5 Must Know Tips for All New Parents

5 Must Know Tips for All New Parents

Parenting is one of the most difficult and most rewarding parts of life. ___ There is nothing quite like being a new parent. I felt overjoyed, overwhelmed, and terrified all at the same time when my son was born. There is nothing quite like being a new parent. I felt overjoyed, overwhelmed, and terrified all at the same time when my son was born. There’s so much to learn, and so much to do—it feels like it never ends. After being a stay at home dad for the past 3 years, I wanted to share some pointers for new parents that might make the start of your journey a little bit easier. Connect with other parents and caregivers. Use the resources that are out there to help you. I’m a part of multiple mom and dad groups on Facebook, where I can get help with any question or problem. You are not perfect. You’ll never be a perfect parent. It’s about trying your best and putting your kids first. That’s what matters. Keep learning and never stop. Reading about what to expect and different experiences will give you an idea of what you’ll go through. Sometimes $h*t happens and the only card you have to play is to get through it. You have a child now and they’re depending on you to be strong. Enjoy being a parent and take care of yourself as well. Misery loves company, and so does happiness. Your level positivity, negativity, or stress will rub off on your child and mold them into an avatar of you. Please make sure you set the right...
How To Spend An Hour Alone In 35 Steps

How To Spend An Hour Alone In 35 Steps

When my kids were teeny-tiny, alone time was a near impossibility. The mere thought of peeing without an audience seemed like a dream, and a couple hours alone in my house felt like an impossibility. In recent years, however, I’ve had more and more alone time. And by “alone time,” I don’t mean the hour spent wandering Target aisles at 11 at night while the rest of my family sleeps or the time alone in my office frantically trying to meet a deadline. I mean honest-to-goodness alone time—at home, no kids, no spouse, no work. At first, alone time felt strange and foreign. I would wander from room to room, aimless, and confused while humming “This is not my beautiful life…” in my head. Now that my kids are a little older, I’ve become a little more efficient at the art of spending time alone. Sure, it feels like an indulgent luxury, but a well-deserved luxury. Whether you’re a newbie to the world of alone time or need a quick refresher, below is your step-by-step guide to spending an hour alone at home: 1. Walk into the house without children or spouse. 2. Wonder what that strange noise is. 3. Realize it is the sound of silence. 4. Decide you hate the sound of silence and crank up the music. Loud. Really loud. Stomach pumping loud. 5. Sing along to the loud, loud music for about 30 seconds until you realize that your throat hurts from scream-singing and your head is starting to throb. 6. Decide you can’t handle loud music like you used to. 7. Turn off the music...
My Kids Have Questions and ‘Because I Said So’ Isn’t Going to Cut It

My Kids Have Questions and ‘Because I Said So’ Isn’t Going to Cut It

I learned a lot coming up through the ranks as a Dad.  What to do, what not to do, how I want to do things (thanks Good Men Project), how I don’t want to do things.  It’s this last bit I’m going to explore for a spell, and tie it together with intentional Dadding.  I think many of us see examples of what we don’t want to repeat or model from watching others, and this can be just as potent an experience as any gem of wisdom. This vexed me to no end, because not only was I left without a logical reason, but it strengthened the fear I had of my parents as authority figures. I remember very vividly, as a young child that whenever I asked a question about why I had to do something, the answer was almost always “Because I said so.”  This vexed me to no end, because not only was I left without a logical reason, but it strengthened the fear I had of my parents as authority figures. Now, it should be said, as a child I was quite irascible and by most accounts the number of times I asked “why” was on par with legends right out of the record books.  My parents were probably trying to just stem the onslaught of my overflowing curiosity and challenging of their rules. As this pattern spiraled into my formative years, I vowed that when/if I ever had kids, I would never use that as an answer. Besides, since one of the main things I try to model and teach is not to assume,...
The Ultimate Paradox That Is Motherhood

The Ultimate Paradox That Is Motherhood

This, is Motherhood. Last night, as I had just stepped into my tub and was slowly slipping down into the water for my long-awaited “me time,” I heard him. The first telltale signs that my little banshee (also known as the 2-year-old) wasn’t asleep in his bed like I had incorrectly assumed. First it was the pitter-pattering (which is just a nice way to say pounding) down the stairs, quickly followed by a shrill scream, then a massive bang as my magical toddler burst through the formerly locked bathroom door (OK, it may just be my circa 1960s door locks, but it feels like all he has to do is touch a door and the locks melt away, except, of course, for the instances when he locks me out of somewhere, and then this power disappears completely). He then proceeded to catapult himself into the tub with me, knocking over my cup of tea and sending water spilling everywhere. This, is Motherhood. I instantaneously held him up from the hot—some may call it scalding—water. I placed him over the edge and began the awkward process of prying wet clothing off of his wiggling body. He immediately stopped crying at the realization that his clothes were coming off, and he thought that he was going to get in the tub with me. I opened my mouth to start to scold him, complain, or simply exhale my frustration, but then I caught his eyes. They turned downward, and his head began to hang, waiting for me to tell him “no.” I’d like to say that I relented out of some tender string being pulled at...
What to Expect from Friends Wanting to See Your Newborn Baby

What to Expect from Friends Wanting to See Your Newborn Baby

Have you seen the baby yet? Ya gotta see the baby! — Shortly after bringing the baby home from the hospital you are ready for the next part of the new-parent ritual—people stopping by to see the baby. This time-honored tradition once featured on a Seinfeld episode is required of all new parents. Of all the experiences from finding out my wife was pregnant through present day, I dreaded this one most—more than hormones or changing my first drippy diaper. Throughout my wife’s pregnancy, I was haunted with images of guests showing up in large groups.  I pictured them taking turns riding my couch while taking selfies using the baby as a prop before posting to their Instagram page.  “Who’s next?”  Okay, maybe my protective instinct kicked in a wee bit early. Who me? After spending a week locked up like a sequestered juror on a high-profile trial, hosting guests provided a welcome change of pace. Here is what you can expect. The Revolving Door — Visits started small—first it was the grandparents stopping by to see the baby. Then a few college friends showed up after work.  Before long friends and relatives called like they were making dinner reservations at a fine restaurant. “We have on opening on Thursday at 7:30.  How many will that be?”  It was like our lobby had a revolving door, I’d be walking two guests out as another group was arriving.  “Don’t forget to stop at the gift shop on the way out.” Don’t Be Shy When People Ask What Can I Bring — Lamaze class taught me many things, breathing, pain management and that...