Category Archives: Influence

Marginalize Dads? WHY?

For those of you who know me personally, I’m a pretty laid back guy. I am a father of three great kids who can test my patience on an daily basis. I get the urge to write only when something moves me to write or one of my fellow daddy bloggers comes across something that moves them to write pieces on a particular outrage.

Papa Does Preach author writes his outrage about a mommy blogger who basically lumped dads who are telling their views while present for the births of their children as “But men,they don’t really get to talk about their birth experiences. They’re just a supporting role in the woman’s tale.” ScaryMommy. There is a lot there in that one small snippet. First, men don’t really get to talk about their birth experiences is outrageous. Of course we get to talk about our birth experiences. Its a major event in out lives too. We are witnessing the birth of a child we helped create and are excited to start a relationship with the little person we have been falling in love with through thin belly tissue for the past 9 months.  One of the best stories I tell are when my kids were born. Yes, I understand I can not relate about pushing a child through my vagina or what it felt like to have my belly split from hip to hip in order to bring this miracle of life into the world. Dads aren’t trying to take that away from you mommies. Personally, its one of my favorite things about being a dad that I did not have to endure that, but for that,  I tip my hat to all mothers. Ya’ll are powerful and strong and literally birth a miracle. On behalf of all dads, I want to express how much we hold ya’ll in high esteem.

That being said, we have birthing experiences. When my wife went into labor, time stood still. It was if every moment was clear and slowly being memorized.  I can assure you that I have yet to meet another dad who has said anything close to what you imagined to be how we talk to each other or how we would express our excitement about the birth of our child.

ScaryMommy imagines a conversation like this:

“Hey dudes ! Here’s the story about Junior’s birth. It was crazy, you guys. There was so much blood after the whole thing I was thinking vampires were going to fly through the windows for a feast of epic proportions. It was nuts. It was like war. It was awesome.”

For the record, we don’t address our friends as Hey dudes! I’m also pretty sure we don’t compare birthing a child to vampires or war.  The vampire comment was kinda funny but still would not escape the lips of any of the dads I know. The part about comparing childbirth to war is where I felt that the message was so far off that I was prejudiced for the rest of the post. I’m not alone in this reaction, many other dads and moms alike felt that comparing birthing of a child as a companion to soldiers of war was off based and insensitive.

I am not a veteran but I have been fortunate enough to marry into a military family. The respect of our soldiers and their families who sacrifice their lives and safety to keep us safe as a nation should never been marginalized. Oh and these same soldiers are dads too. The two events, war and birth are so far from each other they are literally opposites. One ends life, the other brings life.

I’m a realist. I understand that all dads and moms are not created equal. I also understand that you can’t please everyone specifically in a blogging world but at least attribute someone to your general stereotypes that are so far off based so as not to offend every dad who may come across your story. I’m sure I would be completely out of line saying that women don’t really get to talk about their war experiences. They are just supporting role in the mans’ tale. (I DON”T BELIEVE THIS BY THE WAY!) Here is something I teach my kids. Words can do damage and you need to be careful about what you put out into cyber space. If you truly believe what you are saying and can defend your words then great move forward as long as you can handle the outcome. If you can’t then don’t put it out there.

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Demand More from the NFL!

In the wake of the consecutive blunders from the NFL over the past few weeks, many parents both moms and dads alike are questioning how good of a role model is the NFL. This organization prides itself on having the biggest, fastest, strongest players who will then almost literally destroy their own bodies in hopes of the win and ultimately an opportunity to win the Superbowl.

Before I continue, I am a die hard New Orleans Saints fan and will always be one. I enjoy football as a sport and I am constantly memorized by the ability of the players to do what they do. 

How many of us have seen this image or something similar?

Our nation is split up into 32 divisions all based upon the NFL’s teams.  From a business side, I can understand and respect the overall image of each team. They really do a lot of positive things in all of the communities from getting kids outside to exercise and play to mentoring programs or having charities that are connected directly to a particular team. The teams also require that the players are dressed in suit and tie when representing the team for post game interviews and such. You get the idea. The “image” of the team is that of respect and responsibility.

The players on the other hand are human and are not shaped so rigidly. Brett Favre, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick are just a few of the NFL player that have graced the headlines for “less than favorable” reasons. These players are not the unknown faces of the teams but rather are the more popular players who can  impact our kids the most.

Of course, these players are accomplished athletes but how many of the NFL”s players are also great role models?  The teams select their most popular players and have them become the outreach connection to the community but as recent events have shown us the vetting process does not seem to be to extensive until someone beats a child, or their wife or “allegedly” rape a woman or women.  When this happens the management puts up the veil of blame. Teams who have made these players their ambassadors have either dropped them as soon as the issue arises or stuck by them even when they should have let them go.

The players who have been caught, they have to deal with the consequences of their actions but more focus should be put on the players who uphold the morals of society and are actual role models that our kids can look up too.  NFL players as well as other professional players should be more than just highly paid athletes who can do amazing things in their sports. They need to be aware of how influential they are outside of their professions. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints is a father, husband and community supporter and a good role model and any person who appreciates football knows this regardless of your team loyalties. That is what we need more of. Men who are not only “men” but are man enough to be morally grounded too!