When I first became a dad, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing or what I was in for. In fact, there are some who would argue I'm not in a better place now after 7 1/2 years either but that's another story altogether and for another time.
Having your first child (or children in my case) is as overwhelming as it is exciting. There is no rule or instruction book that comes with each baby. And while most of parenting comes from trial and error and is customized to each wonderfully unique baby, there are some things that I wish I had known back then that would have spared me some anxiety and growing pains.
So I offer to you 46 morsels of expectant dad advice that hopefully will keep you just a little bit more sane than you may have been without it.FULL ENTRY
ďThe secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.Ē - Socrates
Change. Some of us embrace it while others fear it. Change comes easily for some but for others, itís a slow and painful process. Generally speaking, kids do better with change. More importantly, kids want to and believe they can change the world.FULL ENTRY
For most of my life, Iíve almost always had a dog, cat, or both. In fact, when there isnít an animal around, I canít help but feel that something is missing. All animals, but in particular dogs, hold a special place in my heart. Over the years, they have taught me about love, compassion, forgiveness, loyalty, and the finer art of stick fetching. In truth, they have taught me to be a better person overall and now, as a parent, I recognize even more ways how our four-legged friends enrich the lives of my children.FULL ENTRY
I've often been critical of brands and their stereotypical portrayal of lazy dads who don't care about being a good parent. They too often send a message that the majority of us dads would rather not participate in raising our children because it's hard, because it's inconvenient, and because we can easily get our wives or someone else to do the hard stuff.
Times are changing.FULL ENTRY
Last weekend, the long weekend, my wife and I had the unique opportunity to escape for a few days alone - sans children. Of course itís always hard to leave your kids for any period of time as you perpetually worry about them but sometimes you just need to re-charge the batteries and remember Ďyour everything.íFULL ENTRY
As parents, it is our job to protect, educate, and provide the tools necessary for our children in order for them to thrive and develop their own ideas, desires, and opinions. We do what we can to not just give the answers they so desperately seek, but rather to provide them with a path to find out for themselves.
Except when it comes to football.FULL ENTRY
I have sat down for the past several months trying to write this letter to you both but have not been able to find the words. I wrote Open Letter to My Son with relative ease so I have been perplexed as to why I have had such a hard time writing to you.
Itís hard to believe itís almost 2014. While many of you may look back fondly on this past year, many more may be ready to kick 2013 to the curb and start over with a clean slate. Regardless of which group you fall into, I find it helpful to take stock of my life this time of year. What worked? What didnít work? What could I have done better? What did I accomplish?
Did I succeed? If not, how come? How can I plan for success next year?FULL ENTRY
Are dads more involved today with taking care of their kids than they were say, 10 years ago? The latest survey by the National Center for Health Statistics says, YES!!
While I do take some issue with the survey (mostly due to the fact the findings were self-reported and I know that we [guys] tend to exaggerate just about everything), but generally speaking, I couldn't agree more or be more pleased with the results.FULL ENTRY
Ring any bells?
Being a parent is a without a doubt a precious gift but itís also the most difficult job I've ever had. In particular, these past few months have been enormously stressful for my wife and me, as weíve again been presented with some of lifeís parenting challenges.FULL ENTRY