William “Willow” Drake is a disabled veteran who is now a stay-at-home father to his three year old son Kaige and eight month old daughter Sloane.
“You know I’ve done two tours in Iraq and I would easily say that raising kids is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Drake said. “There’s some days you think you’re losing your mind. Same thing every day…”
Drake sustained injuries while serving his country that still linger and upon returning home was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Being home with them has been the best medicine I’ve ever had,” Drake said. “I just put all of my energy into them and make sure that they’re happy and yeah, it helps out a lot.”
A <a href=”http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/06/05/growing-number-of-dads-home-with-the-kids/” target=”_blank”>Pew Research Center report</a> states that Utah has the lowest number, per capita, of fathers who stay at home to raise their children across the nation. Drake said being a man makes it’s difficult to connect with other stay-at-home parents.
“There’d be times I’ll take him to the park and there’s women there and we’ll get to talking but, as soon as they get together they just completely exclude me,” Drake said. “Like, they really don’t care about the stay-at-home dad, you know. It’s like, ‘I need some adult interaction too.’”
To get that interaction, Drake plays football for the Logan Stampede, is a scout leader for a local troop and coaches little league football at Mountain Crest.
He said he and his wife Jackie, who manages a store in Logan, are happy with the two children they have.
“I used to say that, ‘I used to feel growing up, like I was destined to change the world,'” Drake said. “I think that’s typical. But then after having them I realized I was to raise someone that could change the world.”
Drake said they don’t have any Father’s Day traditions but his son Kaige says he’d like to make his favorite breakfast in bed for his dad…pizza.