I’m Not An Expert On Women, But…

I’m Not An Expert On Women, But…

Doyin Richards is not an expert on women, but he has some ideas on what qualities they find to be sexy in men. — As a dad who often writes about Daddyhood, I’ve learned a lot from my wife, my friends, and my followers about women (specifically, moms). One of the lessons I learned is what most moms find to be sexy in men. Spoiler alert: Oftentimes it’s not six pack abs, a fancy car, or being rich. Moms think good dads are sexy. The women reading this who are married to great dads are nodding their heads in agreement. Since I started my blog, I can’t tell you how many messages I receive from women sharing pictures of their men caring for their kids and how “hot” that is to them. The Daddies Doin’ Work (aka, great dads) reading this are nodding their heads in agreement too, because they know their spouses will love and cherish them until the end of time due to the amount of work they put in for their families.  The women reading this who are involved with less than great dads are nodding their heads in agreement as well, because they hear about and/or see great dads and think about how much hotter their men would be if they stepped up like the Daddies Doin’ Work of the world do. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about. Between toddler tantrums, diaper changes, and kids doing the complete opposite of what’s asked of them, motherhood can be a stressful and extremely thankless gig at times. When their men pull them aside to say, “You...
When Did Play Get So Nice?

When Did Play Get So Nice?

Would children be better off without adult-imposed rules, limiting their play? — While watching a program on snow monkeys, I was fascinated by how their young played. There was hitting, pushing, punching, among other aggressive behavior, yet it was clear that there was nothing malicious going on. They were just children having fun. The behavior of those young monkeys immediately came to mind, during a recent trip to the playground, as I watched my son engage in rather aggressive play with another boy. The boy, who was about four years old, made the first move by giving my son what looked like a forceful shove. Being the sometimes overprotective first-time mom that I am, my first thought was to go discipline the kid, but when I saw my son laughing, obviously unharmed, and excited to have a willing playmate, I decided not to intervene. I could tell my son loved the challenge of playing with an older kid, who inspired my son to take on new risks, and grow more confident. Only once did I have to step in when the play got too rough. I knew that these kids were not looking to hurt one another, they were just playing. I realize that human children are not monkeys, though it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference, and social norms dictate certain behavior, but maybe there’s a case for just letting kids be kids. I can’t tell you how many times I hear the phrase “be nice” uttered around children. I’m guilty of it too. At any given moment, there is always at least two or three parents hovering over...
Your Wedding Anniversary Before And After Kids

Your Wedding Anniversary Before And After Kids

Today is our ninth wedding anniversary. Considering we live in LA, where people trade spouses like baseball cards, that’s a pretty impressive number. This kind of longevity calls for some serious celebration, so naturally, we have not planned a thing. I’ve put together a handy little list so we can compare and contrast the stark differences between celebrating your wedding anniversary before and after kids. Before Kids: In the weeks leading up to your anniversary you talk about what you should do to properly celebrate your marriage. After Kids: You have no idea what day or month it is, and so neither of you realize that your anniversary is coming up within the next week. The day before your anniversary, one of you opens iCal in order to record a dentist appointment for your offspring, only to realize that your wedding anniversary is tomorrow. Before Kids: You look at your wedding album together, and talk about how amazing your special day was and you relive all the moments that made you laugh or cry. After Kids: You don’t know where your wedding album is, because you haven’t seen it since you had to turn your home office into a nursery for your surprise second child. It’s entirely possible that you inadvertently donated your wedding album to Goodwill and that some stranger purchased it for 50 cents. If you could find your wedding album, and did try to look at it together, that would last about 20 seconds before one of your offspring spilled an applesauce crusher on the photo of your first kiss as Husband and Wife. Before Kids:...
I Didn’t Do Anything Today Because Of You

I Didn’t Do Anything Today Because Of You

Today didn’t go as planned. I didn’t do any of the things I “needed” to do. In fact, little one, because of you, I really didn’t do anything. I didn’t do any of the laundry that’s been piling up for days, spilling over the sides of the hamper and tripping me every time I walk across your bedroom floor. Instead, I watched you grab every piece of clothing out of your drawers, trying on and discarding twenty different outfits before finally settling on the “big blue choo-choo shirt” and pulling it proudly over your head, all by yourself (inside out, of course). I didn’t put together the bookshelf we ordered from Amazon last week. Instead, I sat with you in the fort you constructed – your Mario blanket draped between the box of bookshelf pieces and the top of the TV stand – and read you stories. I didn’t practice your ABCs with you like I’ve been meaning to. Instead, I practiced patience, biting my tongue to keep from yelling when I saw the little trail of Cheerios you left throughout the house, à la Hansel and Gretel (one of the stories we read in your blanket fort). I didn’t drive the van to Jiffy Lube for an oil change, even though that annoying little warning light on the dashboard has been flashing for a week. Instead, I raced Hot Wheels cars across the kitchen floor with you, listening to you laugh hysterically when they hit the cat and caused her to run, hissing, out of the room. I didn’t cook that chicken that’s been sitting around in the...
‘Mom Friends’ vs. ‘Friends Who Are Moms’

‘Mom Friends’ vs. ‘Friends Who Are Moms’

“Definitely don’t be afraid to use a nipple shield,” I told a woman the other day. “Cracked nipples are the worst, let me tell you!” “Ooh, be ready for some very orange poo in his diapers,” I warned a mother about to try her son on sweet potatoes for the first time. Which was the close friend, and which was the woman had I met five minutes previously? It’s difficult to tell when the conversation is between new mothers. Our desperate circumstances create unusual intimacies, and often very quickly. To be clear, I don’t often advise new acquaintances about their nipples. But a new mama attending our breastfeeding support group for the first time? Welcome to the tribe. This closeness leads to a form of friendship that I am slowly differentiating from my previous experiences. Being in my early 30s, I have entered a baby-having time frame in my friend circles. Two close friends had babies within a year I had mine, and it has been wonderful to share the experiences with them. No vetting needed — I already know these people are awesome, and now we can just add parenting topics to our conversations. These are ‘friends who are moms.’ It’s helpful to have friends who completely understand that movie night at our place now needs to start after the baby is in bed. They send invites that say “babies welcome :).” Our baby is not an inconvenience because they are dealing with the same constraints, so we all figure it out as we go. ‘Friends who are moms’ basically picked up the same hobby as I did, at the same time, and now we all do it together. Sweet. But I...