Posted by: adamthedad | March 26, 2013

A Father’s view on the ‘Mommy Wars’

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few days about the on going battle of the ‘Mommy Wars’ and frankly, the more I do so, the more inane it seems. You wonderful, caring, loving mothers fight about breastfeeding versus formula feeding. You fight about Stay at home, versus work at home, versus work at work. You fight about organic foods versus non-organic. You fight about vaccinations, and on, and on. But if you just took a second, you’d realize, that you’re really all fighting for the same thing, your kids.

We all fight a battle, Mom’s and Dad’s alike, to raise our kids the best we can. It shouldn’t matter how we get there, if kids are being raised with love and care.

For you breastfeeding advocates, I appreciate your passion, keep it up. For those of you who bottle feed, and use formula, you carry on with your bad selves; you are doing nothing but making sure your baby doesn’t go hungry.  For you stay at home Moms, your job is tough, one of the hardest there is. If you feel guilty about not contributing financially to your family, stop it. You are contributing in ways that are intangibly important and your family loves you for it. If you don’t feel guilty about it, great, you continue loving on your family, they love you for it.  For you Mom’s that are working because your family needs you to, keep your chin up. You are sacrificing for your family, and they love you for it. You Mom’s who are working because you feel like you have talents that extend beyond the walls of your house? I say good on you, carry on, keep it up, your family loves you for it.

For the rest of it, please, for the love of God, accept that there is more than one way to raise a child. Every child is different, every parent is different. The world thrives on that diversity, but it can also be beat up by it. Look deeper, beyond the labels that society puts on the different sides of the ‘war’ and ask yourself, is the child loved? Are they happy? Are they cared for? If the answer is yes, that’s what matters.

Posted by: adamthedad | February 15, 2013

Flashback

Do you remember when this:

Was all you needed to have an adventure?

When we would leave the house shortly after breakfast, and not return until the street light’s came on? And our parents didn’t worry one bit, and since this was before cell phones, there was no way for them to get a hold of us anyway. Oh, the adventures my friends and I had, forts were built, battles were waged, epic two hand touch football games were played. When we got hurt, we shook it off and played some more, when we got tired we sat, hungry? We went to the nearest friend’s house and raided the fridge.  What happened to those days?

Some would argue that the world was a safer place then. I’m not so sure, I think that with today’s technology and 24 hour news cycle, we just hear about the danger more. That makes the world a scarier place to send our kids out in. I can’t even say that I’ll feel comfortable enough to send my boys out into the world by themselves, certainly not without some kind of electronic leash. But I do think I can help them use that imagination, and give them a place to explore, the freedom to adventure. It’s up to me really, to turn off the TV, and make something happen for them. It’s up to me, to cut back on the episodes of Phineas and Ferb, and games of Angry Birds on the iPad. It’s up to me to help them find wonder.

Because you know what? Wonder is still out there.

Posted by: adamthedad | February 1, 2013

A Revelation

Or maybe it’s more of a conviction. Either way it’s a bit of a realization for me. Do I spend more time documenting the lives of my children, than I do living their lives along side them?

This is kind of a big deal for me. Seeing as it’s my job to be on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. I document the lives of products and brands for a living. As you can see though, in the picture above, I do A LOT of documenting of kids lives too. Maybe too much. Maybe you’re like me, and you think it’s fun to post creative pictures of your kids, of the location you happen to be at. But I’m starting to wonder if it’s too much. Am I missing out on my kids lives by spending too much time taking pictures of them while it’s happening? I think I might.  This is troubling to me. I don’t want to miss out on them. Last week I talked about building memories, and I find myself feeling the hypocrite. I think it’s time to change things up. I think it’s time to put my phone down while playing with the boys. I still need to do work, I still need to check pages and timelines, but I can cut out the extra photos, the extra tweets, and the attempts to create something artistic from a park landscape. Mostly though? I think it’s time to play.

Posted by: adamthedad | January 25, 2013

Making Memories

Many of you who know me, or follow me on Instagram know and are insanely jealous  of that fact that I get to take my boys to Disneyland about once a week. It’s something that both they and I look forward to, and it’s something that I for one (and hopefully them too) will remember and look back on fondly.

I think it’s incredibly important for us as parents to provide opportunities for our kids to use their imaginations, and build memories. They are after all, kids, and we should let them be kids. Running around, climbing on things, flying through the air. The sounds of laughter and adventure are second to none.

Of course, Disneyland passes are a bit of an expensive way to create memories, and there are lots of other favorites. The park is our other favorite. But here’s the key, at least for me. Get in their and play with your kids.  Run, jump, chase, play freeze tag. Let them lead you around, set the game, take you where their imaginations will take you. You will never regret spending extra time with your kids.

Posted by: adamthedad | January 2, 2013

A Challenge

So I’ve been thinking a lot about what I need to write about here, or more to the point, what I haven’t been writing. I came to the realization that I have a heart for the families around me, the Dads like me. So that said, what was the first thing to come to mind? The quote I’ve used time and time again “The best way to love your children, is to love their mother.”  I believe whole-heartily that if you want to show your children how to love, start by setting a good example.

Here’s the thing, Dad’s, our boys will model themselves after us, and our daughters will model their husbands one day by our example. That’s kind of a weight mantle to pick up right? Not for us though,  because we’re men, we got this. But where to start? Simple, a kiss. Here’s your challenge guys. Stop reading this right now, and go kiss your wife. Go on, I’ll wait. Done? Okay, now. go do it again, in front of your kids.  Reading this at work, well, guess what, you’ve got homework. When you walk in the door tonight kiss her. Remember you married her for a reason.

Now you mom’s out there, you think you’re off the hook? You’re not. But, you’re task is simple too, kiss him back.

Now, get to it and come back and tell me how it went in the comments.

Posted by: adamthedad | July 30, 2012

Potty Training!

So, here we are, three days into potty training for mini-dude and I have to say; he’s impressing the heck out of me. I don’t want to jinx it, because I know as soon as I put this in writing we’ll have an accident,  but he hasn’t has on since Saturday morning. I guess when you’re ready you’re ready. He’s been wanting to go on the potty for weeks, and waking up dry for at least that long. So we figured he was ready. It also helps that he as a big brother to model the behavior for him too. But even so, he picked it up so quickly.

All it’s taken is some awesome new big boy underwear, some chocolate chip bribery, and some incessant repeats of “Let us know when you have to go potty,” and he was well on the way. Today I even plan to venture out of the house, which, is totally freaking me out. But we’ll see. I have faith in my little guy, but he really has been doing so well. I think maybe we’ve cleaned up only a hand full of accidents on the first day, and one accident of the smelly nature on day two, and then he got it. Although I will say, good old, #2, I’m a little nervous, because although he went once, it seemed to freak him out a bit. He was actually asking for a diaper while he was doing it, and looked a little scared. But, he did it. Which is probably too much information for you, but tough, it’s my blog.

I will say though that they key to all of this was taking 3 days off from leaving the house, and while I do think we are all a little stir crazy. It’s good to give it undivided attention for a few days, without distractions. We do use a pull up at nap and bed time, but he’s waking up dry from both. The rest of the time it’s all undies all the time. I suggest having your kiddo wear his underwear, as it it gets him used to wearing them, and it helps when accidents happen, especially those of the smelly kind for clean up. The process is supposed to take three days, and so far so good. We did the same thing with Little Dude, but he took a bit longer then the three days. You just need to be patient, because not every child is going to hit the ground running right away. But if you stick with it, you’ll never have to change a diaper again. And lets face it folks,  that’s every parents goal in life.

 

Posted by: adamthedad | July 24, 2012

#TweetNPlay

I’m excited to announce that in partnership with OC Family Magazine the first ever Play Date tweet up. I’m going to pick a park every Wednesday afternoon and I’d like to invite you to come and play with me and the boys. For the first one, I’m going to just tell you which park to head over to around 3:30 on Wednesday. But after that? I thought I would make things a little more fun but checking in on FourSquare and Instagram and add a bit of a scavenger hunt into the mix. You can follow me on both at Adam_TheDad by the way. Since I’m all about getting my kids out for play time, I thought this would be the perfect way.

So, where to for the first? Northwood Community Park, also knows as Castle Park or as my boys call it “wall park,” in Irvine, here’s how to get there.  Here’s what it looks like, see you there!:

 

Posted by: adamthedad | July 23, 2012

The Grand Master of Stall

See this guy here, the one on the left? He is the grand master of the bedtime stall. It’s actually become the bane of my existence really. I’ve come to dread bedtime because of his truly diabolical stalling skills. His brother? (the one on the right.) Has not such problem, he needs no routine, just put him to bed, and he’s out in a matter of minutes. Little dude though? It’s a matter of hours.

Let me me give you the run down.

7:30pm Bath time
7:45pm Stories, prayer, bible time, and a song
8:00pm Into bed (this is where the diabolical plan fun starts.
8:01 – I want a song (this is part of routine)
8:03 – I have a secret to tell you (routine)
8:04 – I want a blanket (he has four to choose from, also routine)
8:05 – I want socks (almost done with routine.)
8:06 – I want a hug and a kiss (This is the end of the routine)

At this point, things get interesting. After leaving the room (almost immediately) he starts calling “Daaaaaaad.” We typically ignore this for 10 minutes. At which point he climbs out of bed and starts calling from behind his door.  Now, he never opens his door. It might as well be locked. So, finally after 10 minutes and increasing volume we go and see what’s going on. At which point he says something like “It’s too hot for socks, take them off.” Our response? “Take them off yourself.” Which triggers a major meltdown, at which point we leave again. Two minutes later he’s back at the door. 15 minutes later, with an epic meltdown in progress we again ask what’s wrong. Magically his socks are off, but now? “I want another hug and a kiss.” And who can refuse a hug and a kiss request right?

Now, I’m starting to think he knows the hug and kiss thing, because he always pulls that card. But at this point he usually requests more blankets. Or, if he’s been really upset, he’s usually done some sweating and needs to change is PJ’s. So now, he’s been in bed for 45 minutes to an hour. And eventually he gives up. But I’ll be dammed if he doesn’t get out of his bed at least three more times asking to have his socks back on, or for the A/C on, and then back off again. Or ask to go to the bathroom, which is another thing that you can’t say no to, but he never actually goes. He’s a smart one he is.

Here’s what we’ve tried, being nice and listening to his requests, and giving him what he wants. This has lead to two hour stalls.  Not giving in, and in fact taking his stuffed animals away. This worked the first night, but no further. We even tried spankings, but since we’re not really a fan of that idea and only did it out of desperation, we never really spanked hard, in fact he would even roll over and show us his bottom voluntarily, as if to say “ya, it was worth it”. Yeah, he’s a tough guy too. Last night, the tactic was bribery positive reinforcement, which worked last night, and cut the stalling to 45 minutes, once we finally decided to use the tactic. Now, we’ll see if it continues.

In a last ditch effort I put the request out to all the super hero parents out there and got some great suggestions, ranging from “crying it out,” to gently placing him back in bed, but not acknowledging his requests, to melatonin, to duct tape and whiskey. What say you?

Posted by: adamthedad | July 20, 2012

Welcome to my 100th Post!

 

Wow, this is number 100, that’s pretty amazing. Well not really, seeing as I probably should have hit this number, oh I don’t know, a year ago? Probably. So join me will you, as I wax nostalgic?

So this was my first post, back when this blog was called “The Reluctant Stay at Home Dad.” Which it turned out, was a bit of a misnomer because I wasn’t reluctantly a Dad, I was reluctantly unemployed.

That was back when Little Dude was the only Dude. I’ve come a long way since then.

Want to know what the number one searched post is on this here blog? It’s this one: How to Eat A Nectarine in Four Easy Steps. Which is totally weird to me, I didn’t realize that so many people didn’t know how to eat a nectarine. Go figure.

One of my all time favorite posts, was this one: “In Defense of the Working Dad”, having always felt that Dad’s had gotten a bad wrap when working, I spend some times with some other Dad’s that I respected and was able to get some great thoughts on being a working Dad.

Probably my most controversial post was this one on the pressures of breastfeeding. I hear it’s a bit of a sensitive subject.

And my most read post? The one where I call myself out for making the lame mistake of not using the BCC field in an email, hilarity ensued.

Which brings us to today, in which I’ve gone from unemployed to over employed, to working from home employed. From one son to two. From one city to another. Throw in a few birthday’s and a whole bunch more grey hair and we’re good to go. Here’s hoping for 100 more.

Posted by: adamthedad | July 18, 2012

The Return of Whatever’s in my Phone Wednesday!

Whatever’s in my phone Wednesday is my take on Wordless Wednesday, every Wednesday I post whatever I think is the best picture in my phone.

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