Tag Archives: Fatherhood

Happy Birthday Ben!

( #BabyLombardi )

While I typically keep my son off of this blog, I wanted to wish him a happy birthday. I can’t believe it has been a year!


New Gig: Babycenter.com

I just found out today that I won the babycenter.com “Dad Blogger” contest. What does this mean? I get to write a dad-related blog each week which will be published on BabyCenter’s website. I am already thinking up some ideas. Until my first post, here is the content that earned me a victory.

PS: Big thanks to my friends and family. I know they came out in droves to vote and support me. I am very touched.

[Welcome to the Age of Worry]

I recall the moment my wife told me she was with child. She dimmed the lights throughout our home and placed candles on each step leading me to the bathroom and the positive test result.

We embraced each other for what seemed like hours and wept with joy knowing we had created life…

I am totally lying! I don’t remember how or when my wife told me she was pregnant. Hell, I don’t remember getting her pregnant, but I do remember that the worry started when we found out she was pregnant.

Click the link to read the entire article over at Babycenter:
Link: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/guess-what-dads-worry-just-as-much-as-moms/

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Fatherhood: Father’s Day

( #FathersDay )

Credit: Hallmark

Today is Father’s Day. It is the first one that I am celebrating as a father (and not just as a son). My son just passed the three month mark this week, so I thought it was just general good timing to sit down and collect my thoughts again about this whole parenting experience.

If you asked me to boil down the last three months, it has been an emotionally rewarding ride. But I am not saying that everything has been sweetness, new life means growing pains: for my son and for my wife and I. One of the skills we have had to develop is to have confidence in ourselves and put aside the advice of others.

I know that comes off as arrogant, but when it comes to children, everybody has an opinion. EVERYBODY. A couple of months ago, our doctor group (I say group, because our son has pretty much been seen a different doctor every time he goes in for a checkup) was concerned about weight, which in talking to many parents is fairly common. The doctors wanted to get the boy on formula. Of course I immediately ran out to buy some, but my wife wanted to explore other options. We read up on it and discussed the issue with certain friends and family (note that we reached out versus having advice shoved down our throats), the universal response was find a lactation consultant. We did. She resolved the issue in 5 minutes. Let me stop now and say that I don’t think there is anything wrong with formula, but I do believe that breastfeeding yields additional benefits.

I have a friend who is a nurse and he told me that most medical professionals only get a few paragraphs of training/information on breastfeeding when they are in school. This sent me into a rage because if they had more training (or had a lactation consultant on site), we would have resolved my son’s issues a few weeks earlier (and with less judgement). Since meeting with the consultant, our son has been consistently gaining the weight he needs (and the last few check-ups he exceeded the doctor’s expectations), but that didn’t stop me from asking the newest doctor why the practice was anti-breastfeeding.

She didn’t deny it. She basically said that breastfeeding is hard and when there is an issue they tell most mothers to switch to formula. That blew my mind. The takeaway lesson from this is: do your research, get several independent points of information, and obviously look at the child to see if they are: cranky, have bad skin, or have irregular bowel movements (especially urinating) to determine if you have a larger issue. Telling a doctor off is not high on my things-to-do list, but this lady needed a reality check and I hit her with hard facts, metrics (which we tracked religiously for weeks), and pointed out several flaws with their own process (complete lack of consistency). She just stammered and backed off.

That was a solid “Dad-moment” for me because my wife and I did what we believed was right and got the positive results we hoped for. We stood up against the experts because their advice was generic and the easiest possible answer to give. They used scare tactics to bully us into using their sole suggestion instead of discussing options and alternatives (or even attempting to determine what the issue was in the first place). I am not mad at the doctors because the process of finding an alternative made me more informed and thus a better parent, which has been my objective every damn second this kid has been breathing air.

On a related note, I recently read an article on CNN, that calls out the stereotype of the “idiot father”. Apparently Huggies aired a commercial that made it seem like fathers were morons and a few male bloggers took offense to it. While I think the bloggers overreacted to the commercial, I do want to comment on the changing times.

I change diapers, watch my son so my wife can go out and feel like a real human being, wash him (we still need to tag team on that – he is a slippery little bastard). I also do most of the cooking, clean the house, do the food shopping, and of course, go to work. I am not complaining; I want my son look at me and not see a stranger. I want to set a good example for him and not make him think it is okay to sit on his ass while somebody is doing work around him (and I want a little helper in the kitchen). I think there are plenty of guys out there doing the same.

I have a set of values that are not the same as my parent’s, my family, or my friends (fortunately, my wife and I are on the same page). Those values have been hard earned through my mistakes and successes. I will pass these values on to my son (and any other children I have). He can choose to reject them if they don’t work for him, but I will at least give him a framework so he can work this stuff out for himself and learn to be his own person – which should be the goal of any good father.

To all the Dads out there doing the best they can, Happy Father’s Day.


A Preview of Things to Come?

( #bender, #babylombardi )


Fatherhood: Month One

( #fatherhood #babylombardi )

Note: NSFW! This video has very harsh language, so don’t blast it in the office.

My wife and I had a baby last month. This is our first. I set up a little blog for friends and family so I can flood their twitter and facebook feeds with pictures and videos, but I haven’t really written about it. So here are my observations on fatherhood for the first 30 days.

Before we get to the baby, let me talk about the birth. Gentlemen, make sure you bring entertainment for you and your lady. You will be sitting in a room for several hours (a dozen for me) with nothing going on. When the pushing starts things certainly do get interesting, but until then, you just sit around not doing a damn thing to help (nobody tells you that). As a point of contrast, my father disappeared for the entire birth process for me and my sister, returning with a bag of sandwiches… for the doctor. I have to admit there was a certain genius in this move having been through the experience myself.

Once the baby is born, from their perspective, dear-old-dad is still useless. My wife is breast-feeding, so when my son looks at me with this “where the hell is my lunch” look, I just have to pass him back to his mother. Yes I change diapers and hold him as much as possible, but he likes to be close to his food source (and I don’t blame him). So what is my advice to other fathers for a harmonious house? Step up on cleaning and cooking. If you can’t cook, here are some easy recipes. If you can’t clean…yes you can. Buy a damn mop and get to work clown.

All things considered, my wife and I are very lucky. Our son sleeps well. Before he was born, I had several dudes gleefully telling me to get used to being tired. While I expect a full scale disaster once he starts teething, right now he only gets up once during the night because my wife figured out a feeding schedule that knocks him out food coma style. So far, being on pager was WAY worse than having a newborn.

When he is awake and not irate about a soiled diaper, I play music for him. He likes it. If he is in a mood, he usually snaps right out of it to listen. I try to play as much variety as possible (stuff that I don’t even like). Anything that sounds complicated. He hates being in a swing, but likes to be held up over my head. He also hates being naked… go figure.

A few months ago, one of my best friends asked “you aren’t going to be one of those people who post pictures all day on facebook are you?” I responded with a strong “hell no”. I have not kept that promise on my personal accounts, but I don’t plan on making my kid the subject to daily blogging on this site. While he won’t be a daily fixture, I will discuss fatherhood, the changes in my life, and the things I have learned because that is why I have this blog in the first place.

In conclusion… Fatherhood: So far, so good.


Father’s Day Gift Suggestions

( #JoeKnit, #FathersDay )

Image Credit: Somebody in my family

A few weeks ago I came across this post about great father’s day gifts and I read through to see if there were any good suggestions for my old man. If you are a frequent reader you know my father is a popular topic due to his unique personality. If you are not into Mean Joe stories—move on to another post. If you enjoy them or have a father that is a total pain in the ass to buy gifts for—keep reading.

I am not going to overly complicate things, I am just going to list Mike’s (the author) suggestions and state why they won’t work for my dad:
1. Omaha Steaks: My dad is butcher, thats not happening.
2. Golf Accessories: My dad doesn’t like to play golf, although for a short period he did like to sneak onto courses to take walks and nap.
3. Sports Tickets: He could care less about any form of sports or team cooperation.
4. Remote Control: This is not a bad idea on paper, but any of the new remotes that have LCD screens will piss him off and be relegated to a drawer before he even tries it.
5. Fishing Equipment: I have never seen the man take an interest in fish in my entire life (besides eating them).
6. Camcorder: Technology = No.
7. Pocket Watch: He doesn’t care what time it is. He is where he needs to be until he doesn’t want to be there.
8. Restaurant Gift Cards: He’d rather cook for himself.
9. Magazine Subscription: No interest in reading anything outside of a very few select topics (mostly health related, but not the Men’s Health kind of articles).
10. Movie Gift Cards (Netflix, Blockbuster, AMC Theaters): Has lost the attention and desire to sit through an entire movie.
11. Camping Trip: Depends on what you mean by camping. If you suggest a hotel room, jacuzzi, and quality steaks – he might go assuming the right company is involved (not his family).
12. Custom T-Shirt/Polo Shirt: It would have to be the right material and proper color blue or it will sit in his closet for all of eternity.
13. Swim Trunks: This is a man who mows the lawn in meat-stained white t-shirts, old jeans that are held up by string. STRING. He would look at the netting inside the trunks and punch them so hard the little Chinese kid that made them would feel it.
14. Anything from Sharper Image or Brookstone: See #6.
15. Accessories for the Barbecue Grill: Besides his bare hands on the open flame? No.
16. Massage: This actually could be feasible if there was no spa music. Actually, he has an acute hatred for perfumes and sweet smells so he probably would not step foot inside a massage parlor.
17. Shaving Accessories: See #13 – this is a man that does not care about appearances (unless he wants to prove how pretty he is).
18. Wine/Beer of the Month: Does not drink fermented alcohol anymore.
19. A Tie: No

20. A Home Cooked Meal: See #8.

As you can see, he is a pretty difficult person to shop for. Do you have a father or relative like this? Or do you have a suggestion for my old man? Share your stories here. Good luck finding your dad a good gift!

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