To all you great father’s out there who are really involved in the lives of your kids, Happy Father’s Day to you! When father’s are involved in their children’s lives everyone, and I think even the dad’s themselves, are better off. Just like having a good mother, a good father is critical to a child’s well being. The same stuff holds true for great father’s that I mentioned in my almost record breaking viewed mother’s day post.
Much has changed in a father’s role over the last 50 years, and I think so far that change has been good!
We all have the same amount of time (barring unforeseen, usually dire circumstances) to do what we are meant to do or want to do while here on earth. It doesn’t really matter if we are born knowing what we are supposed to do or we aren’t. In the case of Hugo (movie), he discovered his purpose in life was to fix other people, things, automatons, and clocks. A series of unfortunate and fortunate events led him to the automaton/person he was meant to fix.
Sometimes time feels like it ticks so painfully slowly when you aren’t able to do what you want to do, be with the people you want to be with, or ironically figure out what your purpose is in life. But then all of a sudden you look up, notice that time has slipped through your fingers and you realize…you rationalize…you reason that maybe this was just all the way it was supposed to turn out. But you know there were points in the road of life where you could have gone a different seemingly easier or treacherously hard way. Would it have resulted in fame, fortune, finding your soul mate, and great health or would you have been run over by a bus?
Timing is everything, but the passing of “time” is the one thing none of us can change until my kids someone invents a time machine. Many of us spend so much time chasing something just out of our reach, so much so that it must be human nature. But when do we stop…do we stop? We can’t stop! Or can we? Well, maybe after we discover intelligent life on another planet.
Working Motherhood/Parenthood/Fatherhood requires you to try touching your elbow to your ear (yes, I tried it to make sure it was near impossible to do so) on more occasions than you’d like to admit
I hope in all this living around parents with an accidental (prone to earthquakes) entrepreneurial foundation, my kids are learning that they have to whine a little, adapt a lot, smile, try a bunch of different things, have faith that things will turn out as they should as long as they work hard and are kind to others…including animals and a select few insects like butterflies.
And now for a fabulous guest post from the ex-general counsel at Expedia, Mark Britton. I wish I had known about his site, Avvo, before I experienced my Traffic Court Tribulations!
Being the ex-general counsel at Expedia and now running Avvo and its free legal advice Q&A forum, I get a lot of questions about travel-particularly travelers’ rights and responsibilities. As a parent of three rambunctious little boys, I offer this post to help traveling parents everywhere. On that note, I am reminded of one of Expedia’s great early ads which said something like, “Whoever said getting there is half the fun has never gotten there with a screaming two year old.”
So, in that spirit, here are some nuggets of knowledge for your next child-laden trip:
1. Traveling with kids doesn’t give you special legal rights. A lot of people assume that because they are traveling with kids they have special rights and preferences granted by the Federal Aviation Administration or some higher authority. The reality is that your rights-with or without children-are largely whatever the airline chooses to give you. Don’t think you can be involuntarily bumped with children? Oh yes, you can. Outraged that the airline denied you early boarding with your pokey young children? Tough beans. Not able to avoid your child’s tantrums by letting her run up and down the airline aisle? It’s the flight staff’s call.
2. Add 30-60 minutes to get to your gate. Let’s face it, kids take their time. That dead cockroach en route to your gate may be disgusting to you, but it absolutely requires closer inspection by a five-year-old. I learned long ago that rather than trying to whip your kids into an adult pace, allowing more time to get to your gate preserves family harmony. Just going through security is stressful for a kid-take it slow and make it fun.
3. Reserve the allowed seats for your kids. One place that the feds do get involved is where your children may sit on a plane. They may not sit in an exit row, and if they are in a car seat, they must sit by the window. So don’t think you will book your young child in an exit row and the airline will have to live with it-they won’t. The flight attendants will move you-I see it happen all the time. Also, don’t book two aisle seats-one for you and your car-seated kid. Just take it for granted that your child will be sitting by the window and you will be sitting in the middle by the big hairy guy who hogs the armrest.
4. No need to smuggle your baby food. Keep in mind that while you are not allowed to take liquids on a plane, you may take liquid-based baby food. Many people don’t know this, and so they attempt to come up with creative ways to smuggle on formula or the always-popular peas and carrots. Stow your criminal tendencies, and simply declare the baby food. You can take up to one-day’s supply on board, but I have found that TSA personnel are always very sympathetic and accommodating when it comes to food for your infant.
5. Kids can get the boot too. Finally, keep in mind that an airline can deny you boarding-or even ask you to deplane-if your kids are disorderly, abusive or violent. This goes for adults too, but people are always surprised that it pertains to kids.
I could go on and on (bring a DVD player with headphones, seat your child behind a parent, etc.). However, I think I have already exceeded my word limit. Of course, if you have any more legally related travel questions, we are always here to answer all of your questions. You can go directly to our free legal advice Q&A forum to ask your personal legal questions- anonymously if desired-and real attorneys will answer them.
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Accredited Online If you are interested in the law and your rights and want to interrupt the status quo, consider earning a law degree online. Taking courses online allows you to set your pace and live your life as you choose.
“There are ways you want to manage opportunities, but mitigating risk, I think takes you down the wrong path.” Instead of thinking that you might lose so you’d better prepare for the crash, Knaggs says you must believe you’re going to take off, so you’ll only prepare to fly. “You have to commit 100 percent to powering the engines and getting up to speed. You have to rally your people, you just have to know you’re going to fly.”
Bart has two kids. After getting his undergraduate degree, he became a competitive cyclist – “a form of self-employment in which the sacrifice is monumental and the payoff only accrues to an elite few.”
One more article in the Self-Starter series will be coming out soon, so sign up for free email updates and you won’t miss it!
I met a gal on twitter who tweets by the name of @MailOurMilitary and @Dayngr. Her real name is Trish. We got to tweeting and emailing and then talking.
Since Trish had gone through the hardship of being away from her husband when her first child was born, we both thought it would be a great idea to join forces to offer members of her non-profit organization, eMail Our Militaryfree subscriptions to Babble Soft applications as well as access to a discount code for 20% off purchases for non-active military and friends.
So please let the military families you know about our offer and encourage them and others to sign up at eMail Our Military. We know there is no way to make up for the lost time and touch of a parent who is away but now they have access to a free tool that can help bridge the unavoidable physical gap between two parents of a precious newborn. We wanted to give people another reason, which is often overlooked (i.e., being away from their baby), to remember all those men and women who have put their lives at home on hold and/or laid down their lives to protect our freedom.
Babble Soft and eMail our Military Join Forces to Offer Free Subscriptions to Babble Soft Applications for Active Duty Service Members with Newborns
Just in time for Memorial Day, Active Duty Service Members with Newborns now get free access to Babble Soft’s web and mobile applications through their membership at eMail Our Military.
AUSTIN, TX; MIAMI LAKES, FL – May 22, 2008 – Babble Soft and eMail our Military are partnering to offer free subscriptions to Baby Insights and Baby Say Cheese for active duty service members with newborns.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with Babble Soft.” said Trish Forant, Founder and President of eMail our Military. “My husband was called into service only one week after our first child was born. I had very few friends and family to turn to for support where we were stationed and it was difficult for me to convey to him what I was going through with our new baby. I would have loved to have the online tools Babble Soft provides to communicate to him how often and when our baby was feeding, sleeping, etc. as well as important picture milestones!”
“Our goal at Babble Soft is to help strengthen and enhance connections between family members during that wonderful, yet chaotic time after a baby is born.” said Aruni Gunasegaram, founder and president of Babble Soft. “We support our troops and know how important it is for new parents who have to be away from their newborns to feel connected to what is going on at home. Partners can share experiences and photos with each other through Babble Soft’s unique web and mobile applications. As an added bonus, members of eMail our Military will have access to a discount code to purchase gift subscriptions for their other family members who may or may not have military ties.”
Baby Insights helps caregivers keep track of baby’s breast & bottle feeding, sleep periods, diaper changes, medicine doses, immunization records, as well as mom’s breastfeeding, pumping and medicine intake. Having important information stored in one location makes communication between parents, their nanny, babysitters, grandparents, or doctors seamless and reliable and gives new parents insight into their baby’s patterns to help with crucial baby care decisions.
Baby Say Cheese lets you create a wonderful online baby’s first year photo album with milestones such as ‘first crawl, first smile, first word’ and family tree that you can share with friends and family. You can even send a fun, cute picture postcards of any of your baby’s milestones to anyone with an email address!
About eMail our Military, Inc. eMail Our Military was created in 2001 as a response to the DoD’s cancellation of the “Any Service Member” and “Operation Dear Abby” mail programs. As a safe alternative, eMOM picked up where these programs left off. eMail Our Military is composed of volunteers from all walks of life who understand that regardless of our political views, our military service members deserve our respect, support & encouragement. Website visitors can join and take part in a number of support projects ranging from sending eMail on a one-on-one basis with a service member to year round support projects that are open to the public. For more information on eMail Our Military, please visit http://www.eMailOurMilitary.com
About Babble Soft, LLC Babble Soft is based in Austin, Texas and creates products that help make the transition into parenthood easier. Whether you need breastfeeding support, are experiencing baby sleep issues, are expecting twins, or taking care of a premature (preemie) baby and would like to create your baby’s first year album, Babble Soft offers unique, easy-to-use Web and Mobile software solutions that improve communication between caregivers. Babble Soft makes a great baby shower gift that you can easily send via Email to any new parent anywhere in the world! To learn more and purchase Babble Soft applications, please visit http://www.babblesoft.com.
For more information, please contact:
eMail our Military, Inc.
What do 5 White Men, Rebranding, and Dads have in common? Well other than the fact that Dads are usually men, probably not a whole lot. These are just some of the interesting things happening around the blogosphere.
5 White Men Talk About Social Media was written by Connie Reece at Every Dot Connects. Connie is a huge presence in the world of social media especially here in Austin, yet was overlooked for a panel on Social Media the Chamber of Commerce was putting on. She voices her frustration at women still being “invisible” even when they are playing a major role in the world of social media. Connie got me started in blogging almost a year ago! She is also one of the main reasons the Frozen Pea Fund initiative got started as a result of Susan Reynolds struggle with breast cancer. Here’s a quote from her post:
This afternoon I got an email from fellow Dot-Connector Brenda Thompson with the subject line: “Five White Men Talk About Social Media.” That got my attention and I opened the email right away. …
It irked me too. It’s not like the organizers would have had to look very far to find some outstanding women to speak, and I’m not just referring to myself. In less than 30 seconds, Brenda and I came up with a list of five or six local women who would have made great panelists.
See, lists are easy to make. But women on lists are still invisible if conference organizers aren’t looking for the list.
Looking Minnesota. Feeling California and The Gaping Void Between Our Brand And Our Audience were two recent posts written by Wendy Piersall of eMoms at Home. After her recent trip to SXSW Interactive, she realized she needed to rebrand because many of her readers are not eMoms or even parents! I love Wendy’s blog for a variety of reasons but mostly because she is open and honest about her experience as an entrepreneur and she readily shares her blogging and business tips. We met through our blogs, had a couple of phone conversations and when we finally met in person at SXSW, it was like we just “got each other” as entrepreneurs and as moms! I’m not sure if she has come to a decision on the new name, so go check out her posts and give her your 2 cents!
AllTop Dads launches. Thanks to Guy Kawasaki of How to Change the World my entrepreMusings blog is near the top of AllTop Moms blogger list. It’s a great place to go to check out all the top mommy and daddy bloggers. If you don’t know Guy, he was once asked to interview for the CEO position at Yahoo!take on the CEO position of Google and he turned the opportunity to interview down thinking there’s no way Google Yahoo! would amount to much. He often refers to it as his $4 billion dollar mistake, but he reflects back and realizes that instead he was able to be involved in his children’s lives, which is priceless!
So as I said when I began this post, there isn’t much in common between these links, but all are great reads!
I co-write articles on the topic of success for university alumni magazines with my fabulous writing partner Pam Losefsky. Our latest article for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, is onClay Nichols. Clay is a Michener Fellow at the Texas Center for Writers and Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at DadLabs, an Internet TV show featuring humor and advice on fatherhood.
Our goal with this endeavor was to get people thinking about what success means to them by reading stories on how others define success. Please click here to see more success profiles. Here is a thought provoking quote from the article:
“Leadership in a corporate context is very different from that in a family context. To me that’s painfully and brutally obvious, but I’ve run across many who don’t seem to recognize that distinction and the relationship with their families suffers irreparably.” He goes on to say “The time you spend with your kids is going to be as valuable to your ultimate success as the time you spend with your colleagues.”
You can’t manage relationships with friends and family the same way you manage relationships at work or manage your career. I fall victim to thinking it can be managed the same myself from time to time. They are two different things and as we’ve seen from observing people around us trying to fit a square peg in a round hole doesn’t usually turn out that well.
Stay tuned for a whole new series with the next edition of The Alcalde that will be called Self Starter. We will be interviewing exclusively entrepreneurs from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook ‘em Horns!
As some of you know, I co-write articles on the topic of success for university alumni magazines with my fabulous writing partner Pam Losefsky. Our latest article for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, is onJim Nolen. Jim is a UT Distinguised Senior Lecturer of Finance and President of CFO Services. He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards.
Our goal with this endeavor was to get people thinking about what success means to them by reading stories on how others define success. Please click here to see more success profiles. One of the key things he said that resonated with me was:
“Thomas Edison said ‘I’ve never had a failure — I’ve found 10,000 things that didn’t work.’ It’s that mental attitude that really translates into success in the end — never thinking about failure, but saying instead, ‘I’m going to be successful. I may take a lot of detours, but I don’t have a problem with that.'”
It’s all in how we frame it, isn’t it? Life is one big university where we continue to learn and grow!
The editor has since asked us to focus on entrepreneurs for future articles and of course I am thrilled since I love meeting and talking with entrepreneurs! So after the next one, the series will be called Self Starter and we will be interviewing exclusively entrepreneurs from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook ‘em Horns!
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 have 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!
Today’s guest baby tip is written by one of my favorite dads, Daddy Clay. Clay is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of DadLabs. DadLabs creates all sorts of cool, informational, not-so-informational, and downright hilarious videos about being a father in this new era of “let’s share parenting responsibilities, shall we?” On Monday’s they have a new video in The Lab, on Tuesday’s they are in The Lounge, on Wednesday’s they have Daditude (Daddy Owen is pretending to be pregnant by wearing a pregnancy belly), and on Thursday’s they are all about Gear Daddy. Check them out!
Welcome any and all baby showers/keggers!
For lots of guys, as soon as the excitement of a positive pregnancy test wears off, the first concern is about money – well maybe the second concern – the first concern we’ll deal with in another post. But money is definitely a big worry. This concern hits an early peak on the first visit to the baby Mega-store – usually a scouting mission. There, a guy silently tallies up the expenses of all the items on the “necessities” list while trying to seem enthusiastic to the expecting mother. How are you gong to afford all the baby gear?
Women long ago figured this whole deal out. Need to outfit the nursery? They gather the gals for a baby shower to play cute little games and open gifts with nifty wrapping. They giggle and gossip. Sound like fun, fellas?
Get over it. Go along if you are invited, and tap into the power of community. Actively encourage your wife to land as many showers as possible.
And here’s a radical idea. Throw a dad shower. But we can’t call it a shower. Not gonna happen. Let’s adapt. How about having a Baby Kegger instead?!
You provide the beer. If you don’t like the idea of setting up a gift registry, host an auction. Ask your funniest buddy to MC and offer various goods and services up for sale to the highest bidder. Any bids on the last round of golf with the expecting dad before his life changes forever? Got to let the motorcycle or the season tickets go? All proceeds go to the stroller fund – – or the 529 plan.
Let your guy friends in on the action of supporting your new life as a parent.
If you like this tip, you might be interested in our other recent guest baby tips:
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 for possible inclusion. 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 a link back to their site!
Check out the new and improved DadLabs site. I’ve been to their lab and met with pretty much all of them. I have to say they are pretty darn cool. They have some downright hilarious videos and I’m embedding some of them below.
Manly breastfeeding – a.k.a. Daditude ‘Milk Man’ – (if you are easily offended you might not want to watch this one. If you are ready for a good laugh, I recommend that you watch this one at least 5 times but make sure you aren’t holding a drink. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t stop the tears!).
The Lab Shoes (all about finding that ever elusive kid’s shoe when you are about to walk out the door)
I can’t wait for them to do a Gear Daddy video on Babble Soft!
Well it’s here. With an assist from our new producing partner For Your Imagination, the DadLabs site is relaunched, and Season 2 has officially begun. Our kickoff episode is appropriately enough, all about shoes. Get it? Kick. Shoes. And check out the special guest appearance by Cooper John!
We could really use your support in this critical time, so please drop by the site and check out a video or three. We will be posting a new episode of each of our shows each week: the Lab on Mondays, the Lounge on Tuesdays, Daditude on Wednesdays and Gear Daddy on Thursdays. You can also check out a classic: all 100 episodes from Season 1 are available on the site. You can even subscribe to us on iTunes now.
Our goal is 150,000 video views in the next two weeks, so if you wouldn’t mind, please watch 150,000 videos. If you can’t manage that, please tell everybody you know to stop by the site and have a look. And let us know what you think by leaving us comments. Help us be the best internet television show on fatherhood. Which shouldn’t be hard because I’m pretty sure we’re the only…internet…television…
Special thanks to the amazing guys at For Your Imagination. When they announced their timetable for getting the relaunch done, I thought they were nuts. Which they clearly are. But they got it done, and it’s amazing.
So stop listening to me ramble on and go to the site! And watch a bunch of videos and leave a bunch of comments.
As some of you may know, I co-write articles on the topic of success for university alumni magazines with my wonderful writing partner Pam Losefsky. Our latest article for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, is about Robb Lanum, a husband, father of two and a writer with published script credits to his name. Robb blogs at the Robblog. Our goal with this endeavor is to get people thinking about what success means to them by reading about how others define success. Click here to see additional articles we have written.
A correction: The Alcalde gave me credit for taking the picture of Robb, but I did not take it since I live in Austin, TX and he lives in sunny CA. We conducted the interview over the phone. His lovely and very talented wife, Michelle Campion, took it.
Perhaps business schools should start teaching parenting classes.
According to new research, parents–at least those committed to family life–actually perform better in the office. Researchers from Clark University and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C., interviewed 347 managers and executives, mostly from large public companies, about their family lives. Then they talked to the participants’ colleagues, subordinates and bosses about their work performance.
Those who were committed to family life achieved significantly better reviews. The reason: Parents learn to multitask, handle stress and negotiate, says Marian N. Ruderman, research director at the Center for Creative Leadership, and one of the study’s authors.
“In parenting roles you get a chance to do a lot of the same things you do as a manager,” Ruderman says. “You get to hone your interpersonal skills. You learn how to develop other people. It’s another opportunity to learn from experience.” More…
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.
Fewer Mothers Prefer Full-Time Jobs: Percent of mothers who said working full time, part time or not at all would be ideal for them.
I feel the same and that’s why I think working from home (even though to be honest my kids go to pre-school/care during the day) so that I can balance my time with my family is important. Most of the time, I love my entrepreneurial career and I love hanging out with my kids.
I can take a day and spend it with my kids when I want. When one of them is sick I can stay home with them. I can also pay bills, clean the house, do dishes, do some household shopping, etc. Fortunately, my husband is a great Dad so if I have an offsite meeting to attend (like I did today) and he’s not traveling, he can usually stay with them if they are sick.
The one thing to be careful of is that sometimes when working from home and/or part-time, we end up working a lot more than we realize because we work on & off during the day thereby defeating the purpose of working part time/flexible hours to spend quality time with the kids. It’s a tough balance that we moms (and dads) continue to strive for. The Lactivist said it well in her Sucking it Up and Admitting You Aren’t Wonder Woman post.