Monday, June 28, 2010

Q&A with James (@portlanddad) : Being a SAHD

The Q&A series with SAHDs continues today with James (@portlanddad). James is a SAHD from Portland. He is also a member of the Band of SAHD that can be heard on Blog Talk Radio every sunday night at 11pm EST/ 8pm PST. James is the husband of one, and father of 2. On his blog, , he chronicles his journeys as an at home dad and life as it is. So without further delay, here is James, in his own words. Thanks for sharing with us!

1) Tell us a little about your family - Our family consists of two parents and two kids, we feel like keeping the sides even help regulate the situation. My wife and I have been married for 6 years and we have a 4 year old and 2 year old son. We live in a house in Portland with another family and their 21 month old son. My wife works and I am home with our boys and our housemates son and I love it.

2) How was the decision reached that you would be a SAHD? -  My wife and I first had a conversation about one of us being home and we agreed that we both wanted that. The money that could be made with both of us working wasn't worth some one else raising our kids and so then the conversation turned to who would be the one at home. My wife loves the interaction of working out side the house and I am naturally the more nurturing one so it was a pretty easy decision. There have been times when we have switched back for a year because of moving across the country but we are in the roles that best suit our family.

3) Do you find it harder than you thought it would be? - I knew that being the one home with the kids was going to be tough so it is not tougher than I thought it would be. There are times when it is the hardest job I have ever had and the feelings of isolation are the toughest to deal with. It is like any other job in that way, where there are times when you complain about your job to who ever will listen and times when it is so rewarding and engaging that you can't believe how lucky you are.

4) Have you ever wished the parental roles were reversed? - Not for very long. There are times when I would like my wife to experience how tough it is with the boys, but those are always tempered with the fact that I don't want to do what she does. I like the role I have and find contentment and validation in being the at home parent.

5) People approach you and ask what you do, and you say you are a SAHD, what is there initial reaction? - For the most part you get positive reactions. People are happy to see fathers that are more involved and engaged with their kids so they are supportive but every once in a while you get people that make some sort of snide comment. It's cool with me though, like I said I love what I do and know what it means for my family and how my wife views me. There is this thought that you are less of a man for not working but I think that's horse shit.

6) What is the single greatest thing about being a SAHD? - Time spent with my boys. Seeing those first steps, hearing the phrases throughout the day as they learn to interact and make sense of their world. I get to be there for that and I know what the oldest means when he says "Funny Looking SUV" because I was there the first time he said. That's what he calls Scions by the way.

7) Why do you think more dads are choosing to be the at home parent? - I think that as more options are opening up for women that same thing is happening for traditional roles with the family. There are men that don't choose to be at home and that becomes tough for them to deal with. It is the same for the women that didn't get to choose the role they have and the feelings of isolation and being trapped. For many families it is a question of finances but I think there are a number of men that are choosing to be at home with the kids out of a purely nurturing standpoint. As that glass celling starts to crack for the women the doors to the home are opening to the men.

8) Think you would have the same bond with your children if you were working? - I think I would have a similar bond but not the same. I am the one that they want when they are scared or hurt because I am the one that is there all day. When I was working that wasn't the case and as my wife is out of the house and working it is not the case for her. If I were working outside the house I would still be super involved like a lot of dads are lately but there is that time spent aspect that I wouldn't have.

9) Has being the at home parent changed your relationship with your wife? Better? Worse? - I think it has been better because we are both operating out of our strengths as a couple. My wife has intense feelings of guilt for not being home with the boys but at the same time she has no interest in actually being home with them. It is a tough internal battle for her but I think I do a lot to alleviate the tension by doing the job well and finding contentment in the role. Our boys are doing great, learning and interacting with other kids really well and seeing that makes my wife appreciate the life we have chosen.

10) Finally, give new and expectant fathers a little advice for their new adventure into dadhood ... Get on the floor, no matter how tired and worn out you are get on the floor with your kids. When they have tummy time as babies get down there with them. As they crawl let them crawl over you and wrestle with them. Some of the best times I have had with my boys is when I am too tired to play but just lay on the ground and let them play on me. Seeing the world on their level and them seeing you get down there does so much for your relationship.

Calling all Dads: Time for Change

So today marks my first day of quitting smoking. I very rough task ahead for sure considering my almost pack and a half a day habit. (yes, I know I am young, but it is an addiction). I have smoked for a number of years, and many many times I have said I was going to quit. Never did. That changes TODAY though.

As with the ending of all tough-to-break habits,  there is support needed. After talking with @PapaRocks6 about support, accountability, and encouragement, the idea was formed to put the call and challenge out to dads everywhere for support of each other.

We all have things in our lives that we want or need to change. And support and accountability is always very key in making these changes. So why not do it together?

Change is inevitable. It is going to happen whether we want it to or not in most cases. And time is always fleeting. So now is the time for change. Why wait to make decisions you believe in your heart and know in your head are real, pure, and needed? If you knew for sure  (could see into the future) that changing today would make tomorrow great, would you hesitate? Didn't think so. Should we not stand up, get real with ourselves, and decide that blinders are not goign to slow us down?

Dads: We have shown the world the new face of dads, involved, caring, and devoted. Now it is time to show the world what we can do for each other. It is time to make the changes we have wanted and needed to, and we can do it together. Whether you are like me and wish to quit smoking or you want to change your eating habits, drinking habits, or whatever the change is that you want to make, we can do it! And we can be support for each other, and hold each other accountable.

So who is with me? Leave a comment with the change you would like to make in your life, starting TODAY!!! Leave a way to be contacted and let's get the ball rolling. Mountains are high, but we can get over them to see the other side if we can lean on each other.

Let us hold each other accountable, support each other, and encourage each other. We have changed the face of dadhood now let's change our lives!

Kicking Bugs and Taking Naps: My Son and Me

Let me start off by saying this: MY SON IS CRAZY!!! Haha ... no really, my son has such a vibrant imagination, and is so hyper all the time, you can't hlp but to laugh and love him. He plays without pausing and can create such wonderful, imaginary worlds to play in, that sometimes i wish I could invent a virtual reality room to bring these worlds to life.

Now don't get me wrong, all that cuteness, all the adorable "catch phrases" he has, and all the charm, cannot keep him from blowing mommy and daddy's tops with his tantrums, non-compliancy, and lack of listening when we are telling him what he can and can't do. But then again, boys will be boys, 3 year olds will be 3 year olds, and I am sure my mother would tell you that I have no room to be talking because I was the same way at that age.

So, why did I decide to write this post about him? Well duh, it's because I love the little booger. It is much easier, being at the age he is and developing the way he is, to interact with him more and become a part of those worlds. Where my daughter is just 13 months, she hasn't developed all these characteristics, although she is coming into her own more and more each day now. My son and I have such a different relationship because of the way we interact. Me and my son, my son and me.

Sure, I praise him when he does the right thing or reaches a new milestone, and I lay down "daddy law" when the roughneck side of him shows. I can feed him, bathe him, and maintain his general upkeep, and all the parts of parenting that come with, well, being a parent. But a large part of our relationship is revolved around me being a "playmate" for him. Me and my son, my son and me.

We don't know many people with children his age around here, being that my wife and I are a few years younger than most the parents of children his age and we don't have much of a social life outside of people I work with and our neighbors. And all that is okay by me. I am quite happy spending more time with my family than we do going out to parties and date nights or what have you. So as my son's mental awareness and the ability to imagine and really bring those dreams and childhood thoughts of his to life, I was here for it all. Me and my son, my son and me.

Him and I have spent many a countless hour sitting on the couch, watching the "ree rees" (what he called dinosaurs when younger) and "Back Room, Outta Range" (Veggie Tales: The Pirates who don't do Anything from Big Idea Productions). We have searched for a lost egg, run from "boogies" and raced around the world, all in the comfort of our home. We have killed imaginary bugs and spiders to fill an imaginary 42' tractor trailer and talked to everyone on the face of the planet with children's play phones. Me and my son, my son and me.

Me and my son, my son and me. Kicking bugs, and taking naps. Shooting the breeze, and giving daps.  I wouldn't change it for the world. My son is one of my best friends. And that is perfectly cool. What dad doesn't want to be their son's best friend? I know that in a few years, especially when he starts school, the relationship will change. I will no longer be his favorite playmate, or the first friend he tells a secret to. But I will always be dad. I will always be here, when he is in need of a friend, or a closer shoulder to cry on. And if he ever needs a playmate from me, I will always be ready to let my imagination run free with his. Me and my son, my son and me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Real Talk: Being a Man of Courage

"Courage: The ability to face uncertainty and step out of ones comfort zone and face fear; One who is not afraid to admit their wrongdoings no matter the sentence; Unafraid to admit fear, and when help is needed" - The DaddyYo Blog

Many people look at courage in many different ways. Some view people of courage as a soldier who dies for home and country; a stranger who takes a bullet for someone they have never known, and will never know as a result of selfless actions. Others view it as someone who is unafraid to stand up for what is right, and what they believe in; someone who will do what it takes to support their family, no matter how far out of their comfort zone they may have to go.

Neither view of courage is wrong. In fact, they are all great examples of how ordinary people become heroes and legends. Courage is not something we are born with. Rather, it is a trait we develop. Whether out of necessity, or because we want to try something new and spice up our lives, it is a characteristic that must be worked on. So how does a "real man" show his courage?
Friday, June 18, 2010

Letter to my Dad: Happy Father's Day

To My Dad on Father's Day:

27 years ago, you witnessed the birth of a son. A son, whom 27 years later, still looks up to you, still believes in you, and still is grateful for having you in his life. I could not have asked for a better dad. You have been by my side through greatness and in my lowest of times.

You have been my advisor and guide; a source of strentgh and courage. Firm, but fair, and the expample of a real man in my life. You showed me what it means to put family first and to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone to do what it takes to support my family now. You have loved me without end, and without limitation. You have loved me with a real love that has resonated in my heart for 27 years.

This Father's Day I not only celebrate my own dadhood and being a father to my two wonderful children, but I give much thanks and praise for the dad in my life, without whom I would not be who I am today.

I thank you for always being there for me, even when I gave reason not to be. I praise you for your commitment to your faith, your God, and your calling for your family. I give thanks that I had a dad in my life like you, who did what it took to raise his two children to the best of his ability, never lost hope, and never gave up. Thank you for who you are, and all you mean to me and our family.

I love you,
The Nimrod

Someday, Sometime, Somewhere

Someday, Sometime, Somewhere, my children will think back.
They will tell stories of their childhood and of the parents who raised them.
There will be joy, and tears, laughter and crying.
Someday, Sometime, Somewhere

Someday, Sometime, Somewhere, I will be old, sitting in a chair and thinking.
I will remember the days when my children were young, and so was I.
There will be stories of love, stories of frustration, and stories of triumph of the heart.
Someday, Sometime, Somewhere

Someday, Sometime, Somewhere, I will be gone, and no longer with this world.
I will have left behind those that I have held dear, and they will gather.
There will be sorrow, mourning, and a few last goodbyes.
Someday, Sometime, Somewhere

Someday, Sometime, Somewhere, people will be remembering me.
What will they say? What will listeners think? What did I leave behind?
Will they tell stories of greatness or nothingness? Love, or dislike?
Someday, Sometime, Somewhere

Someday, Sometime, Somewhere I hope my life has made an impact.
Perhaps someone will want to remember me as a dad, husband, or friend.
Perhaps my children will tell their children their grandpa was great, a family man.
Someday, Sometime, Somewhere


Wide Face City Clock by Erskine-rivera MErskine
Monday, June 14, 2010

Real Talk: Being a "Real Man" - Guest Post by @mochadad

Walking through my old neighborhood, I noticed one of my old friends, Vando, walking toward me.
“What’s up, man,” he said as we shook hands. A few years had passed since I had seen Vando, but his weathered face made it seem as if it were decades.
“Nothing much,” I replied. “What’s been up with you?”
“Same ole, same ole,” he said. “Just trying to survive.” I knew all about his means of survival. Petty theft, pimping, and drug trafficking kept his pockets full of cash.

While we reminisced, I learned the fates of some of the neighborhood boys we grew up with. The ones who weren’t dead or in jail were quickly on their way towards one or the other. Only a few of us managed to slip through the cracks.

Since we last saw each other, I had graduated from college, got married, had kids and moved to the burbs. Vando, on the other had lived in the same house and hung out on the same corners that we did as teenagers. As I gazed into Vando’s dark eyes, the world I worked so hard to forget became real to me again, and I began to see traces of my former self in Vando’s weary face.

Before meeting Vando, books were my escape, taking me to places that transcended the poverty, squalor, and despair that surrounded me. Through my books, I could be an astonaut, detective, or brave knight. But the life Vando introduced me to proved to be more alluring than my pristine fantasies. Our escapades were filled with excitement and danger. We mostly engaged in typical juvenille deliquent activities such as shoplifting, vandalizing, or fighting with other boys. But one day, things took a turn for the worse.

Vando and I were loitering on a corner when he noticed a girl walking by. His demeanor turned grim, his body grew tense. Suddenly, he broke a huge branch from a tree, ran to the girl and started beating her. Tears mixed with blood poured from her face as Vando pummelled her – each blow producing a sickening whap against her flesh.
Afraid Vando would kill the girl, I grabbed the branch causing Vando to glare at me with rabid eyes. I was frightened, but I held on refusing to allow him to beat that girl anymore.

“Let’s get outta here,” he said after several minutes. Vando dropped the branch and we ran to his house narrowly escaping some men who were chasing us.

Once we were safely inside, Vando told his grandmother, “If someone knocks on the door, don’t answer it.” The gentle woman nodded quietly and continued watching television as if she had experienced this situation before. Vando and I ran to his bedroom and crouched in the darkness without uttering a word. We sat for about twenty minutes before we were startled by police officers’ banging on the front door.

“Just chill out,” Vando said coolly. “Don’t say nothin’ and they’ll leave.”
After a few minutes, they did leave. When they were gone, I turned to Vando and asked, “What’s wrong with you man? Why’d you beat up that girl?”
“She lied on me. She got what she deserved.”

I wanted to tell Vando that no one deserved such brutal treatment; that he was a cold, heartless animal. However, I said nothing because I didn’t want Vando to think I was soft.
After that night I avoided Vando as much as possible. Whenever he asked me to hang out with him, I always gave him ane excuse. He eventually got the message and left me alone.

With Vando, I was able to tap into the raw masculinity that boys long for. But I was misguided as many young males are. I thought that Vando was teaching me how to to be a man. All he was teaching me was how to be a criminal. That’s why it is so important for fathers to be involved in their sons’ lives. As much as my mother tried to teach me how to be a man, her gender prevented her lessons from sticking. Sons need fathers.

I realize that my sons will most likely encounter Vandos in their lives.  It is up to me to provide them with an authentic version of manhood so they will not be enticed by this pale imitation. I must teach them to balance their need to be rough, rugged and raw, with the ability to be caring and respectful. My example will be their sword and shield in the battle for their hearts and minds.

I think I may be on the right track. The other night, my 5-year-old son, N, said, “My dad is the best man I know.” If he can still say this 20 years from now, then I know that I will have been successful in my role as a father.


Mocha Dad

Friday, June 11, 2010

Q&A With Edgar - Being a SAHD

Today I continue the series of Q&A post with stay at home parents with Edgar aka @edathomedad. Edgar is a SAHD living with his wife and daughter Elle and two dogs. Ed is a member of the Band of SAHD who can be found every Sunday night at 11pm EST/8pm PST on Blog Talk radio.  Thank you Edgar for sharing with The DaddyYo Blog. And now, here he is, in his own words. 

1) Tell us a little about your family - I live wife my wife, daughter, and two dogs in Lancaster, PA. In July it will be seven years that we have been married. We meet ten years ago when we lived and worked in Washington, D.C.. My daughter is almost three and a half, I'm thirty-one and my wife is slightly younger than me. I'm Puerto Rican and my wife is a lovely Eastern European mix which should lead to some difficulty for our daughter once she has to fill out her own census form. 

2) How was the decision reached that you would be a SAHD? Once our daughter was born I was able to shift my schedule around so I was home with her during the day. I made a job change in June '08 that lasted until October '08 and thats when I became a full-time SAHD. While I was job hunting it made sense that we would take our daughter out of daycare. We were both happy to take her out of daycare. For the small stint she was in daycare we notice regression in her behavior and an increase in doctors visits. As parents my wife felt I had natural ability when it came to being the primary at home parent.  

3) Do you find it harder than you thought it would be?  The actual day to day care was something I could deal with. I think the hardest part was the mental aspect. It can get extremely lonely when you go all day without any adult conversation or contact. Once I reached the year mark I had a tough stretch when I realized what I thought was a temporary situation was becoming more permanent. Much of the feelings I was having were related to not being able to contribute financially to our family. I felt uncomfortable having all the pressure solely on my wife. Also teething, potty training, and toddler defiance were tough. The latter is still tough.

4) Have you ever wished the parental roles were reversed?  Simple answer, no. As parents we each have our sets of strengths. Mine seem to be suited for our current situation. 

5) People approach you and ask what you do, and you say you are a SAHD, what is there initial reaction?  I have had many odd encounters when I have told people I am a stay at home dad. I'll just run down a few. "Oh your daughter should have an interesting perspective on growing up.", "So, your kinda of like a mom.", "That's so progressive of you and your partner.", "Are you in between jobs?", "You must be doing a good job because you have a beautiful and smart daughter." Unfortunately I have run into more negative reactions than I have positive. 

6) What is the single greatest thing about being a SAHD?  Being able to see my daughter grow and develop before my eyes. I have also grown a tremendous amount not just as a SAHD but as a father and husband.

7) Why do you think more dads are choosing to be the at home parent?  I don't know if it so much of a choice in these times. I think there has been a large shift because of circumstances. The one's that have that choice available to them I believe have a easier transition than those that have shifted from employed to stay at home parent. In addition I believe there is a growing desire from fathers to be more involved in the child raising process. Partly based on many in our generation having a father figure the was absent or detached from the family dynamic.

8) Think you would have the same bond with your children if you were working? No. I am truly thankful for the time I am getting to spend with my daughter. I hope when she is older she is able to look at our time together fondly. 

9) Has being the at home parent changed your relationship with your wife? Better? Worse? We have both faced personal challenges in our new roles. But, we have luckily grown stronger. Parenthood has really helped us communicate better with each other. We truly appreciate the time we get to spend together. Also those moments we get time to ourselves as parents is very important to take advantage of it and reconnect as husband and wife. 

10) Finally, give new and expectant fathers a little advice for their new adventure into dadhood ...All the books out there can never take the place of actual experience. You will learn a tremendous amount about yourself once you become a father. No matter how tired or frustrated you may get just take ten seconds and a few breathes. This small time-out can help save sanity and prevent arguments. Take the moments in the first year or so in. Because show much change will come out about. Just pull as much joy as you can out of the insanity.

Ed At Home


Real Talk: Being Real as a Dad

Continuing in the series "Real Talk" I figured it would only be right when it came to hitting on certain areas of life that I would talk about being real when it comes to being a dad. I guess a lot of people would say that if you are a "real man" as defined by the posts in this series then being a dad would just coem as part of that. However, I do not see this as being entirely true.

To be able to be real in life, I must be real in all areas of my life. I am a dad above all else. My children come first for everything in my life (followed very very VERY closely by my wife). Therefore, it seems logical to have a very stronger will to be real as a dad, above other areas. What does this mean exactly?

My calling, as a dad, is to protect, provide for, and teach my children, to do it to the best of my ability, and to prepare them for the life that lies ahead of them. This also calls for me to be real with myself and with my children at all times. I am here to tell you it's not possible. There are times when my actions or my reactions to situations are out of line, and need a realignment. There are times when my judgement does not reflect the best of my abilities.

This area is under constant construction. Never could I know all the answers all the time all the right times. I want what's best for my children (who doesn't, right?). Eventually they will grow up and one day look back on how they were raised when questioning their own parental abilities. What I do now, will be a reflection of who I am now, to who they are then. Right? My oldest is at the age where imitation is the key to learning how to act, react, and what to say and when. Too many words of anger heard, too many words of anger spoken. Words of love, honesty, firmness, and compassion foster a caring, proper, and honest understanding of life and the cause and effect of actions.

I want my children to know that their father loves them, even when anger is about to boil over, and to be able to recognize that anger, before it boils. I want to be able to speak nothing but honesty and compassion with them, so they may grow up to be kind and understanding. I want my life to be something they can measure me by, and be admired by.

Perhaps they won't grow up the way I want them to. In fact, I can promise they won't. But one thing that can remain a constant through the times we will share together, is that I tried to be real with them and in my raising of them. I promise them to try, to try to be real, to try to be honest, and loving and compassionate, to raise them with the best of my abilities, and to raise them the way being a "real dad" calls me to be.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Real Talk: Guest Post by TheJackB

So my friend John asked me to write a post about what it means to be a real man and presto changeo, I have the following thoughts to share with you. But before I begin allow me to share some of the lyrics from the song I am listening to:

Do you really think I care,
What you read or what you wear,
I want you to join together with the band,
There's a million ways to laugh,
And every one's a path,
Come on and join together with the band.

Everybody join together, I want you to join together,
Come on and join together with the band,
We need you to join together, come on and join together,
Come on and join together with the band.

You don't have to play,
You can follow or lead the way,
I want you to join together with the band,
We don't know where we're going,
But the season's right for knowing,
I want you to join together with the band.

It's the singer not the song,
That makes the music move along,
I want you to join together with the band,
This is the biggest band you'll find,
It's as deep as it is wide,
Come on and join together with the band,
Hey hey hey hey hey hey, well everybody come on.
Join Together- The Who

I suppose that I could write it off as a coincidence that this started playing now. Could say that it is just part of the iTunes shuffle but I won’t. I won’t because it is appropriate and pertinent to this discussion.

A real man understands that there is a time and place for being part of a community or an individual. He recognizes that there are moments when he must go off by himself and follow his heart and that some times obligations/responsibilities must come ahead of that.

A real man understands that his role within the family unit is to provide for his family.  What is important to remember is that the most critical thing that a real man can provide for his family is emotional stability and then financial.

Now these are concepts and ideas that are not written in stone and are subjective in nature. But that is ok because when you deal with people and these sorts of things there is no single formula to follow, no one way to do things.

Family life is fluid and dynamic. Things are always changing. Children grow, parents age and relationships build, develop and dissolve. So a real man figures out how to adapt and overcome the challenges that are presented.

A real man accepts responsibility for the good and the bad. You hold yourself accountable because when the lights go out and you are alone with your thoughts it is always clear whether you met or failed to meet the mark you set.

In my mind a real mind is active in the world around him. He gives back to his community and tries to make the world a better place. These are not platitudes or things to be said for the purpose of making one look better.

Of course you could do so. You can always find a way to present a front to others, but you can never truly fool yourself. So when I sit down and think about whether I meet the mark, whether I fit the description of a real man I think…sort of.

Still working, still growing and hopeful that one day I get it right. But that is the good news, the real man always has another day. Another day to try to do it all again, to be better. Because a real man can’t accept just giving up.

Better to fail trying than to not try at all.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dental, Mental, and Metal Breakdowns

8:30 came way to early this morning. I mean, who makes a dentist appointment for a 3yo at 8:30 in the morning?!?! So cruel. Anyway, today was Caleb's second ever visit to the dentist. Now it is important to note that Caleb is TERRIFIED of doctors and anyone in scrubs. The dentist is no exception to this fear. Everything is fine in the waiting room. They have a miniature movie theater, a few arcade style games, and some other play things. Pretty cool if you ask me, especially for a pediatric dentistry office. They sure didn't have anything like that when I first started seeing the dentist, but we had Mr Thirsty the water sucker. But I digress

So, hanging out in the waiting room with Caleb and his Uncle Bubby, who was brave enough to come with. Caleb loves his Uncle Bubby so much so we figured that having him with us would make things a little better. Right? WRONG!!!

They call his name, and the crying begins almost immediately. The laughing, playing, "LOOK AT THE FISH!" Caleb ceases to exist. Just this screaming, 3 foot tall, 24 pound bag of bones. My heart just aches for him despite my smile and calming voice saying "it's okay. daddy is here, everything is fine." Just as much as Caleb is breaking down, I am breaking down inside. It pains me to see him so scared, to have to hold him down when all we should be doing is running away and getting outside.

The nurse gets is teeth cleaned up and ready for the dentist to come take a peek. We watch Dora on a small flat screen TV above the chair Caleb is sitting in and he slowly starts to calm down. Then Ms Dentist walks in.   A tall woman, european I believe (sounds like a slight german or dutch accent) and mean. Caleb starts screaming again and holding on to me for dear life. I have to put him down in the chair and hold him. Arm, Legs, and torso pinned up under me. He looks at me screaming "ALL DONE!! DADDY ALL DONE!" and my heart breaks again. I just want to shout at these people and tll them to stop that we are all done. The dentist is poking him saying "stop crying stop crying" and I t am so distraught for Caleb that slapping her starts to seem like an option.

The visit is over and we head to the car. Caleb is calm with the little plastic Nemo looking fish they give him. We put on some heavy metal (Caleb's favorite right now) and get ready to head home. The first breakdown from All That Remains starts to play, and I to look in the rearview to see Caleb. Eyebrows lowered, his freshly cleaned teeth just shining while he bangs his head in time. And home we head, all three of us, headbanging and singing along. The perfect end to a really crappy morning.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Real Talk: What it Means to be a "Real Man"

After some great conversations with some equally great men, I have decided to start a series of posts about being a "real man". Along the way I will be posting about different areas in my life that I am trying to be more real in and will also feature guest posts from other guys about what it means to them to be a "real man".

Let me start with this disclaimer: This is not a post about machismo attitudes or sheer brute strength and the ability to have any woman you want. Nothing about those things mean being a "real man" to me. So if you are looking for posts about the ability to lift a VW Beetle by myself, or the number of girls that think I'm the bomb, then  Google it, and look there. This is about much more personal and deeper meaning of the term "real man".

I'm not perfect. I am very far from it. I am not always the greatest husband and the greatest father, greatest brother and greatest son. I can try though. And I can try my best to be real in every aspect of my life. What does it mean, though, to be a "real man"?

To me, it means being the man you are called to be. Being the man your family needs you to be. I can admit that I have not always been that man. Nobody is perfect, so it is to be expected that no man can ever be exactly the man they need to be or want to be. And it is a goal I don't think can ever really be met, but can always be strived for. We all want the best out of life, and want the best for our families. In this regard we are called to be real, to be honest and open in our lives. We are called to lay aside the worldy view of men for a more personal view of the men we are individualy and personally.

As life moves on and changes us, also we must change with life. As life has carried me to the point I am at, I have been able to take note of the ever changing world, and my ever changing self. As of recently, being more of a "real man" and being more active in the lives of my children, and more active in my role as a husband, has been on the forefront of my mind. Growing up has its challenges, and these are just two of them. As a working man, it is not easy to always know everything about my children, but I try. I try to spend good, quality time with them when I am home, and I have learned to value the time I have with them. As for marriage, I am not even going to pretend I can give any direction to anyone about it. Everyone's relationships are different, and is just another area that challenges us. Being more open, and honest, caring and understanding ... the true challenge of becoming a "real man".

I have thought about this more and more recently after some great conversations with other men who try their best to be real in their lives, and be honest and open with everyone they come in contact with. I find that the more I am honest  and open the better I feel about myself, and the better connected I can be with my wife, my coworkers, friends, and family.

Being a real man is not about strength, sexuality, knowledge of sports, or knowledge of beer. It is not about how many women you can pick up, or how many shots you take before you are completely sloshed. It is about being honest. Being open, and unafraid to wear your emotions and feelings and thoughts on your sleeve for the world to see.

Throughout this series, you will see guest posts from men who strive to be real, and what being a "real man" means to them. Men: The world is constantly changing and so are we. The call has been placed for all men to lay aside boyish dreams and ideas of masculine dominance, and to be more real. Time to show the world that there are men who are honest, unashamed to show their flaws, and not afraid to let their emotions out. There are men who want to be real.

*if you feel you have something you can add to this series, or want to share what beign a real man means to you, please feel free to e-mail me at and I will be happy to talk with you*

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Quick Q&A with Chris Singer: Being a SAHD

There are a lot of areas in parenting and being a father that I have experience in. Not that I'm an expert, I am way far from it. Experiences are not experiences if you always know what you are doing. One area I do not have experience in and am unable to write about, is being a SAHD. My wife has been the at home parent for three years counting while I work. Which is how I like it. Not that I don't want to be home (I would love not having to work) but because I believe a mother has a stronger connection being the carrier of the child for 9 months, and I want my children to be raised by one of their parents and not a caregiver. 

Seeing the recent trend in dads being the at home parent, and due to the recent connections I have made with SAHDs on Twitter, I thought I would use my next Q&A post to have a SAHD answer a few questions to share the world of at home parenting with everyone. This blog is about the adventures in dadhood, and being an at home dad is one of those adventures.

Enter into the scene Chris Singer, aka @tessasdad. Chris is a SAHD from Lansing, Michigan. I asked Chris to share a little bit about his experiences as a SAHD to give everyone soe insight into an area of fatherhood often unknown and unfamiliar to a lot of people. In traditional, old school America, it has always been the mother who stays home while the dad works. These days, more and more dads are the at home parent, and more are choosing to be. Thank you Chris for sharing with us a little bit into the world of a SAHD. Enjoy!
Friday, June 4, 2010

Window to the World: A Dad's Eye View

When I was little it always seemed that all the world was a stage and that life was a movie starring myself. I could never see the dangers that lie ahead in life, the letdowns, the downsides that everyone must experience. Change was happening all around, but I couldn't see it, couldn't understand it.

Now I have two little ones of my own, and the view of the world has changed so much. Activities that as a child seemed so harmless, I now look at with fear while watching my children.

Jokes that seemed so funny, so harmless in high school, now seem so cruel, so uncalled for and shameful.

I guess that's how it is when you grow up and have children. The world is in a constant state of change, but so am I. The view through the window is never the same twice, and neither is the view from the eye's of a dad. I want the best for my children, for them to be happy, healthy and safe. I don't see the world as I once did. I know about the dangers, the unfairness, the letdowns my children will face. I don't see the unending canvas of endless possibilities of fun and excitement. 

My eyes see the world in a different light now. But I guess that's part of the job and part of growing up. I see the world as a dad would see it. A scary place to set your kids into, a place of uncertainty and excitement. A challenge to show the world who I am as a dad as it reflects through my children. A challenge against the visions of manhood we see displayed all around us, and a fight against the way the world depicts me as being a dad. 

Maybe I'm just rambling, and perhaps the words will get lost with the past views that have passed in front of my window. Perhaps it's not the world that has changed, just I. Just me. Just dad.

Old window and wall by Petr Kratochvil
Thursday, June 3, 2010

Feature Friday - 2 Dads and a Mom

Ladies and gentleman, moms and dads, readers of all ages, it is once again Friday. To continue a posting theme I used to write on the old Facebook page, today is FEATURE FRIDAY!!!  Every few Fridays I will post a feature of 3 blogs that I read on a regular basis and a little info about the writers. It has been a while since I have done one and I figured it would be a good way to start off the first friday in June. Traditionally it is a feature of dad blogs but today I will be featuring a mom blog as well. So let's get rocking!!!

First up we have Nucking Futs Mama - A great blog by, you guessed it, @nuckingfutsmama. Mother of 2, husband to Papa Nuckingfuts, and crazy as all get out! Her blog chronicles what it is about life, family and motherhood that will drive a woman to be nucking futs. Featuring her popular "Things I've Learned this Week" weekly post to summarize the week and always reminding herself that "Despite what I might think, God does not give me more than I can handle". Give a nice loud DaddyYo Blog round of applause to Nucking Futs Mama!

Next up for your reading pleasure we have A TwistedChristian Dad - Written by none other than @twistedxtian. This nice dad blog shares the journeys of a once SAHD (now working again) through the wonders, excitements, and experiences we all know as dadhood. A husband and dad to one adorable little boy, musician, bow hunter, and studier of Christian theology (check oout his theology blog here), @twistedxtian details his journey through life in this great little piece of the web. Ladies and Gents, I present to you, A TwistedChristian Dad!

And last, but certainly not least, in today's feature, let's bring the house down for Carrying a Cat by the Tail! from @spudsgotstonz. A new comer to my followers and blog list, but definitely worth the shout out. This cat holds down a house full and half with 6 kids, 4 boys and 2 girls, 3 dogs, 4 cats, a turtle, a guinea pig and a partridge in a pear tree (and for his sanity's sake a beer or 6 in the fridge). This great dad blog details all the chaos, good and bad, for all to see. Let's hear it for Carrying a Cat by the Tail!

And there you have it folks. Feature Friday here at The DaddyYo Blog. Seriously, give these people a look. I promise you will not be disappointed. Until next time, have a great weekend and ROCK ON!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - A Look Through Time in the Lives of my Kiddos

Love of Children

Nothing demonstrates real love for another person as the love of a child for his/her sibling. I can see it in my kiddos eyes everyday, and it makes me take the time to think: when is it we lose the ability to love someone in that capacity?

Caleb and Marlee's love for each other is so firm and so real. The way she looks at him in adoration and the way he looks at her in amazement. I always stand back in awe of the way these two have made their love for each other so transparent and powerful. The love of a child is like none other.