Reasons why moms hate to admit they love GPS systems like TeleNav

I’m convinced in life that women hate admitting when technology actually serves men really well… take directions/navigation/driving into this formula for a second.  Do you think women are happy that dads now use GPS –  I think not… dont get me wrong, my wife loves that she has a GPS like TeleNav but I’m pretty sure she’s upset that I use it too.

Why? you might ask — I think many women really loved the fact that at some point along the travel route, when we as guys got lost they’ve be able to force our hands tell us we’re wrong and make us stop and ask for directions. And even when they’re wrong and dont have a clue where they’re driving they still make us get out to ask for directions.

Sure – sometimes I think having a GPS like TeleNav takes all the fun out of driving and trying to figure out how to get there… but then again not getting lost is key to me – plus it saves me from hearing my wife nag about how I got us lost or we didnt make it there in time.

My wife really didnt love our “box” GPS system cause it knew the route by didn’t know the traffic conditions or if a location – say a restaurant closed but with TeleNav AT&T Navigator she loves that its giving her almost real time traffic delays and can plan to re-route around it.

Her only major issue is when I used TeleNav to find the cheaper gas and made her drive a couple of miles out of the way to save 30 cents a gallon… yah yah I drove out of the way to save money – didnt I burn gas doing that… yes and no because TeleNav re-routed us after that it actually worked out better.

Yup I think this whole stopping to ask directions things boiled down to women knowing they could pressure men to pull over and ask for directions — now those days are gone – welcome the days of the GPS system… where hopefully you’re maps are updated like mine are with TeleNav so you dont get lost following directions to a place that closed a year ago. Cause thats a fight I dont want to be part of — cause it’ll end up being your fault no matter what.

 

Father’s Day shouldn’t be Dads and Grads

By now you’ve heard the hype of Dad and Grads gifts – STAB me in my eyes and ears – there is little similar of a dad and a grad other then the fact that they could both be male.

When I was a grad I didn’t care anything about the items I care about today with the exception of technology… Even then its a terrible pitch to bloggers, to shoppers, to place in ads… Dads and Grads – we’re far from one and the same.  Sure I still watch Cartoon Network in my boxers like I did when in college but sitting next to me is a two year old laughing his butt off at spongebob (in college is was a heavy set guy called weedy – clearly he was high while laughing).

I want memories – I want photos – I know others that want Days off… how is that similar to a college or high school grad? they want family photos? ha. no they want to travel, drink, ect… they want to be kids.

My short little message to PR, Marketers and all those folks thinking that a Dads and Grads campaign is the way to go – understand you insult everyone – cause I bet if you ask a 20 year old they have no desire to receive the same gift mom is getting their dad.

Balance our time verse the entire family time

One of the things summer comes with it – is Freedom… that freedom being in terms of the lack of school which some how brings in a lack of structure too.  This raises the bar on family activities and no I’m not talking about the local little family that cuddles in the bed on saturday morning for cartoons. I mean that entire family aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, 2nd and 3rd cousins, someone that you havent seen since the 1980’s pinching your cheeks saying how cute you’ve gotten.

With that comes the need to figure out a new balance, juggling the your family stuff verse the entire family stuff… Between the whole family gossip if you miss an event no matter how small will still have someone feeling slighted (at least in my world it does). Or it means I get 20 lectures from my mom or my sister telling me (guilt-ing me really) into trying to go.

This builds major conflict issues between my side of the family and my wife – because its wasnt her plans to spend every free weekend moment doing something or at someplace with my family.  That’s been hard but I’m starting to say No a lot more as 1) our child is growing up and doesnt always find interest in the activities being discussed. 2) As I’ve noticed it seems that everything I miss no matter what is an end of the freaking world – the rapture is here issue… so its like the boy who cried wolf – after a while it stops giving the ring that it once did.

I dont really have advice on this issue – I’m sure I cant be alone on this issue… so how do you juggle the extended family verse immediate family issues?

Do as I say not as I do

How are we teaching out kids these days? Usually the answer is by example… well thats not so easy as I personally think kids in our generation (of being parents) are getting smarter.  I also think that the doors and walls are getting thinner and we’re getting louder.  So think about this next time you’re fighting with your spouse where are the kids? What are they hearing? and most importantly, would I want my kids to fight this way — hows this for thought knowing that with each generation they take things to the next level — how would that fight that your kids are starting to think are ok will be going on when they’ll adults.

Really for me its hard to juggle the balance of where and what I should do… so lately I just do the work, keep my mouth shut and hope that tomorrow is a little better…

I really try to teach my child by example – showing him how to do things and hoping he’ll repeat it in a similar fashion – being the father of a toddler that usually isnt too hard to ask for… but then I get to these moments were I really dont want him copy my actions – I’ll use what I drink as an example – I once in a while have a soda/pop/cola its in my DNA I love a good cold soda… I really dont want to raise my son on those types of drinks for many reasons…

What are a few of the things you do, that you dont want your kids to do? how do you curb that behavior but still try not to curb your own? is there such a thing as having your cake and eating it too?

Daddy Distracted

dis·tract·ed Adjective   /disˈtraktəd/
Synonyms:
  • adjective: distraught, confused
  • Unable to concentrate because one’s mind is preoccupied
    • Charlotte seemed too distracted to give him much attention
    • she ran her fingers through her hair in a distracted fashion
  • Troubled or distraught
    • distracted with grief

Well thats the out of the book definition – its something everyone deals with but I think as a father its comes so easily for me.  Yes, I worry about my child 24/7/365 forever but I also juggle with the worry of work, income, food, work life balance, my wife, my family and so on… are you noticing there is a lot to start juggling. It also doesnt help that I’ve kind of made my hobby social media/blogging/all things dads & parents.  I really dont have that break – I’m coming to a point where I’m not sure this “hobby” was ever truly a hobby or a passion and a calling.

I’ve created more projects that anyone should and could juggle. I’ve also been part of projects that have come and gone and ones that are just on the brink, its all part of life. I also feel like I’m missing key events at home and I’m really worry that I’m always distracted.  Thats the kicker – I’m not sure if its the environment or the way I’ve recently started to deal with stress and pressure (by truly to just forget about it) but I am seeing it getting in the way of moving things forward. Worst of all its starting to put me at risk for other issues – I’ll give you the example – did you do your taxes yet? yah not even close – heck I dont even know where my paper work is anymore… mainly because I put everything in one pile in the kitchen with the mail and bills and well my wife cleans up by just picking piles up and trashing them….

So how do you deal with it? what are you doing to manage the juggle?

 

travel tips for the family from the expert Amy Tara Koch

I had the great pleasure of doing a quick interview with Amy Tara Koch, the author of Bump It Up, trend reporter to NBC, contributer to SELF, New York Times, People’s Mom and Baby, Travel & Leisure, and many others – yah she’s totally an expert on all things style and travel.

Admittedly the first line about I’m following you is awkward but its about Twitter – lol…

We went over some basics of traveling with expecting a baby, traveling with kids of all ages, and tips for what to bring on the plane.

Of course the age old question how do you defuse the angry mob on the plane when your baby/kid just wont stop crying.

Well I could write out all the questions and answers but that would take all the fun out of watching the video.

Standing Pee

There are few moments in a fathers life when he’s truly proud… One of these moments is the ability to say what I’m saying is that my baby boy Pees standing up.  It truly is a guy thing. I know its one of the crowning moments that a Dad with daughters only will never get to experience. For that I’m sorry but for me its the highlight of the month, of the year so far. On the serious side potty training isnt easy, its constently asking do you need to go potty, trying to teach him its not ok to go in the diaper.  We’ve been given tons of advice, some of which just made me laugh out loud… just let him go naked for 3-4 days; they dont like peeing themselves… sure you’ll pick up some doodie off the floor… My response was like a look of puzzlement and maybe horror.   My wife’s been reading a few “experts” online and really wants to introduce where the poop goes after he does it in the diaper and draw that link. To which I also laugh at – after she got angry that I wasn’t doing it and showing him the poop from his diaper goes down the toilet and I did it. Of course in the handling of not touching said poop it landed on the bathroom floor. LOL Her face was priceless… of course I was the one with bleach spray cleaning up but that’s not the point.  My point is this everyone has their own way of training and you’ve gotta make it work for your kid and make it feel right for you and your family. I’m not showing him where the poop goes anymore – really the first goal is dry diapers and only peeing in the potty we’ll get to the pooping in the potty soon enough!

Being a Supportive Dad and Husband

A few weeks ago I had the chance to go to the big city moms (www.bigcitymoms.com) biggest baby shower event. It’s a cross between a pregnancy fair and a New York City party. Hundreds of expecting moms are there finding out information, talking to other moms to be, and enjoying the amazing raffles, prizes, giveaways, and keynote speakers.

Over the years, I’ve been to a few of these baby showers, usually being just one of a handful of guys. That’s the point of this post. As husbands/fathers/father-to-be we need to be more supportive. We need to be more hands on… Now I’m sure the person reading this first is the mom/wife – just know I’m on to you too… you complain that your husband isn’t involved as much as others – well have you let him know what you want? Have you shown him how to do it?

For most guys our father’s generation wasn’t hands on, so our touch point of fatherhood might really be TV. TV for the last 20 years hasn’t been all Bill Cosby like fathers, its mainly been the Al Bundy, Homer Simpson dads. They show a picture of helpless dads, who require strong women to make them do anything. I’m saying… we’re not mind readers and communication is key.

Being involved in our child’s lives is critical, as we’re making the next generation of leaders, of heroes and most importantly fathers & mothers…. Go to the mommy/daddy & me groups, go to the baby shower, learn about the toys and tools that you, your wife, and baby will be playing/learning with… Most importantly stop sitting on the sideline get in the game!

Taking a moment to smell the roses

One thing that you come to realize as a parent is that you’re always pressed for time. No matter the age of your child, there just isnt enough time in the day to do it all. While I was standing there changing my son’s dirty diaper last night (which was terrible smelling!) I thought when was the last me time?! I love my wife and I try to be a good husband by offering her as much alone time as possible, she needs time to plan outfits go shopping, a little perk here and there of getting her nails done. It just hit me that it had been weeks (maybe months) since I had a boys night out. 

Staying home and watching some TV or getting 5 minutes on the computer isnt time to relax, isnt time to process, its just filler time – white noise so to speak. I enjoy a few tv shows but the fact thats what I consider my time is really kind of sad. I love being with my son but I also love that I have friends, live in an amazing place where there is so much to do or see! I havent been to a gallery or art show in years (used to be monthly for me).

I approached my wife to this idea that we need a new schedule (because really if it wasn’t for our calendar – I’m pretty sure we would have forgotten the kid at home by now 😛 [I kid, I kid]) I proposed that we make a weekly date night and that two nights a week we dedicate to our personal nights one for her and one for me. Do with them what you will – hang with friends, go to that happy hour with co-workers, get something done with no hassles and no deadlines of being home. This is also really important since its the holiday season and if my wife wants any type of a surprise gift – I need the time to find and surprise her with it!

So remember taking time to smell the roses is time for a mental holiday (even just for a few hours) but if nothing more might return the favor of a surprise gift 🙂 and dont we all want that!

I Am Your Father. And Don’t You Forget It.

Being a parent is tough stuff… and some how our parents wont ever let us forget how awful we were as kids, so I’m sure I wont let my child forget when he gets older. I’m a dad to a wonderful son named Marc, he’s just a few months over two years old and boy has shit hit the fan.

The terrible twos started at 20 months old for him, when he really started to say No. No. No. No. Even to the simple questions do you want to eat? no. do you want to have your diaper changed? no. These are clearly things I would want to say Yes too. Of course I tested this theory of life out by offering known treats like do you want a cookie? Yes. do you want to watch more Yo Gabba Gabba? Yes.

It’s been great to watch him develop right in front of my eyes. From the days of non-verbal communication, to now him slurring out full sentences. Ok… he fully has to repeat and still use some non-verbal tools to get me to understand what he really is saying but he knows what he wants to say and he thinks he’s saying it.

Which leads me to my title I am your father. And don’t you forget it… We’re beyond the testing phase not we’re at the all out crossing lines. You know the fighting to hold hands to cross streets, usually he wants to do it himself or be carried no in between. There is little I can do to hold him when he doesn’t want to be held, because his feet hang in a good sweet spot of my lower gut.

I’ve started talking back to him and I find myself saying it – because I say so or I’m your father and all the other great dadisms out there. He reacts well depending on his mood or depending on which way the wind blows or if the groundhog saw its shadow.

It’s a fun ride parenthood – I’m sure the stories I’ll tell my kid will make him the next year plus just like my parents have been telling me what a hell raiser I was at his age.

Being more then just a DAD

As of late I’ve been so consumed with my own life I havent been a good friend to many and really a little bit of a bad son.  My Father and I have had a great relationship – yes, my dad was one of those pushy – get yourself a job type Dads. I know that it was all just the concept of unsugar coating life – work equals money, nothing is given freely in this life.  The points in my life where my Dad was truly just in father mode – pushing for education, pushing for success in sports, working on developing me as a better person then him were the same points at which we strained to have a friendship.

Because of my parents divorce those periods of time became or seem to become longer as he had less daily interaction with us but was there weekly. That role shifted from friend/father to disciplinary more and more… it wasnt until I finished my first semester of high school did it go back to the amazing friendship, maybe because he know I was all accepted into college and I was going to have to be more independent there as well.

Since that point we’ve been best friends more then just a Dad encouraging or directing or giving advice but true friends. Sure every now and again he needs to step into the role of Dad but no matter what I’m still his child and I get that but I’d much rather have him as a friend – he’s easier to talk to, understand the problems of juggling work/life, seems to understand how things are different being a father a generation later.

Most importantly he’s always been there for me… no matter the role! This post reminds me to give him a call and say thank you…. because – well just because!

Are you in Social Media or Are you a DAD in Social Media

Over the last few days (maybe weeks) we’ve seen this crash and burn of the daddy blogs. We’ve seen dozens of posts discuss why the Daddy Blogger community isnt (or maybe is) working and how dysfunctional we all are…

I’ve always said that getting to conferences would be hard because my job was social media not Daddy Social Media (sure thats the hope and dream).  There is a lot around this hype of year of the dad blogger and lately many have been trashing the view point. Clearly it is the year of the dad blogger because we’re finally coming into light – I know many dads who have blogged for years. Expect they were never really invited to events or had been working with brands until now.

The other major thing is that there has been an explosion of blogs in this space (more so then in the mommy space).  I think maybe its because the economy has created new work life balances or perhaps we’re becoming more open as guys in general.  I got into being a Dad blogging because I was the first of my friends and my son was on a fast growth pace… so everyone came to us asking what do you use, what did you buy.

Which leads me here today – where the playing field is now being divided between those that label themselves social media and those that label themselves as daddy bloggers or Dads in social media.  Please let me point out clearly there is a difference… Dads usually usually have something on their clothes – a greasy hand print, a little baby spit-up, maybe its just the 3 day old growth because you’re up every 3 hours taking care of the kiddo. Being a guy in social media is usually defined as one who can wear clothes without getting them dirty, ability to social network after the 9-5 job – say a client dinner or a happy hour networking event. The big difference here is money – one is paid while the other one isnt – currently as with many of the startup tiered mommy blog work and compensation is offered in product/swag.  Being professional is defined payment (in cash or credit) but then again I’m pretty professional – you can ask anyone I’ve consulted or offered advice to just because I dont ask for cash in return doesnt mean my knowledge is less valuable (or does it?!).

Other the last few weeks there have been dialogs going on about the future of DadRevolution and actually many other Dad properties and ventures.  It seems for some reason – maybe its the back to school/fall reality setting in… maybe its just that us Dads in Social media see the way to grow it to expend start another blog or 3 😛 whatever the reason I know many other sites are going though the same growing pains.

I know for me I’m a Dad in Social Media and I’m active in Social Media – its my 9-5 but in the end the thing that will get me up and out of bed every morning is my child saying DaDa.

Rocking the boat!

My mother always said I had a face for radio – I figured this one was better said in with the written word… Over the last year the coined term year of the dad blog has been tossed around just about daily. I’m not going to argue the merits of if it is or isnt thats not the point.  I want to talk about how we’re now becoming a social force, its seen very day but by brands, by brand reps (public relations or advertising), its seen most by the moms.  What used to be a few has now become many. What is now many will become the norm. The same way it happen to the mom bloggers it will happen again (yah I’m a matrix fan)… but truth be told it might be slightly different.

Last week a men’s conference was held – I’m just point it out –  it was truly the gathering of some of the leaders of this moment.  I really loved Ron’s write up [Link] because it lays some of the clear differences between men and women in this space.  I’m sure as the pool of bloggers grow they’ll be more people to fill in these spots of the freebie blogger as Ron talks about.

I think this is all about community maybe we should call it a Fraternity. I was in a Fraternity in college it was some of the great male bonding moments in my life. For the most part this is what I see happening in this space, we have the alphas, the betas, and all the other houses… We have the jocks, the stay at homes, we got the 9-5er, we’ve got the single dads, its great! Best part is we’re adults (for the most part) so we’re all for the most part getting along.  I dont see why not there is plenty of room in this sandbox, even if I have to break Josh’s back bringing in more sand to fill it! (if you dont get the joke you didnt see last nights post [Link]).

At the same time we’ve become a movement a redefinition to what is a social/digital parent! We are all pushing these lines in the sand – recently there was a call for people to submit entries into something called Project Mom I was the only guy/dad to submit and was told that and thats why there wasnt a place for me. I get it – we didnt rock the boat since then there was a casting call from iVillage for a new project called iVoices. Once again I applied this time it was a little different out of 500+ women and moms, I was the only guy! To my shock I was picked as a finalist!

Check this out as they really discuss it how there was only 1 guy! [Link] Now if I win that would be amazing and if not I hopefully pushed that door open just a little bit.  I also recently saw Babble’s top 50 twitter moms great list – I know many of them personally and in real life. I also got to meet a few new people and start to follow a bunch of women I didnt know at all… They also put up a nomination area for the public to say who they missed… someone dropped my name in there and well I think its awesome that people are event thinking about me but also know I want this to not only be a mommy and a daddy world but also a parents world.

We need to rock this boat!

Back to school

I remember the time when I was a kid laying in bed the days before school was to start thinking of all the things that a new grade, or a new school had to offer.  I really remember that the night before the drive to college with my father. I also remember my mom and my dad the days before school started they clearly had been worn out by us (my sister and myself) being home and fighting each other after camp (sleep away or day camp).

I think my mom was almost excited to take us shopping for school supplies, I know she was never happy with the amounts of money that were spent – its costs a small fortune to pay for all the items a kid will need these days.  My cousin just started the 5th grade his request a new laptop, I wish that was possible back in my dads – I had an Apple 2GS and that was it!

Thankfully or not my son isnt really ready for school yet… although I plan to educate him in the ways of not pooping his pants this year (yah that’ll be fun! I’ve save more for a potty training post). I know that some parents are happy to send their kids off the bus – some parents arent happy and try to get on the bus as well (just for the record if you do this you embarrass your kid and yourself when you do this).

I’d also be remiss in my responsiblities to point out funny items I’ve seen being forwarded around some email boxes…

10 Misconceptions of Moms and Back-to-School

Misconception Number 1: Moms miss their kids when they go back to school

Seriously. I’ve had enough of you by now. Every morning with the “what are
…we going to do today, Mom?” is finally over. I’ve had looked at your face
twenty-four seven for the last 77 days. It’s time to go learn something. No
more asking me about the pool, when is the next snack or if you can stay up
late and watch a movie. It’s over..You’re going back to Hogwarts and I get
to have a life again. There is a Christmas morning for parents and it’s
called “back to school”.

Misconception Number 2: Moms like to go school shopping.

Are you freaking kidding me? Why do I pay taxes?.so I can rack up a 200
dollar bill at Staples for crap that we have laying around my house in junk
drawers. Why does it have to be new pencils? What’s wrong with the chewed
up, broken strawberry shortcake pencils sitting in the bottom of the toy box
for the last 6 months? And how many subject books can you possibly need?
What happened to reading, writing and arithmetic. If they added a couple of
things for parents to that list I wouldn’t mind so much..why not pencils,
erasers and vodka …or some Nyquil.

Misconception Number 3: Moms like back to school night.

Why must we do this every year? I got it already. You’re the teacher. I’m the
parent. My kid is either going to be smart or dumb. If he gets a certain
number or colored dot on his discipline chart, he can get a prize from the
prize box. Pretty simple stuff. Listen, I’m pretty old school. If he doesn’t
listen to you. you can throw something at him. I don’t care. But I got a lot
of work to do at home and I’m paying a babysitter right now. Plus, I’m
pretty sure you are going to assign some project on wigwams made by some
Indian tribe I’ve never heard of, so I need to get home and start my
research. So, I got it. We’re all here for the betterment of the kids. Blah
Blah Blah. Can I leave now?

Misconception Number 4: Moms like school paperwork.

How many trees are you planning on killing to tell me the same stuff I had
to pay a babysitter to listen to the other night? You know our name, where
we live and our emergency phone numbers. He doesn’t have a nickname..call
him “stinkbutt” for all I care. We don’t have any “special circumstances”
that you need to know about. He lives in a home with two parents who may or
may not like each other at any given time and they will fight. If that
qualifies as a reason he can’t get his homework done on time then he won’t
be able to function as an adult and have a real job so you may want to
“educate” him on that life lesson.

Misconception Number 5: Moms like covering books in that annoying sticky
paper.

What exactly will you be doing with these books that I have to cover them in
a plastic laminate? Do you often teach in the rain? Or while the children
are drinking soda and eating soup? Do you know how long that takes? Has any
parent in the history of education been able to do it without any air
bubbles in it? From now on I’m covering it the old way. brown paper bags.
That way I can cover the books and pack their lunches at that same time. Who
says moms can’t multitask?

PS. Please tell my son if he can’t find his lunch to look in his science
book.

Misconception Number 6: Moms like helping you with your homework.

What? I am scared out of my mind. I’m pretty sure that I forgot everything I
learned in fifth grade by the time I was in sixth grade. I have no idea what
you are talking about most days. I don’t really know my 12 times tables, I
read the cliff notes to all your summer reading and I don’t know how to
conjugate anything but I do know that song “conjuction junction what’s your
function” if that helps at all. And please don’t even say the words “new
math” to me. What the heck was wrong the old one?

Misconception Number 7: Moms can’t wait to pack your lunch every day until
we die.

I hate doing laundry. Making dinner every night is the bane of my existence,
so making your lunch every day for an entire year, in terms of “mom fun”,
lies somewhere between brushing plaque off the dogs teeth and scheduling my
annual pap smear. Listen, as a child I hated what my mom packed me for
lunch. But, like every kid before me, and every generation to come you will
find a kid to trade with. I’m sure someone likes sardines.

Misconception Number 8: Moms love after school activities.

I don’t know who made up this idea of organized clubs and sports but they
should be the ones in charge of carting your ass around. Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not against all after school programs. I just wish they would offer it
during hours that would work best for me so that dinner wasn’t at 8:30 at
night followed by 4 hours of homework. Why not do it on the weekends and
call it “after-hours activities” so mommy and daddy could actually go out
one night and pretend that we have a life of our own. Don’t worry about us
though I’m sure that me and “what’s his name” will be married a very long
time.

Misconception Number 9: Moms don’t mind taking you to school if you miss the
bus

Your bus comes at 7:10 am..which means that you should be standing by the
door at 7:05 am. Not eating breakfast , chasing the dog around the house or
in the bathroom, asking me to check your homework while I’m taking a shower.
Get it together! I don’t like running down the street in my jammies at 7:12
screaming “Please wait” or “If you stop I’ll show you my boobies.”

Misconception Number 10: Moms cry on your first day of school

We do cry but they are tears of joy. I have done my job. I have successfully
kept a human child alive for at least 5 years without doing any major
damage. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world!! Sure, doctors save
lives and CEO’s run million dollar businesses but. You teach a kid not to
poop their pants and then you can say you’ve made the world a better place.”

I laughed at that a lot and I think you can almost interchange mom for dad on most… I know I’m looking forward to the days of my son coming home telling me that amazing new fact he learned in school and helping with homework (in some cases doing it for him – like my dad did for me).

Dads in media

When was the last time you saw a cool, helpful, knowledgeable dad on a tv show? if you’re already saying Cosby you could be right – do you know how wrong that is?! it went off the air in 1992 – we’ve seen nothing since ok some people would argue that Parenthood could be the bright star in the sky but its too much drama and very little interaction of dad.

I’ve been on this kick lately that ever since Al Bundy or Homer Simpson the roll of father has become a kicking post.  I believe some of it is to better engage women but really its been the dumbing down of dad.

I’ve only seen two versions of a Dad being shown the drooling idiot father or the Jimmy Stewart too go to be true 1940’s dad that actually respected his wife (way before the time when that was happening).  I get that the feminist movement has changed the way women look at men and its certainly has changed the way men look at home. We’ve reached a point where there are more stay at home dads then ever, more work at home dads, dads who work but still have involved upbringing with their child.

I think its time we start getting the role of dad straight – we’re not all drooling idiots like we do on TV. We are fathers, care takers, bread winners, lovers, husbands, friends, and family. I want to see that new age dad reflected in our media culture.

I also wouldn’t mind having one of those awesome Cosby sweaters from the 80’s.

Daddy stands out in a crowd!

I wasnt really going to write about BlogHer here too since I did a small recap on my personal blog site [Link]. Although I wanted to keep telling the story of how it felt to be at a conference where you’re less then 10% of the total amount of people attending the conference, first its a little weird and awkward.  If you dont think so, thats fair but when you first step into a room filled with women, some of whom you know and most of whom you really dont know you get that little voice in your head saying “Really?! Really?! do you really need to be here?”.

The concept of flight or fight kicks into overdrive once you encounter the least bit of push back of someone questing your intentions at a “women” focus event. While I so happy to connect with all the different men/dads that were at the conference, some of whom you’ll see on DadRevolution in the coming weeks (hopefully) writing guest posts. This wasnt my first conference designed for the opposite sex, clearly some brands knew and recognized the fact that dads/men were going to come (and had different printout/materials/swag for them) some didnt care and really didnt want to focus time on you, which is sad. I understand where they’re coming from for them this is their event to truly connect with the powerhouse that is female social media. Although jokes would have you hear the drum beat in the distance which is that of the social media push of the dad/guys.  M3Summit taking place in Atlanta in a few weeks is just the first of many conferences and its going to set the bar in how men are dealt with in the space of social media. Sure clearly there are guys that are gurus of social media but they arent being marketed to like the moms/women bloggers (yet), some of that is because brands have tried using the traditional pitch… I get it, to rewrite the rule book would be tough stuff but if you really want to effectively market towards men/dads you’re going to need a new playbook.

The days of men being shown as total idiots, the dads who cant change a diaper or have issues getting it together isnt really the case anymore.  Also neither is the case of the dad wearing a cape flying around the city doing 3 jobs, finding time to be an amazing dad, and only drinking and smoking a cigar to relax once everyone is asleep isnt great either (because they’re both unrealistic). Look I’m not about to change my kids diaper and put ducktape around his legs to make sure I get those pesky leaks. I’m also not going to dangle my baby over the rail of a hotel (MJ already tried that)… I’m also not going to forget them! We’re quickly coming at the tipping point for dads in social media, you clearly see the wave that Dad is the new mom is being said by brands (but is that really truly?!) or are we just in a fundamental shift of parenthood and the parenting space.

I know that in the coming months there will be lots of social media conferences, ones aiming directly at the hearts of moms and they’ll be creating tracks/sessions/partner conferences aimed towards guys.  Thats real, thats happening why because brands do want to figure out how to engage men/dads more. They want a better answer then the key difference is we pee standing up (my line from evo) and to be honest after more time in the space I really dont know if there is a fundimental difference other then that – I know men are less likely to try new products – we are very much creatures of habits, so attending blogher totally goes against most of the cells in our body.

I will say this I love going to events and feeling welcomed, there wasnt an hour at blogher where I was introduced or introducing myself and heard so you’re dada rocks! That was truly great to see friends that I’ve only connected to online in real life is great.  Connecting with old friends (who I met at EVO) who live around the country is amazing. Yup this dad does stand out in a crowd and thats fine with me! In the long run we’ll need more conferences that focus on the social media space of both parents.

Because if you really want to understand someone you really need to sit down and start talking to them… trying to use a mold already made for a different cross segment isnt going to fully work.  What do you think?






The first words of a child

One things thats been on my mind lately has been my child’s first words – Marc is now 22 months old and is really spilling the words out of his mouth. At the start of all this it was baby co’s and ca’s that later formed da.  It was Da for a while (although now without having these things written down or really video recorded the wifey is claiming it was Ma). Later that turned from Da to DaDa which is some of the base of the name DaDa Rocks.

Milestones like these are incredible. I’m so happy to have shared and to have been a part of this amazing journey with Marc. Today you can point to colors and he’ll with 80% accuracy say the right color (still has little slip up with tints/shades and with orange) but otherwise he’s solid.  We’ve started working on objects with the help of toys, some media (website) and some really cool ipad/ipod apps that does baby flash cards. It’s very impressive if I do say so myself.  Sure every parent thinks their kid is the next Einstein (wouldn’t that be nice) but I’m not one of those dads… I’ll push my child beyond his comfort zone so he can have successes that he wouldn’t think would be there for him. Its that gentle hand to the back pushing the baby bird out of the nest right?

While at EvoConference Marc was a huge hit – he’s totally cute and could melt anyone’s heart (expect for the person sitting in from of him on a plane and maybe that women who he tossed food at [thats why you get for making funny faces at a toddler who’s eating!]). Over the last 3 weeks he’s gotten the hang of saying DaDa Rocks (its now super clear), and he’s even got MaMa Rocks and Baby Rocks down solid.

Overall I’m amazed that he knows what he’s saying and what we’re saying to him – its not like we every sat there and said what the bed was but he know when we say its time for bed – he’s already walking to a bed (maybe not his own but still knows were our bed is).

I wish I could true express how excited I am that I’m now able to talk with my son and soon we’ll be able to have conversations. What do you look forward to? what conversation do you want to have with your children? What was your child’s first words?

Is the Revolution just another form of Evolution

This week I’m sitting in my parents-in-law home in Texas trying to watch how much BBQ I eat, my manners, and really trying to watch the GDs, Fbombs, and all the other cursing that comes bonded in my DNA as a true New Yorker. Last week I was in Salt Lake City/Park City Utah for the Evolution of Women in Social Media Conference.  It was called EVO, I spoke on a panel of other dad bloggers being @BenSpark, @telling_dad, @dadventourus (myself @dada_rocks being the fourth).

The panel was well received, which was surprising because we werent talking about being a woman or how to empower other women, we basicly laided out the princles of how the dad bloggers are doing things differently then the mom bloggers – I dont see it as much as different as we’re doing it as a 2.0 movement watching what the leaders of the mom community have done and replicating those movements along with the dash of humo and what other mom bloggers use here and there.  Its not like we’re rewriting rules I made a joke how the biggest difference between the sexes of parent bloggers is really we pee standing up, but ofcourse there are those late nights when you dont want to turn on the lights… and well sure we may squat a time or two too.

I’ve always considered myself a true believer in women’s rights ever since I worked at Catalyst [www.catalyst.org] I meet some many amazing women (some men some of who being fortune 500 CEOs) . The movement is clearly still there, and the EVO conference which this was the first one was so cleanly put together it felt like it had been running for years.

The women I had meet were incredible inspirations, second to my wife (sorry if I dont put that in there I’m not getting feed for a month). The discussion points ranged for the unique difference of how men behave and laser target after something while women become all emotional and sometimes can put a value on the work they do.  Clearly this isnt something I believe in… coming from new york city you meet plenty of women – sure some are quite and shy but others are shouting from the rooftops hell raisers (basically its the Type A personality) and that’s for men too.  I keep harping on this point that we’re not truly different – although personalities can range from the Type A to the wallflowers thats the key difference.

As I start to finalize a vision for my blogging persona its clear that while the concept of dads is key and should be embraced we’re also writting to and for the women/moms whos husband/dad wont open up.  I’m not the best communicator with my wife and she isnt the best communicator with me (thats ok) but its something I hope to improve with over time.

For now I’m just trying to mind my manners, keep making the good impression on my in-laws and keep my head above water.

I want my kid to be batman, ok how about just to like batman

I love having a little boy, sometimes I forget the fact he’s still a baby in a lot of ways… The term is toddler and that means he’s totally into Elmo, Mickey Mouse, and  Yo Gabba Gabba but that doesnt really work well with the cartoons I wouldnt mind watching…

Yes, I’m a grown man and I like to watch cartoons – what you’re going to make a big deal about it?!

My wifey hates the fact I still like watching a good cartoon here and there – Ben 10 and Batman are the ones currently getting recorded on the DVR.  I wish my kid would like batman first its a great excuse to the wifey that the kiddo is really the one watching it but more so then I can enjoy the show too.  Its all about spending time with the kid right?

To that point I’m soooo ready for my little toddler to become a little boy – ready to do the trip to six flags for him to be into all the comic book stuff that I’ve worked hard to collect as a teenager and ready to pass down a great (and underrated) art form.

I want to hear all the ideas and concepts of the super hero he creates and imagines being.

In the time being I’ll enjoy taking him to the playgrounds hearing him talk about Muno, Plex, and Brobee in the toddler language that only a few people understand. Give him baths and just enjoy him being a baby because I do see that he’s growing up too fast!

Romancing the stone

Sure its the title of a movie directed by Robert Zemeckis starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner,  and Danny DeVito. It is also a similar feeling to how romance goes once you have kids. I’m real in the fact that once we had a child it was a nose dive – we didnt sleep (heck, we still dont sleep) and sometimes we have different viewpoints on how we’re raising our son. None the less the the action/adventure that made the heat, is slowly turning into drool.

Of course it doesnt help that we’re now sharing our bed with our child.  I dont really talk to much about this topic mainly because I still havent found the balance or a working solution.  Sure I highly suggest Date Night because you need to dress up and wipe off the drool from your shoulder try to act like adults and get out for a moment.  I also highly recommend doing a short vacation without the kids – even if its a stay-cation and you take a local hotel room its great to connect, if you could swing the few days away in paradise it’ll really help you drift away (just make sure whoever is watching the kids know that you’re not to be disturbed unless there is an ER visit!).

I hear couple talk about just wanting to spend time alone – which I do understand too but many people dont… my reasoning is sound in the fact that you need to take care of yourself first then you can take care of others… if you need a moment you need a moment before you can share moments together and really appreciate them.

Romancing the stone is just a funny topic because after such long periods of time you both forget what true passion and romance is to each other… so its almost like we’re both stone.  Sure as a guy we’re almost turned on by any shiny object but to reconnect with your partner/wife is never as simple.  You’re almost required to go to great lengths to make them forget about the day to day with kids, to make them feel special (where usually its about making your children feel special), and most importantly feel connected.

I know how to do awesome dates (it also helps to be in NYC where romance is just a little bit more expensive then a regular meal out) its also easy to toss some romance in to a simple evening at home with the right wine, cheese, and some flowers but to keep that romance there everyday is much harder and goes way beyond telling my wife how beautiful she looks.

Recently the topic of how did our parents and grandparents make this all work – I still wonder that even on romance front (forgetting how did they make it in the car for hours on end without a PSP or a pocket DVD player or an iPod).  Maybe that’s the culture shift and why so many marriages are ending these days – because we’re forgetting to take care of each other and putting so much focus on our children.  Who knows… its a long standing discussion.

My only advice is this – tell your wife/partner how much you care about them, tell them how much they mean to you and inspire passion into you and your life.