Tag: Father’s Day

Do You Make Your Children Buy Their Stepfather A Gift For Father’s Day?

I went to a comedy show recently where one of the comedians made a very good point – why isn’t there  a day, or at least a few hours set aside to honor stepfathers? He went on to tell the audience that he was a “retired stepdad”. He had recently divorced a woman with 3 kids & started lamenting on how hard it was to raise someone else’s kids. With Father’s Day right around the corner, he thought that they should get some acknowledgement on that day, even if it was only the last 1 hour of the day. Now can you imagine that: on Father’s Day celebrating your stepfather from 11:00 pm – 11:59 pm only?! LOL

This actually isn’t such a bad idea. When you think about it, stepfathers oftentimes put in more work that than the biological father (or even a stepmother, in that case). Think about it: Usually children live with their mother full-time, therefore the stepfather typically has more interaction with the kids than their own dads. He has more opportunity to make an impact on them, since more interaction means more influence.

Not to mention,  a stepfather’s paycheck has to cover all the bills & incidentals in the home, which includes supporting someone else’s children. (This is precisely why I don’t want to marry someone with kids) The stepfather has to build & maintain a friendship (or at least a relationship) with someone else’s children that is “good enough” for the woman that he chose to marry (otherwise she wouldn’t marry him).  Imagine all the sporting events, recitals, etc. that he would be pressured to go to by his wife. He has to prove to her that he loves & cares for her children, and may even have to deal with the bio dad. This can be a hard thing for a man to do – deferring to another man for a child that lives under his roof (another reason why I don’t want to marry someone with kids – they may live with you & you are financially supporting them but you don’t get the “final say” when it comes to raising them). Only a strong man would sign up for this.

I think the comedian has got a point. If you are someone’s stepparent you have to do just as much work, spend your own hard-earned money and don’t get nearly as much of the credit. How often do mothers make their children buy a Father’s Day card for their stepfather or buy him a gift? How much do mothers show their appreciation of the effort & the dedication that their new husband puts into raising a child that is not theirs?

Helping to raise someone else’s child who lives in your house can be tough. Women with children really should show a little extra love on Father’s Day to any man who is helping her raise her kids.

This Father’s Day, I hope that you think about the men who are stepfathers in your life. Appreciate them. Tell them thank you. Have your kids acknowledge them because being a stepdad can’t be easy.

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Why I Wish No One But My Own Father a “Happy Father’s Day”

For nearly the past 45 years, Father’s Day has become a national day of recognition for fathers across the country to celebrate, honor and sometimes even unite families who have a father figure in their lives. If you have a stepfather, grandfather, uncle or biological father, this coming Sunday most of us will be celebrating these special men in our lives. Whether it’s going out to eat, shopping or even the movie theatre, all day long we will all hear these 3 little words over & over again: “Happy Father’s Day!”

Unlike most people, I don’t go around wishing every father a “Happy Father’s Day”. For me, it seems so trite & such a cliché to wish every man I pass a Happy Father’s Day just because he’s a man. Who knows if he has children? Who knows if his children even appreciate him? Better yet, who knows if he’s a good father?

You see, the hard part about throwing out the phrase “Happy Father’s Day” to every man I see on Sunday is that I don’t know whether or not he is a good father. There is no way I can know what kind of father you are unless I’ve met your children or at the very least, the mother of your children. Making babies does not constitute a good father, no matter how many children you may have & no matter how much child support you may be paying. Even if you have been physically present for your children, it doesn’t necessarily make you a good father. There are many abusive and destructive dads out there who don’t deserve the recognition of Father’s Day.

You see, there is so much that goes into being a good dad. Were you there during everyday life events, not only the important ones? Do you have a good relationship with the mother of your children? After all, being a good dad is more than just how you treat your children, it also involves the type of example you set as a man overall. Were you financially responsible for your children for their entire childhood? Showing up every now & then might be easy for some men to do but for others spending quality time with their children might be like pulling teeth. Did you teach your children about life? Did you open up your world to them so they can see you being a man, not just a dad? Additionally, how do others regard you as a father when your children are around?

There is so much that goes into being a good dad. A mere 24 hours out of the entire year does not do good father’s justice. However, I look forward to celebrating my dad this year because of all that he means to me. My dad has been married to my mother for over 35 years and has been there for me since the day I was born. He had a strict policy on dating (he wanted me to wait until I was at least 40 – lol!), taught me how to save $0.10 from every dollar I earned and “dated” my mother even though they were already married so I could see a living breathing example of what true romance is. Whether I was going through my awkward pre-teen years or even now as an adult woman coming into her own, my dad was & is still here for me. So, the only person I wish a “Happy Father’s Day” is my own father. I know for certain what kind of father he is because I know what kind of person I turned out to be. My dad understood that the role of a good father doesn’t start with child support, nor does it end when your child turns 18. Instead, it’s about being a good man, a good husband, and then a good father.

Let’s face it, we don’t know whether or not a man is a good dad just because he has children. After all, just about anyone can father a child, but it takes an exceptional man to do the job well. Perhaps the phrase “Happy Father’s Day” shouldn’t be thrown around so casually, but instead reserved for the real men who deserve it.

Dads

Daddy/Daughter Date Ideas For Father’s Day

Father’s Day is rapidly approaching! Unlike Mother’s Day, it’s always hard to find the perfect gift for dads because they tend to not want as much, and just seem less excitable about this day in general.

Aside from getting dad the typical dress shirt, tie, socks or some ugly do-hickey, think about doing something a little more special this year. Here are some ideas:

Go kart racing – There is nothing like Father’s Day to bring out your competitive side! Older generations often like to boast that they are the better drivers, so how fun would it be to “outdrive” your own father (especially if he’s the one who taught you how to drive in the first place). If you win against your own father, you’ll have bragging rights for months to come!

go kart

Rock climbing – Who doesn’t need exercise?! Get dad up & out and spend time getting in shape together. Be healthy together!

rock

Dinner – Dad’s always take delight in spending quality time with their children. It means a lot to them to be able to sit down and enjoy a nice meal and good conversation, especially during Father’s Day season. Whether you prefer to cook for your dad or treat him to a nice restaurant, I’m sure your dad will appreciate it. (Or if you’re like my father who never lets me pay for anything, I appreciate it even more!)

dinner

Live theatre – It’s always nice to dress up. Even more so when you’re doing it to spend time with the man who actually raised you. Buy some tickets to take your father to a nice play or to hear some live music. Most “older” men enjoy that kind of thing, not to mention it’s nice to contribute to the arts.

theatre

Maybe a trip down memory lane – Whether you make a scrapbook or literally drive your dad around his old neighborhood, let your dad relive some of his old memories. Part of who your father is today is based on who he used to be. Remind him of where he came from & how glad you are that HE is YOUR father! 🙂

memory lane

Do you have any gift ideas for Father’s Day? Is there anything special you’ve done for your dad in the past? I’d love to hear in the comments section below –

A Child Is Only As Good As Their Father

Father’s Day is here so I thought this would be the perfect time to acknowledge all of the dads around the country. Unfortunately, society is so hard on men. There are so many fathers who may be unemployed, incarcerated, abusive or just plain deadbeats but what about the men who are good fathers to their children? What about the men who do the right thing because they know it’s what they’re supposed to do?

As a woman I get tired of having to defend fathers, particularly the ones who want to be good fathers but the mothers of their children won’t let them (which will be a whole other post). I believe that having a father is critical to successfully raising a young boy or girl. Without them, the person that suffers the most is not the mother or the father, it’s the child. Study after study has revealed that children continue to fare better when their father is in their life especially if they live in the same home. Children are less likely to be incarcerated, drop out of school, exhibit behavioral problems and fare much better academically. It’s no secret that 2 is always better than 1, especially when it comes to raising (and paying) for children. Am I saying it’s the only way to raise a child? No, but having a father in the picture is certainly vital to raising a good kid. Children NEED their fathers.

Now a “father” may look different for different families. He may be in the form of a stepfather, a grandfather or even an uncle or male mentor. I’m certainly not saying that a good father figure has to be the child’s biological father. But the fabric of who we are is made up of where we come from. That includes our background, our personal experiences and most importantly our mother & father.

I take issue when people don’t hold their father in the same high esteem as their mother. The explanation is usually that their dad didn’t do anything for them & wasn’t around to help raise them. But that’s no excuse as to why you can’t honor the person whose very blood you carry in your veins. If your father was an absentee dad then that is a good example for you on what not to do for your children. That can drive you to be the very best father for your own children so that you don’t repeat his mistakes. Not to mention, your mother saw something in him to begin with otherwise how do you think you got here?!

So whether your dad was present in your life or not, you are who you are because of who he was.

Father and Son_grown 2

11 Things Men Don’t Know How To Do Anymore

According to a survey of random Americans, which asked, “What makes a man a man,” 31% responded “strength,” 7% said “arm strength,” 24% said “leadership,” and the rest responded with a similar variant (“has physical strength,” “can fix things”). The survey, informally conducted by Esquire, really leaves only one thing to be said: What?

While we’re somewhat in the nice-guy-metrosexual-Ryan-Gosling-is-the-new-ladykiller generation, many men still view masculinity in pretty black-and-white terms. And the terms are kind of ridiculous. The “Do you even lift, bro?” meme is a joke, but only sort of. After all, arm strength apparently defines masculinity to one out of every thirteen people, and the notion that barbecuing, woodworking and hunting comprise manliness are still ingrained in the male psyche.

There’s nothing really wrong with this exactly, but we’re an evolved species, so the way to a woman’s heart or to personal fulfillment is no longer through brute strength and the ability to carve a turkey with a knife you fashioned out of spare wood (although I guess that’s pretty cool).

So in addition to working on your biceps and turkey-carving techniques, bone up on the skills that will help you charm, attract and accomplish. There will be times when you need to open a jar and all that arm strength will come in handy. But, in the meantime, reassessing what it really means to be a 21st-century man might be a better bet.

1. Understand the Difference Between Being a Man and Being a D-Bag

It’s a surprisingly thin line. Take the idea of strength training, for example. It’s manly, even gentlemanly, to hit the gym a few times a week in order to stay fit, build up some strength, and become a better athlete. It becomes douche-y, however, when you become a protein shake aficionado and see working out as a) the most important thing in your day and b) as a direct route to getting with women. This applies to all sorts of daily activities, but the realm of sports and eating are the most classic battlegrounds (good job, you eat a lot of bacon, please tell us more). The best way to walk the tightrope across this treacherous chasm is by being secure with who you are. If you’re not a hyper-masculine dude, no worries. The numbers on your weights don’t decide your masculinity.

Dbag

2. Have A Signature Dish to Cook

The days of the hunter-gatherer are gone which means bringing home food – any food – isn’t going to cut it anymore. Have a go-to dish, whether it’s something as simple as pesto chicken pasta or as complex as coq au vin in your repertoire. That way, you can whip it up while when you’re the dinner party host or on a stay-in date. Keep a bottle of accessible red wine (perhaps a Pinot Noir or Malbec) somewhere around the place to. Lord knows you’d have to offer a Budweiser with your mushroom risotto and send the whole thing to hell.

cooking men

3. Be the Leader of Your Friend Group

This one might seem a little rude or overly aggressive, but respect breeds respect. If women, coworkers, even other men, see that you’re the go-to guy in your friend group, they’ll be drawn to you for both the security and popularity you can provide. It may sound a little too “middle school,” but social capital is among the most powerful forms of currency. Plan nights out, make the necessary phone calls and texts, and be a generally approachable, kind guy. Perhaps it’s a slight bit of work, but like most long-term endeavors, it will pay off.

leader of the pack

4. Know How to Lose an Afternoon

Oh you’re really busy and constantly stressed? You must important. C’mon now, nobody likes that guy. The coolest men maintain a balance of self-seriousness and capacity for a little play. Adrenaline seekers may go for skydiving or the shooting range, but the ability to push your quotidian worries aside for a little reading, writing, painting – whatever you like to do when you’re not on the clock — is as important as any. Having no life outside of work isn’t going to charm anyone but those interested purely in your career success, which means you’ll only be popular with the other work-obsessed zombies and any nearby gold diggers. Don’t be a gold digger guy yet. You’re not nearly old enough for that.

Kill an afternoon

5. Learn How to Speak Money

You’re going to want to have some money to fall back on if life presents a large speed bump. So too you’ll be desiring some cash when you’re looking to buy your first house, car, or a respectable rock for that wedding ring. Put away at least ten percent from your pre-tax paycheck and see that nest egg slowly grow. While you’re at it, learn about basic investments. Creating a diverse portfolio as early as possible is a sinfully easy way to earn money. Not everyone is in a position to start saving and investing, but once a job comes your way, whether it’s as an “ice cream scooping artist” or hedge fund manager, it’s best for some of that money to be tucked away for a rainy day. This is the twenty-first century too after all, so money-managing technology like Mint.com are simple ways to track your spending and earning.

Speak money

6. Create Something for the Long-Term

Be it a business or a book, create something and see it through to the end. You don’t have to find great financial success as a result, but the act of creating something that will forever have your name attached to it lends purpose and deep satisfaction. In our age, so much of creation isn’t really satisfying. Rather than working away on longer-term projects, we expend our creativity on writing short things like a clever Facebook status or Twitter post. None of this affords the same kind of big-time satisfaction as completing a project you’ve really invested yourself in. So find your niche, identify your skillset, and start outlining for that long-term project.

long term

7. Read Hemingway, Nabokov and Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was the original Ryan Gosling. Sensitive, smart, and always working on that hair part. Although he and Hemingway allegedly compared… baguettes… in a café bathroom and his wife, Zelda Sayre, complained about his inability to sexually please her, there’s still much to be learned from this man’s insight on women. After all, he was so good at understanding women in his own life that he used them to create some of literature’s most dynamite female characters, like Daisy Buchanan and Rosalind Connage (based on Ginerva King and Zelda, respectively). Nabokov’s Lolita is likewise a must, and Hemingway’s sparse prose of war and death are as serious — and manly — as they come.

Read men

8. Learn How to Tie a Tie

You’re going to need to know how to do it sometime, even if it’s just for the occasional wedding. Be self-sufficient and get that half-Windsor knotted.

tie a tie

9. Look Good

Individualism is crafted in a variety of ways, but the easiest way to cultivate it — and the way noticed most quickly by everyone else – is through personal style. The word “style” unfortunately conjures images of department store catalogues and fedoras, but it needn’t have to. We men have it pretty easy. Clean, simple, and well-tailored are pretty much the only fashion tenants we have to pay attention to. Pick a shirt, pick your trousers, and try your best to match your belt to your shoes. Skip the ostentatious “flair.” No need to be a walking TGI Fridays.

look good

10. Master the Three C’s: Charisma, Conversation and Charm

Charisma isn’t something that anyone inherently has. It’s something that’s given you by those who respect you and what you have to say. Earn this charisma not by talking everyone’s ear off but by listening and contributing thoughts both clever and deep. Eye contact, name repetition, and a genuine interest in others can get you surprisingly far.

charisma

11. Be Interesting and Interested

Be well-read, able to quote when appropriate and discuss when others are interested. Be well-traveled and have a variety of stories on hand. Be generous, able to see that no matter your situation there are always those who are worse off than you. Be fit, for the ability to take care of yourself is indicative of how you’ll take care of others. Be kind. Be engaging. Be decisive and be pensive. Know how to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling less than intelligent, read a book. If you’re feeling less than attractive, hit the gym. If you’re feeling less than inspired, study the lives of those you most respect. I’ve always thought that if one had to choose between wealth and interestingness, you’d have to be brainless to pick the former. There’s nothing manly about a guy who leads a dull life.

interesting

*Article was originally published on Thought Catalog.

See How Hilarious It Is To Be A Father!

Remember Dave Engledow, the self-proclaimed “World’s Best Father”?

2. He’s back with a new book and a handful of incredible new pictures of him and his 3-year-old, Alice Bee.

3. And his portraits of family life are just as amazing as ever.

4. The 43-year-old married dad has been capturing life with Alice since she was about 6 weeks old, starting with this photo.

“When I first started, the idea was that I just kind of wanted to make fun of myself because I was feeling incredibly exhausted and sleep-deprived,” Engledow told BuzzFeed, “so I wanted to capture just how clueless and sleepy I felt.”

5. This was another early favorite, inspired by Engledow’s “deathly” fear that he would leave Alice’s car seat on top of the car.

“I think early on in the series a lot of the photos were me kind of playing out things that I was afraid of as a father,” he said.

6. Engledow said he often shoots his and Alice’s parts separately, then edits the pictures together. Shooting the photos can take an hour or two, but editing takes anywhere from five to 20 hours.

“Sometimes she’s into it, sometimes we have to offer some serious bribes to get her to participate,” he said. “It’s kind of a thing that she and I do together and sometimes it’s fun for her, and sometimes she would rather be doing anything else but that.”

7. Alice’s bribes include things like fruit snacks and Popsicles, or, if they need to “break out the big guns,” chocolate.

8. Though he started off just posting the pictures to entertain his family and friends on Facebook, Engledow ramped up his photography when some friends said they’d buy a calendar full of photos of him and Alice.

9. A year later, after creating a Kickstarter for his second calendar, the campaign — and his photos — took off when it was chosen as one of the site’s staff picks.

Engledow now has 105,000 Facebook fans.

10. Though Engledow doesn’t work as a photographer full-time — he’s deputy director at the nonprofit Working America — he received a photojournalism degree from the University of Texas.

“Having a full-time job allows me to shoot whatever I want. I have the freedom to just photograph the things I’m interested in. And right now, obviously, that’s taking pictures of our family and Alice.”

11. He also has the support of his wife, Jen, who helps behind the scenes and keeps Alice “happy and well-fed” during the photo shoots, even sometimes appearing in them herself.

“Now that Alice is a little bit older, she keeps asking to have mommy in the pictures as well,” Engledow said, “so we’ve trying to get Jen to get in front of the camera a bit more in recent months.”

12. The Takoma Park, Md., resident said he finds lots of inspiration from pop culture, like with this Breaking Bad-themed photo of them making rock candy, and from Alice’s life milestones, or just things that excite her (like throwing things in the toilet).

They’ve also done Walking Dead and “Gangnam Style” photos.

13. As for how long they’ll keep doing it, Engledow said his little girl will be the deciding factor.

14. “I don’t want to be one of those parents that pushes their kids to do what I want them to do. If at any point she says, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore, Daddy,’ I think we’d respect that.”

15. Eventually, Engledow said he’d like for his daughter to help him come up with ideas for the series.

“My hope is that as she gets a little bit older, she and I will start coming up with ideas together, and that we’ll kind of be partners in the project,” he said.

16. Though it’s been three years, Engledow said Alice still gets excited to see the photos, but is still too young to realize their internet fame is out of the ordinary.

“She was really excited when we got our copy of the book in the mail, but I don’t think she realizes yet that this is an unusual thing,” he said. “I think she thinks that that’s just something that happens.”
*Originally published on Buzzfeed.