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Jun 15 2013

Being an Involved Dad is Totally Trending Right Now

By at 8:34 pm

father's day involved dadsIf Father’s Day and Mother’s Day threw down in a commercialized holiday ultimate fighting championship, Mother’s Day would serve up a knock out win, hands down. Using the greeting card aisle as the litmus test, mothers are honored for selflessness and beauty while fathers are honored for farting and grilling. Mothers are pampered and fathers are mocked in a time where Y chromosomes are stepping up and into the parenting arena like never before. What used to be touted as novel, hands-on fathering is now just considered: being a dad.

Here we are in the middle of viral posts and best-selling theories about how to have it all, do more with less, and bend over backwards transcending physics to prove we can truly be in two (or five) places at once without anyone suffering. But one of the major accomplishments of our generation is the blurring of gender roles in child rearing. How can we celebrate what women are doing in the workplace without honoring what men are doing at home? Al Bundy didn’t cook a meal or clear a plate and now if Daddy isn’t changing diapers you better believe he’s getting the stare down. Fatherhood.gov (in addition to producing the most adorable PSA on the planet) reports that almost 90% of today’s dads spend more time with their children than their own fathers did with them. Being a dad, more importantly being an involved dad is, dare I say it–trending. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 13 2013

When Your Child Prefers His Father Over You

By at 4:18 pm

tova ross fathers dayIt’s one of the first rules of parenting: don’t play favorites. And I don’t, really, even on those days when my daughter’s initially polite gurgles turn into screaming demands for a bottle at 5 a.m. and my son strolls downstairs closer to 9, well after I’ve had my coffee and am a cheerful–well, functioning–human being.

But when it comes to my son playing favorites (my daughter is still a baby, and thus still unversed in the art of emotional manipulation), it’s hard not to be delighted when I am clearly the preferred parent. There were always certain things–breakfast, shopping trips, snuggling, and especially bedtime stories–that were entirely my domain. And I liked it that way. Our home was Mommyland and I was the queen, minus the Corgis and inflated salary. It wasn’t so much being picked over my husband, really, that gave me a rush, but being so utterly adored and needed and the only one who could kiss a skinned knee, clean and bandage it, and make it all better.

Few of us can deny loving being needed, and fewer can deny the exceptional high that comes from being so unabashedly admired. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 12 2013

Why We Don’t Celebrate Mother’s Day, but Do Celebrate Father’s Day

By at 10:00 am

father's dayI have never liked having a fuss made over me. I skipped both my high school and my college graduation ceremonies because I didn’t see a point to the long-winded, tedious ritual (held outside in the heat, no less). My husband and I got married at City Hall, because I felt the same way about weddings. (Maybe I inherited the trait from my own mother. Whenever we go to a friend’s wedding, she always tells my husband and I, “Thank you so much for not putting me through this.”)  Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 11 2013

How I Went from a Baseball Hater to a Baseball Dad

By at 12:14 pm

little league baseballI am not a fan of baseball. I’ve never understood the draw of the game, and could never comprehend the passion people have for it. My closest friends from college are all crazy baseball fans; they’re involved with fantasy leagues, spending hours arguing over who has better players.

I didn’t get it. After all, I didn’t play baseball as a kid. I never watched it on TV. I never played catch with my dad, who was never around. My only real experience with baseball was occasionally–very occasionally–going to Shea or Yankee Stadium to see games with my camp or friends. We’d sit all the way at the top, in the cheap seats, directly in the summer sun. There we’d sit, broiling, as all the action occurred amongst the ants on the field far below.  In my opinion, a slower, duller game could not have been invented. Y-A-W-N. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 5 2013

Don’t We All Need Better Work-Life Balance, Regardless of Our Genitalia?

By at 2:40 pm

working dad coming home to daughterI recently read an article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek entitled, “Alpha Dads: Men Get Serious About Work-Life Balance.” Don’t be fooled, though–these are not dads who fight for work-life balance for all. Rather, they’re serious about work-life balance…for dads. Deloitte Dads, one such organization, is a group to help fathers with time management and family issues in the name of spending more time with their kids. Dads, they contend, are an unacknowledged victim of all the talk about mothers’ work-life balancing act.

“Men have to feel valued and wanted for the balance of their skills,” as Warren Farrell, author of The Myth of Male Power and Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap–and What Women Can Do About It puts it. “People don’t invite the man who raised his children really well back to the 50th high school reunion to talk about it.” Read the rest of this entry →

May 31 2013

Friday Night: Shabbat in Small Doses

By at 10:10 am

two small candlesShabbat was what sold me on Judaism in the first place. As a convert, it’s always been my favorite part of being Jewish. It was the first thing about Judaism that felt like it was mine, the first thing that made me feel like I wasn’t just doing it for someone else, this was what I wanted. For me, for my husband, and for my kids. It’s the foundation for me, it’s what keeps me grounded in Judaism. I don’t speak Hebrew or Yiddish, the emphasis on the Torah is sometimes confusing to me–but Shabbat, Shabbat I understand. Shabbat brings me back, week after week, to what I want most for my life.

So why is it so hardRead the rest of this entry →

May 17 2013

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for My Wife to Give Birth

By at 11:35 am

two painkillers and glass of waterSo I was reading The Week this past week and I saw an article about Tylenol. I guess a study was recently done proving that Tylenol doesn’t only help with physical pain, but also existential pain or angst. My first thought was, “Damn, why didn’t I find out about that two weeks ago!”

You see, my wife is due to give birth to our second child (a girl) June 1. But really, we have a sneaking suspicion that it’s going to be any day now. Wait. Back up. SHE has a sneaking suspicion that it’s going to be any day now, but I trust her knowledge of her own body.  Read the rest of this entry →

May 9 2013

Can Moms & Dads Be “Just Friends?”

By at 9:54 am

mom and dad getting coffeeWe talk a lot here at Kveller about mom friends. Where to find them, how to make them, the care and feeding of… The ritual of proper playground hook-up etiquette has become a mating dance of its own, with questions of when to call, what it means when they don’t call back, and the fear of coming off as seeming too needy.

But, the reality is that, in the year 2013, odds are that the parent you end up hitting it off with by the sandbox, the one you begin looking forward to seeing to help break up the monotony of your day, the one you start fantasizing about asking out for coffee without the kids so you guys can really talk and maybe become real friends with–sans sandbox–could well be not a fellow mom, but a dad. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 1 2013

Friday Night: Reuniting with Dad on Shabbat

By at 1:07 pm

familiy meal with mom dad and kidsTamara’s experience of Friday night, erev Shabbos, is very different than my own. To me, as a young child, Friday night was extra special precisely because my father was always there.

When I was a kid, my father traveled for business. He would leave on Sunday night, my mother, siblings, and I tearfully waving him off as he waited for the elevator. He would return Friday morning or late Thursday night. Every single week for as long as I can remember. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 28 2013

News Roundup: Bluetooth Onesies & Birth Control Sabatoge

By at 2:25 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

- This short video provides a succinct roundup of some of the most intense baby-monitoring technology out there, from apps and cameras to bluetooth onesies and motorized strollers. Spoiler alert: most of it probably isn’t worth buying. (BBC News)

- Dads get credit for being great parents when they’re really just doing the basics–further proof that expectations for dads are appallingly low. (The Atlantic)

- Stay-at-home-dads are using tech and DIY skills to bring a sense of masculinity, the way that women in the workplace have brought listening and empathy to office culture. Um, okay. (Wall Street Journal)

- OB/GYNs are being trained to look for signs that a male partner is intimidating a female partner into getting pregnant when she doesn’t want to be, and/or sabotaging birth control efforts–a surprisingly prevalent problem. (NPR)

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