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Sunday, June 16th, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
According to the new Pew Research Center survey, Americans expect dads to be more of a moral teacher and emotional comforter than a breadwinner or disciplinarian.
The way I look at it, whether a dad chooses to be or not, he often is by default the moral teacher and emotional comforter, for better or worse.
That’s not to say that the mom’s role in teaching her children values and morals is simply marginal, but I do find it interesting that in a time where the media still makes dad out to be a horrible role model or at least a lovable idiot, see “ABC 20/20′s D Is For Dad And Dumb” Segment which aired just in time for Father’s Day, this new poll shows that dads are expected to be the moral teacher more than the disciplinarian or the greater income provider.
So why is it that if dads seen as the moral teacher, that they are still often portrayed as dummies in the media? I’d say it’s because there’s a disconnect between what TV writers think America wants to see and want America actually thinks about their dads.
I base “what America actually thinks” on what I’m seeing as Facebook status updates today for Father’s Day. I see Facebook consumed with pictures of everyone’s dad, with a caption bragging about how incredible, supportive, and even how “perfect” their dads were while growing up.
Therefore, I find nothing surprising, only assuring and confirming, about the results of the new Pew Research Center survey.
In fact, I’ve already written about my desire to morally teach you. See “Dads Like To Teach Their Kids Life Lessons.”
I take great pride in the fact that I have the honor of instilling values and morals in you. Because hey, it sure beats what the media would like for you to believe; they evidently still think I’m simply a lovable idiot.
Graph: Pew Research Center.
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Sunday, May 5th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Disclaimer: Contains potentially confusing viewpoints that may be exclusive to the male mindset.
The main reason I feel anxious about the thought of having another child is not the financial aspect, or even the fact we only have a 2 bedroom townhouse; it’s knowing that I would be placed in that frustrating position again of not knowing what to do on a daily basis.
Sure, I’d know more of what I was doing the 2nd time around, but it would also be on top of taking care of you too; though you demand less attention than you did when you were a baby.
To see me in my worst element is to see me in a high pressure, reoccurring situation where I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. For me, that was the first 15 months of your life; back when you wouldn’t let me take care of you without Mommy being in the same room.
Therefore, I couldn’t feel like I was leading our family, and it made me feel horrible about myself.
Just to be clear, I don’t mind high pressure at all. In fact, I like the challenge of it; given that I’ve been well trained on the subject.
It’s no secret: I find my self-worth not in how others see me, but in how I see myself. If I don’t feel in control, or at least that I know what my role is, I sort of feel worthless.
Now that you’re well beyond the age of 15 months, in fact, days away from being double that, my frustrating days of flat-out not knowing what to do in regards to being a dad are mostly a thing of the past; back in the year 2011.
As for modern day life, I know my role now; every minute of the day, and I love it!
In addition to being your official chauffeur, bedtime singer, protector from monsters… I also am the official dishwasher, bathroom cleaner, garbage man, vacuumer, relationship mediator, and the parent juggling two jobs outside of home life.
Every night, after our family eats dinner, I know that once Mommy takes you upstairs for your bath, I am going to immediately start washing and drying all the dishes, then wipe off the counter, and vacuum; just in time to go upstairs and sing your final bedtime song.
While it would be really nice to just chill out after dinner instead of doing housework, I don’t even mind. The reason: Because it sure beats the heck out of those first 15 months when I didn’t know my role.
As your dad, who is wired to fix problems and lead others, it’s very challenging for me to… I’m trying to think of a way to say this without using the PG version slang word…
I like to be driving the motorcycle, not riding in the sidecar.
(Watch the movie Garden State, when you’re older, to fully understand the reference. “Sidecars are for…”.)
What I am saying is that right now, I don’t feel like I’m riding in the sidecar. I feel like our life is predictable enough now where I don’t taste the chaos in the air anymore.
I love having this peace in my head; not dwelling on my inabilities to successfully figure out what exactly I’m supposed to do every single second. I love knowing what to do.
Ah, if and when the time comes for a 2nd child, I fear losing that again.
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dad, family, family planning, father, having a 2nd child, Home Life, husband, only child, parenting | Categories:
Home Life, Must Read, The Dadabase
Thursday, February 21st, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
You love dads.
Sure, you love me, but I’m your dad. You’re used to me by now.
No matter how adventurous I am with you, you are still always fascinated by every other dad you meet.
A prime example is our friend Dave.
We went to visit him, his wife Karen, and their brand-new daughter Avery.
As the picture clearly demonstrates, you felt quite comfortable with Dave. Mommy held Avery and Dave held you.
(Just to be clear to anyone else reading this letter, I’m the guy in the green vest and Dave is the guy with the red shirt.)
Before we left their house, Dave gave you one of his business cards; he’s a Realtor in the Nashville area. You played with his business card all the way home.
Then once you got home, you placed his card in your little boy wallet with Mommy’s zeroed out gift cards. As I put you to bed that night, I asked you what your favorite part of the day was. Your response:
“When Leaf hold you.”
I should translate. Your refer to Dave as Leaf, and “you” means “me.” Your favorite part of the day was when Dave held you.
Even now, as I write this, you are upstairs asleep, with Dave’s business card underneath your pillow.
That’s right: You sleep with his card under your pillow. You really like Dave.
I think it’s cool to see how you gravitate towards other dads. It’s clear that to me that you find so much value in masculine role models.
As for the most part, you’re stuck with me. I’m familiar, predictable, safe, and normal. I’m vanilla.
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Saturday, February 9th, 2013
2 years, 2 months.
In this very moment, here is exactly what’s going through my mind:
You really do have a weird man for a dad.
I realize that’s nothing I need to apologize for. After all, my quirkiness and passionate beliefs are what attracted Mommy to me in the first place.
So ultimately, you are here today because I’m not so normal of an American man.
We’ll make this thing work, though. You’ll turn out fine.
It’s just that I have a feeling as you get older, your friends will all be aware that your dad is… a bit on the eccentric side.
You’ll be the kid with the dad who doesn’t eat meat, doesn’t use any products that contain sodium laurel sulphate, doesn’t use microwaves, doesn’t pay for cable or smart phones, and doesn’t believe in using credit cards.
I’ll be that Libertarian, yet law-abiding; conservative, yet open-minded; Generation Y father who happens to live on the outside of what is often mainstream.
To be honest, I only recently realized how off-beat a demographic I am a part of. As I look back through the letters I’ve written you, I see that often my worldview does not necessarily reflect that of the majority.
So the question is, how will that affect you?
Am I brainwashing you? Probably a little bit. However, I don’t see how I’m brainwashing you any more than any other parent out there.
That’s one of the scary parts about being a parent. As your dad, I greatly influence your worldview, whether I mean to or not.
You can’t choose your parents. I’m the one you ended up with, though.
Whether it’s for better or for worse, I take pride in showing you my version of how the world works and/or how it should work.
Ultimately, what I want for you isn’t any different than what I assume any parent wants for their child:
I want you to know you are loved, you are special, and you are wanted. I want you to be confident in yourself, strong in your beliefs, and caring to others.
Maybe I’m not that weird of a dad after all…
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Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
To answer my own question: Lame.
Part of my agenda as the daddy blogger for a major parenting website is to positively re-brand fatherhood; to reinforce the fact that a dad changing his kid’s diaper is not ironic at all and that taking care of his own kid without Mommy around is not babysitting… it’s a man taking care of his own kid.
That’s the world we live in and that’s the generation I’m a part of.
Needless to say, I am not cool with the cartoonish concept of a soon-to-be dad having a drunken party (or the likeness thereof) with his buddies to celebrate his final days of freedom before he inevitably says goodbye to his sex life and his ability to watch football games on his 56 inch TV without being interrupted by his crying infant or nagging wife, which therefore makes his life a 1980′s sitcom hell.
Just to be sure that I’m not exaggerating what Dadchelor Parties are all about, an article on The Huffington Post describes them as an event “where men bring diapers in exchange for beer, while others are more extravagant and involve all day bar-hopping or even a destination weekend. All seem to involve drinking, sporting events, gambling, and more drinking.”
Okay, okay, but what about the non-drunken version of a Dadchelor Party?
What’s wrong with a soon-to-be dad hanging out with a couple of friends to share some beers and smoke some cigars in an effort to invite the days of fatherhood in a more sophisticated fashion?
Well, I guess I don’t have too big of a problem with that, except for the simple fact I don’t know anyone in my version of the real world who would think that’s cool; especially when attached with the phrase Dadchelor Party, Daddymoon, or Manshower.
I have a feeling that my own friends would actually think that having a “Manshower” is not only tacky, but also, uh…
Manshower? Come on, need I say more?
So what am I offering as a legitimate and respectable alternative? I say the kind of man who I would consider cool enough to be my friend would leave me out of the equation all together and instead take his wife on a babymoon.
The phrase “babymoon” is uber trendy, and therefore annoying, and is not a word I will ever speak aloud, but the concept of taking your pregnant wife on a getaway trip before the baby comes is righteous.
My wife and I went on [one of those] before our son was born an then we went on another one about 6 months after he was born.
It’s a good thing; especially for husbands and expecting fathers who, you know, are A) actually responsible adults B) who respect their wives and C) can understand that having a good time doesn’t need to require a hangover afterwards.
But for those soon-to-be dads who would rather flirt with 20 year-old waitresses at bars all weekend while getting “plastered,” and then brag about it the next week on Facebook, all in the name of a Dadchelor Party, you’ve lost your man card.
Let me know if you ever want it back.
Image: Let’s go party, via Shutterstock.
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dad, Dadchelor Party, Daddymoon, drunk, expecting parents, family, father, Manshower, marriage, new trends | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Must Read, The Dadabase