Saturday, August 20th, 2011
My wife is without a doubt a very strong, confident, and independent woman. However, there are times when I need to take control of the situation, as I see signs of her becoming overwhelmed with daily events.
Most recently, I took control of our son’s inability to fall and stay asleep. My wife’s maternal instincts made it very difficult for her to try the “cry it out” method, so I used my paternal instincts and now, our son sleeps all the way through the night (7PM to 6:20 AM). And when I refer to my “paternal instincts,” I’m talking about my ability to strip away emotion for the purpose of practicality.
However, it would do me no good to always remain in “emotionless” mode. Because a big part of being a leader is being able to truly understand where others are coming from; I have to be able to relate to them, emotionally. The word is “empathy.” In order to be a good leader, I must make myself a humble servant who understands (or at least tries to understand) what it’s like on the other side.
Granted, I don’t want to be the President or a CEO of a huge corporation. But as a father, husband, and a guy who joins the work force everyday, there are constantly moments where I must use my leadership skills to be as proactive as the situation calls for. And this all ties into my mission of positively re-branding fatherhood. Because as I’ve said before, being a good father doesn’t simply mean “being there,” it means being both actively and emotionally involved in the lives of your spouse and children.
I remind myself how crucial it is to be cool, calm, and collected, as well as, to be direct, assertive, and respectable. I even keep mental images in my head of both real and fictional people who I believe encompass calm-assertiveness, including but not limited to the following random examples: 2012 Presidential candidate Ron Paul, Don Draper (at work, not home) on Mad Men, Chris Harrison (as host of The Bachelor), Leonardo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (okay, so he’s not actually human), and perhaps the most calm-assertive man I’ve ever heard of, Jesus Christ.
Even as the writer of this blog, I believe in the importance of being calm-assertive. I realize that in the blog world, it’s important to be controversial and edgy in order to engage readers and gain a following. Interestingly though, I have learned, especially here on The Dadabase, that often when I try to be controversial and edgy, my efforts typically go unread, uncommented, and un-“liked.”
What seems to generate the most interest is when I write positively and directly about parenting. That is what has gotten readers excited in both agreeable and disagreeable ways. Positively parenting with a sense of authority is controversial and edgy.
I believe there are a lot of people out there looking for a positive and proactive outlook in the parenting blog world. I want The Dadabase to be the obvious go-to blog for that crowd. I want my blog to be both a safe and realistic environment for other parents. And I plan to do this by being a calm-assertive leader of the blogosphere.
Categories: Deep Thoughts, Home Life, Must Read, Spirituality, Story Bucket, Storytelling, Writing | Tags: baby, baby blog, baby swimming, dad, fatherhood, Jesus Christ, Mad Men, parenting, Ron Paul, The Bachelor
Thursday, November 25th, 2010
Week 1 of Jack’s life.
In the Season One finale of dad from day one, I promised an interesting plot twist. So here in this premier of Season Two, I’m letting everyone know my own meaning of the phrase “Sweet Home Alabama”.
As I explained in due date, a common trait of ‘80’s sitcoms was that a family was introduced to an outsider who suddenly moved in their home, therefore creating a new sense of “normal”. An exception was Just the Ten of Us, where the Lubbock family moved from the state of New York (the setting of Growing Pains, which it was a spin-off from) to California. Dad from day one will be combining both of those plot devices: the newcomer and the new setting. Next Saturday morning, December 4th (on the 4th day of Hanukkah- for any Jewish readers out there) we will pack up our PT Cruiser and Element for the 2 ½ trip (not counting baby delays) from Nashville, TN to the small mountain/valley town of Fort Payne, AL (pop. 14,000 not including illegal immigrants) where I was raised.
Something that makes this really interesting is when I am asked: “So do you have a job lined up?” Nope. That’s part of the reason we are so briskly making the Hometown Migration- so I can search full time for a new job during the whole month of December while living off leftover paychecks and savings. Despite having nearly five years of career experience involving sales, doing trade shows, hiring, and training, I am not naïve to think that a new job will magically appear the week we move to Alabama.
However, I have this belief that as a follower of Jesus Christ, God knows I will make a lot of noise and commotion honoring Him before and after He answers my prayer. And since I believe that glorifying God in all things is the ultimate meaning of life, I am confident that at the right time, God will provide for me so that I can provide for my family. As Jesus put it, when a child asks his father for bread or fish to eat, his father doesn’t give him a stone or a serpent instead. I love that example.
In Fort Payne, we will be living less than three miles from not only my parents but also my sister and her husband. We know that this quiet town will not only be the right place for Baby Jack to grow up, but also the most practical place for my wife and I to care for him- to be able to watch him grow up slowly, as compared to seeing him only a couple of hours a day in a big city life. There is no mall in Fort Payne; only a Super Wal-Mart. There are oddly no Italian restaurants, which will be difficult for Baby Jack, my wife, and myself who all happen to be a quarter Italian and need marinara sauce and garlic bread in order to function properly. And sadly, for my wife, there is no Starbucks: I think the nearest one is about an hour away.
A lifestyle without malls, Italian restaurants, and Starbucks is precisely what the three of us need. Because despite leaving all those so-called conveniences behind, we will be able to slow down the pace of life to the speed it needs to be. My wife and I are extremely happy about the move. In a sitcom it’s pretty normal for each new season to bring about new characters on the show. New characters, new city, new plotlines, here we come.
Categories: People, Spirituality, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: American Baby, baby, California, Christianity, dad from day one, Fort Payne, Hanukah, Hanukkah, Honda Element, illegal immigrants, Italian, Italian food, Jesus, Jesus Christ, moving back home, Nashville, parenting, sitcom, Sweet Home Alabama, TV shows