Dr. Brad Barham joined Pediatric Associates in August 2015 and is married to Stephanie (Eiland). They have two children together, Norah 3 years old and Elliot 2 months. You can find them most Sundays worshiping at the gathering. Brad will be leading worship some Sundays for the gathering as we search for a new worship leader for the gathering.
How do you feel about being a father? It’s hard. And rewarding and enjoyable and frustrating and miserable. At different times. It’s taught me how selfish I am. It’s the most time-consuming thing I’ve ever done. You don’t get a break. It’s not a 9-5. You’re always a dad. It’s a constant battle of time for me. Do I spend this time on me or other things or on nurturing my children and their growth? I care about their happiness, but my goal isn’t for my kids to be happy. My goal is for my kids to one day love the Lord and to affect change in the world somehow. My job is to foster an environment where they can really get to know what loving the Lord means for them.
What did your parents do to help you become a parent? Support would be the word that comes to mind. I don’t have helicopter parents. Their position always was, “we want you to do what you want to do.” And I see the value in that, but a lot of times I wanted them to tell me what to do. Like getting into medicine, they never said, “you should do this.” They said, “you should do what you enjoy.” They’ve always been there for me and would do anything for us (my family).
How has being a parent affected your marriage? You’re a little more on edge. There’s always something to take care of. It gets harder and harder to devote that time to one another. We’ve (also) learned a lot about each other. It’s garnered in me a lot more respect for Stephanie, as a mother. She’s not an uber-domestic gal, but she jumped into the role of motherhood. I remember being delighted. She’s a fierce mom who loves her kids. Where I’m impatient, she’s always patient with Elliot. Where she can be impatient with Norah, I’m pretty patient with a toddler. We complement each other well. I think that it’s given me a new perspective on Steph. I didn’t have doubts she would do well; I just wasn’t sure what it would look like because she’s such a laid-back, kind of free spirit personality.
How does your work affect the way you parent? A lot. As a pediatrician, I’ve spent the last five years learning about kids and why they do what they do. I think it’s helped me a lot as a parent. I think I became a better pediatrician once I had kids, but I also think it has helped my parenting skills to understand the developmental aspects of children. There’s always that element of “what am I missing” (when I am spending a lot of time at work)? I think the thought of being away affects me more than my kids feel it yet, but time will tell. I work on a team of doctors who are great and work together to cover and help each other be available for their families.
If you have feedback or want to suggest someone for an interview, please email Nathan@pioneerdrive.org