Would You Tell Your Children That You Used Drugs?

I’m going to make a confession here that few people know about: I’ve used illegal drugs. For a little over a year after my divorce I took X-stasy and smoked marijuana. That’s right, not in high school or in college, but as an adult.

Go ahead and judge me. This is the internet, which, among its many benefits, is the freedom to condemn others anonymously in the comments section. If you feel so compelled, have at it; just know I won’t care. It was dumb, I know. I’m not going to waste time justifying it, and that’s not exactly the point of this post anyway.

The question I’ve had to ask myself rather, is whether I will admit to my children that I once used illegal drugs. There are pros and cons to this of course, which boil down to... continue reading.


The History of Fatherhood in the United States

After yesterday’s post about Roman Krznaric’s essay on the history of the men as fathers, I decided to do a little research on my own; being a self-professed history nerd, I didn’t require much arm-twisting to do so either. Unlike Krznaric’s broader worldwide focus, I decided to hone in on just the progression of fatherhood in the United States, and what I discovered was surprising.

Most of us are familiar with the major events in history—the colonization of early America, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, World War 2, and so on. What many of us may have not considered, however, was the part these events played in shaping the image and expectation we have of fathers today, which, when looked at through a lens of the past 300-plus years in its entirety, is slightly off in my opinion.

What’s more, when looking through that lens, keep in mind that many of the perceptions we’ve had of family dynamics throughout history are incorrect or only half-truths. For example, the idea of colonial fathers being an austere, unfeeling, authoritarian ordained by God isn’t entirely accurate. Did religious dogma dictate that the man was to be the head of the household? Yes, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t warm and unloving. We only see it as being so because such an arrangement seem archaic and stifling within the context of our contemporary society—a society that has morphed over three centuries at the hands of ever shifting socio-economic conditions and world-changing events beyond our control.

To get a true picture of this progression of fatherhood through time, there was no way I could fit everything into ten slides; thus the presentation is split into two parts (and even then it’s still probably not enough).

Slideshow 1: Fatherhood in the US: 1700's to 1900's

Slideshow 2: Fatherhood in the US: 1900's to Today


12 Month Plan for Dads To Prepare for the Apocalypse

Well, this is supposed to be the year the Mayan calendar runs out and the whole world’s supposed to go KABLAMO! Whatever. Personally I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I can’t say the same for my family. Last week my stepdaughter got in the van and started running down all the things that are supposed to happen. By the way she was listing them off I could tell what her source material for this was.

“Where did you find all this out?” I asked.

“I was watching TV with Grandma,” she replied.

Exactly what I thought. But then it occurred to me that all of this might be plausible. As a father I’d feel pretty stupid standing in the cul de sac watching fire and brimstone rain down from heaven come December 31st. So maybe putting a plan together might not be such a bad idea after all. I think what I finally came up with is pretty tight.


Worse Than a Non-Believer: Dad-Moms Are An Abomination to God

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not done with the whole Dad-Mom topic. In reading the various posts on Tide’s depiction of a stay-at-home dad being “awesome,” I came across the religious take on the topic played out in a point, counter-point debate between Owen Strachan, a professor of theology and church history at Boyce College, and Laura Ortberg Turner, an admissions counselor at Fuller Theological Seminary.

The discussion was a lively one, as you can imagine. To Strachan, the dad-mom, represented yet another of society’s attempts to pervert Bible’s stringent rules dictating who should and shouldn’t be laundering the frilly dresses and folding them with complete accuracy. In response, Turner contested this citing cultural context and scriptural misinterpretation before then mentioning the actions of Jesus that lead her to believe the Son of God wouldn’t be adverse to domestic duties. Read more about why God hates at-home-dads


What the Hell is a "Dad Mom" Exactly?

Good Morning America recently did a segment on stay-at-home dads (SAHD) and society’s changing perceptions of men in this role. Overall I thought it presented the topic in a positive slant as opposed to reports in previous years where SAHD’s were more of an oddity and in many cases, simply victims of circumstance.

What’s ironic for those who have been plugged to the SAHD community for a while, is that this gig as the full-time parent isn’t quite the phenomena it’s sometimes made out to be. Just read Jeremy Adam Smith’s, The Daddy Shift, or follow the NYC Dads Group, or chat with the bunch at AtHomeDad.org.

Continue reading about the "dad mom"


Work Life Balance is a Myth

The concept of Work/Life balance is as elusive as the mythical Fountain of Youth. It’s more of an ebb-and-flow-type deal where you bounce back and forth from a storm of work overload to the aimless doldrums of domestic boredom. It’s the extremes of yin and yang with no Zen-like middle ground—well, for me anyway. I know there are those of you who seem to processes an unholy mastery over these circumstances, but in my eyes, that just makes you the spawn Franklin Covey and Satan.

This is a big struggle for me at the moment. Up until a few months ago, I had the freedom to balance freelance work, family duties, and personal interests. Things got a little wacky here and there, but all in all it evened out. I could knock out a few assignments, put the dishes away, help the girls with their homework, and even fit in some recreational reading. Now, however, I eat all my meals in office, I have no idea what the kids’ grades are, and I’ve nearly gone into septic shock on three occasions because I didn’t want to ... continue reading

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