Orlando City SC's Dom Dwyer on Juggling Parenting and Pro Soccer During the Coronavirus Pandemic
"We've just mostly been getting on with our lives as regularly as we can," the Orlando City Soccer Club forward tells PEOPLE
Dom Dwyer is no stranger to spending holidays on the road — but this year, the father of two is looking forward to spending time with his kids in person.
The Orlando City forward, 29, tells PEOPLE that while his family didn't make specific plans for Father's Day this year, it likely won't be spent on FaceTime, as many holidays are in the life of a pro soccer player.
"Depends if we're training, honestly," Dwyer says of his Father's Day plans. "That's the life of a professional athlete. You get used to saying goodbye to holidays. So hopefully I get some time with the kids."
Speaking with PEOPLE about his new partnership with Abbott's Similac for the Promises Project, Dom says that it's been "interesting" learning a new routine as he juggles fatherhood with training in the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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"We have lots of new restrictions with how we train," Dom says, "so I think that makes things more difficult and maybe prolongs the time a little bit more" — which means that he and Sydney, 30, are "away from the kids for a bit longer."
Dom recognizes that "there's people who are in much, much worse situations," and adds that he and Sydney are "just staying positive and trying to take care of each other."
"We've spent a lot of time together cooking and trying to learn new skills and stay busy and try and control our two animals," he tells PEOPLE about how the family has been spending time at home during the pandemic.
"We've mostly been getting on with our lives as regularly as we can," he says, adding that he and Sydney are "evolving as our kids evolve and trying to teach them new skills — whether it's painting or playing Mario Kart — we're trying to have a nice balance and keep smiles on their faces."
Dom says that he was excited to join with Similac and its Promises Project — which "basically creates supportive and inclusive communities to help parents stay connected and ... have a positive outlook on parenting" — because it is "a unique thing that I've never been involved with before."
"If it's something that is able to benefit and help parents then it's something that I'm excited and I really want to be a part of," he says.
"I have a lot of friends who are fathers who have struggled [in] early years of fatherhood," Dom says, adding that "being a dad is fairly new to me — being a dad of two at least."
"I think having a boy and having a girl are very different, which is quite nice," says Dom, who has an older brother and says he envisioned having more boys. But the athlete adds, "I love to have a little girl, it's great."
While Roux is still a little young to kick a soccer ball around, Dom says that Cassius recently told him he wants to follow in his dad's footsteps.
Dom explains that during bedtime recently, he and Cassius were discussing different teams when the toddler got upset.
"I was like, 'What's wrong?' " Dom recounts. "He was like, 'Daddy, I want to play football like you.' And I was like, 'Yeah, well you can play in the Premier League, that's a really big league.' He was like, 'No, I want to play for Orlando, I want to play with you, Daddy.' So that was pretty cool."
Dom says that while he hopes Cassius' love for soccer continues, he's trying not to "sway" him too much "and just let him do what he wants to do."
While he can't bring Cassius to his practices during the pandemic, Dom says he loves "getting him around the environment."
"When I was younger, I grew up in an academy so being around football every day really helped me," Dom says. "So I try and not push it upon him but just show him the path and the things that he needs to do if he wants to be a pro and hope that's what he wants."
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