Are you a Dad struggling to adjust to being a father?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.
The never-ending search for solutions to fatherhood challengesI 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. 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! Whether its Finances, Marriage, Parenting, etc, you can bet there are a million other folks out there with something to say. 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
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 faceI'm probably just like you. I cut the grass on the weekends. My wife and I get worried about our household budget. We stress over having enough money to go on vacation, save for retirement or pay for my kid's college. 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