Yes, there are hundreds of books on parenting…with content usually directed towards mothers. What about us dads? Try searching Google for “parenting for mothers” and 156 pages results pop up. Even doctors and child development experts focus their advice for moms. This blog is to serve every parent (okay, mainly us men), written by 2 new fathers who are trying to keep all of the info out there in bookstores and cyberspace in check. We are not experts, but our kids think we are the kings of the world. Enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Holy Crap! That's my child!

Yeah, it has been one of those months where the kid is changing daily (and turning into "Dora the Explorer" and Dad and Mom into their personal assistants, hence the break in posts). Every other day you seem to notice a change or something new your child can do. Sometimes as a working husband/father, being away from your child for periods of time longer than 8 hours, can happen. It is that moment that you realize your priorities and what is truly important.

Nothing beats watching your child grow and develop into a little person. Their laugh, demeanor, their love of food, and then you realize that they are turning into you. Everything you do and say they are absorbing into to their super sponge minds. What can be more rewarding than being part of shaping a life from the ground up!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sleep is important for everyone

I don't care how much sleep you's never enough.

I do not function properly without the right amount or type of sleep. I am cranky, my eating habits are out of whack, and in extreme cases physically sick. Now imagine a household where everyone is not sleeping. I can't. It is just too important for me.

Those first few weeks with a newborn are challenging. Many conversations end with, "..I don't care, just do what you have to do, I need to get my sleep!" or "...sorry you are just going to have to learn how to swaddle the baby, I am done." It is a rude awakening for most new parents out there and there is no way to get around it but to communicate and have patience. And will power. And the ability to sleep at your work desk.

As a new parent the last thing you ever want to hear is your child crying. You start wondering, are they sick? Hungry? Tired? Wet? Cold? You are still trying to figure out their cries and when it's serious. It is very frustrating to hear your child crying constantly at 3am and you have no clue why. At one point you have to let 'em cry a little and let them figure it is OK.

It is amazing what you go through just to get them to sleep, and get some sleep for you and your spouse. At one point we had a system worked out that broke down to 3 shifts during the night, sleeping in 3 different bedrooms, a note pad and a bottle. It worked for a while, then we had to adjust. I was happy when I would get 5 hours of sleep and the child 6.

I am sure there are dozens of methods out there to get your child to sleep (and none are more right than others, another blog on another day), but what worked for us in the end and the long run was "Baby Wise". We are a success story. Sleeping through the night by 3 months and by 5 months she was sleeping 12hrs straight with no fussing...she would go easily in her crib and asleep within seconds. And naps have been easy too. A few of the many advantages of sleep are; more adult time (if you know what I mean!), a schedule, easy to identify sickness (waking up or tough to go down = ear infection for us), and most importantly more sleep for me!

Child in one hand, drink in the other

No, no...don't drink and parent...but keep in mind that you have to take time for yourself. Remember that if you aren't all there, it is tough to be there for your child. I think it is important to have that balance in your life, kid time, adult time, alone time, and most importantly sleepy time (sleepy time is a whole other subject...we'll save that for ABOW (another bottle of wine)). I fall into the trap of getting all my joy in life from my kid (and wife too!) but I have to take time for some of those things that make me, me. I enjoy wine. I enjoy drinking wine too!

As your child winds down for the evening and is playing with their food and discovering how fun it is to throw it down to the dog, a glass of wine, out of reach, in a non-breakable glass, while your significant other abstains (really??) your not operating heavy machinery, and all drugs have been administered to your child, is, in a word, bliss. I can still be an adult. I don't have to say "sippy cup" or "kid cup" or play games involving peeking around a corner. At that point its all about you....and the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with. It can pretty easily get forgotten really. As much as you care about your child and worry about every little thing, you have to take time for YOU.

Mothers are important, Fathers are fun!

Mothers have that natural nurturing ability. They want to calm the child when they are fussy, keep their noses (and face) free from snot, and have them dressed in the cutest attire. For fathers, those nurturing qualities do not come naturally. We stumble around to find a "happy" medium between meltdown and serenity. Yeah some guys are more into kids than others, and some may be more "present", but for the most part it is all about fun!

I have caught myself laughing at my child when they are crying for no (good) reason. The more mess, the more for the dog to eat. So the socks don't go with the jacket and the diaper is falling off. So what if he wants to wear his (or her) winter coat while eating dinner. The kid is happy! Yes, I have had the teeth into the forehead and the bloody nose, but the kid was dying with laughter and begging for more. The best is when there is so much splashing in the bath tub there is more water on you and the floor than in the tub.

This is all well and good, but I do wonder if I will always be the "fun one"? I have looked at my daughter as she was about to put dog food in her mouth and said in a stern tone, "Now Honey, I wouldn't do that." And that brings on a meltdown, and dog food she won't let go of until you find something else she can't have to switch it out for. (The trick is to switch out a knife for a fork, and then a spoon for the fork, and then a toy for the spoon. To try and go from knife to the toy would just be ludicrous).

That said, of course I want to be the fun one. And maybe the stern one too, when the time comes (we aren't there yet). Dad's just have a different way about them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


They look OK. Do their fathers have it together? Maybe. We plan to keep this blog up-to-date with great stories, musing and general advise from the Gentleman's perspective.