5 Things I Wish My Bosses Knew About Fatherhood [TODAY Show]

I consider myself fortunate to be working for an employer who understands the demands of fatherhood. This hasn’t always been the case. Through the course of my professional life, which has spanned the military, corporate America, freelance work, and small business, I’ve had bosses who discounted the value of fathers.

Such attitudes come from a general cluelessness shared by men who represented a different generation — everyone knows that fathers are much more involved these days. Still, half of working fathers surveyed in 2013 consider work-family balance a challenge while 46 percent feel they are still not spending enough time with their children.

I have certainly felt the pressure of this crunch, and it would be a lie to say I always chose family over work. Some circumstances, deployments for example, deny the option of choice; however, there have been other moments when I wished my superiors knew a few things about what it means to be a father. Here are five:


TODAY Show Parents: The Sugar Milk Hack

If you haven't already heard I've got a new writing gig at--wait for it--the TODAY Show via their website which just this week they renamed from Moms to Parents. I am thrilled and honored to be part of an all-star lineup of fellow dad bloggers that includes Doyin Richards, Jim Higley, Whit Honea, Carter Gaddis, and Adrian Kulp who in our inaugural week of posting shared their favorite dad hacks (#dadhack). As you will see, their clever tips are much more advisable than mine. Below is an excerpt from my patent-pending, sugar milk hack.

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One would think a guy with five kids would have a whole slew of shortcuts to help ease the burden of parenthood. I do not.

This is not to say I am without creativity. It’s just my techniques lack a certain classiness. While many parenting hacks warrant viral validation via Pinterest, mine rank with the redneck who crafts a BBQ grill out of a shopping cart. Effective? Yes. Share-worthy? Possibly after obliterating a case of Milwaukee’s Best.

Case in point: My teen son and tween stepdaughter are now of an age where they require deodorant, yet they are afflicted by some form of adolescent dementia that causes them to forget to apply said deodorant. The solution: Affix the deodorant to the door frame at eye-level using Velcro, and voila, no more stinky kids. It’s effective because it’s unorthodox. CONTINUE READING 

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Destination Dad and the Real Perks of Blogging

Often times my kids will ask me what exactly I do as a blogger. They get that it involves writing stuff for other people to read and make comments which my oldest son noted sounded ominously like homework. Skewed by such a perspective it then becomes difficult for them to grasp the various other facets of blogging such as contributing to a community or engaging in a dialogue with consumer brands.

“And sometimes I get paid for it,” I’ll explain hopefully to which they reply, “So it’s like work then.”
The lone aspect they do understand—primarily because it’s to their direct benefit—is the perks. They jump up and down with excitement every time the UPS man, whom they are on a first-name basis with, harkens our door, his arms holding another mysterious package possibly containing yet-to-be released toys or maybe movie premier tickets with the accompanying swag.

It may be cruel, but sometimes I can’t keep from chuckling to myself when the contents turn out to be something a tad less exciting like say, manly deodorant or a new version of wet wipe toilet paper.


The Power of Dad: Lessons Learned

My father as a Green Beret in Vietnam
My father is, hands down, the toughest, hardest working man I have ever met. A lot of people say this about their fathers, and I don’t doubt them, but how many can say they watched their father calmly hobble into the house to take a shower and then drive to the ER after accidentally sticking an ax blade into his shin? What truly amazed me about that memory, though, was waking to the sound of the crunching gravel from our driveway as my father left for work the following morning. At the time he was the company president, and everyone would’ve certainly understood had he decided to take it easy for a few days. But that wasn’t my father.

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