Interview with Steven Wilborne, Dad and Co-owner of Catalilies Play Cafe

We’ve been parents for a minute now, and we’ve had a few subscribers who have been with us since nearly the very beginning. We sat down with Steven Wilborne, one of our longest subscribers, recently to discuss what he’s learned in the almost 7 years since his first child was born, how to prepare for baby #2, his favorite products from The Rad Dad Box over the years, and more!

Steven and his wife, Lillian, are the co-owners of the recently opened Catalillies Play Cafe in Williamsburg, Virginia. It’s an indoor playground/cafe where children can play and parents can relax and have a sip of coffee or their beverage of choice! If you’re in the area, please check them out!

Photo of Steven with his two daughters, image courtesy of Steven and Lillian Wilborne

The Rad Dad Box: There are quite a few subscription boxes and products geared towards pregnant moms. Dads, what did you need when your partner was pregnant? (if anything?) What do you wish you had that you didn’t have? Moms, what do you think Dad needed during your pregnancy, if anything?

Steven Wilborne: A Dad go bag was needed (with earbuds, advil, trail mix, post it and pen, and an extra charger).

We could have used more pre-baby books and stuff like funny parent books, to-do lists for the fridge with funny illustrations or quotes, a countdown calendar to baby’s arrival to mark the baby’s size, doctor’s appointments, and tasks such as car seat installation.

Photo by Dids from Pexels

TRDB: Many dads-to-be with whom we’ve spoken have told us that they have no idea what to expect once the child is born. As a dad with several years of parenting under your belt, what would you tell these dads? Any words of wisdom?

SW: There is no guidebook to actual parenting, so expect the unexpected. Be whatever your kid needs you to be, even if that’s a princess.

TRDB: What advice do you have for dads and families expecting their second child?

SW:  It’s easier now with the second kid because we’ve already stumbled through and succeeded with our first. Make sure to take time specifically for each kid doing what they prefer instead of group activities all the time. That can be easier when you’re exhausted- which you will be! 

TRDB: Many new parents are concerned with saving money in preparation for baby’s arrival. Do you have any money-saving tips for dad and mom?

SW: Cut Cable – you don’t have time to watch anything live anyway! Any subscription you don’t use and enjoy, now is the time to cancel it. Start meal planning – make a list and then grocery order for pickup to avoid impulse buying when you’re hangry shopping. Enroll in all the gift registries for the free gifts and the completion discounts!

TRDB: What are some of your favorite products and your child’s favorite products from The Rad Dad Box over the years?

SW: My favorite items over the years have been the muscle rub, bath soak, sinus stick, hand cream, and wood and natural fiber toys. The “I love you daddy” animal book is a favorite right now, but all the books have lived their lives to the fullest! The chocolate pretzels were amazing! 

Image courtesy of Steven and Lillian Wilborne

TRDB: How has parenting changed for you as your child has grown? Is it easier or harder than the newborn and baby (pre-1 year old) days? Easier in some ways, harder in others?

SW:  It is easier in some ways and harder in others now that the kids are older. Easier because there is less worry since they are less fragile but harder because there is so much to teach them that you may not know and you have to figure it all out together- they have sooo many questions and the world is always changing but the goal of raising good humans is always the same!

TRDB: Although both of your children were born pre-Covid, what was your experience like parenting during Covid? What advice would you have for dads and moms who are expecting a child now?

SW: We had our 3 year old the fall before Covid hit – I would recommend using your best judgement and doing whatever you feel comfortable and secure with. Get outdoors as much as possible for development, immune building, and socialization and work with your pediatrician to be as knowledgeable and safe as possible.

Steven and Lillian’s awesome play cafe in Williamsburg, VA: Catalillies Play Cafe

For more of our past interviews with dads and moms, please see:

Covid and childbirth: one family’s experience

Interview with Corey Cole, dad and founder of The Rugged Company

Interview with Ty Collum, dad, coffee brewer, and soapmaker

The Deployed Dad-to-Be

The Wilborne family spending some quality time together! Photo courtesy of Steven and Lillian Wilborne

How to make her first Mother’s Day special

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Although we look out for dads here at The Rad Dad Box, we want you to know that we haven’t forgotten about Mom! (After all, this company was founded by a mom!) Part of being a Rad Dad is also being a Rad Husband, and with Mother’s Day coming up, we have a few suggestions on how you can make your partner’s day special, especially if it’s her first or second Mother’s Day (or her Mom-to-be Day!).

  1. Surprise her by dressing Baby in a “Happy Mother’s Day” onesie. There’s a reason why Mom- and Dad-themed onesies are so popular – we all like to feel appreciated! A mom-themed onesie will be very touching, and shows that you’ve thought ahead and planned for this! There are plenty of Mother’s Day onesies for sale on Amazon and with two-day shipping, you can still get them in time for Mother’s Day!
  2. Make her a special Mother’s Day card, and get Baby to contribute. We actually included an activity to make a Mother’s Day card in our May box, but due to issues with other products in the May box (sigh), we won’t be able to ship these in time for Mother’s Day. However, handmade cards and gifts have a special meaning that just can’t be bought with store-bought cards. So sit down with some cardstock and your medium of choice and get working on one! Baby can contribute in different ways, depending on her age – via fingerprints, handprints, or coloring! If she’s still expecting, make her a special Mom-to-be card – it will be appreciated, trust us!
  3. Give her a Mom-themed children’s book. We always encourage Dads to read to their babies as a way to bond with them, and the same goes for Moms! A mom-themed children’s book will help instill the love of reading and Mom in your baby and make Mom feel appreciated at the same time! A few great Mom-themed books we recommend are Mommies are Amazing by Meredith Costain, Stephan Lomp’s Mamasaurus, and Taro Gomi’s Mommy Mommy!
  4. Give her a gift that isn’t related to motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood, fatherhood, parenthood – it’s amazing and it changes you in ways you never would have imagined. But sometimes, it’s nice to be reminded of who you are outside of your role as a parent. So, give her a gift of something she enjoyed pre-parenthood – whether it’s a mystery novel, a CD from one of her favorite bands, or a set of spice rubs.

We also spoke to a few moms and asked them what their partners did to make their first mother’s (or mom-to-be) day special. The silence, to be honest, was shocking. Most women could not even remember and one even told us, “I can’t remember and if I can’t remember, it probably wasn’t anything special.” Dads, don’t be that person! We hope this list has given you some ideas, but perhaps you will draw some inspiration from the few (two) moms we spoke to whose husbands did something memorable for them on Mother’s Day:

“For my mom-to-be day, my husband bought me a card of a painting with flowers, and then he found those flowers and planted them in the garden in our backyard the night before Mother’s Day.” – M., mother of 1

“For my first mother-to-be day, my husband got me a stuffed animal baby toy that plays a lullaby. Every child has played with it since. We’ll probably keep it forever.” – S., mother of 4

Dads, now that we’ve given you all of our ideas, and then some, you have no excuse! Be that Rad Dad and give Awesome Mom an unforgettable Mother’s Day!