Sibling Love

Is there anything more sweet and heartwarming than a child choosing to show how much they love and care about someone? Isnโ€™t it even more beautiful when the person their showing love to is their sibling? One of the things I enjoy most about my kids is how much they love each other and the compassion they show for one another. Continue reading

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Grieving In Front Of Your Kids

The past several years in our home have been filled with so much joy, so many blessings, and so much to be thankful for. And – they have also been years full of grief, pain, loss, and deep sadness. Many times over the past several years we have had to discuss what we should tell our kids about deaths in the family, chronic illnesses, and losses untouchable. Continue reading

1 Year of Blogging!

Today marks one year since I started This is Fatherhood! I’m so grateful to each of you that takes the time to read this, to my wife for encouraging me and to my kids…the reason for the blog ๐Ÿ™‚

To commemorate I thought I would share with you my top five (in my opinion) posts I’ve written in my year of blogging. Please check them out below and let me know if there’s one you thought should have made the cut.

1. Miscarriage

2. Pain

3. Paternity Leave

4. Joy

5. This is Fatherhood

Bonus (it was hard to pick just five ๐Ÿ˜Š): “Boys Will Be Boys”

This is one year of blogging!

This is fatherhood…

Stay-at-home

I’ve always known that being a stay-at-home parent is a JOB…it’s not easy, it’s not just playing with kids all day…it’s work. Often very fun and rewarding work, but also often stressful, loud and unendingly frustrating. I’ve always respected and admired my wife’s sacrifice of her career to stay home, but some days I get reminded of how tough it can be and how stressful it is.

This morning, while taking time off from work because my wife was sick I received one of these reminders. While my wife went to sleep to hopefully feel better, I was thinking that my daughter was tired and ready for her nap so I laid her down in her rocker and started to play legos with my son at his request. After a few minutes it became clear she wasn’t quite ready for her nap and really wasn’t sure what she wanted. I tried to soothe her and then my son and I tried to play with her for a while to calm her down. This worked briefly but eventually all my efforts were futile. She started really crying and didn’t want anything I was offering. I was thinking she might want to nurse, but it hadn’t been that long since her last meal and my wife really needed to sleep. Meanwhile my son was doing what three year olds do when not directly supervised with legos, which always annoys me since I’m a kid at heart and a just-slightly less strict version of Will Ferrell from the Lego Movie when it comes to legos. My stress level rose and my tone with my son became more harsh.

In that moment I realized my wife does this every day, all day five days a week and does it really well. I knew this already, but in that moment I knew it and understood how difficult it really was.

I am happy to say that I did eventually calm my daughter down, kept my son happy (and from breaking all the legos), and kept my wife asleep. I don’t bring this last part up because I think I deserve congratulations or kudos. In reality I was simply doing my job as a dad and doing for just a few hours what my wife and lots of other stay-at-home moms and dads do all day, every day. It was a reminder to me how awesome my wife is, how difficult her job is, and how blessed I am ๐Ÿ˜Š

This is fatherhood…

Race

I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, especially with everything in the news, and have wanted to write about it for quite a while.  Then, my favorite fatherhood blogger/author/figure wrote about it and I knew I had to share his thoughts.

I’ve seen a lot of opinions and negativity surrounding this topic out there and so I wanted to use my fatherhood space to share what I have learned and come to understand, and what I hope to pass on to my son.  I’m going to let Doyin’ and his article do most of the talking because I cannot speak on behalf of any person of color, but I want to use my voice to support his concern and frustration.

As a white man, I grew up not ever fearing a police officer and learning to respect my country’s flag and salute it.  I’ve never had to doubt that the freedoms professed in the symbol of this flag applied to me.  I have been very fortunate and very lucky and know that while I have worked hard to get where I am, I’ve also benefited from the fact that my skin color looks like most of the people around me, specifically those with influence and authority.

However, with a father as a history teacher, lots of history and sociology class studies in college, and some terrific equity discussions through my job I have learned and studied our country’s history.  I know a lot about the good and the bad.  And I know that while the words of the constitution are meant to speak for all men and women, I know in practice that has often not been the case, and that people of color and women have had to fight tooth and nail for every right and freedom that they are supposed to have already had.

As a few of my recent posts have suggested…I think a lot of this comes down to empathy.  There are many people who have a hard time putting themselves in the shoes of someone that looks different than them.  And when you can’t or won’t see someone’s perspective, it’s very difficult to agree with and even hear their opinion.

One of my biggest goals with my son is to teach him how to empathize with others…to understand ALL of our country’s history, and how this country that professes freedom to all was built almost entirely on the backs of those who were not allowed to enjoy those freedoms.  I hope that he understands this and that he is NOT “color blind”.  I want him to understand that people have different backgrounds and skin colors and that those people often have very different experiences and may not have had the same opportunities he has.  I want to encourage him to seek out these people and find out about their experiences and try to gain an understanding of who they are and what they’ve gone through.  And that then, hopefully, when he understands their perspective, he can be someone who helps bring people together…and not someone who drives them apart.

Without further ado I’m going to let my man Doyin’ take it away.  I’m not asking you to agree with everything he says, but I hope you can take a moment to read and truly try to understand what he’s saying: 5 Attempts to Keep Black America in Check.

This is fatherhood…