Finding Fatherhood: 5 Ways for New Moms to Help New Dads

finding fatherhood

No matter how many baby books you read, nurseries you decorate or informative five point lists you share; nothing prepares you for having a child. The best I can say is that it’s like dumping a bucket of ice water over your head, except the water never stops, and the temperature keeps changing.

New mothers I meet sometimes share their concerns about the fathers of their children. Will he be a good dad? Can a man be caring enough to establish a loving bond with their child? It does not matter if a father is blue collar, white collar, northeast, west or southern; all men are capable of that. If anything, this generation of fathers wants to be involved, but doesn’t know where to start in an environment geared towards moms. New dads can be hesitant, but that does not mean they don’t want to learn. Here are five ways for new moms to help new dads.

Don’t Crush Them With Lists

When you have your first child, neither parent knows what to do. Moms focus that fear of the unknown into an unending pursuit of books, blogs, and Dr. Web MD. Dads hope to come across a parenting video that uses 80’s references and explosions as teaching points. Guys don’t have the same hulking expectations from society, so we get overwhelmed by a bottle-preparation list longer than most car owner’s manuals. Lists are fine, but discussions are better. Continue reading

The Dad Brothers Build a Crib

 

The Dad Brothers Build a Crib

Only thing as good as having a child of your own is when someone close to you has one. All of the snuggles with none of the teething diapers.  I call that a Win/Win.

Pat is about to have a new baby girl grace his life. I can’t decide whether to envy or pity him. I think, “Who wouldn’t want a wonderful little girl that melts your heart like a Snickers in an Easy Bake Oven?” Then I ask myself, “Do I want to ask my wonderful little girl why the hem of her shorts is residing in Antarctica?” Like having Pat for a friend, it’s a blessing and a curse. Continue reading

The Boy Who Cried iPad

meltdownMy youngest son has been going through a “phase.” I don’t know when these things start or if they ever end, but whenever this one feels like ending it’s welcome, too.

My wife and I were on our porch the other night speculating about the many reasons why our 2 y/o was acting like such a child. I generally blame teething and will continue to do so in to his teens. As if on cue, we hear the piercing scream of our youngest child. It was not the “I’m trying to get your attention” cry, it was a full on “My life in danger parents, assist me!”

We rushed to his room to find a hysterical mess. He sobbed as we asked repeatedly, “What is wrong?” We encouraged him to use his words, but then he began to wretch. We have rushed our children to the bathroom enough times to look like a well-oiled machine. We made it to the toilet puke-free and began the parent list of diseases we have recently seen on the news. It appeared as if nothing was wrong, but the extreme need with which he wailed sent my parenting radar off the grid.

He stood up. He sat down. He pulled out half a roll of toilet paper.

I said, “I want to help! Use your words, I can’t help if you don’t use your words!”

Through a desperate heave my youngest says, “Words.”

“Yes, words! Words. What is wrong?”

With a pitiful gasp he said, “hipab.”

“I don’t…”

“HIPAB!”

“What are you…”

“I PAB”

“iPad??”

“HIPAB!”

“Phase” doesn’t do justice for the boy who cried iPad. Then again “love” isn’t quite big enough either.

Wine Cork Cell Phone Charging Station

Wine Cork Phone Charging Station

Do you have a cell phone that needs to be charged and like to drink?  If you answered yes, then I have the project for you. I made the one you see above for my wife on her last birthday. She had been saving wine corks for years, writing the date we drank it and the event it was for in permanent marker. She got tired of the cords and wires on the kitchen counter, so I decided to put the evidence of our love for wine on display Continue reading

The Dad Brothers Make a Castle

sandcastle

There are no hurt feelings between old friends.

Pat and I go back, not “way”, but back. We have seen the best and the worst of each other and we don’t care too much about either.

During college we lived in a house that was called, “The Castle” with four other guys. Pat would occasionally stumble into the kitchen to find me dipping my breakfast waffles into a tub of mayonnaise.  A smaller person would find that humiliating, but I have seen Pat without a beard and it comforts me.

We complain, we laugh, and we get on with it. Why bother to be upset because you find different things funny or interesting?

Our longest running argument is about which murder-mystery comedy is better, Murder by Death or Clue. One of us is right and the other’s name is Pat. It doesn’t matter who is right, we’d rather be friends than be pissed over such an obvious opinion.

Castles get built up and torn down for many reasons. For us, we revel in the ones we’ve made, mourn the ones that crumble, and always look for new ones to build.

In “The Castle” we were brothers. Now, as Dad Brothers, we are building new ones.

 

Learn more about The Dad Brothers

Learn more about The Dad Brothers

 

 **The Dad Brothers would like to thank Dan and John for inspiration, and Jason Miller for the photography and editing.**

Daddy Dev

Daddy DevHave you ever wished someone could explain computer coding to you as if you were a child? Daddy Dev is one dad’s quest to teach his kid to code. Ryan E. Hamilton records his computer coding lessons to teach to his son and you get to learn right along with him, starting from the simple definition of HTML to the complex coding required to make computer programs work. The audio recording is accompanied by easy to understand whiteboard pictures and coding text examples to make for very easy learning. This is an essential tool for anyone looking to learn coding or give their child a head start on a skill that will benefit them greatly in the future.

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The smallest moments can have the biggest impact on a child’s life. My oldest son swung by himself for the first time today.

We’ve been going back and forth for months about him swinging his legs to the right rhythm to keep himself going. I tell him, “Never give up. You may not get it right, but never give up.”

He kicks in frustration and spends more energy doing it wrong than trying to do it right. I swing with him, hoping he will learn to believe that he can do it. Today he gave it everything he had and he soared as high as a backyard swing-set allows. I will dance, cheer or whatever it takes to show my children I believe in them.