For a long time, I was the only stay-at-home dad among the moms at any daytime preschool event – I thought that’s how it’d always be. But, it all changed when my third child entered preschool. After the first few events, I noticed that I kept seeing another dad there who was a) not dressed in a suit and tie; and b) at morning events when most dads I know are on conference calls or work trips. Turns out he was also a stay-at-home dad. FINALLY, I had a peer at my kids’ school to hang out with at birthday parties and events that understood the challenges of raising small kids, enjoyed talking college football, lived through carpool and watched endless hours of youth sports. You know, someone who spoke my language.One of the traits that I admire most is his quiet, low-key, get-things-done-in-the-background persona. He doesn’t like to take a lot of credit for the all the work he does, but he should. Although he’s returned to working (outside the home, that is), he’s taken on the role of Y-Guides chief (which is a huge one to me) and has organized great outings for dads and their children. He is also a PTO volunteer, youth baseball and basketball coach, and an all around great parent. Any of you who has filled one of those shoes knows how time consuming and challenging it can be; David fills them all really well.
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to David Proicou.
Smarty Dad: David Proicou
Married to: Leah (Married 11 years)
Children: Lauren – 9 and Trevor – 6
Years in Charlotte: 20
Hometown: Columbus, OH
‘Hood: Plaza Midwood
Alma Mater: The Ohio State University
What was your career pre-kids? Banking. I got a job one week after moving here in 1994 and remained with the same company for 14 years.
You spent some time as a stay-at-home dad, how did that come about? The Financial Meltdown hit and I was displaced in June 2008. Shortly thereafter, my wife went back to work and I suddenly found myself home with a three-year-old and a 6 month-old.
Did you instantly know that staying home was the right decision for you and your family, or did it take some getting used to? Definitely took some time to adjust, but at the end of the day it was best for the family.
What surprised/challenged you most about your time as a stay-at-home dad? I have two older brothers, so playing dolls and having tea parties with my daughter was not my strong suit. However, once I settled into a routine, the time spent at home was rewarding and enjoyable.
When your kids were preschool age, what was your favorite way to pass the time when they were home? Arts and crafts, sports, parks… I spent a lot of time playing card games such as Go Fish, Skip-Bo and Rat-a-Tat-Cat. I also took advantage of the various children’s events at the Plaza Midwood Library.
You have been involved with Y-Guides as our tribe’s chief with both of your children. What are the benefits of the program? The program really promotes father and child quality time. It gives me a chance to spend one on one time with each child. It has also been a great way to meet other dads and take part in events that give back to the community, such as dropping off school supplies and stocking a local food bank.
You’ve spent a lot of time coaching baseball and basketball the last few years. What’s the best part of being a coach? Hopefully, they learn something about the game, teamwork and sportsmanship. However, the best part for me is seeing how excited the kids are after getting a hit or scoring a basket.
Now that your youngest is in elementary school, you have returned to work. What are you up to these days? I am a real estate Broker for MTH Real Estate and work with buyers and sellers throughout Charlotte. I show houses in the morning, go to carpool and do homework in the afternoon and then back to the office after Leah comes home. Soon baseball will start, so I will be at the ball fields four nights a week.
What inspired you to become a realtor? My father owned investment properties back in Ohio and he always talked positively about real estate. After I moved here, he encouraged me to get my real estate license since Charlotte is such a growing city.
We’re coming up on the busy springtime real estate season, any advice for people looking to buy or sell a house this spring? First, call me! Second, for sellers spend a little money now on fresh paint, updated light fixtures, etc., so you can get top dollar for your home. Buyers are interested in move in ready homes. Also, staging works so if your home is vacant, use one. For buyers, inventory is low, so if you see something you like, you need to decide quickly and be prepared to submit a strong offer.
Favorite spring activity with the family? Riding bikes along the Greenway.
Best date night restaurant in Charlotte? There are so many great choices in Plaza Midwood. However, Leah and I love the laid back atmosphere and great food at Midwood Smokehouse.
Fave sports team? Ohio State Buckeyes – 2014 National Champs!
Best road trip you’ve taken with the kids? I take the kids to Ohio each year to visit their grandparents. We go for the 4th of July and ride our bikes in the parade and again in the fall to attend an Ohio State football game.
Last book you read? Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery.
What one piece of advice will you give your kids when they graduate from college? Honesty, hard work and faith go a long way in this country, so believe in yourself, your abilities and everything will be just fine.