Fatherly Stuff: April 2014

Apr 30, 2014

Commercial Portrays Dad with Poor Babywearing Technique

As a dad of two boys who were breastfed almost exclusively while they were infants (they both literally went from boob to sippy cup), I often used baby wearing as a way to provide a nurturing presence while also deepening my bond with them. Some of my fondest memories with the kids have occurred while one of them was strapped to either my front or by back and because of that, baby wearing as a whole holds a special meaning to me. I always enjoy showing love to any fellow dad I see wearing their baby out and about in public by either flashing a smile or a head nod of acknowledgement.

 It makes me especially happy to see it being practiced in the media, as it is a reflection of just how much men carrying their children have increased in popularity and it has become more culturally acceptable. Yesterday however, I saw something on TV that really bothered me. It was AMEX/Real Simple commercial with a father incorrectly holding their baby in a carrier incorrectly. Here's a screenshot:

 There are so many things wrong with this picture. First, the tpye of carrier the father is wearing is clearly is designed for the baby to be facing him, not outward. Secondly,  the strap on the father's left shoulder Is halfway off, which results in the baby not getting proper support. Both of these things are dangerous and can cause potential harm to both the baby as well as the dad.

On the surface, some might think this really isn’t a big deal. After all, it's just a commercial,  right? But here’s why you should care:

1.       It makes dads look bad- Having this father wear that baby with such poor technique kind of perpetuates the stereotype of the clueless, bumbling dad that that the media seems to be so fond of portraying. 

2.       It’s a safety issue- Although we can safely assume that most dads are capable to properly wear their child, there might be other who don’t. What if someone tried to emulate the commercial? When done incorrectly, risk of injury dramatically increases for the baby as well as the parent.(Study: http://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/spinalStress.html

So all in all, the “heart” of the commercial was in the right place. The fact that the company showed a dad baby wearing says something about their progressive thinking. The benefits from baby wearing are one of the most enjoyable experiences about being a parent, but it is important that you first educate yourself on proper technique to keep everyone safe. Please take a moment to check out this link, which is an awesome guide on how to wear your baby correctly.(www.babywearinginternational.org/pages/safety.php )

Apr 25, 2014

Strong Morning Coffee = Strong Marriage

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias, Millstone® coffee, and Mr. Coffee®.  #CoffeeJourneys #CollectiveBias

Every couple with children knows that one of the keys to maintaining a strong relationship is taking time out of your hectic schedule to spend some quality time with one another. It’s not only great for you as partners, but it decreases stress and increases communication, which improves your overall parenting skills. While the idea of “alone time” is all well in good, actually finding a way to make it happen with two wild animals rambunctious children and a tight budget is certainly easier said than done in my household.

 One day, my wife proposed an amazing idea. Who says that quality time always has to mean an expensive night on the town? At least once a week we spend 15-30 minutes at the dining room table for a coffee date. While our 9 month old goes down for his morning nap, we let our 4 year old cash in some of his limited screen time and we sit down and enjoy each other’s company over a great cup of morning coffee.  During that time, we talk about everything from our budget, to future plans and even things that we’ve been meaning to get off of our chest. It’s not much, but it’s ours and it’s time that we treasure.  Because of that, the quality of coffee we are drinking during our dates is very important to us.

So, when my wife and I were given the opportunity to pair Millstone® coffee with a Mr. Coffee® 10 Cup Optimal Brew™ Thermal coffee maker (thanks, #CollectiveBias!), we were a bit skeptical. After all, our time during our coffee dates was scarce, so the last thing we wanted to do was waste even one minute with something in our cups that was bitter.


However, it was hard not to be impressed with the sleek design of the  Optimal Brew™ and it’s wide range of features:

 · Brews 10 cups in less than 7 minutes to ensure thorough extraction and full bodies flavor, which is considered by coffee experts to be the optimal time for extraction
·    Water Filtration System reduces chlorine by 97%

      ·         Brewing Pause ‘n Serve (No waiting for the whole pot to brew!)

      ·         Auto Shut-Off

      ·         Removable Filter Basket

  The coffee also tasted great. It was our first time trying Millstone® but it was so good, it certainly won't be our last. One of my favorite things about the coffee maker is its ability to maintain a hot temperature for up to two hours. This is optimal for our coffee dates if the baby wakes up early from his nap or our 4 year old needs something. We can take care of business, get back to our date and the coffee in the pot will be just as hot.


 At Walmart: Millstone® in the coffee/tea aisle and Mr. Coffee® coffee in Kitchen/Dining!

You can find both Millstone coffee and the Mr. Coffee brewer at your local Walmart. But to save you some time, we’re giving one coffee maker and bag of coffee to one lucky winner via our giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 23, 2014

To my Dear Wife: Happy Birthday!




On my blog, I usually write about subjects related to fatherhood. However, that is only one part of my parenthood experience. As much as I love my children and do my best to be the best dad I can be, the truth is that I don’t do it alone. I’m fortunate enough to have my wife, April as the ultimate co parent and overall support system.
Since today is her birthday, I thought I’d take a moment to celebrate it by writing a little bit about what she means to our family.

As a mother, she consistently goes above and beyond for the sake of our kids. She's worked hard to earn her two degrees a has  number of career goals. However, she has selflessly put them on hold in order to care for our boys full time as a stay at home mom. The transition from a “normal” job to life as a SAHM has been more challenging than either of us could have ever imagined. At home, there’s rarely any time for luxuries such as lunch breaks or quiet moments of self-reflection. There’s only the constant running around, and the exhausting, often thankless daily tasks that are required to keep two young children engaged, happy and loved. Where some people would be at a breaking point, I am in complete awe watching her as she wakes up each and every morning and handles it with the grace and patience that I only could only aspire to attain.

As a wife, I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. Ever the loving and caring person, she is always looking out for my interests. She challenges me to become a better husband and father by showing me how to better communicate with her as well as with my kids. We've been through rough patches that would have torn lesser couples apart and have come out the other side stronger than ever. I know that I am far from the perfect husband, but somehow, she loves me for who I am and I'm grateful. She my best friend, my rock and I really don’t know what I’d do without her.
So from the botton of my heart, thank you April for all that you do for our family. I love you and...
Happy birthday!


Apr 8, 2014

MLB Player Daniel Murphy Takes Paternity Leave-and Gets Criticized for it

In the great game of baseball, the athletes who we admire the most are not only measured by the number of home runs hit, bases stolen or strikeouts caused, but also by the integrity that they carried themselves with both on and off the field. So when Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy took 3 days off to support his wife during the birth of their child, you wouldn’t think that it would make too many waves. However, because he missed the first two games of the season he was the recipient of a lot of negative backlash, most notably, from sports hosts Mike Francesa and Boomer Esiason:


I might be a little biased (okay, a lot biased), but I don’t get it. For me, being present for the birth of both of my children was arguably two of the greatest moments of my life. To this day, I get a lump in my throat when I regale my 4 year old with the story of his birth and how excited and overjoyed I was to welcome him into the world.  I’m certain that Mr. Murphy’s experience with his family was just as special and the fact that he happens to be a baseball player does not in any shape or form diminish his right to be a part of those moments, especially if the terms of his MLB contract explicitly permits it.

It’s no secret that when it comes to parental leave, dads tend to get the short end of the stick. This, despite that fact that paternity leave is beneficial for the entire family, makes the disparaging comments made by Francesa and Esiason all the more disheartening.

Hopefully the media attention that this situation has garnered will put a spotlight on the importance of paternity leave and encourage guys to exercise their rights, no matter what their occupation. The outrage over the backlash has at the very least softened the heart of Esiason- he offered up what seemed to be a sincere apology days after his initial remarks.

At the end of the day, when the game of baseball is nothing but a memory and he’s long been retired, it will be his family who will still be there and will love him regardless of his stats. In their eyes, he's not just a ball player- he's a dad who has earned his place in their hall of fame for all time.