WWF in Fatherhood? Differences in Raising Boys and Girls.

As a father of two girls there is a perceived notion that you must raise your daughters in a certain way (or at least I sometimes get this impression form the people that I interact with). At the same time, when I talk to fathers of boys, I hear differing things about their impressions and the ways in which they feel that they can and should raise their boys as well.

For girls, there is the impression that society expects that they will be introduced to dolls, dress up and the like and that fathers will support this feminine societal view. While boys are given toy guns, legos, cars or trucks to solidify their manhood. Who says though that it has to be this way? Who says that a girl can’t love playing with cars or trucks? Who says that a boy cannot like playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?

For me, I have always encouraged my girls to do what they want to do. Whether this is playing baseball or dolls, dress up or cars, I am encouraging them to be the person that they want to be while at the same time encouraging them to explore areas outside of the normal societal mores.

As a father of two girls there is a perceived notion that you must raise your daughters in a certain way (or at least I sometimes get this impression form the people that I interact with). At the same time, when I talk to fathers of boys, I hear differing things about their impressions and the ways in which they feel that they can and should raise their boys as well.

For girls, there is the impression that society expects that they will be introduced to dolls, dress up and the like and that fathers will support this feminine societal view. While boys are given toy guns, legos, cars or trucks to solidify their manhood. Who says though that it has to be this way? Who says that a girl can’t love playing with cars or trucks? Who says that a boy cannot like playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?

For me, I have always encouraged my girls to do what they want to do. Whether this is playing baseball or dolls, dress up or cars, I am encouraging them to be the person that they want to be while at the same time encouraging them to explore areas outside of the normal societal mores.

I have been encouraging this from an early age and I show this not only in the things that I let them see and try, but also in the things that I do with them. Thus, whether it is wrestling and roughhousing with them on the floor or dancing will we can’t see straight, I am pushing myself to look outside of the box while at the same time encouraging them to explore non-traditional society roles and activities.

I truly believe that fathers who do this are building their daughters into strong, well-adjusted members of society that will be able to stand on their own two feel and who will be able to decide for themselves in the end what is right and what they will stand for. In the end, that is what I want for my daughters. I want them to be self-sufficient and I want them to know that no matter what society will say that they can do and be what they want to be no matter what!

What about you? How do you encourage this in your own children?

Let the Kids Help

My biggest shortcoming as a Naval officer is definitely my ability (or lack thereof) to delegate. I would much rather just do the job myself and make sure it’s done correctly than take the time to train someone else and then check their work afterwards. This is something that I try to work on, but (as with anything worth doing), it’s not easy. As I gain rank and responsibility, however, it’s going to become critical for my sanity.

I sincerely wished that this fault only extended towards my career. Unfortunately, it seems to apply to the kids as well. If I can get the dishes done in 15 minutes, why should I let the kids help when I usually end up redoing their work and it takes me twice as long? If I’m cleaning up the back yard, do you realize how much time I will have to spend cleaning them afterwards? When they help vacuum, they inevitably get in the way or run over the dog. It just seems to be more trouble than it’s actually worth. Of course, it seems that way because I don’t actually realize what that worth is. There are three great reasons to let the kids help out around the house.

The first reason is that they actually want to help. How refreshing is that? They want to help you unload the washing machine and put together the new bookcase. I have to imagine that this particular attitude isn’t going to last forever. It’s probably a good idea to take advantage of it while we can.

The second reason is that it does teach them how to do things. Maybe loading the dishwasher isn’t necessarily the most crucial life skill, but it’s certainly something that will come in handy. It’s much better to teach them these things when they actually want to learn.

The third reason is that if they’re helping you, they’re not doing something that they shouldn’t. They are right there beside you the entire time. If they’re helping you get the cord out of the vacuum because they managed to run it over for the third time, they’re definitely not trying to break into your medicine chest.

I’ll use the one instance where I actually succeed with this subject as an example. The favorite meal in our house is when I make chicken fried steaks. Since we don’t eat red meat, I use pork cutlets, and everyone loves it. This is the meal that our daughter actually requests for her birthday. Making the meal has turned into a family affair where both kids get to help.

There’s three stages to the breading process. First, the cutlet is coated with flour. Then, it’s dropped in an egg wash. Finally, it is coated with a flour/corn meal/seasoning mixture. We set up a sort of assembly line process. Our son (2 y/o) will take the meat and put it in the flour, flipping it to make sure that both sides are coated. He’ll then drop it in the egg wash. From there, our daughter (5 y/o) will take the pork and coat it in the final mixture. I’ll then take it and start cooking it up.

Does this process take about twice as long as it would if I did it by myself? Absolutely. You have to be pretty watchful since there’s raw pork and eggs involved, and cleaning 18 layers of flour, corn meal, and paprika of their hands is always a challenge. It’s worth it though. The kids have a great time. They are helping out, and they’re learning a little bit about cooking. Best of all, they are exactly where I can see them, and they’re not doing something crazy like trying to complete the perfect bunk bed swan dive. It’s a lot of fun, and as an added bonus, they actually like dinner more because they helped to make it.

If only I could make myself be this patient and understanding with everything else.

The Revolution Grows

I’m Military Dad, and I have officially joined the Revolution. I have written guest posts here before, and I have now been asked to become a full contributor on this incredibly valuable site. It’s an amazing honor and quite humbling for a blogger as small time as myself to digitally work alongside such huge names in this field like The DaddyYo Dude, NewYorkDad, DaDa Rocks, and the rest of the distinguished cast here. It’s a special kind of awesomeness, and I am grateful.

I think it’s important to establish what Dad Revolution means to me. There are a lot of group blogs out there that deal with fatherhood, and they’re all great. They are all slightly different in what they stress, and there is an amazing group of bloggers that keep them populated. When I read the articles on Dad Revolution, there is one central concept that always stands out and speaks to me personally: do the right thing when it comes to fatherhood.

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always obvious. Being a good father is as much about sacrifice, pain, and fear as it is about hugs and kisses. There is no map, and there are no road signs. You take the advice that you can get, and then you try to apply it to your special set of circumstances. If it doesn’t work, you make it up and hope it doesn’t explode in your face. This is true whether you’re a married dad, divorced dad, stay-at-home dad, work-at-home dad, gay dad, adoptive dad, or whatever your case may be. Every family is different. This is a fact that makes parenting incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding all at the same time. There are times when you will question your methods late into the night, and there are days where you will fall asleep instantly with a smile on your face. Whatever the case is, as long as you get up the next morning and try again, you are doing the right thing. You are trying to raise your children to be kind, couragous, and just all around awesome. 

Are we going to make mistakes along the way? Absolutely. When that happens, are we going to dust ourselves off and try again? You better believe it. Quitting is easy. Disappearing is easy. Letting someone else take care of it is easy. Parenting is hard. Caring for sick kids is hard. Putting aside your own desires to make things better for your children is hard. With all that in mind, why do we do it? We do it because we are dads, we love our kids more than life itself, and it’s the right thing to do.

Now, I know I’m preaching to the choir to a certain extent. The fact that you are reading this post means that you believe in what I just said enough to search for it, or you’ve been here before and liked the message enough to return. This brings me to the second core concept of this site that appealled to me: caring.

You’re reading this because you care. We blog because we care. Sure, maybe the message is mostly falling on the ears of believers. Does that make it any less potent? Of course not. Horrible fathers are in the news every day. They give the rest of us (the huge majority) a bad name. It’s time to spread the word about good fathers and great dads. It’s time to make our voices heard and ensure that we are counted fairly. We are doing the right thing, we care, and we should be known.

Join the Revolution. Read our posts and maybe even submit one of your own. Search through the other great daddy blogs out there and read what they have to say. Most of all, continue to do what brought you to this site in the first place. Do the right thing and care. Being a dad isn’t easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

Be Cognizant of Being Over Protective of Your Kids

Today I wanted to talk about the protection of our children and being able to let go when needed.

Today I wanted to talk about the protection of our children and being able to let go when needed.
Today we are talking about being protective our children. When I talk about this, it is important to know what it means to be protective and what it means to be overprotective. There have been many times when I have seen parents who disagree to the extent of protecting their children, and I have even found J-Mom and I differing on this every now and again. Thus, as parents you must have a discussion while your children are young to determine where that line is for each of you. Every parent is different and there is no right answer regarding this, but there are signs of over protection that you should be aware of and steer away from.
Some questions you should ask yourself include:
  • How far can you child ride their bike without you being concerned about their well being?
  • Can you child go and play in the dirt (getting dirty along the way) without repercussion?
  • If your child starts to cry (or fake cry) do you run to their side or do you take more of the “are you bleeding?” approach.
  • Do your children make choices for themselves or do they always defer to you?
If you answered yes to any (or all) of the above, this does not mean completely that you are overprotective, but it may give you something to pause about as you are thinking about the raising of your children. As the below articles will reflect, providing a safe environment is critical, yet it is very important to provide your kids room to grow and learn in an environment that encourages exploration and (some) risk taking.

So ask yourself the above questions? Do you find yourself to be overprotective? In what ways? What steps will you take to provide your kids more room to make choices and take risks? Do you feel that being overly protective is a negative trait, why or why not?

If you are so inclined please leave your responses in a comment below.  I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

Teaching Your Kids to Serve Others

I am a Rotarian and their creed is “Service Above Self”, thus for me it is important to be able to live this on a daily basis and also espouse it to my children with the hope that they will follow my example as they grow older.

I am a Rotarian and their creed is “Service Above Self”, thus for me it is important to be able to live this on a daily basis and also espouse it to my children with the hope that they will follow my example as they grow older.

Serving others can be as simple as doing something like what you see in the image above, or it can be giving your time to a child through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. No matter how you serve, it is important that your children see you doing this and understand why it is important. Too often in the media driven age that we live in, children fail to see the good in others and the good in reaching out and making a difference to people around them. Watching you as their parents, they will see either through overt or non-action what is important and will take your cue. Thus, if you can start instilling in your children at an early age that serving others in some way that is meaningful to them is positive and important, they will live a life of service as they grow into adulthood.

Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • How do you and your child serve others?
  • What are some activities that you and your child can do together that will serve others in your community?
As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow.

In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:

In what ways do you serve others on a daily/weekly basis and how do you share this with your kids?

Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When To Fold ‘Em

As a father there are times when I just want to freeze time and not let my girls get any older. I want to capture their innocence and bottle it up so that they will always know what it was like to be free of inhibition, doubt, and the other cares of the world.

As a father there are times when I just want to freeze time and not let my girls get any older. I want to capture their innocence and bottle it up so that they will always know what it was like to be free of inhibition, doubt, and the other cares of the world. In speaking to other parents, I know that they feel similar, and as you child gets ready to go to school for the first time, the reality hits you that this innocence could be shattered at the slightest word, action or thought that someone else may interject and there is nothing that you can do about it besides try and help your child to be ready and willing to stand up for themselves on their own two feet.

The question that continues to ring through my brain is how to best do this, and how best to slowly let go of the reigns that I have to allow for my daughters independence and personalities to develop and flourish on their own.

As Diva-J has gotten older J-Mom and I have continually played the game of give and take and as she starts to become more responsible in some areas, we tend to give a bit more in regards to autonomy, which I think is the nature of parenting. On the other hand, as I said earlier, it is s nice to have your little child, and it is difficult to let that go as they get older.

Many of the resources I found when thinking about this topic talk about the letting go process parents go through within the College years. I am thinking of something different as you might have guessed. I am truly thinking about the process of shedding my presumptions and allowing my children to become the people that they will become. This is not to say that J-Mom and I will not do my best to mold and instill in them the things that we believe deeply as is our responsibility as parents, because we will. Instead, I continue to find that I need to step back and allow her to make mistakes. I need to allow her to fail (which is not easy). I need to let her learn lessons that are not always going to be easy to learn.

In thinking about this, I came across a few interesting links that I thought I would share with all of you:

Today think about your own children and write down your thoughts on when you feel that you MUST hold them, when you MUST fold them, when you MUST walk away and when you MUST run i. Once you come up with this list share it with us… would love to hear your thoughts!

This One’s for All the Bouncers

Big. Big. Monkey Man!

And as soon as I start skanking the first chord, my kids instantly recognize the song. They start singing before the lyrics are supposed to begin because they’re only little kids and they have no sense of musical timing—yet. But they know the lyrics, because they’re nonsense lyrics, and they can relate to them. And so they start spouting off at different times and in different keys:

Aye, aye, aye
Aye, aye, aye

And then I get to the part of the song where the lyrics are actually supposed to begin, still skanking away on a G chord, and then a quick C and then a quick D, then back to the G, imagining the bass line pushing me along—and I start singing:

Aye, aye, aye
Aye, aye, aye
Them a tell me
Huggin’ up the big monkey man

And I start to think that maybe my kids are singing in key better than I am, but I ignore that thought, because my kids are going crazy, shaking their butts, rolling on the pillows, climbing on the couches, bouncing all around the room. It doesn’t matter if I’m in key. They love it. I’ve never seen a song elicit such joy in them.

And they keep repeating, aye, aye, aye. . . aye, aye, aye. . . over and over again. It makes them feel special. It makes them feel connected. To me? To the music? To something. They’re clearly happy, and it’s plain to see that they wouldn’t mind this song being looped over and over and over and over.

Which I am happy to oblige as I’m trying to learn it well enough to introduce it to the band. It could be our closer. The crowd would love it. Those who knew the song would sing along, and try to remember who sang it, and when it was conjured up in their mind that it was The Specials, it would bring back positive memories.

They would say, “That’s right! The Specials. Remember that band? Awesome band!”

If they didn’t know the song, or the band, they would pick up on the lyrics soon enough. They would think it’s fun and lively, and it would make them laugh and dance, and bounce around the room. The crowd would go wild, the people who knew The Specials and the people who didn’t know The Specials. We’d get more and more people at our gigs. A&R men would show up. We’d sign a record deal. We’d be famous. We’d owe it to The Specials.

And I think back to when I first heard this song. My first CD player when I was twelve years old. Saved my allowance for weeks—months!—to get it. Techniques, top of the line. Sure, it cost more than was reasonable for a twelve-year-old boy to spend on a CD player at the time. But I had to have it. The 45s that I’d been collecting since I was eight were losing their appeal. Casey Kasem’s Top 40 wasn’t doing it for me anymore. And my first full length LP: Quiet Riot – Metal Health. Hadn’t listened to that in months.

I was in middle school now. I wasn’t a little kid. I had to be cool. Cool kids didn’t listen to Paul McCartney and Air Supply and The Dazz Band. Cool kids don’t listen to heavy metal. Cool kids listen to 91X. Alternative music. New wave as it was called in the eighties. The Cure. Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, The Clash.

And, the best of them all, and my first CD with my first CD player: The Specials. Message to You Rudy. Concrete Jungle. Little Bitch. The music I listen to has swear words in it. That’s how cool I am. And the song about the naked man and the naked woman. For a twelve year old boy it doesn’t get much cooler than that.

And the song that was the coolest of them all:

“This one’s for all the bouncers! Big! Big! Monkey Man!”

And the first chords hammer down—G several times, a quick C, a quick D, back to the G. It starts skanking real fast. I turn it up way loud in my apartment. Loud enough for my neighbor who never complains about anything to yell “turn it down!” through the open window.

I ignore her of course. I am twelve and I’m listening to The Specials. Over and over and over and over. I commit that entire CD to memory. Every spoken intro, every grunt, every bit of mid-song chatter and dialogue, every lyric. Even the lyrics I don’t understand because of the heavy British accents. Those I just make up, fake it like I know what they are. I sing those lyrics with as much confidence as the ones I do know. It doesn’t really matter. It is the music that matters. What matters is that I’m listening to the music. What matters is that the music is part of me.

And it’s the music that still matters twenty plus years later when I listen to that same CD. Somehow it has survived all these years. How many times it’s been played, I will never know. That doesn’t matter either. What matters now is not that I’m cool. Or that I can swear when I sing my favorite songs. Or that there are songs about nudity. None of that matters.

What matters now is seeing my kids bopping around like crazy teenage punks in a small underground club in Coventry. Skanking around the room looking for things to bounce into, people to mosh against, ideas to shape their identity. The joy on their faces clear to see.

Aye, aye, aye
Aye, aye, aye
Huggin’ up the big monkey man.

Or as they say it, “Abicka, bicka, MUHNkee man!”

And I just keep skanking away on the guitar. A coupla G chords, a quick C, a quick D. I smile. They smile.

Aye, aye, aye
Aye, aye, aye
Huggin’ up the big monkey man

We all sing in our different keys, our different time signatures, our different intervals. It’s chaotic. It’s random. It’s cacophonous. It’s energetic.

It’s something special.

Aye, aye, aye!

Being a Great Role Model To Your Child

Being a good role model encompasses not only what you say but rather what you do in your everyday life. Your children are watching you everyday to learn the things that are not only expected by you, but also what is right and expected as a contributing member of society today. Thus, the things you do or do not do say volumes to your children whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not.

Being a good role model encompasses not only what you say but rather what you do in your everyday life. Your children are watching you everyday to learn the things that are not only expected by you, but also what is right and expected as a contributing member of society today. Thus, the things you do or do not do say volumes to your children whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not.

For me, I have always felt strongly about service to others and this is one thing that I hope that I can share with my children. There is something to going out of your way and helping those in need that fulfills me and makes me feel that I am doing something small to change the world around me for the better.

There are many other ways that you can be a role model to your children other than acts of “doing” per se. How you relate to people, how you act around people. The way that you talk to and/or treat friends, family, etc. are all very transparent to our kids. We have to remember daily that we have a little sponge sitting next to us taking in everything and filtering it through there limited database of knowledge and calling it gospel truth, so beware, and realize the power that you hold to mold the mind of your children.

In researching this post I came up with a number of resources that I wanted to share with you all:

Today’s task is for you to sit down and come up with five ways you can be a better role model for your children. If you already have mastered this, come up with five things you have done to accomplish this. Once complete, come back and share these ideas with the rest of the group. I also recommend that you read the above articles, especially the first one for some other tips on being a great role model.

I am also interested to know about who your role models were and what they did to garnish your respect and admiration.

Teaching My Daughters to Love The Game

As the new year starts and football season amps up with bowl games, the superbowl this weekend and other such great sporting events like this, I have been reflecting about what I have done to allow my girls to enjoy the sports that I like as well. Ever since that have been with us I have shared with them certain sports. For me, it is usually Football or Basketball.

As the new year starts and football season amps up with bowl games, the superbowl this weekend and other such great sporting events like this, I have been reflecting about what I have done to allow my girls to enjoy the sports that I like as well. Ever since that have been with us I have shared with them certain sports. For me, it is usually Football or Basketball. I would have them sit and watch the games with me and root on a certain team, even though at first they did not know what they were watching. Sometimes they were interested, other times, they could care less.

As they got older, I started to explain to them more about the rules of the games. Why certain things were happening, and why things were not happening. Why certain calls were made, while others were left alone (even though at times the call should definitely have been made). This was not easy and I found myself being challenged, as I did not always know all of the rules (I came to find). Thus, I had to do a lot of research, so that I was informing them about the right things. I didn’t want them calling a penalty when it really wasn’t now, did I?

Slowly, my girls began to appreciate the games more, and they would sit for longer periods of time watching the games with me. Now, they have come to appreciate the games that I like, but I now am seeing their interests burgeoning in other sport areas as well. Diva-J likes Tennis, while Diva-PJ likes Gymnastics (yes, even watching it on television). Yet, in saying this I can say that they do appreciate some of the sports that I have shared with them (score one for Dad!).

So as we get ready for the BIG Superbowl weekend, I intend to share it with my girls in any way that I can and have some fun with it along the way. Not only does it let me spend some quality time with the girls but it also lets me give them a gift for the future, a gift of knowing their father!

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

What is the value of teaching your child the value of money and the value of entrepreneurship at an early age? The picture you see here was a few years ago when my daughter (then at age 3 and ¾) took her first venture into being a saleswoman. At a two-day rummage sale she wanted to sell cookies and kool-aid so we put up the money for the supplies and let her have her shot at making some money. During the first day she was amazing and stayed with it for almost 8 hours, which as most of you know is an amazing feat for an almost 4 year old. She was asking all of our patrons “Do You Want A Cookie” before they even got out of their cars, and most would favor her with some patronage. It was quite humorous and people throughout the day mentioned that we had a born business woman on our hands. This weekend made me start thinking about the right and wrong ways to teach our children about the value of money and the value of hard work. I mean I believe that I emulate the value of hard work in my every day work and show that to my daughters. Yet, I still want them to understand that money comes from hard work and that it mut be respected. The money that Diva-J did make (just over $40) was provided to her and she had the choice of what she wanted to do with it (though we encouraged her to save at least ½ of it). She decided to purchase some Disney polly pockets and to save the other ½ in her savings account. All-in-all I do think that we taught her some about the money that she made from her work, but I do know that there is more that she needs to learn. After thinking about this, I decided to examine this a bit more for resources that I could use with my own girls. I found the following resources:
So today’s task is to develop a list of ways in which you are teaching your child to appreciate the value of money. Once complete, please come back and share your list and activity with others. How did the activity go for you and whoever you shared the time with?

Why This is the Year of the Dad Blogger…

There has been a lot of talk this year about the fact that this is the year of the dad blogger. .I have had a a lot of time to think about this, being a dad myself, for me when starting my Dad of Divas blog, I started this for myself. I did it to share my thoughts and concerns about being a father.

There has been a lot of talk this year about the fact that this is the year of the dad blogger. .I have had a a lot of time to think about this, being a dad myself, for me when starting my Dad of Divas blog, I started this for myself. I did it to share my thoughts and concerns about being a father. When I started blogging three years ago, there were dads out there, but most dads were focused primarily on the topic of fatherhood. There were not many fathers out there that were getting into the other things that bloggers do in regards to reviewing / product giveaways, etc. Moreso it was a bunch of dads that were out there to share their thoughts on fatherhood, supporting each other and celebrating in the positive times and listening in the negative times.


Today, this remains similar. Most of the dads that are out there are still the same guys. They want to give their thoughts on parenting, their thoughts on being a father and what it means to them, talking about their failings and the things that they are doing well. At the same time, they are trying to set themselves apart. I think that it is this last point that sets the dad blogger apart from others. You see mom bloggers have been out there for some time, but dad bloggers have been happy to stay in the background for the most part. It has only been more recently when the media and brands have started to see that in fact, dads do have an opinion and that Dads are making many of the decisions in the home on what to or not to purchase. It is not just moms anymore that are making the decision about what to buy at the store, but that there are many dads out there that are now making these decisions while mom does not.

So Dads are playing a much more integral part in the retail decisions, the family decisions. Now, in my own household, I would say that we have an equal partnership, that we work together to make decisions, in many homes it may not be equal. Still though, the voices of both parents need to be heard.

I also think that having a dad in a child’s life is a very important thing, and I think that media as well as people in general are starting to realize this. There are more and more research studies that have been released that show the importance of fathers int he lives of their children. Also, at the same time you are seeing the importance of dads involvement in the self esteem of a child. Being a parent in general is a large  burden to bear at times, knowing that you hold the future of a child in your hands. Whether you are the parent of a boy or girl, the same research shows that as a father you are letting them see what a man should be like in the world. Thus, they are watching you for answers, whether positive or negative (so beware!).

So as a father you are showing your child about how a man should act toward other women, toward other friends. You are giving them a standard on which to consider other men (now if that is not a huge weight to carry around, I don’t know what is). Thus, as you can see, a father is very important in this regard.

So when the question of what makes this the year of the Dad Blogger comes up, I believe that there are many reasons and it depends on what you are looking at. Are you looking at why this is the year of th Dad blogger in regards to brands and retail purchasing decision and marketing towards Dads as a consumer? Are you asking what the importance of the father in the rearing of a child or the importance of a father figure in a child’s life? Are you asking what the importance of a male role model or a male image for boys and girls growing up. So really it goes down to the underlying question that one is asking when asking this question. There is no easy answer, and many times the answer spurs many more questions, as any good question should.

Overall though, this is the year of the Dad Blogger. The Dad blogger’s voice is becoming stronger and stronger and it is becoming stronger because people like you want to hear what we have to say. I see this as a very good thing and something that will only be the start to something bigger.

Viva La Revolution! Onward live and grow the dad voice, onward grow the Dad Revolution!

Time to Revolutionize… Supersizing Fatherhood

Ok Dads, in thinking about the idea beyond Dad Revolution, we are trying to help you think about fatherhood in a different way. As many of you who have followed us in the past have found, all of us from Dad Revolution are passionate about our families and our children and we are doing what we can to share our experiences, thoughts and ideas on how you can be a Revolutionary Dad.

I was on my way to work today and I saw a billboard that I see every day, one of a HUGE Big Mac from McDonalds and it made me start to think about fatherhood. Now don’t get the wrong idea, I was not hungry and I do not spend much time even frequenting McDonalds, but instead, I was thinking about the concept of supersizing oneself.

Now how the heck do you supersize yourself? Well, when I talk about supersizing yourself, I am referring to the idea that as a father you need to be larger than life. You need to go above and beyond to be there for your children and also your wife. You cannot simply sit back and be the equivalent of a kiddy meal. Instead you need to be the X-Large Dad that your family can be proud of.

By now you may be saying, this Dad of Divas guy has fallen off his rocker (or he is really hungry). But I would retort that no, I truly believe that all of us have it within ourselves to be extraordinary in our own ways. I can think back t a father that I know that was working with his daughter on her pinewood derby car. He knew that he would not be able to be at the actual race because of work, so he did tremendous research to find out how to make the perfect car for his daughter. So hand-in-hand they worked together and low and behold, she ended up winning the pinewood derby race.

So all-in-all, I am writing today to challenge all of you to step forth on a path to supersize yourself (now don’t start over-eating…that’s not that I want). Do something extraordinary to make you stand out to your family and your kids and come back here and talk about it. Become a part of the Revolution and let us know how you are doing it!

It is time for the revolution to start! It is time for you and I to take a stand to make fatherhood mean more and to stand out. Be a hero to your family and kids and join us in being Revolutionary! We look forward to having you stand with us.

Viva La Revolucion!

First, I’d like to say that it is an honor to have been asked to join a group of men who are also passionate about being great fathers and sharing their journey. I think that this “Dad Revolution” is a long time coming and feel blessed to live in an age where technology can connect dads from all over the world. When I started my family at the age of 20, I was often alone because I wanted to do “dad things” with other 20-30 year old dads but there were few who wanted to “be down.” Many were too busy trying to hold on to the last bastion of their perceived single guy freedoms, just simply weren’t around, or couldn’t be bothered. Heck, when my wife had her baby shower, I wanted to have a co-ed even it wasn’t popular at all at that time. I figure that if we’re celebrating the birth of OUR child then WE should ALL be celebrating. But, no joy. Since I know I’m not the only one who experienced that, it’s awesome that we are now connected and able to cheer each other on, kick each other in the arse when the need arises and just be each others champions in this fatherhood journey.

Let me dig a little deeper though and say that I think the Dad Revolution is so much more than that. I think it’s a “Man Revolution.” Striving to be the best “you” you can be is what makes a man a great dad, despite failures. If you’re a poor husband it will effect your fatherhood. I know because I’ve been that. If you’re a terrible son or brother, that has a chance to effect your fatherhood. We so easily compartmentalize our emotions (which isn’t a bad thing in the proper moments), but our lives can’t be compartmentalized so effectively. Who we are as men leaks into all the other aspects of our lives and so, being a great dad requires that the revolution first takes place within. And when that happens, I believe that the Dad Revolution can’t be stopped. A Dad Revolution which begins with the heart of a man is a dad revolution which can elevate other men who are sitting on the sidelines to get fired up and join in and begin their own journey to an inner revolution which will have a revolutionary effect in their own homes.

I guess that’s as good an introduction to me as any. I’m a passionate dadvocate, a cock-eyed optimist, a man devoted to his family and being better than his shortcomings and one who is happy to be a part of this revolution and inspire, be inspired and walk arm in arm with other men who heed the clarion call to strong, emotionally healthy households where we no longer leave all the nurturing and raising of the kids in the domain of moms but we take an active, present role in building up, encouraging, mentoring and loving our children. Daddy is more than just dollar signs and a disciplinarian and that is the revolution!

Fears/Issues of Fatherhood

Have you ever really thought about what you are afraid of in being a father, or what issues really trouble you in fatherhood? For me, when thinking trying to think of eight main fears/issues that are difficult for me to cope with, I came up with the following:

Have you ever really thought about what you are afraid of in being a father, or what issues really trouble you in fatherhood? For me, when thinking trying to think of eight main fears/issues that are difficult for me to cope with, I came up with the following:

1) Bringing home the bacon – I am the sole income maker for my family. What would happen if for some reason I would lose my job, or become unable to work for some reason. I know that J-Mom could go back to work, but still it is something that weighs on my mind.

2) The safety and security of my family – I am constantly trying to think of the safety of my girls (including J-Mom). I know that I cannot always keep them safe from harm and cannot shelter my girls from the world, but there definitely are times when it seems like it would be so much easier to shelter them.

3) Being a good parent – I don’t think anyone is completely ready to be a parent until they become one, and then when they become one they constantly question whether what they are doing is right for the situation and for their children.

4) Caring for / Losing Other Loved Ones – This week one of our neighbors passed away and he was only 57 years old. This really brought home to me the fragility of life and how close to death we all are. I am not trying to be morbid, far from it, but this situation really made me think about the fact that I am an only child and that there will be a time in the future when I will have to deal with this myself in a much more personal way than I have had to in the past. I have been lucky to not have been touched by death too much in my life, at least not yet, and I hope to be strong enough when I do have to deal with this in the future.

5) Being able to learn and do Manly Tasks – I am not the most handy person. When I think of being a Dad and father and a man I guess to me it sometimes comes withthe package deal that one should be able to do some of these things. This is not to say that I can’t do these things, they just are more difficult for me than for some others. Come back though for my next Many Monday and you will see a project that my father-in-law and I made (well…a lot of it was him – but I did help!).

6) Maintaining friendships/hobbies etc. – I don’t know if this is unique to being a Dad, but I find it increasingly difficult to have times with friends or time to spend on hobbies or other fun activities. Much of this is due to work and then being Dad when I get home and then simply being tierd beyond belief from the combination of lack of sleep, work and play. But I wonder whether other Dads are dealing with this and if so how they are balancing this.

7) Balancing the many roles which is fatherhood – Speaking of balance, I find as a father, balance goes out the window. There are so many days when I say, I should work out, or do this, or that, but then life intervenes. I go to work and try to get all that I need to get done completed, and leave work the same day finding that I still need to complete many of the things that I hoped to complete the next day. Needless to say Balance is a hard thing to come by. Have any of you come up with some surefire ways to balance life/work and other such things?

8) The future for my daughters – The world right now seems to be crazy, the price of everything is going up, there are many issues that prevail on the world scene that are sure to eventually effect the US. I am constantly thinking of the future of my daughters and what it will be like for them. What will they be, will they be successful, what must I do to help them with this? Lots of questions, but the answers are still many years off.

What are your top fears/issues? And yes, Moms you can chime in as well!

A Father as a Beacon to his children

I like lighthouses! The pictures that you will see through this article are a few that I have taken through the years. Recently I have been thinking of lighthouses in relation to fatherhood. Lighthouses have played and still play an important part in nautical safety as many are still in working order doing the job that they were made to do – safeguard vessels from a watery grave. (If you are interested in learning more than you ever wanted about lighthouses go over to Wikipedia and read about the interesting history and technology that makes lighthouses tick!) No I am not trying to be morbid, far from it. Yet, what I am getting it is the fact that Lighthouses have played the role that many of us Dad’s have as well, providing a strong outside exterior to safeguard the waters for ship going vessels. How does this relate – I see fathers as holding a similar exterior, sheltering our kids from the rocks (the dangers in life) and a beacon or a stable beam for our kids to reach out to. Now, this is not to say that our kids will always want to reach out to us, but as fathers we do our best to keep them safe from harm. This doesn’t mean that we will be able to keep them from any harm – as we all have had the experience where bumps, bruises, broken arms, etc. definitely are a part of life and will ultimately occur as kids are being kids. Though saying this we (as the lighthouses before) remain solid and strong. We send out our warnings and reach out when needed. Maybe I am being a bit metaphorical, but I think that it is definitely a metaphor that I can relate to as a father. How about you? What do you think of this? What other types of visual images of fatherhood mean something to you or stand out to you? What about you moms out there? I would surmise that the lighthouse could also be used to portray many moms out there as well. Are there other images that also reflect you as a mother?

Planning our first camping trip AB (After Baby)

Although Michigan has beautiful parks and places for camping, there are two factors which make camping not so enjoyable for me: unpredictable weather (more work for me) and black flies (unreal how much they love to chew on me). However, I’m always eager to score points with my lovely wife so I am currently working on planning our descent into hell, er…um our a camping trip.

My wife loves camping and has been bugging me to plan a camping trip for the three of us. Let’s just say I don’t share her excitement. I used to love camping, but as I have gotten older it has become more reminiscent of work than relaxation. I blame this partly on the fact I worked for a residential treatment center where taking delinquent kids camping was part of my job. I left that job shortly after the last fiasco of a camping excursion which involved a combination of marijuana, fake injuries and a near mutiny.

Although Michigan has beautiful parks and places for camping, there are two factors which make camping not so enjoyable for me: unpredictable weather (more work for me) and black flies (unreal how much they love to chew on me).

However, I’m always eager to score points with my lovely wife so I am currently working on planning our descent into hell, er…um our a camping trip.

In a way this could be cool, because I have to basically buy all new equipment. (I gave away most of our camping equipment to some homeless guys I was interviewing for a project. Seriously, I did.) I’m also kind of excited to take Tessa camping. Mostly because I can use her as an excuse to buy the elaborate gear I plan on getting in exchange for agreeing to do this.

Here’s my shopping list for the 3 main items which I believe will be essential for a pleasurable camping vacation:

Tent: With all the crap gear we will need for Tessa, we will need lots of room.

Below is the tent I want:

From Cabela’s, it’s the Coleman Legacy Weathermaster for $240. (It has a LED tent lighting system with a USB port in the light system power unit can recharge cell phones and music player…waterproof floors, self-rolling windows)

NICE, right!?!

However, I know this is more realistic:

This is the Eagle’s Camp Family Voyager Tent for $99 It’s okay, but no LCD light, USB ports or other things that I might actually enjoy and get pleasure out of having.

I really liked that little section in the tent above where I can put my chair and hide from the black flies.

Camp stove:

I have no chance in hell of getting this but it is so awesome. This is the Camp Chef Deluxe Oven with Grill. It’s only $280, but comes with a top burner (7,500-BTU); oven (3,000-BTU), and the top grill has a 5,000-BTU output. Includes thermometer and two oven racks. Matchless ignitor burners. I can cook, so imagine the gourmet I could put together. I’ve done pretty well with much less and it will likely remain that way.

Like I said, no chance in hell.

(Even Hell, Michigan where we might be camping 🙂


I’ll probably get this:

Remember all the gear and crap we’ll need. That’s why this will have to do. It folds up so it will be easy to pack into the back of our Prius. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that little nugget. We have one car, a Prius. I had a Blazer until we moved to Lansing, but since we were both working within a few miles of our house, my wife suggested I sell it. Yep, that’s my story.

It’s times like this when I miss that Blazer.

Finally, and this item is non-negotiable:

So what were your experiences camping with your baby? Any “gear” you would recommend? Any you would suggest leaving home? Please share your thoughts. I’m going to need all the help I can get (And in help, I mean actual help – not beer).

TechyDad Revolutionary or Today Is a Good Day to Di-aper!

Hey everyone, my name is TechyDad. Who is TechyDad, you might ask? Well, me of course. Do you think I'd be writing about him in the first person if I wasn't he? I'm just your average web developer, science fiction and math nerd, cooking enthusiast, amateur photographer, finder of freeware, ardent advocate of alliteration ala Alton (Brown, that is)…. and also a member of the Dad Revolution.

Growing up, I remember seeing my father come home and expect dinner to be on the table (or at least ready to be set out). After eating, he would either go work on things he brought home from the office or would sit in his easy chair and watch TV until he went to bed. He would constantly claim that my mother didn't work, but I'd see how much she would toil cleaning the house, doing the laundry, running errands, cooking, etc. I knew that, when I was married, I didn't want to be a “detached dad”, I wanted to be an “active dad.”

When I first became a father, I'll admit, I was more than a bit terrified. Here was this tiny thing that depended on me. One little slip-up and tragedy could strike. It didn't help when, one month shy of turning a year old, NHL had a febrile seizure and stopped breathing. I learned dread and panic like I had never known before as I thought I was watching my baby die in front of me. Luckily, he began breathing again and was ok. We had had febrile seizures and so knew the possibility existed, but weren't prepared for the reality. (We found out that they're usually harmless, but try keeping that in mind when your baby's not breathing!)

Still, I persevered. I changed diapers. I cooked dinners. I got up at hours that by all rights I should have been spending in dreamland because little ones were crying. I steered little ones away from bad and possibly dangerous behaviors and into good, safe behaviors. And, you know what? I was having fun!

For every scary time, there were many, many more happy times. Seeing my sons walk for the first time and talk for the first time. Seeing my big kid become an avid reader (like me) and gain an interest in science fiction (like me) and math (like me again – should I rename him mini-TechyDad?). Seeing my little kid's personality blossom as he insists on being called “Big Robot JSL Pup-Pup Tigger” while wearing new Tigger sunglasses and trying to bounce in his carseat. Trying to capture all of the moments I could using my camera and thanking the inventors of digital cameras for keeping me from having to develop ten rolls of film just to have three non-blurry, non-looking-away, non-throwing-a-temper-tantrum-because-daddy-is-taking-too-many-photos, non-blinking pictures of my boys.

However, while I was a dad and later a dad who blogged, I never really felt like a member of a community. My wife was part of a mommy blogger community. Where was the daddy blogger community, I wondered. I began finding more and more dads blogging online. Of course, I never really thought I was alone in this dads-who-blog thing, but it was great finding and following other dads going through the same things I was. I could see a dad blogger community forming in front of my eyes. I even met one or two in person and hope to meet more when I go to BlogHer this August. And now I get to join up with some great Daddy Bloggers in glorious Revolution! We shall be overthrowing old stereotypes of not only the dad-who-does-nothing, but also the dad-who-knows-nothing and the dad-who-is-only-interested-in-sex-beer-and-sports. (Not that those last things aren't great, but we aren't defined by them.)

Now who has the pitchforks and torches…. to, uh, roast marshmallows with. Yeeeahhhh. ;)