Healing from the Loss of a Child

HealingFromTheLossOfaChild

You might be wondering, what’s the significance of a girl’s T-shirt in a post about the loss of a child? Or in our case, the loss of two children.

For me and my wife it represents our two girls — Skye and Sheila.

And every time I walk into my local Target I’m reminded of them.

Typically, I enter the store through the same doors, the one that leads past the women’s section into the girls’ department. I always look at what’s on display to see what I think my girls would like.

Some may think this is inflicting pain unnecessarily onto myself. But it’s not. It’s a way for me to honor my girls, and even though it hurts it’s important for me to REMEMBER them and acknowledge their existence.

Before we had our two boys, Max and Joss, we had two ectopic pregnancies — the second of which almost killed my wife. These were our girls.

Whether you’re a mom or a dad, if you’ve experienced an ectopic pregnancy, it’s OK to talk about it. It’s OK to hurt. There are more of us in mourning that you realize.

In reality, it’s not something we’ll ever heal from — the pain is something we cope with.

And remember, you are not alone …

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Parenting and the Art of Balance


Do you have balance in your life?

I’ve been struggling with attaining it for years, and along the way I discovered something interesting — it doesn’t really exist, at least not  in the way I grew up understanding it …

Creating a Strong Foundational Balance

Finding balance between work, family and self can seem near impossible. As parents, it can often feel like we’re on a unicycle, constantly trying not to fall off while juggling work, kids, marriage, goals, etc.

But there’s a different type of balance that can be achieved. It’s called our Foundational Balance, and as the name implies it’s the foundation that we stand on while we’re juggling all aspects of our lives.

Our Foundational Balance is the very thing we need to be exceptional as opposed to acceptable. Exceptional parents, spouses, friends and professionals. And yet many of the parents I speak with feel they are just getting through each day, just getting by — instead of moving in a positive direction.

What is Your Foundational Balance?

Although it’s not  the same for everybody, your foundational balance consists basic things you need to excel in life. Here’s mine:

– Sleep
– Exercise
– Meditation/Spirituality/Religion
– Intimacy with my wife

As far as intimacy goes, I’m talking about more than sex (although I strongly advise you have it often). I define intimacy as quality time together — time to talk, date night, planning the future and helping solve each other’s problems.

Your Foundational Balance might include different things. Just remember, it’s not comprised of the things you must do each day. It is made up of the things that you need in order to function optimally.

You are Like a Car …

Think about the pistons in your car. They pump up and down — with great assistance from the motor oil you put in them. Now if I take the oil out of a car, will the pistons run? Yes. Will they pump? Yes. Will they eventually break down? Yes.

The pistons can accomplish their goal of pumping and getting you somewhere, at least least for a limited amount of time. But they are not going to be working efficiently.

They are not going to be anywhere near optimal.

You are the same. Without having a solid foundational balance — having your oil changed, your tires rotated, having enough gas and receiving timely tune-ups — you are going to run like a clunker!

And remember, you are not alone …

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Engineering Better Kids

Every child has his or her own personality.

But how do we discern what parts are genetic, as opposed to learned?

Both my boys are awesome kids, but my older son has had a growing tendency towards whining and complaining.

Condemning him for acting this way would be a bad choice. But allowing it go on unchecked would be just as bad.

What it comes down to is that whining and complaining are habits my son has developed to cope with certain situations. And the more we use habits – just like a muscle – the stronger they get.

My job is to call him on his behavior, AND to help him find alternative behaviors that are more positive.

If we allow our kids to whine and complain, back out of commitments, be rude to their siblings, etc, we’re creating adults who are likely to do the same. In other words, we’re disabling them. The trick is to help our kids without making them feel bad about themselves.

Not an easy task.

Which is why when we’re trying to engineer better kids, we have to start by re-engineering ourselves.

And remember, you are not alone …

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Madison Mamas: A Great Local Resource for Parents

Are you a mom or dad looking for support in the Madison, Wisconsin area?

Madison Mammas is a great local resource for parents – bringing you information on groups, classes, activities and more.

A place for modern families with young children in the Madison, Wisconsin area, Madison Mamas was created by Rachel Barnes, “the mother of two and wife of one who lives in the beautiful city of Madison, Wisconsin. Madison Mamas is a resource of links dedicated to modern families, focusing on pregnancy, support groups, classes, activities, fitness, services, dining and shopping.”

By the way, don’t let the name Madison Mamas fool you. You’ll find support for the whole family here in a well organized, easy to use format.

And remember, you are not alone …

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What is the Value of a Dad’s Relationship with His Kids?

How Much Value?

How much value would you put on a dad’s relationship with his children?

Could you put a price on it? Considering that this relationship is going to have a huge impact on that child’s future?

I’d say it has incredible value.

From the relationships that our sons and daughters will form, to the types of people they will marry, dad’s influence has a huge impact. A child’s relationship with his or her dad will play a big role in how they perceive themselves throughout their lives, and how successful they’ll be as professionals and as human beings.

So why aren’t dads supported, encouraged and challenged to be better dads? Instead of being insulted, degraded, and dishonored by the media, the court system, society — and even their own families?

What kind of seed is this planting in the minds of future fathers? Not to mention our kids?

The good news is that, as of late, there has been a transition manifesting in the media. There’s a commercial running on TV from Foundation for a Better Life with a hockey player singing to his daughter, which speaks volumes about a man’s ability to be a good dad — even in the face of ridicule. Two current films also portray dad in a positive light: The Descendants with George Clooney, and We Bought a Zoo with Matt Damon.

Dads are a tremendous value to their kids. More support will only mean better lives for the entire family.

And remember, you are not alone …

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The Daddy Brain Radio Show

Join me for The Daddy Brain Radio Show on Monday, November 14th @ 7pm CST on WORT Radio (Madison, WI).

The topic of our discussion? Dads are Not Second-class Parents.

I’ll be taking calls from dads to talk about how we’re often perceived as second-class parents by society, the media, the court system – and even our own families.

Local Listeners
Tune in to 89.9 FM

Listen from Anywhere in the World
Just click on the following link to download live online streaming audio in either MP3 or AAC format. It’s as easy as clicking a button to start listening!

http://www.wort-fm.org/listen.php

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

Whether you’re married, divorced or a widower, this is your chance to be heard.

And remember, you are not alone …

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