Chip Kelly – London, England

Chip Kelly is our Lead Dad of the Week – and no he’s not that Chip Kelly, the football coach (though this Chip Kelly has a story about confused identity, angry Philadelphia Eagles fans and Twitter.) ⁠

A Maine native, Chip has lived with his wife Natalie and their three children in Charlotte, N.C.; Orinda, Calif., and now London, where her job with Visa took them this summer. Chip has been a Lead Dad since day one – when they realized shortly after their first daughter was born that there was a nine-month waiting list for daycare in Charlotte! Back then he was working in tech sales for a company producing English language content in Italy, so the time difference made it possible for him to take over the Lead Dad role, work in a different time zone and be there as a husband.⁠

When their twins were born, the dynamic shifted, and Chip said he moved happily into more of a Lead Dad caregiving role. It was a bit tough at the start – at least from the outside.“It wasn’t that hard of a decision,” he said. “The playground was always the weird dynamic. I remember once my twins and I were in a park, on a tire swing, and this mom came over and said, ‘Who are you?’ There was a lot of getting used to not being part of the social thing.”⁠

When they moved to the Bay Area, his kids were 5 and 2, and he fell in with a good group of parents. “I had plenty of social friends from our kids’ swim team or playing golf,” he said. “I don’t feel like I was ever judged.” Now in London, for his wife’s job at Visa Europe, she said the change has been challenging particularly for his kids and their sports. “It’s been pretty difficult so far,” Chip said. “The school our kids go to is not very close to where we live. Their classmates aren’t near us. So we don’t have a real tie to the community or the school yet.” Chip remains an optimist. “It just takes time to adjust,” he said. That’s a pretty good motto for a Lead Dad.