Tag Archives: Dad-Blogs

Bloggin’ Ain’t Easy

“What the hell are you always doing on that computer?”

Ever since I started my blog and began dabbling in all the corresponding social media accoutrements, that phrase has escaped my wife’s lips on multiple occasions.

I don’t blame her. My wife, bless her heart, is largely ignorant of all things Internet so it’s not surprising for her to ask that question. In her mind I should just write my post, put it online and be done with it. So she’s always surprised to see me on the computer so much during the day, and at all hours of the night. I simply tell her I’m “doing stuff for the blog” and that has always sufficed. But today, for some reason, it wasn’t enough.

“There’s no way you’re spending all this time on the computer just for your blog,” she said. “Tell me what you do.”

So we sat down and I provided her a detailed account of what it’s like being an active blogger. I know some of you are old pros at this and I’m preaching to the choir, but if there’s anyone reading who’s thinking about starting his own site, please allow me to provide you a little insight into the amount of work necessary to even come close to succeeding.

Assuming you have your domain and you’ve set up your Web site (all things my brother Nate did for me), now it’s time to post some content. Some people make a point to post every single day. Others, like myself, spread it out over the week. Personally I only post if I feel I have something of substance to share with you all. I stay away from reviews, giveaways and I try never to bore you with recaps of my day. Content is king, and I work very hard to always make it interesting for my readers. So even though I may only post 2-3 times a week, rest assured I’m spending a lot of time crafting those entries.

But getting to the point where you can hit the “publish” button is just the beginning.

So you’ve written the world’s best blog entry. Congratulations. But if you don’t have any fans then it’ll be wasted on the three family members currently reading your blog. So you need a following. And the quickest way to do that, is via social media.

You need a Twitter account. Facebook is essential as well. Whatever your subject matter is, there’s surely a whole network of people who share the same interest. For some people it may be Transgendered Furries with Foot Fetishes. In my case, it’s parenting. So I would go to Twitter and Facebook and enter a series of search terms for dads, moms, parents, parenting, fathers, fatherhood, etc. You’ll soon find lots and lots of people who are currently talking about topics similar to the one you’re blogging about. So you add them as friends.

I call that planting the seed.

But as anyone with a green thumb knows, planting a seed is just the beginning. Then you need to water it and tend to it as it grows, in the hopes one day you can smoke it. In the blogging world, that means gathering Twitter friends and Facebook fans, and making sure every single one of your posts shows up on both places complete with a link back to your blog. Then you should join a core group of people and follow them and their work. And you can’t just do it half-assed either. You need to really pay attention to these people. You need to go to their sites and leave pertinent comments. You need to “re-tweet” their Twitter conversations to your audience, because they’ll do the same for you. Then you’ll start to appear on Twitter Lists so people can find you easier. Eventually, if you’re really into it and you do things the right way, you’ll begin to carve out your own niche as well as join a group of like-minded people who are all spreading the love around and giving each other more and more hits and unique visitors.

I scratch your back, you scratch mine. Just like in real life only at warp speed.

Eventually you fall in with Web sites such as Dad-Blogs and the Good Men Project, and maybe they’ll accept you as a contributor. Now you have your audience plus their platform as well. So now you’ve got your Web site, your Twitter account, your Facebook page and perhaps some contributing or guest blogging gigs at various sites. You’re hooked up and plugged in.

The only problem is you’re teetering on overload.

I have a full-time job, so I can’t do this stuff during the workday. I write early in the morning, late at night and on weekends. And, from time to time, I have to deal with a pesky 2-year-old and do the whole dad thing. So in my “spare time,” I need to catch up on a day’s worth of 330 Twitter friends, Facebook peeps, see what I missed at Dad-Blogs, comment to the comments people left on my own site and plan out some future content in the hopes of driving my hits up.

And you can’t ever stop. Because even a few days of inactivity will result in a precipitous drop in readership. Your Twitter followers will go down faster than Rosie O’Donnell on Ellen Degeneres. MJ wanted to know if I could totally disregard my blog and all that goes with it next month when we drive down to North Carolina for vacation. I told her absolutely not. Because in this age of instant gratification and a million and one voices all straining to be heard, you will be forgotten if you dilly-dally.

Not to mention, I’m completely and hopelessly addicted. Between my laptop and my Blackberry, I freak out if I’m not connected to the Internet somehow. At this point I have about a month to go before I’m mainlining coffee and sucking down cigarettes outside of a 12-step meeting for online junkies.

When all is said and done, I figure I spend 15-20 hours a week on my blog and related social media. Basically, it’s become a part-time job. Thankfully it seldom feels like work because I love it, and the people I’ve connected with are some truly talented and amusing motherfuckers. But if you really want your blog to stand out and have any shot at success, you need to REALLY work at it. It’s much more work than I ever anticipated, but that’s offset by the fact that it’s three times as rewarding.

How about you experienced bloggers and social media gurus? Any tips or anything to add?

CHECK OUT FATHERHOOD FRIDAY OVER AT DAD-BLOGS, WHERE I HANG OUT WITH OTHER DADS WHO NEGLECT THEIR CHILDREN IN THE NAME OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND INCREASED SITE TRAFFIC.

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Her Shit Don’t Stink

Apparently all farts aren’t created equal.

I’m tired of it. I’m sick of the discrimination and the banishment. Why am I destined to live life as a second class citizen, when everyone else who lives in my house does the same thing, but minus the derision, snide comments and piercing looks of death?

Yup, we’re going high brow today on Daddy Files and discussing farts.

I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend lately regarding the subject. Despite the fact that everyone in the house (including the animals) routinely passes gas, my wife treats mine differently than everyone else’s. If Will farts, it’s cute. Mainly because everything he does is cute. He’ll hold his stomach, bend slightly at the waist and then let one loose. And he always has that look on his face where he’s half amused and half scared that he did something wrong. So MJ and I both laugh, and rightfully so. My wife farts (even though she tries to deny it or pretend it didn’t just happen) and I’m just supposed to look the other way. She gets upset when I call her on it, as if her ass is too precious for such a foul act to occur. Hell, even when the dog and cat farts MJ thinks it’s funny and cute.

But if I fart, it is the end of civilization as we know it.

Look, I will admit I don’t hold back. Mainly because it hurts my stomach to hold it in, so I freely trumpet my gastrointestinal rebellion throughout the house with reckless abandon. And yes, sometimes it smells like a dead skunk that was just removed from a decaying corpse a little, but that’s par for the course. I’d venture to say 99% of all farts smell. It is a bodily function that originates from your anal cavity. The very act of farting is gross and malodorous, so why all the shock and outrage?

But that’s the thing: my wife doesn’t think her farts stink. Seriously. If she does fart in front of me she goes to any length necessary to hide it, and she will never admit it. And if I say it smells, she gets legitimately upset and tells me I’m wrong. She literally thinks her ass expulsions don’t stink. Even if I do catch her, she wants me to treat it like a novelty or some freak occurrence, and give her a pass.

Yet when I fart, she looks at me like I am the grossest motherfucker on the planet. MJ is someone who cannot mask her emotions, so in that instant after the fart leaves my body, she displays raw emotion that cannot be hidden. Her eyebrows crinkle together, her eyes narrow into snake-like slits, her lips purse and one corner of her mouth draws up into a nasty snarl. In short, she treats me like I’ve just taken a dump on the Mona Lisa. Like I’m the biggest Neanderthal she’s ever seen. Like my very existence at that moment in time is so grotesque to her, she can’t possibly fathom that I exist, nevermind the fact that she is actually married to such a cretin.

Earlier in our relationship, I used to be sensitive to her feelings. So I’d either hold it in (painful) or I’d literally leave the room to pass gas. But as we stopped giving a shit about impressing each other our relationship matured, we became comfortable with each other and began letting our guard down. No need to put on airs in a marriage, and so the gas was passed. At least by me. But I was never deliberate or mean-spirited about it.

Until now.

If she gives me that look of disdain, I seek revenge the next time around. If we’re under the covers, instead of aiming it away from her I go right at her. And if she still gives me shit, I either give her the Dutch Oven or I flap the covers up and down so the fart can permeate the room. And if I’m really feeling spiteful, I’ll wait for her to fall asleep and then rip a particularly nasty one that wakes her up.

Some say you shouldn’t resort to using chemical warfare while involved in marital battles, but at this point I have a win at all costs mentality. I’m standing up for the rights of flatulent husbands everywhere. And history will eventually view me as a hero.

CHECK OUT FATHERHOOD FRIDAY OVER AT DAD-BLOGS. IT’S A GAS.

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My Wife Rocks

Dad Blogs

My buddies at Dad-Blogs had a fantastic ideas last week, and that was for all of us fathers to write something complimentary about our wives. And it couldn’t have been more timely.

I’m very proud of MJ, and I’m eternally thankful for her. But today, I’m extra proud. Because today, my wife is going back to school for her master’s degree in business!

It’s something she’s wanted to do ever since she graduated from college nine years ago. But you know how it is, life kind of gets in the way. When she graduated she took a job as a teller to pay the rent on her apartment. They recognized how great she was and in three years she was a bank manager and a top performer.

Then MJ and I started dating and we hit a crossroads. She was an inch away from taking a job down in Florida. We were only 6 months into our relationship, but I was totally in love with her already. She hinted at me moving to Florida, but I’ll never live anywhere except New England. However, I never asked her to stay, I told her to do what makes her happy.

She chose me.

From there it’s the same old story. Engagement, marriage, house, mortgage, baby. She always wanted to go back to school and she always had jobs that would reimburse her for it. But she always decided it wasn’t the right time, we didn’t have the money, etc.

Truth be told, I’m not sure if we have the time or money now. Sure she gets a hefty reimbursement from work, but we have to front the money until next year. Not to mention her one book for her class cost a whopping $214. Can you believe that? FOR ONE BOOK!! Forget credit card companies, the textbook industry needs some regulation. And she can only take one class a time, which means this will be a 2-year process from start to finish. She’s taking the 3-hour class on Monday nights, which is when my parents watch Will overnight into Tuesday. It’s also the only time MJ and I have to spend together as a couple.

I’m disappointed to lose that time to reconnect with her. And we’re going to struggle even more financially now. I mean really struggle. This is an undertaking that’s going to require time, sacrifice and lots of overtime at our respective jobs. And not that we’re pregnant with Kid #2 yet, but it’s been discussed. Two parents working full-time, one parent going back to school part-time, one toddler, a potential newborn, a dog, two cats and lots of bills that need to be paid.

Some people have already told MJ she should wait to go back to school so she can focus on her family. But you know what, those people can go to hell.

My wife is always trying to better herself. And going back to school is what will make her happy. And in the end, that will do nothing but help our family. More knowledge, more skills, more money = better ability to pay bills, a bigger house and a sense of self-satisfaction and accomplishment you can’t put a price tag on. Her first class hasn’t even started yet, but I can already see MJ is happier. Because she’s doing something. She’s taking action. And I admire the hell out of her for that.

And sure, this is going to be hard. Her class time, the studying, the extra expenses…a lot of that is going to impact me big time. Because she works an hour away, I already have the bulk of childcare duties during the week. But with class time and her having to study, that just increased quite a bit. Not to mention I’ve already started taking every extra shift and overtime possibility I hear about because I know we’ll need it. And when you see your wife only 2 hours a day with one night (Monday) to yourselves, it’s painful to take that one night away. But I never hesitated to tell her to go for it.

After all, that’s what marriage is all about. Compromise and supporting each other.

MJ puts up with my crazy sports habit. She understands how important it is for me to go to Patriots/Red Sox games. And when I shell out money to play fantasy sports, she never criticizes me even though she has no friggin idea what the point is and thinks it’s stupid. But you know what, she supports me because she knows it’s important. She doesn’t belittle me or the things I love. She doesn’t try to control me, restrict me or put down those things, even when she thinks they’re the dumbest things on Earth. And THAT is why I married her. Because I could never spend my life with someone who constantly judged me or the things in which I’m interested and love.

And that’s why I’m more than happy to return the favor. Good luck baby, I know you’ll knock em dead!

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Go F*ck Yourself Tiger

Read what other dads think about the Tiger Woods fiasco at Dad Blogs!

“I’m Tiger Woods and I want my privacy.”

That’s been the refrain on Tiger’s website, where he has offered a half-assed apology for his actions while simultaneously delivering a sharp criticism to the evil media who just won’t seem to leave poor Tiger alone. But, as you may have already surmised by my surly tone, I don’t feel bad for Tiger at all. And his pleas for privacy are falling on deaf ears, and rightly so.

My problems with Tiger in all of this are not that he cheated on his wife, made a mockery of his marriage and created a shit storm that his family now has to endure for the foreseeable future and beyond. Although all of that is true. No, my problem with Tiger is that he’s an amazing hypocrite who thinks he is above the law and the rest of us.

Consider the facts:

Tiger Woods tore ass out of his driveway at 2:25 a.m. early last Friday morning. He hits a fire hydrant and then a neighbor’s tree. His wife Elin used a golf club to bust out the back window in a supposed attempt to “rescue” Woods. Woods was found with cuts on his face, blood in his mouth and unconscious laying in the road. On Saturday Woods blew off police officers. The next day he refuses to talk to police again. By Monday he told police he would only provide them with the basic information, despite police attempts to investigate whether domestic violence was taking place. On Tuesday Woods is cited for careless driving and given a $164 fine, but the police do not file criminal charges. Soon rumors of infidelity start floating around and so far four women have been identified, complete with text messages and voicemails from Woods basically admitting an affair.

OK, forget the fact that he’s a lying, cheating asshole for a minute because I’ll address that later. What I want to focus on is how Woods was treated.

First of all, this is a public incident. Police had to respond, it was an accident with injury, and that is a public record that anyone should be able to access. It did not happen in Tiger’s home, it happened on the street. So spare me any privacy details because police officers paid for with taxpayer money are dealing with this thing.

Now, let’s say it’s just your average schmuck this happened to and not the most prolific and wealthy golfer on the planet. Do you think you or I would’ve had the option to decline police questioning? Do you think we could’ve simply said “Nah, I’m all set officers. I don’t feel like talking.” HELL NO! Someone else besides Tiger wouldn’t have had the opportunity to decline police questioning. But because he’s rich and famous, he thinks he is above the law. And he’s right.

And give me a break with the whole “my wife saved me by breaking the window and pulling me out to safety.” Have you seen Elin Woods? She is a 5’4″ beautiful, skinny, Swedish model. Are you telling me that she had the foresight to grab a golf club, smash the back window and pull a man who is 6’2″ and 185 lbs over two seats and out a window? No way in hell.

Mrs. Tiger was likely pissed at her husband for being a philandering douchebag, chased him outside after a fight in the wee hours of the morning and smashed him and his Escalade with an 4-iron, causing him to crash. And frankly, that makes Elin even hotter in my book.

And when the mistresses started coming out of the woodwork, we found out that Tiger has been sleeping around for years. Then, like clockwork, he did what all famous people eventually do when they’re caught with their pants down and have no other defense. He blamed the media.

“Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy.”

Sorry Tiger, I’m not buying your bullshit.

Celebrities like Tiger Woods are so hypocritical it makes me insane. They have no problem with the media when they’re gracing the covers of magazines, appearing in commercials and raking in endorsement money. They have no problem with the media when they allow a reporter to come inside their world and write a fluff piece after viewing a carefully crafted day in the life in which every detail was pre-planned by some public relations guy. Celebrities use the media to gain exposure, fame and fortune. And all of that’s A-OK.

But as soon as Tiger screwed up he bitched and moaned about his lack of privacy. He villified the very same media that helped lift him up to the lofty perch from which he just fell. And now, in a pathetic attempt to blame everyone except himself, he’s trying to make everyone feel bad for him by blaming the people whose sole existence is to ferret out the truth.

And that, my Tigerrific friend, is truly pathetic.

There is an unwritten and unspoken contract celebrities have with the rest of the world, and like anything else in life, it’s good and bad.

The bad parts include trashy headlines in disreputable tabloids. And celebrities have to deal with paparazzi lurking around every corner, always hounding you and interfering with your outings. There is absolutely less privacy involved in being a celebrity, and all too often your personal life will be scrutinized, publicized and aired out in the open for all to see and hear. I’m positive that at times it’s infuriating and unfair.

But guess what the good part is? BEING FILTHY FUCKING RICH!

Seriously, Tiger is living the good life. He has unlimited financial means and he can do anything. Tiger is literally hindered by nothing. He lives a life the rest of us only fantasize about. He has the unbelievable luxury of never again having to worry about money, where the next mortgage payment is coming from, whether he should use what little he has to buy groceries or pay the electric bill. He wants for NOTHING.

That, my friends, is the trade-off. And Tiger gets a pretty good deal if you ask me.

Truthfully, I’m happy to see this latest development because it means that Tiger — this walking, talking, corporate logo of a human being — is not all he’s cracked up to be. Tiger is a billionaire professional athlete who does things that no other human beings can do on the golf course. But you know what? I can do something he can’t.

I can be a faithful and devoted husband. I can be a father who doesn’t teach his children that it’s OK to hurt the ones you’re supposed to love the most. And I’m a man who takes responsibility for both the good and the bad in his life, without acting like a complete coward while trying to blame everyone but myself. My mistakes are my own, for better or worse. Tiger’s mistakes appear to be the media’s fault. Ridiculous.

The bottom line is Tiger deserves neither our pity, nor his privacy in this instance. And the best way for him to avoid the media spotlight, is not to cheat on his wife, lie to everyone and hurt his family.

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Co-Sleeping: Unnecessary & Dangerous

This article originally appeared over at Dad-Blogs. Click over there when you’re done for some other great reads.

There are certain topics amongst new and expectant parents that are guaranteed to incite controversy and heated debate from both sides. Breastfeeding vs. formula, cloth diapering vs. disposables, the proper age to start a baby on solids and — of course — co-sleeping.

In case you don’t know, co-sleeping is the term generally used to describe a parent’s decision to bring their child into an adult bed to sleep through the night together. Proponents argue the benefits of co-sleeping are plentiful. Newborns crave close, skin-on-skin contact and what better way to soothe a child than to keep that contact all through the night? They contend children who co-sleep feel more confident and secure because of it.

However, there is another side of the coin. Critics say co-sleeping creates a needy and overly dependent child at best, and a dead baby in the worst case scenario. An article, which can be read by clicking here, highlights the danger of co-sleeping. If you don’t feel like reading it, all you really need to know is that at least 11 Massachusetts infants were killed this year when their parents accidentally suffocated them while sharing a bed.

In the article, one woman refers to co-sleeping as child abuse. I don’t think I’m willing to go that far because all of these tragic deaths were accidental, and I can’t even imagine the crushing guilt and sense of loss these parents must be enduring. And in that respect my heart truly goes out to them.

However, I can’t deny that a part of me feels that guilt is deserved. After all, these 11 deaths were totally and completely preventable. That is a fact. In these 11 cases, the deaths were the result of co-sleeping. Therefore, if the children weren’t in bed with their parents, they would not have died. That’s the reality, no matter how harsh.

And the ironic part is I’m guessing many of these parents are probably good, well-intentioned souls. They probably have covers on all of their electrical outlets. Their floors may be mopped, swept and cleared of any and all choking hazards. Their cars may be equipped with state-of-the-art carseats with 5-star safety ratings in case of an accident.

Some parents take all of these precautions, yet they don’t see the mathematical folly of a 150-lb parent — who is often sleep deprived and totally exhausted — sharing a bed with a 9-lb baby. It just makes no sense that a completely preventable tragedy is defended by so many with such vigor.

After all, why not use a bassinet? We set up the bassinet right next to our bed. All my wife had to do in the middle of the night was reach over and grab the baby. She barely had to sit up in bed. So for the first three months, Will slept in very close proximity to us but never in our bed.

And yes, I understand the arguments for it. It’s easier to breastfeed the baby. The baby sleeps better at first. Perhaps there’s no other place for the baby to sleep. And I’m not saying parents who choose to co-sleep are wrong, but I do personally believe it’s a misguided, new age concept and even the most ardent co-sleeping advocate hasn’t provided me with a surefire explanation for why it’s beneficial.

Even exempting the safety risk, I still see no benefits to co-sleeping.

In my opinion, you run the risk of co-sleeping for too long and creating an overly dependent child who is afraid or unwilling to sleep in his/her own room. I’m on a lot of Internet parenting boards and I see parents who are desperately trying to make the transition from shared bed to the crib. I am always amazed at their bewilderment because it seems to me, the reason they won’t take to it is because they’ve been so coddled for so long.

And besides, that bed is for me and my wife. Sure there will be times in the future when Will has a bad dream and crawls into bed with us. And that’s fine, but it’s not fine if it’s on a regular basis. We bought him his own bed, he should sleep in it. At four months Will went to the crib in his nursery and that was that. Sure we had to let him cry it out a few times, but he’s been sleeping very well through the night since before he was even 6 months old. That would never have happened if he became accustomed to our feathertop mattress.

I understand the desire to snuggle up with a baby. I love my son and it was tempting to drift off, the two of us snuggled up tight. But then I think about how I’d feel if I woke up on top of my dead child who I inadvertently rolled on top of and suffocated in my sleep.

For me, that right there is enough to eliminate co-sleeping as an option forever.

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