So much of a Dad’s work can go unsung. Father’s Day is one of the precious few chances we get to celebrate him. Craig shares his special story this Father's Day as part of The Dad Files editorial series.
The greatest gift to your kids is your time
“It’s amazing to fall in love with someone so fast. I still remember: it was early morning, it had been a lengthy labour and we were so tired but it just didn’t matter, she was there. Becoming a father, you become less selfish. Every moment was about Olivia,” says Craig McGregor, basketball coach, key executive of Maitland Football Club, vice president of Maitland Business Chamber and owner of Hunter Recruitment Group.
“The hardest thing is the lack of sleep when they’re little. I’m amazed at my wife and how she transitioned into being a mum 13 years ago. We had three girls in quick succession, all under five!”
When they started their recruitment business, Craig and Amy made a conscious choice to service the market differently so they could dedicate time to Olivia (13), Abbey (11) and Pheobe (9) and not be tied to a desk 24/7. “The office was set up close to the primary school so if the younger girls were getting an award, it was an easy walk to an assembly before heading back to work.”
Getting the fundamentals right
Craig wants to be a role model, he says, “particularly having three daughters, which is fun and challenging. I want to be active in their life, be there for them, set an example, show them what’s important and how to get the fundamentals right.”
He coaches their basketball team(s), attends every sporting event or extra curricula activity and has them come to the office after school a couple of days a week.
Amy’s father was dedicated to community service and Craig talks about how his own father, who was Craig’s soccer coach as a kid, put others first.
“Dad’s been a great adviser. Whenever I’ve made decisions in life I’ve got his advice.” When Craig’s mother suffered an unexpected heart attack recently, his dad stepped up to become her carer.
“The way he’s handled that, I’m in awe of what he’s done. His patience is something I’m envious of”.
They have a family motto he hopes he’s replicating and is trying to instill in his girls: “What’s important in life is making other people happy”.
Craig loves sport and one of his favourite memories is about when his two daughters were playing in the same basketball team. When daughter Abbey (who tends to get more time on court) was due to go on for her sister, she chose to sacrifice her time so her little sister Pheobe could have more time in the game. “That was so thoughtful, and to me that is more important than winning,” he says proudly.
Father’s Day will be spent celebrating with Craig’s and Amy’s dads, but it will start with breakfast at home.
“Breakfast is important. They jump up and make breakfast for Dad, and there’ll probably be awesome presents from the $2 stall at school.”