Hot on HuffPost Parents:
- Zoe Armstrong: Five Ways to Fake a Break and Avoid Parenting Burnout
- How To Help Victims Of The Tornado
Anthony Field: The Blue Wiggle & Dad of 3 Discusses Hardships of Touring
Ever since Field, best known as the blue Wiggle, helped form the band back in 1990, he started touring with his cast mates. And while performing on hundreds of stages eight months out of the year was fun in the beginning, that all changed when Field became a father. Now, in an exclusive interview with ParentDish, the father of three reveals how tough the road can be for a dad.
ParentDish: You and your wife of seven years, Miki, have three children.
Anthony Field: Yes. Lucia is 6 years old, Maria is 4 years old and Antonio is 3 years old.
PD: How do you explain or what do you say to your kids when you are getting ready to go on tour?
AF: I explain things to each of my children based on their age level. With Antonio, I say I am going over to the states to find some toys for you. Lucia has grown up with this so she understands Daddy is going off to work and because of Daddy's job, she can live in a nice house and go to school.
PD: How do they respond?
AF: We make a calendar and the children mark off the days one by one until Daddy comes home. The kids are used to me coming and going. When they see the suitcases by the door they understand it is "that" time.
PD: How do you say goodbye?
AF: It is really hard for me emotionally to leave them. When Antonio just recently told me he was going to miss me, it broke my heart. It is an emotional drain for me one week before I leave because I realize how long I won't see the children and my wife. Then, when I get on the plane, I always have a hollow feeling inside.
PD: What do you do to make yourself feel better?
AF: Once I get on stage I get into a zone and focus on performing so I don't think about what I am missing. That helps a lot.
PD: Do you do something special with your kids before you leave?
AF: We go out to dinner the night before and the day of the airport the children come with me to the airport. Once we are there I buy them a balloon to hold as I board the plane. Then we do a big group hug.
PD: Is there a positive side to all of this traveling?
AF: Yes. It keeps everything fresh and I really cherish them and the time I spend with them while I am home. I never take them for granted.
PD: Despite all of the miles between you, does modern technology help you stay in touch?
AF: Yes, but there is nothing like getting a real hug from your family.
PD: What is the hardest part of being on the road?
AF: I miss the smell of them, plus I have a real bond with my son, so that part is really difficult.
PD: Have you missed a lot of things because you are away for stretches of time?
AF: Yes. I missed the first time Lucia walked. I was on the road when Miki discovered Antonio had a peanut allergy and had to rush him to the hospital. She went through hell and I was across the globe feeling helpless because I couldn't do anything to help her or my boy.
PD: How does being away for long stretches of time impact your relationship with your children?
AF: Time will tell, but the kids can watch "The Wiggles" and see me on TV, so I think that makes them feel close to me. When I am home I try to spoil them to make up for lost time. But who knows, maybe they will need therapy as they age to deal with my being away for so long (laughs).
PD: Have you missed many birthday parties because of your job?
AF: Yes, but when I get home we do another one so I can be there to celebrate. Unfortunately, I also have missed school concerts. But when I am home, I work from home so I can be with them all of the time.
PD: After you finish touring do you take a family vacation?
AF: After my last tour, I had Miki and the children meet me in Disneyland. The trip unfortunately went south, because we all contracted the swine flu. But on the flip side, we did a lot of family bonding. (Laughs)
PD: What is your definition of family time?
AF: Even if I am not home in Australia, I am with them always in my mind, despite the miles.
PD: What happens when you get home -- do your kids throw you a welcome home party?
AF: Yes. They decorate the house with balloons and lots of sticky tape. But the best part is when they come tearing down the hall when I walk in to hug me. There is nothing like it.
PD: Murray Cook (the red Wiggle) and Sam Moran (the yellow Wiggle) are both dads. Do you guys rely on each other as a support group when you are away from your families?
AF: We are all at different stages with our children, so not really.
PD: What is the best thing about being a dad?
AF: They are my little angels. They give me so much joy and bring me so much love. I love their innocence and I love guiding them. They bring me out of my adult world.
PD: And the best thing about being a Wiggle?
AF: When we do a show, seeing the children's laughter and smiles. What makes me most proud is when my children come to a show and I see how much fun they have. Then I know I am doing some good for the world and for them.
Related: Exclusive: Yellow Wiggle Sam Moran Dishes on the Group's Newest Member
Ask Us Anything About Parenting
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.