How does he do it?: Chad Owens

This Toronto Argonauts receiver is a real family man. Chad Owens filled us in on how he and his wife harmonize work, living in two countries (they divide their time between Canada and Hawaii), three kids and a hectic life.

Photo: Vanessa Heins

Name: Chad Owens
Age: 30
Marital status: Married for eight years to Rena
Kids: (left to right) Sierra-Lynn, 4, Areana, 7, Chad Jr., 9

On career:
What’s your job status?
Receiver/kick returner for the Argonauts.

Are your kids excited to have a dad who’s a professional football player?
They’re all proud of me. Sierra-Lynn knows what team I’m on, and says: “Go, Daddy, go,” or “I saw Daddy on TV.” But I think my son is the proudest.

What do you do for childcare?
My wife is home with them.

On parenting:
What’s your parenting philosophy?
You have to discipline your children and they have to learn at a young age. When our kids are out at restaurants or in public, they are on their best behaviour. If they do something wrong at home,
I make sure I let them know right away that they aren’t supposed to be doing that. For the most part, they’re great kids. It’s about respect.

What’s the most unexpected thing you discovered only after you became a parent?
Your life changes instantly and your free time is their time now. If you’re not ready for that, then you’re not ready to be a parent.

What’s bedtime like at your house?
Sometimes we all cuddle up on one bed and just talk with each other; sometimes we sing a song. What’s your favourite thing to do as a family? When we’re back home in Hawaii, we go to the beach, hang out and barbecue.

What’s the best parenting advice you’ve ever received?
Enjoy your kids while they’re young. That’s something I really take to heart. What do you do to make your kids say: “You are so much fun?” Sometimes when they want ice cream – which is frequently — I take them and it makes them happy. We’ll be able to have a lot more fun when I’m done playing.

On relationships:
What’s your secret to a happy relationship?
Trust — that’s the number one thing. And communication. And it ain’t a real relationship or marriage without love.

On food:
What is your no-fail, go-to meal that everyone in your family will eat?
I’m a breakfast guy, so I’ll make some bacon and eggs, but I barely cook. My wife makes a good meat loaf and the kids wipe that out.

What’s your typical weekend breakfast?
I make some pretty good French toast.

On downtime:
What are your favourite me-time activities?
Playing videos games or golfing.

What vehicle do you drive?
Last year, I got a white 2007 Chevy Equinox. But back in Hawaii, we have a 2012 BMW 535iM-Sport; that’s the baby.

When was the last time you looked around and thought, “This is a good moment?”
Every day when I get home and see my kids and I give them hugs and kisses. I feel like the luckiest man on earth.

A version of this article appeared in our November 2012 issue with the headline “Chad Owens” (p.78).