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Saturday, June 14th, 2014
By Caitlin Ultimo
Any first-time parent surely can identify with the urge to snap dozens upon dozens of photos throughout their child’s early years. “Oh, look he’s smiling,” turns into: “Oh, look he’s smiling holding a cracker/a cell-phone/the cat (Sorry, kitty, for his awkward grip — we have to get this shot!).”
Well, Dave Engledow took his new-dad camera readiness even further. While Mom was on deployment in the Army, Engeldow and their new daughter, Alice Bee, staged (with the help of Photoshop) hilarious photo shoots. He began by sharing the photos on Facebook, accompanied with comedic essays, as a way to alleviate his fears as a new dad and poke fun at them. Starting at Day 3 and concluding with Day 918, his outlandish photos (some featured below) included scenes of Alice Bee helping him shave and the two of them breaking a sweat while lifting dumbbells together. Eventually, his photos were combined into one hilarious book, “Confessions of the World’s Best Father.”
Engledow is just one of a few parents who have opted for creative scenes in place of stiff photos. Jason Lee, a wedding photographer, started taking one-of-a-kind portraits of his two girls back in 2006. Because his mother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and his daughters caught colds too frequently to be around her, he began a blog for the grandmother to see the humorous and whimsical pictures. Heather Sphor, who also had two kids, decided to document her infant’s, Jamesie’s, days because his older sister, Annie, had just entered preschool. Annie wanted to know what Mom and Jamesie did while she was in class, so Sphor decided to document Jamesie’s daily adventures, from searching for Cinderella to exploring the Wild West.
One of Engledow’s many unforgettable photos appears on Day 66, which shows him holding Alice Bee in one arm like a football while his other arm squirts bottled breast milk into his coffee cup that proudly displays the label, “World’s Best Father.” He noted, “Apparently, fathering is not going to be quite as easy or glamorous as it looks on TV.” With Father’s Day right around the corner, plenty of new dads will agree that even though fatherhood isn’t always glamorous, it sure can be fun!
What are some of the creative ways you make parenthood interesting?
Photos: Originally appeared in “Confessions of the World’s Best Father” by David Engledow. Used with permission of Gotham Books, an imprint of Penguin Books USA.
What’s your parenting style? Take our quiz to find out what type of parenting you are!
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013
The 2013 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament has finally come to an end, which means that the season is winding down and the players’ schedules lighten up. For the dads on the ATP tour, this means some added family time. Top ranked players James Blake of the United States, Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, and Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland share how they manage being a dad while playing, their most memorable moments with their kids on the tour, and their favorite things to do in New York during the grand slam. Turns out, even the tennis players who travel the world up to 42 weeks of the year value the same parts of parenting as you.
James Blake, dad to Riley, 1
What has your most memorable moment been with your daughter, Riley, on the tour?
JB: It’s every day. Every day is something new, it’s so much fun. The first time she walked was the day before I left for Atlanta and I couldn’t be happier that I was still home. I watched her walk across the basement floor and once she realized she could walk…just nonstop. I don’t think she’s stopped walking since then. It’s been a month and a half and I don’t think she’s stopped walking or running. And she’s started to mimic. So when I say “night night” she says “night night” back. Every day is so much fun.
What do you most look forward to doing with her now that you have officially retired from the game to spend more time with your family?
JB: I’m looking forward to being around and not even thinking about missing another milestone. I’m lucky to have that luxury, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Lleyton Hewitt, dad to Mia, 7, Cruz, 4 and Ava, 2
What was your funniest or most memorable moment with your kids on tour?
LH: Some of the best moments are when I’m taking them on court after I’ve had a good win—that’s obviously pretty special. I’m fortunate enough that I have kids who are young enough in age that I can still be playing on the tour and they can understand what dad’s doing on tour. Travling a lot, your priorities change, obviously. It’s not so much about my schedule as much as it is about their schedule and what’s best for them.
Stanislas Wawrinka, dad to Alexia, 3
What’s your most special moment you’ve had when your daughter travels with you?
SW: The first time she came to see my warm-up match in Basel last year was great. She was really happy. It’s more important that when she’s on the tour, she’s really happy to be at Daddy’s work. I like to play with her at night and when I have days off.
Has she been to New York? What do you like to do with her around the city?
SW: Yes, last year she was here. She went to Central Park a lot. For a kid it’s not easy in New York—it’s a big city. It was not easy for us because I leave early in the morning and come back late. When I had a day off I went to Central Park with her to ride the horse carriage and she loved it! She said, “I want to do it with Daddy and Mommy!” It was a great memory.
Image: James Blake by Herbert Kratky/ Shutterstock.com
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athelte, ATP, father, fatherhood, fathers, New York City, pro athletes, Sports, tennis, U.S. Open, US Open | Categories:
Monday, June 10th, 2013
Editor’s Note: In a post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month. He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.
As a dad and a pediatrician who has worked with families of all types and sizes for more than 30 years, I want to tell you about a great book written for moms that dads should read, too. After all, why should moms be the only ones who know the secrets for turning chaos to calm?
From Frazzled to Focused: The Ultimate Guide for Moms Who Want to Reclaim Their Time, Their Sanity, and Their Lives is written by Rivka Caroline, a Florida-based time management and organization expert who juggles seven kids, a speaking and consulting career, and graduate school. I discovered this book when the author asked me to review it for a possible endorsement because of my own time management book, No Regrets Parenting.
I loved Caroline’s book, and endorsed it with this quote: “From Frazzled to Focused is a brilliant blueprint for recapturing minutes, hours, and days otherwise lost to inefficiency and disorganization. This book will change your life.” Yes, it’s that good. But notice nowhere in that endorsement do I mention moms — or, for that matter, dads. This is a really wonderful book for moms and dads because efficiency, effectiveness, prioritization, and systemization are gender-neutral goals. This is not a book full of platitudes and bumper stickers. Instead, it’s a concise, organized, and focused 180-page playbook with an action plan for achieving, de-cluttering, and systemizing your work and home life.
Whether at home or at work, these From Frazzled to Focused guiding principles and recommendations apply to all parents:
- Switch from doing it all to doing most of it (and know that’s okay)
- Lack of time is actually a lack of priorities
- 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of your time and effort
- Work expands to fill the time available for its completion
- Create a “to don’t” list
- Streamline your home and your head
- Avoid decision overload
You’ll learn when to “do,” to “delegate,” and to “delete.” And deleting some of the items crowding your thoughts and your desk may be the most important paradigm of all for many of us. You’ll come to recognize that “practice makes good enough,” that perfection isn’t the be-all and end-all. This realization is really liberating.
Dads can particularly benefit from Ms. Caroline’s advice for systemizing, and her supermarket analogy is spot-on: When you go grocery shopping, you put more than one item in your cart at once so you’re not constantly driving back and forth to the store. Get ahead by always thinking, “What can I do now that will make things easier later on?” Batch your tasks, and block out chunks of time for doing them — returning phone calls and e-mails, paying bills, and filing should be done in batches, not piecemeal as the e-mails or bills arrive. Although the second half of the book is devoted to specific spaces in your home, taking control of those spaces isn’t just mom’s work; dads live in those spaces, too. Both Mom and Dad can use the principles in this book for equally effective rethinking of the workplace and the work mentality.
So, with Father’s Day approaching fast and the usual panic setting in about buying yet another necktie, take this message from Caroline’s book to heart: “Last-minute problems are a lot easier to take care of when they aren’t actually happening at the last minute.” Get this book for Dad. Do it now, while you’re thinking about it, so you don’t have a last-minute problem on June 16.
Happy Father’s Day!
Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).
Image: A busy daily schedule book via Shutterstock.
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busy dad, clutter, dad, Dads, father, Father's Day, fatherhood, fathers, Harley Rotbart, harley rotbart series, holiday, Holidays, No Regrets Parenting, organizing | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Holidays, Must Read
Friday, June 24th, 2011
New dads, now you can learn how to prepare for fatherhood with “Show Dad How” by Shawn Bean. Bean, the Executive Editor of Parenting magazine (often confused with Parents magazine) and his staff put together this 156-page, illustrated guide to help dads through the toughest, most puzzling challenges of baby’s first year and beyond.
Divided into three sections (Prep, Deal, Play), the book offers a mix of practical and tongue-in-cheek advice for every situation: how to pack a diaper bag, decipher the color of baby poo, and serve green eggs and ham as a meal.
For new moms, there’s even a “Show Mom How” illustrated guide.
Read more about new fathers on Parents.com
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Books, dad, Dads, father, fatherhood, fathers, newborn, newborns, parenting, parenting guide, parenting skills, pregnan, Pregnancy | Categories:
Babies, GoodyBlog, Your Child
Friday, June 17th, 2011
Father’s Day is this Sunday, and we have plenty of ideas to make the #1 dad in your life feel extra special.
Nothing quite says “I love you” like homemade gifts the kids spent time putting together. We have 12 Father’s Day crafts that moms and kids can make — from a super neat desk organizer to a personalized paperweight. Print a “Greatest Daddy in the Galaxy” certificate or create a royal crown to make dad king for a day.
If there’s a new dad in the house, alleviate his new father fears with these tips and teach him the how to be an awesome dad.
Handmade cards are also great to give, like these printable Father’s Day cards kids can color and decorate.
Happy Father’s Day!
More Father’s Day ideas on Parents.com
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arts & crafts, crafts, dad, Dads, father, Father's Day, fatherhood, fathers, gift, gifts, holiday, holiday gifts, Holidays | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Holidays, Time for Fun
Friday, June 17th, 2011
A new study released by the Pew Research Center have found there are two dominant types of fathers in America: fathers who are actively involved in family life vs. fathers who are not because they live apart from the kids.
According to CNN.com, the Pew study found that today’s fathers are more active in their kids’ lives than 50 years ago, but fathers who live outside the household have also more than doubled since the 60s. Those who live with their families are more in tune with their kids, with 93% talking to their kids a few times a week, over 50% transporting their kids to activities, and 9 out of 10 eating a few weekly meals together.
Education, income, and race are still factors that determine fatherhood – white fathers with higher education and incomes usually lived with their familes. Only 21% lived apart. Even though 44% of African-American fathers lived apart from the family, they were still the most active group of fathers who lived outside.
Another Pew survey revealed that 69% of the survey takers believe fathers living in the house contribute to a child’s happiness. Not surprisingly, it’s important for fathers to be actively involved with their families, no matter if they’re living inside the house or not.
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