Father’s Day is coming up on June 15! Fathers are playing an expanding role in the care and nurturing of their kids especially while they are little…more than they ever have before.
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I would like to wish the many great father’s out there a Happy Father’s Day a few days in advance.
For those new fathers who can’t be there when their babies are born or soon thereafter because they are in the military, we offer free subscriptions to Babble Soft applications through our partnership with eMail Our Military. Even though we now have men and women in our military, the majority of the military is still men and often young fathers.
For all other father’s you know who want to get involved in the early care of their newborns, we are offering 15% off purchase of all subscriptions through June 15 using code FATHER#1. There isn’t a better reason for new dads to be on the Internet or their mobile devices than helping keep up with baby’s activities and milestones.
So in addition to all of those power tools, electronics, toys, and other gadgets that are typical gifts for Father’s Day, you can also give a new or expecting dad a fun and easy way to can get involved in those early days of childhood.
And again, a hearty thanks to all of those who mentioned our partnership with eMail Our Military.
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I babble about business, babies, and parenthood on this blog, so those of you who come here to read my posts on entrepreneurship but do not have babies, please forward this post to your friends and family who do have babies. For those who have babies and dabble in business, these tips might be right up your alley. If you have babies and no interest in business, then send it on to the folks you know who are knee-deep in business and encourage them to have a baby! To read other great baby tips, check out the baby tips category.
Thom Singer, our very own Austin-based networking guru, bravely accepted my invitation to write a guest baby tip. Thom Singer is the director of business development for vcfo in Austin, Texas. He is also a professional speaker and the author of two books on the power of business relationships and networking: “Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships” and “The ABC’s of Networking.“ He is currently working on “Some Assembly Required for Women” with co-author Marny Lifshen. He also blogs at Some Assembly Required. And now here is his fabulous baby tip:
Networking And The Stay-At-Home Parent
Having children changes everything. It doesn’t matter what kind of life you lived before or how your family handles the arrival of your bundle of joy(s), introducing kids into the equation shakes up all of your priorities.
When my first daughter, Jackie, was born I was thirty years old. I was working in a sales position, making decent money, and building my professional reputation and network of contacts. I was ambitious, and did not think that being a parent would make my life all that different. My wife had planned to quit her job and stay home with our children, and I figured I would continue along my career path un-affected by fatherhood.
While on maternity leave my wife received the word that she was being promoted to the job she had desired for seven years with her employer. While she did not make as much money as I did at the time, the opportunity was too good to pass up, and after much discussion and soul searching, I found myself quitting my job to become a stay-at-home dad for two years.
Being a full-time parent is hard work. Don’t kid yourself unless you have taken on this responsibility for more than a few days. There are no days off, no coffee breaks, no business trips, expense accounts or anything else that is an accepted corporate perk. I had never thought growing up that I would be a stay-at-home dad, as there was no such job description or role models who did such a thing. In the late 1990′s the concept was still even more rare than it is today.
I found this time to be very challenging, but also extremely rewarding. Eleven years later Jackie and I have a very close relationship and we share a wonderful bond from those early days of always being together. However, I also knew that this was a temporary role, as my wife would have preferred to have been at home, and I longed to have a blossoming career. Thus I spent much of the time continuing to network and cultivate relationships that would allow me to one day return to the work world. Although there were some naysayers who warned me that my professional career would never recover from the two years away, the reality was because of the active networking I was able to bounce right back into my career when the time was right.
Whether you are a man or a woman, if you decide to take on the role of stay-at-home parenting while your children are young, you need to keep your professional relationships alive. This will not happen by accident, and it takes time and effort (things in short supply when babies are teething, learning to walk, getting sick, and just being cute as all get out!), but neglecting your network can make it much more difficult to transition back to the workforce when that time arrives.
I was very proactive and made sure I had one breakfast and one lunch meeting each week. I was lucky, as Jackie was a very agreeable baby who was happy to sit quietly on my lap or in her stroller while I talked business with friends and former co-workers. While some people are self-conscious about bringing their kids along to business meetings, I never looked at this as a negative. Caring for Jackie was my job, and it was just as important (or more important!) as being a lawyer, accountant or financial planner. As she got older and was more mobile, I would often need to be more creative on setting up these meetings, working around my wife’s schedule or trading babysitting with a neighbor in order to have such appointments. However, there is always a way when you realize that something is a priority.
When it came time to return to work it was easy to put the word out that I was looking for a job as I was still a visible part of the business community. This was as much a state-of-mind as it was a result of my actions.
Choosing to leave the work world to be home with your kids can be both difficult and rewarding. The isolation of not having other grown-ups around can leave one feeling very disconnected. If you can relate to these feelings, then you need to take charge of your networking efforts and get back out into the world. Your future opportunities will all come from people, so you need to make, grow and keep your business relationships.
Have A Great Day.
If you like this tip, you might be interested in these great ones too:
15 Tips for Traveling with Baby by Maryam Scoble at Maryamie
Throw A Baby Kegger For Your Buddy by Clay Nichols at DadLabs
Keeping a Baby Food Journal by Neena at A Mom’s Life at NeenMachine.com
Increasing Milk Supply by Carole Hayes at Alias Tex
Note to new readers: these tips are based on our experiences, as well as those of our friends and readers. Please always consult with your doctor before implementing any tip that might impact the health of your baby. If you have a tip you’d like to submit please send an email to blogger at babblesoft dot com. Please check the ‘baby tips’ category to make sure your tip (in some form or fashion) hasn’t already been posted. If it has been, feel free to comment on that post and support the tip. We also welcome respectful challenges to the tips because as is noted in our inaugural baby tip ‘everything is relative!’ We will, of course, give anyone who submits a tip we publish credit and lotsa link love!
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A friend sent me a link to this article: Wedded to Work, and in Dire Need of a Wife in the New York Times by Shira Boss. My husband is great and does a lot of things to help with the kids and the house, but I’m still the one making sure the parties get planned, the thank you notes get sent, the gifts are bought for other kids parties, schedule the kid’s doctor’s appointments, etc. Mostly because my schedule is more flexible. I have to say I do love planning their parties though. Our son just had his 5th birthday party (I’ll blog about it later) and it was so much fun!
Now that women have solidly earned their place in the work force, many find themselves still yearning for something men often have: wives.
“The thing I most want in life is a wife. I’m not kidding,” said Joyce Lustbader, a research scientist at Columbia University, who has been married for 29 years. “I work all day, sometimes seven days a week, and still have to go home and make dinner and have all those things to do around the house.”
It is not just the extra shift at home that is a common complaint. Working women, whether married or single, also see their lack of devoted spousal support as an impediment to getting ahead in their careers, especially when they are competing against men who have wives behind them, whether those wives are working or staying at home. And research supports their argument: it appears that marriage, at least marriage with children, bolsters a man’s career but hinders a woman’s.
One specialist in women’s studies dismissed wife envy as something women “are usually joking about” and another called it “a need for a second set of hands, regardless of gender.” But therapists who work with couples on equality issues say it is no joke.
“I hear it all the time,” said Robin Stern, a psychotherapist in Manhattan and author of “The Gaslight Effect.” “It’s a real concern. Things that used to be routinely taken care of during the week are not anymore.”
With two-income families now the norm, and both men and women working a record-breaking number of hours, the question has become how to accomplish what used to be a wife’s job, even as old-fashioned standards of household management and entertaining have been relaxed. Many men are sharing the work of chores and child care with their wives, and some do it all as single parents, but women still generally shoulder a greater burden of household business (or fretting over how to do what is not getting done).
According to 2006 survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five men engages in some kind of housework on an average day, while more than half of women do.
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Life With Father: What Kids Get From Time With Dad written by Sue Shellenbarger, writer for the Wall Street Journal’s Work and Family section begins with “Amid Father’s Day celebrations this week, many young dads will be harboring a little secret guilt: They feel they should be more like moms — traditional ones, that is, who spend a lot of time at home.”
You might wonder why I’m writing about this particular article and the answer is because a friend of mine, Thom Singer, is quoted in it! I’ve known Thom Singer and his wife for a few years now, and he is one of the few guys I know who actually used to be a stay-at-home dad when his kids were little. I have several friends who have stay-at-home husbands but I don’t see their husbands very often. Thom and I run in the same business circles here in Austin, and he’s proud of the fact that he was a stay-at-home dad which is refreshing in an often old-school, male dominated business environment here in Texas. I recently saw him at a local Texchange event where out of 120 attendees less than about 20 were women.
Since Thom has been a blogger for quite some time (check out his blog at Some Assembly Required) he has been a great person to talk with about establishing my blog!
Happy Father’s Day to all you great Dads out there!
p.s. Don’t forget that our 20% off Father’s Day code, FATHER#1, is good through the end of the month (June 2007).
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