The Mission Statement of Parenthood

I used to be a total white-collar type and when I was, I crafted more mission statements than I care to remember. So shortly after the triplets were born, just for kicks and giggles, I crafted one for the institution of parenthood. After all, if I had a mission statement as a financial services wholesaler, why not have one as a father, right?

The other day, I wondered if I was the only dork who ever thought it’d be neat to have a parental mission statement, so I bounced the concept off of some of my fellow writers at Babble. And I have to tell you, I was surprised at the reaction. Not just the number of people who came back with a mission statement of their own, but also of the caliber of said statements.

So this week’s effort at Babble involves those mission statements. Check them out by clicking HERE.

The Family of Happy Campers

As I’m wont to do, I’ve written another post about camping over at Babble. It’s about how I finally talked Caroline into camping and why she’s glad she did it. As an added bonus, and in a related topic, ABC News linked back to the piece, but only because I was quoted in an article that is up on the ABC News dot com site that discusses how too few children are getting outside enough.

I’m happy to say that we don’t have that problem. Happier, still, to report that we are planning a big family camp out this summer. No big deal in that Caroline, Alli and I have gone on more than one (three?) camping trips together. A HUGE deal, though, in that this time the suddenly-not-so-tiny trio will be coming with us.

Check it all out over at my BabbleVoices blog by clicking HERE.

Oversharing in an Online World

Have you ever made small talk with an acquaintance only to have that individual tell you something so personal that it made you uncomfortable? I ran into this guy once whom I’d met at a party and hadn’t seen since. I shook his hand and asked how he’d been. Not that great. My wife caught me cheating. Pretty sure she’s gonna leave me.

What to say? I’m so sorry. Keep your head up. Everything happens for a reason. He countered my clichés with sordid details about his “hot” mistress while I hoped that the unwanted conversation would quickly run its course. I felt…violated? Probably the wrong word, but the feeling was certainly in that neighborhood. I felt he’d infringed upon me by offering such private (and unwanted) information.

I obsessed over the encounter for a week, vacillating between feeling like a victim and a jerk. After all, he was obviously hurting and just needed to air things out. To publicly own something awful he’d done. Who was I to begrudge him for that?

[read more over at BabbleVoices]

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7 Things My Dad Did That I’ll Never Do (and 3 Things I’m Copying till the End)

The circle of life. We’re born dependent, then become independent, often encumbered with a few dependents of our own about the same time the once-independent people who ushered us to our independence become dependent upon us. Kinda confusing, but not as confusing as why I ever thought that puka-bead necklace I’m wearing in the above picture was a good look. Because it wasn’t.

[Read more at BabbleVoices by clicking HERE]

15 Things Every Stepparent Should Know

If you stop by and read my words from time to time, I think you’ll agree that I have three primary speeds — ha-ha, deep, and esoteric. Lately I’ve been kicking out some ha-has, so I thought it was time to take one kinda deep. In fact, if I had to point to, say, five or six things that I’ve written that would give a total stranger the best sense of who I truly am, this piece would make the list without question. Not because it’s some work of literary genius. (As that clearly wouldn’t give someone a feel for who I am!) Far from it. Just some simple words about a complex relationship. One that I feel so fortunate to have.

So, I really hope you’ll go over to BabbleVoices and read this one. It’s got a piece of my heart trapped inside of it. Click HERE to read 15 Things Every Stepparent Should Know.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Fatherhood

You know what I did the other day? Marched into my library, dusted off Dante’s Divine Comedy and gave it a quick spin. Okay. No I didn’t. I don’t even have a library. Plus, the only Dante whose words I’ve ever read is former University of Tennessee football standout Donte Stallworth. And he spells his name with an “o,” so that doesn’t even count. Not that it’d count if he spelled it with an “a” because I doubt Donte Stallworth ever broke down the seven deadly sins like Dante…Dante did. (Dante’s last name? Anyone?)

Anyway, you know about the seven deadly sins, right? PEG LAWS? Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Avarice, Wrath and Sloth. Forget for a moment that I’m not entirely sure what “avarice” means and instead consider the following: there are seven deadly sins of fatherhood, too. That’s right. Being a dad carries its own PEG LAWS which you should try your best to avoid. You do know about them, right? Well, just in case, here they are starting with P:

[find out what the PEG LAWS of fatherhood are over at BabbleVoices by clicking HERE. One of them may or may not involve Don Ho at a rave.]

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Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and the 4 Year Old Backpackers

I have a feeling the Lorax would have liked this hike.

I’m a huge Dr. Seuss fan and I’m fired up about his birthday tomorrow. But not just because of his birthday. It’s also the day that yet another one his masterpieces comes to life on the big screen, this time The Lorax. So when I was asked to take part of a campaign on Babble sponsored by The Lorax, I jumped at the opportunity.

I hope you’ll go visit me at BabbleVoices and read my thoughts by clicking HERE.

The 7 Phases of a Chuck E. Cheese Visit


By now, I know that my readers have come to appreciate the fact that I often opine on pressing matters. Today, friends, is no exception, as over on BabbleVoices, I tackle the important sociological issue that is Chuck E. Cheese.

And I’m pleased to report that my hardscrabble analysis of this deplorable establishment has led to a breakthrough of sorts. No. Said breakthrough won’t stop your child from behaving like a buffoon while visiting the Rodent, as I like to call it. But it will, at least, help you understand his or her metamorphosis a bit better.

Click HERE to read The 7 Stages of a Chuck E. Cheese Visit. (You can thank me later.)

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Love is Patient

I was recently asked by YahooShine to write for them as part of their “Parenting Guru” group. Though I accepted, I’m about the furthest thing from a parenting guru you could ever possibly imagine. In fact, I’m usually leery of people who position themselves as such, but, hey, it’s just a name, right? So it’s not like I was going to turn down an opportunity to write for Yahoo over a semantics issue, right?

Anyway, since February is host to Valentine’s Day, this month’s parenting guru topic was love, so I wrote a piece for them called “Love is patient” that I hope you’ll check out by clicking HERE.

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8 Reasons Family Road Trips Kill Your Soul Dead

So, the crew and I recently went down to Hilton Head Island for a little beach getaway, and something occurred to me approximately seven minutes into our 8-hour drive.

It sucked.

I wrote about it over at my BabbleVoices blog. Click HERE to check it out.

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