you have any advice for other parents?

JON: Don’t be afraid to take your kids out and experience things. You’ll be able to also experience your own life, but work your life around their schedules. For example, our youngest has nap time, so on weekends we know that there has to be a nap at a certain point in the day, and we schedule our life around that so that we can still do the things we want to do.  Since we are about to tackle another Jazz Fest weekend, we will probably force her to nap early so that we can spend the day at the Fairgrounds without causing a meltdown that ruins our fun.  Before kids, we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Now that we have kids, we can still do whatever we want, we just have to figure out how and when we can do it. Just because we have kids, it does not mean we have to stop living or that they cannot also join in on the fun. We have just figured out how to organize our interests and lives around our kids’ schedules. Sometimes, parenting can be hard/tiring and you might pass up on doing something because it might seem too difficult to bring the kids along and enjoy yourselves. Although it might be more tiring or difficult to bring them along with you to an event on the weekend, it might be easier to just get a babysitter or not go at all. We find it is much more rewarding to have the experience with them and create memories as a family.  As a parent, you start to figure out what is important. Is it important for things to be easy in life and avoid tiring situations? Or is it important to create lasting memories and experiences in life with your kids? We know what we want as parents. We want to continue to live our lives and experience everything life has to offer to us as parents. We choose to take on adventures and life has become even more exciting and fulfilling as it ever was, just from a different perspective now. 

Quick Q’s

  1. Before you go out, I always make sure I have……. Phone, wallet, and keys. And if kids are coming–  monster truck and baby doll. 
  2. My guilty pleasure is….. UberEats
  3. I’m always laughing at…… The kids 
  4. My favorite snack is……. Chick-Fil-A
  5. The first thing I do when I wake up is……. Watch Bluey with my daughter

This article was originally published in June 2024.

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