Life keeps on moving forward

Just realizing that it has been several years since I have written my last post, it makes me think of all the things that have happened to this point. When I started this blog I have great expectations of how I could change the world and unite the stay at home dads, that so often feel isolated.

Well, I don’t think I’ve managed to do that and for that I must reflect.

Since I started this site in 2008, We have had a number of ups and downs in our life. We have had two wonderful children, the loss of a Father & Grandfather, the loss of a Great-Grand father and the diagnosis of our son with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). We have had the hospitalization of a grandmother (twice!!! and thankfully, she is recovering well) and the change in the focus of career.

I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining but that is just the tip of the iceberg on our lives.

We have felt like we are struggling to keep our heads above water for quite a while now and have truly struggled with the “Why’s and When’s and How’s of life”.

Now that our children are a little older, we face new struggles that are a result of our choices. Choices that we made at the time, not knowing what the future held and not always understanding the path they would take. We have struggled with our son and we are so grateful for the progress he has made. If we did not learn so young that he was on the spectrum, we would not have been able to make as much progress as we have. He is doing great now and when we watch videos of where we started with him. The hours of therapy, the hours of frustration, hours of understanding. They have been all worth it and we are so glad that we didn’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend nothing was wrong.

Early Intervention is key! Without that, many bad habits would have developed and we would be  far more worn that we are right now. The only downside that has developed from all this is in the way of our daughter. She has been left out, or at least she feels that way!

She is a very bright girl and very sensitive to the world around her. It is no wonder that our son was diagnosed but sometimes we wonder if we overlooked our daughter…

Truth be told, she is the reason that he is doing so well!  He is a copycat and she shows him how to act (most of the times) and how to be. Here ability to engage others is truly remarkable for such a young person and without her, I don’t think we would be as far along as we are today! She is too young to truly understand what I mean but when she looks back at her life, I hope she can feel proud of the role she played. To this, I will end this post and leave you with a couple videos that just seems timely!… And I will be the first to admit
Ciao!


The New Addition

Two weeks ago, we had another addition to the family. No it wasn’t a dog, it wasn’t a cat, or even a hamster. It was a son!!!

Wow! How lucky am I, to be fortunate enough to have a beautiful daughter, a loving and supportive wife, an awesome dog and now….a boy! My family is COMPLETE!!!

We decided not to find out what we were having the second time around (just as we did with the first). Why not have the surprise?! After all, the day-to-day grind can get pretty predictable.

Boy are we glad we didn’t! Granted, being able to decide what we should keep and what to get rid of would have been easier. Knowing if we needed to buy more close or if we could re-use a lot of the “mint condition” newborn wardrobe. I could have pre-painting the kids bedroom (which will now have to incorporate both pink and blue) until we are in a position where both children can have their own room. Even picking a name would have been easier…but I tell you the magic of the first site of this new precious life, not knowing what it is. Not making prejudgement, not making any plans. Just looking down in all the chaos that labour is and seeing them come alive. That was really cool!

With our first, it was so foreign to us, that the feelings of uncertainty and for me…the thought of our daughters teanage years hit me with a flurry of emotion. This time…it was totally different. My wife was the first to see the sex and when I finally met our little man. I was more grounded in my emotions. Some people may look at my expressions as insensitive  and cold but it is not the case.

I am super excited about having a son. Someone that thinks and reacts the way I do. Someone that I know can stick up for his older sister when I can’t be there and someone that has parts I can relate too!!!

Although, now that I have a boy. I am scared for reasons that i never thought. I am scared of his little pistol. I don’t know how to handle a third-party pistol. I got used to changing diapers on a girl. Now, I have a whole new challenge.

I know people say it is easier to change a boy than a girl but when they are a newborn, I beg to differ. I stress out more that you know! I am always trying to cover and clean. My hands get all clumsy and the baby starts squirming. So then I get even more stressed. It is a vicious circle.

Thankfully, I have an amazing wife. She puts up with my fidgiting, my whining and my stand-offish behaviour. She doesn’t seem to be phased by the baby at all (a little tired, mind you…OK very tired) She just keeps on going. I guess that is one of the sidebenefits of sleep deprivation. The ability to not over think these operations.

I know I will get more comfortable with this whole situation. It will just take a little time. I am loving having a daughter (more than I expected) and I know that I will love having a son!

Know, I have school in the morning, so I should probably get some sleep!

…that will be another subject!…good night!

Baby’s first Haircut

Now every parent gets exited about their child’s firsts. Yesterday we had another first…her first Haircut.

This was a big day. In fact, it was huge! Our daughter is now approaching 2 years old. Twenty-two and a half months if you want to talk semantics. We have been waiting and waiting…and waiting some more for her hair to get to the point were she…

a) did not look like a boy

b) was long enough that the hair would hopefully not roaster tail at the back.

and, I guess…

c) we could not stand the disheveled look anymore.

We had talked about how exciting it would be. How this would be is a great Mother-Daughter bonding experience.

Would she sit still long enough for the stylist to work her magic? How we would keep a lock of hair to signify the day. Well, most of that happened. Unfortunately, my wife had to miss this experience. We had been trying to find a time where she could be there, but as she is due with our second child at the end of January. Finding the time when she had the energy, among all the other commitments during the holiday season, is almost impossible. So as reality begins to sink in, I grabbed the camera on the way out the door.

There is a local chain called Beaner’s that specializes in “fun cuts for kids”. It used to be about a two minute drive from our house, but after the porn shop opened up next door to it, they thought that maybe it was time to move. After getting their, I could see why it is so popular. They have cartoons to watch, a ball room to play in and fun chairs to sit in. We chose the pink Jeep. After we got settled, it was…Snap, snap, snap! I managed to capture the experience for her mom but I realized after, I kind of feel like I missed it too.

The problem I find with trying to capture those special moments is that you are not actually in…that moment! You are simply a bystander to the whole event. Worried about the composition, the lighting, the subjects movement and trying to make sure you do not miss the smile. You somehow, unintentionally miss out too.

It is funny how that happens.

My wife was happy, the pictures turned out well, so I guess it was a successful moment in time. Then something happened that put it all in perspective for us.

My wife was home alone with our daughter and thinking that the day was a success and that she still felt like she was apart of something special. I went out to play my weekly sport and came home earlier than expected. Thinking the day was already a success, my wife turns to me as we watch a little TV and says. Our baby told her that she loved her tonight!

So really, who cares about a silly haircut anyways!

The “V” word

I guess there is one thing that I am still not comfortable with as a dad. It is the “V” word…you know, down there!

As a SAHD, I am the one responsible for feeding my child, putting her down for a nap, changing her diaper and among other things, to take my daughter to the doctor when she has a problem. In past visits, I have never had any issues, but it is not very often that a guy has to go to the doctor to discuss your daughter’s V-J-J*. Although, now that I think about it, I have been stressed about it since she was born. I still have plenty of time to prepare for the teenage year and boys…boys…boys…boys! The problem there is…I was a boy!

As a boy (now a man), growing up in an all boy family, we never had to encounter these topics – you know, “girl problems”. In fact, the biggest “girl problem” we knew about was us! Boy, how things have changed.

Now back to my story…

Other than with baking, guys tend to know very little about yeast. That’s Right, I said it! YEAST!!! That is a girl problem, or at least I thought it was a girl problem…

I know that all children get diaper rashes from time-to-time but that is where I thought it ended. Apparently, little girls (and little boys) can develop a “Yeast Diaper Rash” – I think it is just a nice way to say yeast infection…but I could be wrong.

I didn’t know that boys can get them too. I don’t know if I am just ignorant or if I been living in a bubble for most of my life, but I guess until you need to deal with certain things you just go through life with your head in the clouds. – this is a lot easier for me since I am quite tall. The air is thinner up here.

To top off the experience, our regular doctor was away so we had a new doctor…a female doctor…and my wife was not around. This is one of those situations that you wish you had the 9-5 office job that lets you avoid having these conversations with strangers…doctors or not. So now, I have a mission to find out all about yeast. I do not like looking ignorant nor do I like feeling ignorant. I’ll also take a page out of my 19 month old’s book who in front of the doctor, without any hint of embarrassment, pointed to her privates and used the proper word!

Next time I go to the doctors, I will be more knowledgeable, ask more questions, and not be so embarrassed.

– QDaddy

* – trying to keep it PG

Dr. Phil – I am not very happy

So I watched a full episode of Dr. Phil a few days ago. The episode was called “When She is the Bread Winner”
I thought Great! I’m going to enjoy this episode. Boy was I wrong. I should have known when I saw the preview photo on his website. Here is what I wrote on their site:

I am not at all fond of the picture used for this episode. It depicts us (Stay-at-Home Dads) as fat middle-aged men that sit around the house and do housework.  We are not all like that. In fact, many of us are Work-at-Home Dads. We may not be earning what we used to but we are actually working just as hard, if not harder than we did before.

Parenting is not just about housework. As any responsible parent will agree (or should agree). Being the primary caregiver to your children is the most important job anyone could every have and it is a 24/7 commitment!

The one luxury many of us do have, is the flexibility in our jobs to work from home. We are caregivers-by-day, Breadwinners-by-night: Sometimes the loaf is more like a bun, but it is still made with flour and yeast, isn’t it!

How is this any different than when the roles are reversed? Many moms have part-time jobs or the husband holds down more than one job. We do what we have to do to make ends meet and we do it the best we can!

Currently being a SAHD is isolating…there is no doubt about that. But the future is brighter with more attention being paid to our ‘invisible’ minority in the media like this program. There are also a handful of blogs and social networking websites that help connect other SAHDs out there.

Here are a few: www.stayathomedad.org, www.rebeldad.com, www.dadcentric.com or even my blog : www.dadmestic.com

Movie about SAHD’s

I was just searching the internet for more information about SAHD’s and ran across this…

A movie is called “Happy SAHD” and here is a quote:

“What happens when a family decides that Dad will stay at home with the kids while Mom works? SAHDs (Stay-At-Home Dads) are a growing trend in our culture. This new documentary by award winning Baltimore filmmaker Michael Ivan Schwartz, Happy SAHD follows a dozen Baltimore-area fathers who have chosen for a variety of reasons to be the daily caregiver for their children. This illuminating and humorous movie reveals the every day life trials, tribulations and triumphs of these unique men living outside the norm.”

Check it out: www.happysahd.com

It looks interesting!

New Site for Stay at home Dad’s

After trying to find information that is relevant to SAHD’s, I decided that there needs to be a better way to get support for men in our situation.

I belong to a couple of sites, but I find that they are virtually useless at catering to the problems that SAHD’s encounter.

The major problem with most of the sites out there is that the content is so general or even duplicated word-for-word from a sister site.

Even on television…

I received a phone call from my sister-in-law. She was so excited to tell me that “Cityline”, a Canadian talk show (for lack of a better word), had an episode on Stay-at-Home Dads. So I recorded the episode and watched it with my wife after she got home from work. Of the hour show…dedicated to SAHD’s and the issues that occur, there was literally about 8 minutes that was SAHD specific. The rest was just fluff and commercials.

Men have a unique perspective on parenting and they need to be able to express themselves. SAHD’s do have a very unique perspective, from the social stigma…to the day-to-day chores. They need a way to express themselves and understand thast they are not alone.

So here you are…DadMESTIC.COM

I know it doesn’t necessarily role off the tongue…but it is a lot better than Mr. Mom, Househusband and a multitude of other names we have been called. Even, SAHD is kind of SAD!

Please help build this site into a great resource for SAHD’s!!!