Robert Kitei, MD

Dr. Kitei is a dad of 18- and 16-year-old daughters, a physician who specializes in pediatric ophthalmology and adult double vision in private practice at Bethlehem Eye Associates, and the cofounder of Supercleat, in Bethlehem, PA

What was the most challenging part of your wife’s pregnancy? y wife had two really easy pregnancies. Before my wife got pregnant, we made a pact to be as healthy as possible. We started to eat even more healthfully than we already did. We ate a macrobiotic diet and hormone-free meats and organic dairy foods. We avoided diet sodas and foods containing artificial sweeteners. We wanted everything that went into making our babies to be as pure as possible. We continue a lot of that healthy eating today.

Also, my wife is in great physical shape, and she exercised pretty much up until the day before each of our daughters was born.  I think that my wife’s fitness helped to ease her pregnancy symptoms.

What has been the most challenging part of fatherhood? The hardest thing for me has been to give individual attention to both of my daughters. I want them both to feel that they get 100 percent of my attention. My wife and I often use a divide-and-conquer strategy, where my wife will take one daughter to do something special, and I will take the other daughter. Then another time, we switch. This way, each of our daughters feels completely attended to.

When I’m alone with my daughters, I find distraction helps! If one daughter asks for something, I attend to her. Then if the other daughter needs something at the same time, I come up with a distraction to keep her busy until I can come back and meet her need! Unfortunately, you can’t always meet everyone’s needs all of the time.

What one part of fatherhood shouldn’t be missed? I made sure that each year I was there to put my daughters on the school bus the first day of school. This was certainly important in kindergarten, but I also wanted to be there other years.

What’s your favorite fatherhood tip? The best advice is to say, “Honey, whatever you need.” Especially when a woman is pregnant, you have to be understanding of the hormone changes going on. As my brother-in-law once told me, “Pregnancy is a lot like a person changing into a zebra.” Do what you can to go with the flow.

Dr. Kitei’s Q&As

How did you protect you children’s eye health?

How did you manage your kids sporting activities?