Are you a Dad struggling with fatherhood challenges?
Perhaps you’re new to fatherhood (or parenthood for you Moms)?
Being a parent doesn’t come with an instruction manual and there’s no test to show us how to do it right!
Thus many of us struggle, make mistakes and get challenged on how to deal with fatherhood challenges.
This post, my very first, is designed to walk you through the top fatherhood challenges and find solutions together.
Let’s get going.
Welcome to my Middle Class Dad blog!
I’m a guy probably a lot like you.
Sure, society puts a lot of labels on us and many of those end up dividing us; race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, income level, political affiliations, etc., but at the end of the day, we’re really all a LOT more similar than we are different.
And just so I’m clear, this blog isn’t here to talk about ANY of the above.
I’M HERE TO HELP IDENTIFY CHALLENGES and find solutions together!
I’m here to figure out what matters to you.
What you’re struggling with and the areas of life you know you want to improve. Then together, building a community along the way, we’ll tackle those things together.
Because if it’s one thing I know, it’s that the chances that a problem you or I am facing being the first time in history anyone has faced it, is virtually non-existent.
In other words, someone has faced that challenge before and dealt with it.
Some may have tried and failed and some may have tried and succeeded, but we’re here to learn, and we learn just as well (if not better) from mistakes, and while there’s (unfortunately) no substitute for making our own mistakes, you bet we can learn from other people’s mistakes too!
Thought for the week. And even better, learn from other’s mistakes pic.twitter.com/88Q0iMTzys
— Ian Matheson (@IanMatheson) February 27, 2017
Dad’s Rule! – Strength in Numbers!
According to the Census Bureau, there are:
- 151 million males in the US
- 117 million of those are adults
- The vast majority are under age 68
- About half of adult males appear to be married, so we’re talkin’ about 70 million husbands
- Upwards of 30% appear to be dads.
So potentially there are almost 20 million middle class dads for whom this blog is for!
Father, child, husband, employee, breadwinner, homeowner; Middle Class Dad. These are just a few of the words that describe me, and I bet, since you found my blog, at least some of those describe you too.
If at least some of those words describe you, then you’ve come to the right place.
You see, many of us; millions of us, just want to work hard, make a decent income, provide for our families, raise great kids and be great husbands.
We want to have fun in that process too, but sometimes we get so bogged down in trying to make all that happen that we forget to make the journey a great one.
Paying off your house early or that lifetime trip to the Bahamas doesn’t matter much if your marriage is rocky or your kids avoid you or you’ve lost your health.
The never-ending search for solutions to fatherhood challenges
I don’t have all the answers. I’m just a middle-class dad like you looking for solutions to life’s challenges.
But am a guy who’s been around the block a few times, a guy who’s read and listened to a lot of folks who are a lot smarter than I am and most importantly, I MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES!
The trick in life is not to never make a mistake. The trick is to LEARN from those mistakes so that next time we don’t make the same mistake (or at least recover more quickly).
To slightly deconstruct a great Stephen Covey quote, are you a product of your circumstances or are you a product of your decisions?
The proven power of choosing the life you want!
We don’t have a lot of control over anything in life, but the one thing we can control is how we react/respond to what life gives us.
THINKING WE CAN CONTROL LIFE OR OTHERS IS AN ILLUSION; something we need to let go of to be truly happy.
Many folks, and I used to be one of them, try to keep control over everything in their lives.
They get desperately frustrated, mad, sad or out of control when things don’t go their way. I get it, I’ve been there.
This morning as I type this I had 45 minutes before I had to start my very busy day (last day of school activities before work and a dentist appointment to squeeze in).
In those 45 minutes, my plan was to cut the grass in the backyard. Guess what? It’s raining.
Now, I could get mad and throw a tantrum, I could get dejected and say something dramatic like “it ALWAYS rains when I have time to mow the grass”.
Or I could be defiant and go mow in the rain, proud of my ability to defeat the weather and get soaked. Risking breaking my mower all in the name of control.
Or I could take a deep breath, accept that it’s frustrating to not get to do what I need to do, acknowledge that I have to modify my plans, understand that I can’t control the weather and MOVE ON.
It’s an older book at this point, but a great book still about the illusion of control and how we deal and adapt to change.
IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH CHANGE, GET THIS BOOK!
Now I’m not naive enough to think this is the only blog out there designed to help folks.
I’m far from the only Middle Class Dad!
A few of them I follow and will quote or link to here on occasion; I especially like to give credit where credit is due.
Almost nothing out there in print or on the web is completely original or never been said before.
But certain folks do put a unique, succinct or alternative spin on the information overloaded society we live in today, and it’s my hope to fall into one of those categories for you!
Want to know the books, podcasts and experts I love and follow?
Check out my resource pages.
The folks and things mentioned there have all helped me in my journey.
Why listen to a Middle Class Dad?
What makes me different? Why come to my blog?
After all, I’m not a self-proclaimed expert, don’t have any best-selling books, nor do I have a loyal following in the hundreds of thousands.
I do, however, currently have about 13,512 people that follow me each week!
All I will say, is that many folks out there in the blogging and/or self-help world, however, humble their beginnings may have been often lead lives very different than yours or mine. They may:
- Be Ivy League-educated
- Live in a million dollar house
- Appear on Oprah, etc.
- Be a New York Times best-selling author
That’s not to knock any of those things, and who knows; maybe you or I will be there in 10 years.
But I do think that when we find ourselves with celebrity status and completely removed from the segment of society we’re trying to help it makes it very hard.
Because while they’re hearing, talking to and reading about people like you and I, they aren’t actually feeling what we feel or see what we see.
Your struggle is real and so is mine!
A good analogy about experts being disconnected from our struggles would be in my former career.
I was a GM with Whole Foods Market for many, many years.
Often there were people in regional leadership roles. The best of them likely came up through the ranks starting in hourly roles.
But even those folks were now spending most of their time behind a desk or behind the wheel.
They saw what was selling not because they put their hands on it or heard it from customers but because they saw it on a computer screen.
They were trying to tell store-level employees how to do a job that they themselves were almost completely removed from (and in some cases never did themselves to begin with).
In short, the best way to help someone is to know their struggles personally!
And the longer someone stays in that removed and isolated role the worse that divide gets.
Again, I’m not knocking those folks, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with succeeding.
But I’m just like you; I live in a modest home, drive a 10-year-old car and work 45+ hours a week. That gives me a significant advantage in trying to help you.
I know your struggles, as they are my struggles too.
The top fatherhood challenges I face
I’m probably just like you.
I cut the grass on the weekends. My wife and I get worried about our household budget.
I struggle with what to get my wife for her birthday. I try and do minor repairs around the house.
Heck, I even built a wooden deck on the back of my house (with some invaluable help and design from a good friend).
But what are the top fatherhood challenges you face?
Some of the top things out there that all parents face are:
- Lack of sleep
- Reduced connection with your spouse
- Time management
Once you become a dad there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Tasks get put on the back burner. Your marriage can get put on the back burner too!
So what are my . . .
7 Top Fatherhood Challenges and Solutions for Your Family
1. Having enough time to do everything
As a Dad, there never seems to be enough time to do everything.
I constantly shuffle items on my to-do list from one day to the next. I never seemingly am able to get everything done that needs to get done.
2. Earning enough money
No matter how much money we earn, it never seems to be quite enough. As we earn more darn it if we don’t somehow figure out how to spend more!
Plus for many of us wage increases simply don’t keep up with the cost of living.
Thus money is almost always one of the top fatherhood challenges!
3. Staying connected with your spouse
When your romance was new, it was all roses and sunshine. But somehow life conspires against our relationship once we become parents.
Somehow everything gets priorities above your spouse.
If your marriage is not what it could be, I have a completely FREE mini-course called Rock Your Marriage. Check it out today!
4. Balancing all your priorities
Work, kids, spouse, household chores all compete against one another for your very limited time. Making sure to make time for everything can seem like an impossible task.
5. Time management
As I said above, balancing your time can seem like a thankless job. Thus it’s crucial to use a tool for time management.
Whether it’s a dry erase board, day planner or an app, have something to help keep you on track!
6. Having time for yourself
When you’re running yourself ragged trying to parent, work, keep up with chores and remember to spend time with your spouse, it’s easy to put your own needs on the back burner.
Thus one of the fatherhood challenges is making sure we stay healthy, exercise and have enough time to ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate. After all if our health and mental state decline, we can’t take care of our families.
7. Managing stress
As with the above, finding effective means of managing stress is crucial!
Exercise, spending time outdoors and finding a way to balance all of life’s priorities is crucial! Stand up paddleboarding is a great way to accomplish all that at the same time!
The #1 product I use to help manage effective stress levels, anxiety and general feeling of balance is called Natural Vitality Natural Calm Plus Calcium.
It’s 4.5 stars on Amazon Prime with well over 1,400 reviews! Sweetened with organic stevia so no added calories either! I do a teaspoon a day in about 12 oz of water.
It’s a great way to start my day and keeps me feeling great!
I’M JUST LIKE YOU
Alone, I’m just one middle class dad.
But together, you and I have just doubled our energy and effectiveness.
Grow that to 10 and now we’re a team!
Grow that to 100, or 1000 or 10,000 and now we’re an unstoppable army; a force to be reckoned with in terms of finding solutions together to our fatherhood challenges!
AT THAT POINT, THERE’S NOTHING WE CAN’T BEAT!
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I’m glad you’re here! Let’s get going!
What fatherhood challenges do you face?
Any tips or suggestions you have to share?
Feel free to comment here or email me with any questions!