Enjoy Life

Are you a super-busy, stressed out parent?

If so, you may often forget to enjoy your life and your family.

It’s easy to get caught up in work, paying the bills, caring for the kids, caring for our spouse, the house AND working on building a better future for ourselves and our family.

Sometimes we lose sight of the blessings we have and get lost in the things we’re striving for.

But what’s the point of attaining the next goal, the next paycheck or a clean kitchen if we’re not enjoying our lives?

I challenge you, and myself, to enjoy every moment we can. Because one day, we’ll run out of moments. I for one want to look back with a smile on my face, not regret.

And remember, you are not alone …

The Fear of Losing My Wife

I am a lucky man.

I have a beautiful wife who has stood by me since 1991. Through good and bad, we have always found a way to work out whatever issues have been present in our lives. She is my best friend, and my greatest supporter.

When I met my wife, Kara, she was physically healthy and active. An actor and a swimmer, she was (and still is) pretty damn hot and sexy. Out of a long list of college dudes that courted her hand, she chose me. I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that she saw me in my underwear during a play I was in, but that’s another story. And they say men are pigs…

You may be wondering, “what’s this guy’s point? So what if his wife is hot?”

I’m not writing this to brag. I’m writing about this to share, and ask for help with one of the greatest challenges we’ve ever faced  restoring Kara’s health.

Kara has diabetes. After two pregnancies, what was gestational diabetes had become type 2 diabetes. She’s also having her gallbladder removed in a few weeks. Overall, she feels pretty lousy most of the time.

I’m scared.

There’s an old saying: “what we fear, we create.” Even though I know this, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to let go of my fear of losing her.

So I might as well face it.

As some of you already know, we’re 800 miles away from family and friends. This makes it impossible to get the support we need. We have two small boys that we love, but my wife is worn out when I get home after an 11-hour workday. Exercise is the key in overcoming the diabetes. But exercise is the last thing on Kara’s mind when I walk through the door.

But wait. As I sit here writing, I’m realizing something. I am part of the problem. I’m partially responsible for the dilemma. Why? Because when I get home I want to be with my kids. And although I have every right to do so (after being away from them all day), this puts the pressure on Kara to cook dinner. So how is she to exercise, then?

Holy cow. I’m feeling pretty stupid and selfish right now.

I understand my part in this is limited to support. I can’t do this for her, but then again I’m not supposed to. This is her journey. I’m just the co-pilot. But I do have a say in the outcome and I’m grateful for the insight I just attained. Most of the time I’m so caught up in missing my kids and being exhausted that I don’t see much else.

I never realized until just now that I was NOT actually doing everything possible to help.

Shit. I’m glad it’s not too late. 

I ask and thank the Universe for help.

And remember, you are not alone…

Family Blogs
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Reference Guide: How to get more hits on your daddy blog, or any blog!

This is the second (and final) part of my reference series for dads. I’m sure there’s more information out there, but these blogs & Web sites have been incredibly helpful to me. Depending on your blog’s content, some of the suggestions made will provide positive results, while others will leave you with an empty feeling and a craving for chocolate cake!

JohnTP.com: How to increase your blog’s traffic
This four part series is a wonderful, detailed introduction to blogging. Find links to all four parts towards the end of each post. Thanks John!

Seth Godin’s: How to get traffic to your blog
Another great resource for bloggers.

Reddit.com
Quite simply, one of the best blog aggregators around! I have found it to be very powerful IF you take the time to learn how to use it. It’s also important to choose the correct “subreddit” tag so you reach your intended audience. If a tag has a big audience, expect your click-throughs to jump! But be responsible in your posting or you’ll get bad Karma!

Good luck!

And remember, you are not alone…

Resources for Dads: Top Daddy Blogs & Web Sites

Over the past few months, I’ve been lucky enough to come across some incredible blogs and Web sites for dads. I am pleasantly surprised that there more of us than I expected. A couple of fellow dads were kind enough to compile lists of some of the best blogs out there. These are a all great resources for bloggers and readers alike!

Links to Daddy Blog Lists
These sites also offer great content beyond the lists.
 

Building Camelot: 101 awesome sites for men husbands and fathers
Dad Thing:51-dad-blogs
Alltop:Dad blogs

My Favorite Daddy Blogs
With content so relevant, I visit them just about every day.

Paul Peterson Live
Paul is a pastor with incredible insight and dedication. He is a wonderful source of inspiration and spirituality no matter what your religion.

Clif’s Notes
Great dad posts coupled with an abundance of forward thinking content for teachers & educators. He’s also a bit of a sports fanatic.

Working Dad: An Unauthorized Guide to Parenting
If it’s newsworthy, and it concerns dads, you’ll probably find it on Paul’s blog. Interesting stories and book reviews that will have you digging through his archives for more.

Resources

National Fatherhood Initiative(NFI)
This is a great site to visit for everything dad — including programs, products, events, links, research, news and more!

Right now, NFI is running a contest about what it means to be a good father. They’re looking for “your best creative ideas in a video and/or photograph that expresses what involved, responsible and committed fatherhood means to you…”
Click here to find out more.

And remember, you are not alone…


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It Could Be Worse…

It is 10 pm on Easter night. I had been planning to do a satirical comment about the holiday. Something funny, with wit and chuckles to spare. The plan is out the window.

Yesterday my wife had a serious reaction to her diabetes medicine. Thank goodness she’s OK. But it was pretty scary. Today she started insulin again, something we’ve been trying to avoid. But it could be worse. It could be much worse.

Feeling much better (but still not great), my wife made a tasty Easter dinner. Homemade stuffed mushrooms with enough garlic to kill an army of vampires (yum) and a ham more tender than, well, a tough ham. The boys fussed over their food (as usual) but it was quite good and they ate enough to sustain healthy life. They acted like monkeys the entire meal (giving scientific proof to the theory of evolution) leaving my wife and I with headaches, stomach aches and a few extra aches for me to pass around at work tomorrow.

We’re 800 miles from our friends & families, living in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. Trust me, this is not an actual state. It’s an iceberg with bad pizza, but damn good beer (New Glarus Brewery)! When we lived in NY, the holidays always left me with a vague sense of dread. Now, being away from everybody leaves me with a strange sense of detached isolation. Maybe we should move somewhere in the middle. Maybe that would cancel out all of the negatives. Or at least let me enjoy a sampling of dread and isolation in tandem!

Next, the kids ran around like little hooligans (really cute ones), and evaded my lame 40 year old attempt to catch them. There was laughter to be had, but I was too out of breath to even consider anything but gasping for air. The smell of apple pie permeated the air.

It could be worse. Sometimes I just need to be reminded.

And remember, you are not alone…

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