I’m Having a Son

About three and a half years ago, I became a first time father. June 4th, 2014 was the single most exhilarating, terrifying, emotionally unstable day of my life, all of which was experienced by the time my daughter way born only 31 minutes into that day. I was a father, yet hardly a decent man. I had a daughter, a tiny princess whose smile and laugh would leave me reduced to no more than a puddle, and whose every adventure would highlight the different chapters of my life. I was a Dad of a Daughter, a Dad of playing tea, watching Frozen (no matter how deeply I despise the movie), surrounded by pink and princesses and tutus, and loving every second.

Just one thing – a small little curveball is being thrown into the mix, a wrench into the gears. We are approximately 23 weeks into our second pregnancy, and everything is changing. Now, pregnant with number two, my wife and I are having a boy. A BOY. I am having a son. Goodbye princesses, hello woodland creatures, tonka trucks, super heroes, loud noises and sports. There will be balance, parody, juxtaposed situations and varying nuances in the raising of my two children, and I cannot be more excited.

With becoming the father of a boy, there are inherent and innate fears and responses that enter into the picture. How am I supposedto teach this boy how to become a man when Ihardly feel qualified to teachhim? How do I help him avoid my own pitfalls? What if someday he looks atme with nothing short of total disappointment?

This is real. These are the fears that have kept me up at night and have given me sudden bursts of emotion throughout the days since we have found out. I’m not a man that will be able to teach my son to fix things. I’m not a man with a track record of integrity, humility and respect. These are all things that I wish I was. These are things that I am working for, not just for my own sake, but for that of my two children. They deserve a father that is steady, rock solid, dependable, trustworthy, and that they know will protect them.

To my daughter Olivia and my future son Emerson, you are my everything. The two of you are the two greatest things that I have ever done in this life and for this world. My promise to you is this – I will never give up, I will never stop trying, and I will always be there for you. I am still and will always be finding fatherhood.

5 Gender Stereotypes That Frustrate New Dads

Being a dad is awesome. I love it. When I get to pick my daughter up in the afternoon, it’s the highlight of my day. However, as I have become a father, it’s become increasingly clear to me that gender roles and stereotypes, both for the parents and for your child, are blatantly obvious in today’s society.  Here are five that drive me up the wall.

1. Men’s restrooms without changing tables. Us dad’s – most of the time – are completely willing to contribute and change the dirty diaper, but after throwing the diaper bag on one shoulder and the baby on the other, it’s infuriating to get to the bathroom and find that there is no changing table. At that point, you have two options – admit defeat and ask mom to do it, or get creative and try to change the baby on the bathroom counter. It’s a lose-lose.

2. Toys that are separated by gender. Why is the easy-bake oven in the “girl” toy aisle, while any sporting equipment is in the “boy” toy aisle? If my daughter wants to play sports – and I have every intention of giving her that opportunity – then she should have more options to choose from than a pink glove with Cinderella’s face on it.

3. People that look down on working moms. Because of our financial situation, we need my wife to be working, and it’s incredibly hard on her. All she wants is to be home with her daughter, helping to raise her. What my wife is not is less of a wife and mother for working. She is a saint that is sacrificing so much, working her butt off to help provide for her daughter. So to anyone that thinks that working moms are less of a mother than those that stay home, you infuriate me.

4. The modern portrayal of goofy dads. I feel that, in order to get away from the tough-necked, stern, by-the-rules dads of the 1950’s, society went too far the opposite direction. All we see now in pop culture are dads that say “I don’t know, ask your mother,” that are goofy and silly and command no respect or authority. Fathers play a critical role in the lives of this children, and watching pop culture demean that role into something goofy, clumsy and unintelligent does little to encourage active and engaged fatherhood.

5. Feminine everything. When you’re stocking up on all the essentials of bringing home a newborn – diaper bag, changing pad, stroller, car seat, etc,. – you notice that everything is geared towards the mom with a feminine, sleek style. That’s fine, but when dad needs to go run errands with a floral-print diaper bag and a baby strapped to his chest, he doesn’t feel too masculine. It would be nice for some dad-centered essentials. Maybe if there were some more neutral – or even manly – options, dad’s might not seem so embarrassed about carrying them.

Parenting should not be a battle of the sexes, it should be a unified front that caters to moms and dads equally, giving them the tools to be on the same page without one feeling more or less comfortable than the other.

What are your thoughts? Please leave them in the comments below! 

Two Weeks to the Big Ultrasound – Boy or Girl?

My wife is currently 17 1/2 weeks pregnant, which means we are rapidly approaching the big ultrasound and things are getting very real around here. Only two weeks from today and we’ll be watching our little peanut, measuring everything, making sure it’s healthy, and also finding out what we’re having. I’m absolutely thrilled; this ultrasound truly can’t come fast enough.

My wife is fortunate enough to be working in a medical office, which has allowed her to do her own ultrasounds from time to time so she can check on the baby and see how it’s growing. She absolutely adores doing it, and seeing it’s little hands and feet dancing around bring tears to her eyes. I on the other hand do not have this luxury. Our big ultrasound will be my first look at the baby (other than the still shots my darling wife has brought home) since our first check up. I can’t even express my sheer and utter excitement and the thought of seeing my child.

Sure, I want to know what gender our little angel is, more for the thought of being able to narrow down the day dreams than anything else. Will it be a little mini-me of my beautiful and hysterical wife, or will it be a little boy, my little man that wants to be just like dad? I’m anxiously awaiting being able to pin this down, because quite frankly, my brain is tired of dreaming of both options. 

Most importantly, I just can’t wait to meet it, hold it, look it face to face and know that this is my baby. I day dream almost constantly about the wonders of parenting – the bond and the memories, the trials and tribulations, even down to just the smallest of things like holding my baby and seeing it’s eyes for the first time – and more than anything in the world, I dream of getting to know this little miracle. I cannot wait to know who he or she will be. And yeah, I get it. I’m a sap.

So, two weeks. Two weeks left to ponder and wait and twiddle my thumbs. Two weeks until this journey reaches another major mile stone in being able to pin down what our future holds, and one step closer to meeting and knowing who this little peanut will be.