Dealing with the Illness of a Spouse

Dealing with the Illness of a SpouseUnexpected.

Causing uncontrollable sobbing on my part.

The feeling of living in multiple worlds that sometimes clash or collide and cause these severe emotions because these worlds are so DIFFERENT.

Nothing like we desired or expected. And yet it IS.

So how do we best deal? Move forward and see if there’s a way to improve things? Or accept it (at least for now) because it might never change.

Loving Our Kids in the Face of Exhaustion

Enjoying Our Kids Even When We're ExhaustedEvery day, I get out of bed and do my best to be the most incredible dad, husband, business owner and man I can be.

But sometimes I fall short. Short on energy, patience, answers, compassion or time.

Lately, my struggle with exhaustion seems more tough than usual. And whatever self pity I experience is overshadowed by the guilt that I am not doing a better job as a dad.

I’m not doing anything “wrong,” per se. It’s just that I’m so overwhelmed that I feel like it’s difficult to handle even the smallest of issues.

Of course it’s not really the issue that’s the problem, I have really good kids. The problem is that my nervous system is on overload — ALL THE TIME.

Is this how you feel, too?

The question is, how do we overcome this and simply love our children? Love them in a way that says “I’m so glad you’re here and that you chose me as your dad.”

To let all of the noise fade away so we can love our children and ENJOY them.

We were watching the first episode of The Brady Bunch on Hulu today, and Mr. & Mrs. Brady were on their honeymoon, regretting yelling at their kids and being short with them. I can relate.

So, what do we do?

I’ve found the best solution is to take better care of myself so I am more equipped to handle life. Meditation and exercise serve me very well, as does being mindful. I also apologize to my boys when I make a mistake. I can’t take it back, but I can at least admit my misstep.

When I’m mindful, I stop myself from reacting and getting stressed. Instead, I look at my boys, smile and realize how much I love them.

Thank you Max and Joss for being my boys.

And remember, you are not alone …

The Daddy Brain Workshop: Upcoming Events

The Daddy Brain Workshop

DaddyBrain

Dads and dads to be, join us at one of the following Daddy Brain Workshops:

Dads Day @ Meriter Hospital
February 7, 2015, from 9-11am
2650 Novation Parkway
Madison, WI 53713
Register for the workshop

The Daddy Brain Workshop @ Matrix Collaborative
March 4, 2015 from 6-7:30pm
6302 Odana Rd.
Madison, WI 53719
Register for the workshop

The Daddy Brain Workshop @ Stoughton Hospital
March 26, 2015 from 6-7:30pm
Stoughton Hospital Bryant Health Education Center
Register for the workshop

Dads Day @ Meriter Hospital
May 16, 2015, from 10am-12pm
2650 Novation Parkway
Madison, WI 53713
Register for the workshop

WORKSHOP TOPICS INCLUDE:

  • Dad’s emotional life
  • Transition into fatherhood
  • Co-parenting
  • Positive and negative forms of discipline
  • Maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner
  • Intimacy issues
  • Coping with exhaustion
  • Bonding with baby
  • Second-class parent syndrome
  • Goals for dad, kids and the family
  • Maintaining a balance, as best as possible
  • Supporting mom and and asking for support

The workshop is a safe place for dads, and dads-to-be to share, learn and be heard. Hope to see you there!

And remember, you are not alone …

Family Blogs
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Daddy Brain’s Appearance on the NBC Evening News

Daddy Brain on the NBC News

Tune into NBC TV Channel 15 (WMTV) tonight at 6pm for a special segment on dads featuring Daddy Brain! We’ll be talking about some of the challenges dads face when learning to engage with their children (pre & post birth). We’ll also touch upon the Daddy Brain Workshop @ Meriter Hospital (Dads’ Day).

Here’s the link to the Daddy Brain segment, in case you missed it.

And remember, you are not alone …

Spending More Time with Our Kids

Spending More Time with Our KidsMy boys Max & Joss are 10, and almost 8, respectively.

They’re awesome boys and I love spending time with them.

With so many things on my to-do list (including three jobs), it’s often a challenge to cast all of it aside and simply be with my kids — while they’re still super psyched to spend time with me.

Do you get distracted by things like work, email, Facebook, mowing the lawn, etc.?

One day our kids won’t be kids anymore, and the time we spend away from them now — while they’re still kids — can’t be replaced.

One thing me and my boys like to do is “dad day,” where I take one of my boys out on a day I’m not working. It’s a great way to reconnect and spend solid time with each of my boys.

No matter what your situation — good, bad or average — when your kids are grown up, they’re not going to remember whether you paid the bills on time, or if the lawn looked like crap. They’re going to remember whether or not you spent quality time with them.

And remember, you are not alone …

The Loss of Time & the Art of Surviving

Lost Time & The Art of SurvivalI find it hard to believe that it’s been 4 months since my last blog post.

I have plenty to say, but three jobs, karate, swimming, financial stress — and doing my best to be a good dad and husband have left me tired and out of time.

Blogging, which was once done 3X per week, is now perpetually on the back burner. And this makes me sad.

I’ve recently started exercising and meditating again, which is helping me hold everything together. 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there, I feel like a thief stealing time that no longer belongs to me.

Survival trumps just about everything. But if all we focus on is survival, then we’re essentially standing still — or worse sinking in metaphorical quick sand. Yuck.

So, how do we get unstuck?

MOVEMENT.

Especially moving our eyes up & over the junk that lies before us. If we can look past the junk, we can see where we’d like to go. Once we accomplish this, we can take steps to get there. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing one or two major things each week to move my progress forward. And inch by inch, I am moving closer to my goals.

You can do this, too. I know you can. The trick is to stop thinking about it, and start doing it. Put it on the schedule — actually on your calendar — and do it.

Start today. Even if it’s only for 3 minutes.

And remember, you are not alone …

The Daddy Brain Radio Show KIDS AND CONFLICT November 4, 2013

WorkshopForDadsDaddyBrain

 

The Daddy Brain Radio Show: Kids & Conflict

Monday, November 4 @ 7pm CT

Have you ever thought about how to talk with your kids about war and conflict?

It’s a delicate topic that many parents aren’t comfortable breeching. Our first guest, Niki Walker, has written a book called Why Do We Fight, which focuses on helping our kids understand, and think critically, about conflict and war in the world. She’ll be sharing some of her insights on healthy ways to discuss this sensitive subject.

Our second guest, Dr. Mark Brady, Ph.D. will talk with us about conflict and discord within our own homes. We’ll be focusing on conflict between siblings, spouses, parents and their kids — as well as how negative forms of discipline can play a role in children’s perception of conflict resolution.

I hope you’ll tune in on Monday, November 4 at 7pm CT for the Daddy Brain Radio show on the WORT access hour.

Local Listeners Tune in to 89.9 FM

Listen from anywhere in the world by going to WORT Radio’s Home Page and clicking on the “Listen Live” button in the upper right hand corner.

Want to Join the Conversation? I’ll be taking calls throughout the hour at: (608) 256-2001.

And remember, you are not alone …