in the zone

24 Nov

I hate it when people tell me they are actively trying to have kids.  I know what this means and it usually grosses me out.  Something about it just seems very personal and leaves far too much to the imagination.  Making this statement from a microphone, behind a podium, or in other settings that include large groups of people exponentially increases my level of discomfort for both myself and the individual sharing.  But mostly myself.  I don’t want to give the impression that I am against having children but, honestly, there has to be a less creepy way to make this announcement!  I hear what is being said but still register “Who’s got two thumbs and is getting way more than normal?!”  Unfortunately, the men in this delusional state tend to struggle grasping (or simply don’t care) the idea that it is not a sudden upturn in sexual prowess that is attracting their partner.  Rather, motived by an ulterior agenda (and in some cases an ovulation calendar) they are being used.  If the people you associate with look anything like my friends this has got to be the only reason there is any activity in the bedroom.

even his mother is luke warm on this mug

We must know that this act becomes dutiful at some point, as much as we all hate to admit it.  While “actively trying” the man becomes the means to an end.  Something to get from Point A to Point B.  Utilitarian.  Like a Jeep!  But don’t feel used men, this is nothing to take personal.  In fact you should enjoy the attention while it lasts.  Unless you are preparing for your first child you should know that the last couple of months of the pregnancy and for some time thereafter you will be experiencing extreme draught.  After the experiences your woman has just gone through it’s no wonder the idea can become quickly repulsive (which may be mutual for a time depending on your seating during the big show).  You’re trekking through the (insert desert here) and you’re on your own.  Good luck!

With that in mind just remember that with great sacrifice comes great reward and this is a small price to pay for the joy you will experience as a father.

With that in mind, my wife and I have been…(don’t say it!)…working on a kid?  I still haven’t figured out the best way to put it.  Never mind that.  We are expecting baby #2 and had the opportunity go to the doctor today to check things out, hear the heart beat and confirm that everything is going as planned.  I am very excited but find myself reverting back to many of the uncertainties and slight fears that inherently come with this type of arrival.  But at the same time I feel much more prepared this time around.  Next big milestone is to find out the gender of the baby which in my opinion is one of the more climatic moments pre-arrival.  I will be sure to pass this along when the time is right.

As the dad of an untamed mancub, aka my 2 yr old boy, it’s hard to imagine throwing another one in the mix.  Right now we can double team him.  Add another and we’re forced into man-to-man defense.  One more and its a zone.  The ratio begins to shift unfavorably from a control standpoint.  But you know what, I’m okay with that.  I’m too out of shape to play man-to-man anyways.

birth control

19 Nov

For those that are not yet parents the idea of a having a big family can be quite endearing.  Babies are so cute, right?  The new baby smell, the ridiculously soft skin, the big eyes filled with curiosity and wonder.  All the stuff that you expect to see in any given Johnson & Johnson ad.  Well that’s all true and does invoke both the warm and the fuzzy but is unfortunately shortlived.  Just like the puppy that seemed like such a great idea in the moment, that puppy grows up into a giant, stinky, slobbery mess that digs up your sprinklers and humps your leg.  A little extreme?  Perhaps.  Perhaps not. 

I am not saying kids are a bad idea (I happen to have one of my own) but it is important to prepare yourself mentally for the experience.  While it will certainly be one of the most rewarding adventures of your life there will also be moments where you will wonder from whom the decision to procreate was really inspired.  A seasoned parent and coworker of mine turned me on to this great European commercial for contraceptives.  If the mesage at the end of the clip isn’t clear enough, hopefully the content is enough to make you think twice before jumping on the wagon. 

Has anybody ever had the privelege of experiencing something like this?  I would love to hear the stories, leave a comment!

a man needs tools

18 Nov

This should not be a surprise.  Guys have a knack for acquiring as many gadgets as possible for almost any task they could ever be asked to tend to.   Often the rationale for procuring this stuff is littered with good intentions and the thought that our lifestyle will be significantly improved once we feel the (insert adjective) cold (insert noun) steel in our calloused hands.  Justification for adding another arrow to the quiver can be found in tasks ranging from yard work to branding our wieners (disclaimer:  Please reference image below).

 

source: www.themanregistry.com

seriously, how could we not buy this?!

Every trade requires specific instruments to properly do the job.  A carpenter needs a hammer.  A plumber a wrench.  Making sure these items are within reach at all times on the job is crucial to keeping these guys out of the weeds.  You get the idea.  Well, being a dad is no different!  And if you are anything like me when my wife and I started telling people we were expecting, there are going to be a lot of questions and things to keep track of that have the potential to catch you off guard.  This can be especially hazardous if done in the presence of your recently impregnated (and still uber-enthusiastic) partner.  You can’t recall how many weeks since conception?  Not sure when or where the next visit to the doctor is to take place?  Which legume does your baby most likely resemble in week 5?  May God have mercy on your soul.

But rest assured there is an easier way…there are tools for this!  You are going to be on the receiving end of much grief over the next 9 months so let’s not subject ourselves to unnecessary berating if at all possible.  As men of the 21st century let us turn to one of the few pure and unfaltering sources of good….the iPhone!  I have found that there are a plethora of pregnancy related iPhone applications that can be a real asset to us men.  Granted, you have to wade through all the frou-frou downloads with unnecessary imagery and menstrual calendars to get to those that are more man friendly.  In my opinion, one of the best pregnancy applications on the market right now is mPregnancy – For Men with Pregnant Women and happens to be made specifically for men with the intention of keeping us on the ball.  On top of providing trackers and notifications of important deadlines Mpregnancy also gives detailed descriptions of what each week brings in both baby and mother development.  Plus, they dumb it down for us and put it in terms that we can understand and relate to….such as a score board!

Just to be clear, by the time you reach red your team will always be down

Also, in case you were sick of comparing the size of your baby to inanimate and worthless objects like coins and nuts, mPregnancy has provided some alternatives you might be able to better comprehend.

 

not really the first relationship that comes to mind when thinking of my unborn child but whatever works!

All in all, this is a solid application and one that I would recommend looking into.  It’s functional and informative but still maintains the man-ish charm we all need.  Plus, you won’t have to worry about someone noticing the silhouette of a protruding pregnant belly or other similarly awkward graphics plastered to your iPhone.  This one will cost you a few bucks but well worth the headaches you will save over the next nine months!  You can thank me later.

For those that have either just purchased it or have used mPregnancy in the past, let us know what you think!

 

be your own man

16 Nov

We have all heard the saying “kids don’t come with an instruction manual”.  Well, here’s the thing – they don’t.  But do we have to be so cliche?  Honestly, who would want a manual to tell them exactly how to TCB with their kids even if such a document did exist?  I see this as a great advantage for us as dads to do what we do best: shoot from the hips.  Improvise.  Come up with crazy ideas in the spur of the moment to get the job done.  Check out this manfather in stride:

Well done dad.  Keep thinking on your feet.

the infinite nature of man

15 Nov

There are many anatomical features that distinctly separate men and women.  Most of us learned about them in horrifying detail far before we could discuss the subject matter with a straight face.  In my experience, the girls usually came away horribly embarassed and disgusted while us boys tapped into what appeared to be a comic gold mine and tried not to burst into laughter.  Little did we know that we would spend the next     10-15 years confused about these topics and pursuing them for reasons we didn’t entirely understand.  The joke was on us.

There is however a more ambiguous feature between the sexes that is rarely spoken of and is often shunned by modern society.  Its the place inherently inside all males that turns us into men.  To be clear, I’m not talking about puberty.  Puberty can be explained by science and is rational.  Much more difficult to explain is the incessant scratching, constant urge to urinate outside at every opportunity, and the obsession with cars that go faster than we would ever be able to legally operate on the roadways (or safely control, really).   I’m talking about the little voice inside the heads of all men that suggest we throw scoial norms to the wind and say “We’re going streaking!”  It cannot be reasoned with and is completely irrational but has in many ways sculpted how men live their lives. 

Exhibit A - Frank the Tank

John Lennon once wrote, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”  And for most people that dose of life often comes with the anticipated arrival of a new baby.  Appropriately, this line from Mr. Yoko Ono was written for his first son Sean.  Ironic?  Hardly.  As this dramatic change approaches it’s easy for men to stare into the future with uncertainty and be a little afraid.  Ok, terrified.  Especially the first time around when we don’t know what to expect!  Will the frivolous and carefree lifestyle we have come to love be lost forever?  Will the Fonz Factor be shattered by the imminent mini van?  Will my manhood be challenged by floral diaper bags?  I think these are all legitimate concerns.  But know that there are hundreds, no thousands of men lying awake at night with the same thoughts racing through their heads.  And you should take comfort in the fact that you can prepare for and be a great father and yet maintain the integrity of what it means to be a man. 

Fonz Factor - Does it get any cooler than this?!

The goal of Manfather is to make those approaching dad-hood aware that there are pregnancy and parenting resources available for men.  The entire market is not tailored only for women….the lion’s share of it may be but that’s all the more reason for us dudes to stick together, right?  We still have options and I plan on being the one to deliver them.  Check in regulalry for tips of great man friendly products, hilarious accounts of baby wrangling and hopefully some very valuable insight from other dads out there. 

Afterall, just because you might be a father soon doesn’t mean you can’t keep being a man.  Good luck!

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