Recently, it was time to get my daughter a big girl bed. The issue was, what type of bed would I get her?
Recently, it was time to get my daughter a big girl bed. The issue was, what type of bed would I get her?
Back in the not so distant past, I remember watching the O.J. Simpson murder trial with some of my college friends and our discussions became heated. No, we didn’t come to blows and we didn’t stoop to name calling, but we did have diametrically opposed opinions when it came to whether Simpson should walk or fry. I would make my points, my buddies would offer their counterpoints, and the cycle continued.
Even though we never came to a consensus, a beautiful thing happened: We had a respectful debate. We felt energized and empowered to believe what we believed while also empathizing with those who felt differently. I learned from my friends, they learned from me, and the issues were spoken about thoughtfully. It was a clichéd win-win situation.
I remember my parents having the same thoughtful discussions with me and my brothers when similar hot button topics came up in the news. That’s just how things were handled back in the day. Then Al Gore invented the World Wide Web and respectful, open-minded discussions began to take a nosedive.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month – and as a guy who was bullied mercilessly as a kid, you know I’ll have some thoughts to share.
I made one of the toughest decisions of my life last week. A decision that will change the dynamics of my family for the foreseeable future. Here’s how it all went down.
Over the weekend, I took both of my kids to a Daddy-Daughter Tea event at a popular shopping center in Los Angeles called The Grove. Both were well behaved and we had an amazing time together. On top of that, they fell asleep on the car ride home, I carried them inside, put them down for naps, and neither of them woke up. I never felt more like a boss in my life as a dad. Of course, I tripped on a toy and face-planted into a wall, which resulted in waking the baby up, but I did feel like a boss for about 15 minutes or so. The point here is that the Parenting Gods smile down on us at times and other times we feel their wrath. So, Parenting Gods – if I could have a moment you, these are the questions I would like to ask.
I’ve watched Frozen many times. Probably more than I’ve watched any animated movie in my lifetime. Check that – probably more than I’ve watched any movie in my lifetime, and having a 3-year old daughter is the main reason for that. Whenever you do something over and over again, random thoughts enter your mind and it is no different with me. Here are my thoughts:
Daniel Murphy is a dad. A first-time dad. Let’s just start there.
I know how I felt as a first-time dad. I laughed, I cried, I was on a high that simply could not be duplicated. More importantly, I wanted to be around the tiny human I helped to create more than anything. I wanted to hold her, kiss her, feed her bottles, take her on walks around the neighborhood, and bond with her. That’s what any dad should do, right?
Things are starting to get real. Once I saw the cover for my first book Daddy Doin’ Work: Empowering Mothers To Evolve Fatherhood, I realized, “I’m actually going to be a published author.” Granted, I knew that long before I saw the cover – but it’s similar to how pregnant women feel once the baby kicks for the first time. They always knew they were pregnant, but feeling a tiny human roundhouse kick their internal organs makes it feel even more real. It’s no different here. [Read more…]
Valentine’s Day is coming up on Friday and I have some opinions about this holiday that I want to share with you.
Happy 2014, faithful SDW (that’s “Subscribers Doin’ Work” for the newbies)! It’s a time to start fresh with a great list of New Year’s Resolutions, right?
I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. To me, they are just a lame way for people to act as if they’re serious about changing their lives, but after a few weeks they’re right back where they started. Don’t believe me? Visit any gym in America and you’ll see how ridiculously crowded it is in early January. By the time the Super Bowl is over (early February), you’ll only see the regulars there. I believe this to be true because everyone I know (including me) who fell victim to creating resolutions at the end of a given year, quit a month or so later. Finally, I decided to stop with the resolutions all together and instead focused upon being a better “me” everyday. The best part is I don’t need a damn calendar to read “January 1st” to begin, and neither do any of you. Commit to personal improvement. Fuck all that resolution bullshit.
That ends my mini-rant on New Year’s Resolutions.
I’m not going to bore you with what I’m committed to (and besides, I posted it on my Facebook page last week). Instead, I’m going to share my list of items that I hope all parents are committed to this year and every year.
#1: I hope parents commit to stop acting as if parenthood is some sort of a competition: Everyone knows those parents. No matter what the milestone is, their kids did earlier, faster, or better – and they have no problems telling you all about it. Their kids were potty trained at 16 months, spinach is their favorite food, the number of foreign languages their kids speak is larger than the number of years they’ve been alive, they have a modeling agent, and they’re enrolled in the top preschool in the city (like any of that shit matters).
I hope Stay At Home Parents (a misnomer, because they’re hardly ever at home) and Working Parents (also a misnomer, because ALL parents work) stop bickering over who has it the toughest. Does it really matter? Parenting is damn hard. Period.
This isn’t the NFL Playoffs. Nobody wins an award for “Best Parent Ever,” because such an award doesn’t exist and never will. My hope is that parents will stop competing against each other and work with each other to make the world a better place for our kids.
#2: I hope parents commit to fighting for parental equality: By now, you know how I feel about my movement regarding changing tables in men’s restrooms, so I won’t recap it here (if you don’t know, just read this post). It’s important to know that dads are just as important as moms are. We (dads) aren’t bumbling buffoons who don’t know how to take care of children. We aren’t Neanderthals who carry our kids around by the ankles as I saw in a stupid meme on Facebook the other day. We don’t need onesies with arrows pointing to where the baby’s arms, legs, and head go. It’s dumb. It’s played out. And quite frankly, it’s unacceptable. It’s 2014 and it’s time for everyone to get with the program.
#3: I hope parents commit to enjoying *right now* with their children: You know what sucks? Waking up at 2:45 AM to do anything. Especially when that “anything” entails cleaning Dirty Chocolates out of a tiny, screaming human’s fart box. You hate it. I hate it. We all hate it. Then something crazy happens. That tiny human isn’t so tiny anymore. She’s all grown up, she has friends, she’s dating, she goes to college 1,000 miles away, gets married, and has a family of her own. Then we look back at the pictures and videos from when she was tiny and we can’t go for 30 seconds without our eyeballs getting sweaty. All of us (including me) need to commit to enjoying these temporary moments with our children, because in a blink of an eye – it’s all over.
#4: I hope parents commit to taking care of themselves just as much as they take care of their children: You know how Flight Attendants tell passengers that in case of an emergency to put the oxygen mask on themselves before doing so for their children? Seems counterintuitive, right? It’s not. We MUST take care of ourselves if we plan to be the best parents we can be for our kids. That means doing shit you like to do for yourself. Take a walk, go to the gym, have a poker night, watch football, read a book, go shopping, hang out with our friends, etc. We may not be able to do this everyday, but we can certainly do it once a week, right? Don’t give me the, “I just don’t have the time” bullshit. You have the time to read this 1,700 word blog post and mess around on Facebook and/or Twitter, don’t you?
I’m a dad, husband, full-time employee, blogger, social media admin, and a first-time author writing his first book under deadline for a publishing house. With all of that on my plate, I still find time to do things just for me – because if I don’t, I’ll go completely insane. Life will burn out anyone who doesn’t take time to take care of themselves. Our kids deserve happy, energetic parents.
#5: I hope parents commit to taking care of their spouses: For those of you who are in relationships or are married, I hope you commit to doing whatever it takes to ensure your partnership stays healthy and happy. Get a sitter for a night, go out to dinner, go to a concert, say “I love you” more often, play a few rounds of “Hide the Salami” in the back of your minivan while the kids are napping, whatever it is – do it, and do it often. Kids benefit from parents who are in love with each other, so I hope parents commit to demonstrating that love this year and every year.
On the same note, I hope parents don’t micromanage how their partners do their jobs as moms/dads. Men and women do things differently. Really, they do. They even pee differently. So let’s not get all up in arms if your partner does something differently than you do when it comes to parenting. As a couple, you’re on the same team – and the objectives are to keep your kids happy, safe, and healthy. If those objectives are met, does anything else really matter? Not in my mind.
Support each other. Always.
#6: I hope parents commit to stop depending on science to raise their children: To clarify, I’m not one of those nut jobs who thinks science has no importance in the world. I fucking love science (isn’t that the name of a popular Facebook page?). However, some parents depend on science to raise their kids. You know who I’m talking about. They will only listen to thoughts on parenting if they are published in a medical journal. They are also the first to share a Facebook update that says, “IMPORTANT! You need to read this article from Dr. Justin Sane! He says that if your baby breastfeeds between the hours of 8pm-9pm on a day that your husband scratches his left testicle while Twerking like
Hannah Montana Miley Cyrus, your child could die from the Swine Flu! SHARE, SHARE, SHARE WITH EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!”
Here’s a scientific study for you: 100% of competent parents will ask these parents to tuck their “crazy” back in whenever they post one of these silly articles. I’m not saying that there isn’t some validity to these studies – but how about we just learn from the cues our children give us instead of listening to every quack doctor on TV or radio trying to make a quick buck off of us? The Internet is an awesome tool, but we need to stop depending on it to raise our children. Our parents didn’t have the Internet – and if you’re reading this article right now, you turned out just fine, right?
Enough already. Hell, my parents fed me pureed steak at 3 months old and I ate that shit like a hungry junkyard dog. (Editor’s Note: I’m kidding about the pureed steak thing).
#7: I hope parents commit to stop giving unsolicited advice to other parents: Just don’t do it. Ever. That all I have to say about that.
#8: I hope non-parents commit to stop giving unsolicited advice to parents: OK, I do have something to say about this one. Parents, have you heard any pearls of wisdom like this before?
“I don’t care if she’s hungry, you shouldn’t breastfeed your baby in public. It’s gross.”
“When I have a baby, I know he or she won’t cry as much as your kid.”
“I already know what being a parent is like. I have a dog.”
“Sleep deprivation is nothing. I pulled all-nighters studying for exams in college.”
Let’s break it down to levels that anyone can understand: Is there anything more offensive than someone telling you that they know more about your job when they haven’t done it before? Nobody has a clue about what parenting is like until they become parents themselves.
Memo to Non-Parent Parents: I love you guys. I have a lot of readers who don’t have kids; however, just know that real parents want to fight you in the streets whenever you act like you’re a parenting expert. You’re not. The only thing we want your “expertise” on is to remind us how great it feels to sleep whenever the fuck you want to and for as long as you fucking want to. Otherwise, keep your thoughts on how to raise our kids to yourselves, por favor.
This list could easily be 100 items long, and quite frankly – since I’m writing this at 2:00 AM, I’m a little salty and exhausted – so I’m going to stop now. Let’s stop with the New Year’s Resolutions that we’ll end up breaking in a week or two. No matter when this blog post reaches you, let’s commit to being the best people and parents we can be today and everyday. That’s exactly what you deserve and it’s exactly what our children deserve.
Let’s do it.