Does Changing Careers Make You Selfish or Selfless?

The bay of boredom starts with a thought, an idea, a little voice inside your head telling you there has to be something more than what you are doing.

The bay of boredom starts with a thought, an idea, a little voice inside your head telling you there has to be something more than what you are doing, how you are living, and how it isn’t anything like you imagined it would be at this point in your life.
Or maybe it is what you imagined, but you never realized what you thought necessary for “happiness” was as far off as what you thought parenting would be like, because we all know that first year of parenting is filled with experiences we never thought we would have.
Maybe you’re not satisfied with your career, but you make amazing money. Maybe you even like your work, but the dullness and colorless everyday tasks are making you feel a little too ordinary for comfort. Maybe you are tired of the ordinary, ready to make a big change.
 
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If only you could get past the fear and anxiety that is the unknown. If only you could stop the unknown from plaguing every impulse to escape into a career or hobby you know would be the root of the contentment you have been looking for all along.
If you let fear stop you from achieving something that would fulfill you – that would make you feel like your presence really mattered – you will never find contentment. You will never find satisfaction. And if you don’t find regret, it will find you.
I know there are a lot of rational fears behind going for something completely different, something that pays for the food on the table and for your kid’s activities. Your job allows you that irreplaceable cup of Starbucks every morning, and those shoes you love but didn’t plan on buying.
It also allows you to feel important, even if that means seeming more important to others instead of knowing you are doing something important – that thing you’ve dreamed about doing since childhood that you never had the guts to do because you were told it wasn’t worth your time or worth a college tuition, that thing that would never be viable no matter how hard you tried.
Your parents told you to go for the money, pick the major that was the best bang for your buck. You did that, and where has it gotten you? It’s gotten you to the point where you’re building a career that you think about leaving every morning as you wake up to yet another day of busting your ass for someone else. You cringe on your hour-long commute to work alongside all the other worn down faces doing the same exact thing, living the same exact way you are, hoping and wishing for more.
You can’t help but wonder if they’re dreaming of leaving their job, because that’s all it is to them – just a job. Have they been just as engrossed as you have been in this prospect of making a transformation? A transformation into something scary…something at which they know they could fail, but decide to explore it anyway.
Are we really content? Or are we all just women and men and moms and dads roaming through the passage of life that has become our existence? And if we aren’t content, should we do something about it even though we have mortgages and daycare costs and our kids’ education to save for?
Our own parents are getting older. We need to save for that, too. It all starts to sound a little selfish to us and frankly too hard, too much work to start a new journey this late in the game. Raising these kids makes us lazy when it comes to our own happiness and well being. And let’s be honest here. We wouldn’t be able to have that Starbucks or buy those cute shoes if we were spending all our money investing in something from the bottom up. At least not for a while.
But can you put a price on investing in yourself? On becoming the woman you always strove to be and knew you could be?
Sometimes we aren’t content with being mothers alone. Sometimes there’s more that we want to do, be, and become. Even though women have come a long way, it seems that the world still expects us to be okay with raising our children while they’re little, when they need us the most. But that, for me, is when we most need an outlet – a career, a hobby. Something to remind us in those moments of darkness, when we feel that we are worthless as women, that we have worth.
Now that we have had our kids, they have changed and molded us into selfless, more motivated women. We should all feel free to do us, in the way we want to do it, with no shame, no guilt, and no regret. We do the best we can for our kids, but sometimes doing what’s best for them is doing what’s best for us.

The Best Way to Support Your Kid's Coach? Let Them Do Their Job.

It’s easy to become over-invested in our kid’s sports experience. But the foundation should always include respecting their coaches.

I officially became a “soccer mom” last year when my eight-year-old daughter joined the town soccer team. She loves playing the sport and interacting with the other girls. Being part of the team has entailed traveling to other towns. Sometimes we’ve witnessed other games in progress while waiting for her game to begin, and I’ve been shocked to see parents yelling aggressively at either kids or the coach.
Recently, in Braintree, Massachusetts, a girl’s basketball high school coach quit due to parent complaints. The coach helped bring the team two back-to-back Division 1 state championships and had a 63 game winning streak, yet the parents were still dissatisfied.
Research at the University of Maryland found that 53 percent of parents reported feeling angry during their child’s soccer game. This is an issue in many towns across America. Why?

Social media

In Braintree, the parents created an email exchange complaining about their child’s playing time. The coach grew tired of dealing with the parent complaints, which resulted in her resignation.
Studies have found that people tend to bully online because they are not held accountable. Social media and email messages lack tone and body language, causing miscommunication. Also, if someone sends an angry message, the person receiving it can read it over and over again, resulting in hurt feelings.

High college costs

According to College Data, a public college tuition can cost an average of $24,610 per year and a private college averaged $49,320. With the high costs of education, parents want or need their child to receive scholarships. The pressure of winning a scholarship from playing a sport has led to parents who either have unrealistic expectations or become angry when their child isn’t participating.

High cost of sports

Participation in sports can be expensive. Players are required to purchase sports gear and usually pay a fee for being on a team, even in public schools. According to research at the University of Michigan Health System, on average, a player had to pay a $125 participation fee and $275 for sports equipment and travel.
When a child played baseball 30 years ago, the team often shared a helmet and bat. Now, most players have two bats, their own helmet, batting gloves, and a baseball bag. When a parent pays these high costs, they feel they should be getting their money’s worth, so when their child doesn’t play, they get angry at the coach.

Parent personality

Research by Goldstein found control-oriented parents are more angry and aggressive during their child’s sporting events than autonomy-oriented parents. A control-oriented parent is concerned about other people’s opinions and motivated by external forces, whereas an autonomy-oriented parent is driven by their own goals.
During games, control-oriented parents tend to take things personally. For example, if a coach pulls their child from the game, this type of parent may feel it is a personal attack against their child rather than an impartial decision by the coach.

Parents living vicariously through their child

Often parents relive their childhood experiences through their children. If a parent was unsuccessful at a sport and their child excels in this sport, they might experience the feeling of success they never could as a child.
Research by Brummelman found that parents who see themselves in their child want their child to fulfill their unfulfilled ambitions. This may cause parents to pressure their child to succeed, and they may become angry when their child makes mistakes during the game. If the parent feels their child isn’t getting enough play time, they may get angry at the coach, as was the case in Braintree.

Unrealistic parent expectations

Parents can hold unrealistic expectations about their child’s abilities in sports. A parent may consider their child to be the best on the team or think their child will be a professional athlete one day. This viewpoint can cause conflicts between the parent and coach. Here are a few helpful reminders to keep things civil:

  • Most coaches volunteer or are paid a small stipend. The coach is usually interested in helping your child and their team have a positive experience.
  • When on the sidelines, refrain from criticizing the coach or players. Your role should be to support the team.
  • If you have an issue with another parent or coach, speak to the person directly about it. Don’t use social media to air your grievances.
  • Before speaking to the coach, allow yourself time to calm down by waiting 24 hours after the incident. Schedule a time to meet instead of trying to speak with the coach after the game.
  • Playing on a sports team should be a fun experience for your child and the coach.
  • Try to put things in perspective and remind yourself this experience is for your child, not you.
  • When you get angry at the coach, you ultimately hurt your child by causing embarrassment and resentment. Research by Omli & Wiese-Bjornstal found that kids prefer supportive parents rather than angry ones at sporting events.
  • There is no “I” in team. A coach tries to make decisions based on what is best for the team – not only your child.
  • When you tell your child what to do from the sidelines, you are implying they don’t know how to play the game.
  • If you tend to get angry easily, practice anger management techniques, such as deep breathing or counting to 10.

What you can do to prevent your coach from quitting

  • If a parent complains to you about the coach, encourage him or her to discuss it directly with the coach.
  • Be respectful.
  • Offer to assist or help out with practices or communication with parents.
  • Praise the coach when he or she is doing a good job.
  • Show gratitude for the coach. A simple thank you can mean a lot.

5 Ways to Make Extra Cash Without Blowing Up Your Friends' Newsfeeds

You don’t have to hock makeup, leggings, and other random products via social media in order to bring in some extra money.

My social media feed has been hijacked. And I’m willing to bet a hefty stash of eyelash boost that yours has been, too.
Legions of my friends, high school acquaintances, and other random contacts have figured out that they can earn a nice chunk of extra cash by selling makeup, leggings, and other random products via social media.
I could totally steer this article into an aggravated rant against these social media solicitors, but I personally know moms who have been able to stay at home with their children or have otherwise been able to make ends meet because they joined in the fray and sold products via social media. So I’m not going to bash these people. They’re doing what is best for their family.
Instead, I want to offer alternative ways you can earn extra cash – ways that don’t involve blowing up other people’s social media feeds and may even make you better at things you love doing.
I’ve spent some time researching money-making ideas, and I’ve also had success in turning two of my own hobbies into money-making ventures (without having to awkwardly solicit my friends).

How I turn hobbies into money-making ventures

When I was in high school, I loved playing guitar. I wasn’t that guy who tried to get every girl to swoon, but I loved playing and finding ways to improve my skills.
When I was a senior, it occurred to me that I might be able to get paid to give guitar lessons. When I let some of my friends know, I immediately had two takers. Not only did I get better at guitar, I also made some extra cash.
In my 20s, I started getting interested in writing. I started a blog and at first, I was terrible. I would spend hours on a post, revising it 50 times before publishing it. But over time, I got better, faster.
Eventually, I ran across Parent.co, submitted a piece and, lo and behold, it got accepted! And this leads me to my first idea for you:

1 | Write articles for cash

Today, you can sit down, write an article, and make money. All you need is a basic understanding of grammar and a personal story about your parenting struggles, joys, or thoughts.
For example, I struggled with whether I should put my kids in piano lessons. Should I force it? Do the benefits outweigh the cost? So I researched a bit a la Google and wrote about it. And you know what? It helped me figure it out. Plus, I got paid!
Here’s a site that lists a whole bunch of paid writing opportunities.

2 | Monetize your hobby

I know “monetizing your hobby” sounds like a cop-out, but it’s not. Writing for extra cash has enabled me to become a better writer all while getting paid.
Once you’ve gotten your hobby to a decent skill level, all you need to do is find a paying audience. If you’re the creative type, Etsy is a great place to do just that. Maybe you can draw a picture of someone’s childhood home like I recently paid someone to do. Or maybe you’re great at photography and you can offer to take family photos of your friends.

3 | Ask for a discount on your bills

No, seriously.
When our family went down to one income, I called all of our utility providers and told them we were going down to a single income. I was shocked by how much they were willing to work with us in order to keep our business. Our pest control company alone reduced our bill by over half.
You can also cut those unused gym memberships, switch to one of those bulk-food membership clubs, and find other ways to cut your bills in order to free up cash.

4 | Google ideas you’re well suited for

Did you know you can get paid to be a virtual assistant or to watch other people’s pets? Finding the right job can be as easy as browsing a site that compiles a number of them, like this one.

5 | Ask for a raise

If you work outside the home, one of the best ways you can make extra cash is by asking for a raise. Of course, you have to know how to ask for a raise if you want to make it effective.
Get your kids ready for Disney World because you’re about to have some extra cash coming in the door.

Audio Book and Chill With Someone You Love

Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV. Put down the remote. Do something new, something different. How about audio book and chill?

Every couple reaches a point when they have run out of things to watch on TV.
You’ve seen every DVD or digital download in your library several times. You’ve watched all the movies playing on your premium channels (‘Do we have to watch “Deadpool”, again?!’). You binged “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards ”on Netflix. You flip through the guide on the cable box, in hopes that something new might pop up.
Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV. Put down the remote. Do something new, something different. How about audio book and chill? There are so many good audio books out there. You can be entertained and learn something at the same time.
 
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Think of it: You and your partner are at a dinner party. There’s a break in the conversation. You lock eyes, and one of you says, “We are listening to this great book about….”  You will sound so smart and interesting.
Not only are audio books full of fun facts, but they can be hugely entertaining. Here’s a list of some good ones:

DadisFat

“Dad is Fat”
by Jim Gaffigan

If you are a parent, this is the book for you. This laugh-out-loud memoir about raising children in New York City will make you appreciate your kids and the crazy vocation called parenting.


SherlockHolmes

“Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1”
by Arthur Conan Doyle

It’s a classic! And, who doesn’t love Sherlock Holmes, honestly? These tales will take you back to Victorian England when things were simpler, but crime and murder still captured the imagination.


TroubleMaker

“Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology”
by Leah Remini

Recently, Leah Remini has been very outspoken about how much she doesn’t like The Church of Scientology. In her audio book, which she reads, she highlights her childhood and early life with the church, too.


 AsYouWish

“As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride”
by Cary Elwes

Any child of the 80s or 90s watched this movie at least 17 times. The book tells the insider story. Dinner guests will be so impressed with your vast knowledge of Andre the Giant and his legendary drinking.


TheFireman

“The Fireman”
by Joe Hill

When a virus starts spreading and making people spontaneously combust, the world goes to hell. Some characters try to help one another, but as in real life, some don’t. The narrator’s voice has a husky, smoky quality that may or may not be influenced by the subject matter.


DowntheRabbitHole

“Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny”
by Holly Madison

Most people would be lying if they said they didn’t care what goes on inside the Playboy mansion. And most people wouldn’t root for Holly Madison, until you hear about everything this woman went through. She even became successful despite it.


ADirtyJob

“A Dirty Job”
by Christopher Moore

Usually, books about death make you want to cry. This book makes you want to laugh. A pawn broker ends up with a unique job, and his life spins out of supernatural control.


ThePowerofHabit

“The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business”
by Charles Duhigg

Have you ever wondered why we do what we do? Our habits can be explained. There is even a way to break the cycle of habit, if you choose to.


“The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference”
by Malcolm Gladwell

After listening to this book, you will feel infinitely more intelligent. It will give you loads of facts that you can bust out at cocktail parties or discuss endlessly with your partner, like how Brooklyn went from crime ridden to trendy haven.


BadMonkey

“Bad Monkey”
by Carl Hiaasen

This story starts with a fishing trip and a human arm. Somehow, the narrator gives humor to the whole outlandish, South Florida tale. Anything by Carl Hiaasen is sure to please.


SinCity

“Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for American Souls”
by Karen Abbott

Did you ever wonder where the phrase “I’m going to get laid” came from? Well, it’s an expression from the Everleigh Club in Chicago, the most famous brothel in the U.S. This book chronicles the Everleigh sisters and all the men who tried to take them down.


AtHome

“At Home: A Short History of Private Life”
by Bill Bryson

The author, with his corky British/American accent takes you through all the rooms of your house. You will come to understand how the most trivial things in your everyday life became a fixture in your home.


ASongofIceandFire

“A Song of Ice and Fire Series”
by George R. R. Martin

This series is over 200 hours long! That gives you so much time to enjoy the plot twists and turns. There are kings and queens and dragons. Some of it is brutal, but always addictive.
Give audio books a try and chill with someone you love. You might find you like it.

Deciphering Dad: What Musical Tastes Say About His Parenting

From rock to rap to folk to country and everything in between. Whatever your preference, it’s always good to share your love of music with your children.

True: Nature, nurture, and personal experience play a tremendous role in shaping how dads ultimately parent their children.
But let’s not forget about music. 
That’s right, music. From rock to rap to folk to country and everything in between, what you listen to influences a lot more than how you wear your hair, what you think about authority, and whether you view weed as an evil gateway drug or an invaluable prism through which to view this crazy and complicated world.
Music ultimately affects how you raise your kids.
Whatever your preference, it’s always good to share your love of music with your children. Okay, almost always: There’s a lot of new research out there suggesting the earlier children are exposed to EDM, the greater the chances they grow up to become assholes or, worse, DJs.
But hey, as long as you’re not listening to a computer game masquerading as an art form, then expose away. And the earlier the better.
Is your spouse expecting? Strap some BellyBuds onto to her growing midsection and introduce the little guy or gal to the wonderful world of music in utero. 

[su_highlight background=”#111111;” color=”#ffffff;”]NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, HERES A LOOK AT DADS MUSIC PREFERENCES THROUGH THE DECADES AND HOW THOSE PREFERENCES IMPACTED THEIR PARENTING:[/su_highlight]

 

Hip Hop Dad

[su_highlight background=”#6bc2d5″]Mid-90s through early 2000s[/su_highlight]

WavHello dad's music choice and parenting, father's day, hip hop dad

Hip Hop Dad is a passionate parent as well as a strict disciplinarian, who practices tough love on his children, for good reason. (Of course, it’s because he only wants the best for them.) He has the unique perspective of coming up during a time when Hip Hop was both finally getting the widespread acclaim and recognition it desperately deserved and also starting its slow descent into the era of commercial garbage much of the industry is currently mired in. Hip Hop Dad constantly struggles to understand his children and what they listen to, what they wear, and how they use technology.

The famous 2008 beef between Ice-T and Soulja Boy perfectly illustrates the relationship Hip Hop Dad has with his children. When Ice, the original gangsta, called out the DeAndre Cortez Way, a.k.a. Soulja Boy, he did it out of love. Like Hip Hop Dad – who sees the limitless potential of his children wasted on selfies, texting, and an aversion to outdoor activity and natural sunlight – Ice felt Soulja had far more to offer the Hip Hop World than a silly Superman song and a stupid dance that became so popular even middle-aged office workers knew how to do it.
Soulja – like Hip-Hop Dad’s children – was forced to defend his choices and chastise Ice for not taking the time to understand the next generation. Hip Hop Dad and his kids have these arguments all the time and, like Ice and Souja, the anger eventually subsides and Hip Hop Dad goes back to whatever his version of safe is (“Law & Order: SVU” and Geico commercials).
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Parent Co. partnered with WavHello because they believe in giving dad a fair shot at influencing his baby’s musical tastes.

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Pop Punk Dad, a.k.a. Emo Dad

[su_highlight background=”#52e3bf”]Early to mid-2000s[/su_highlight]

Dad music through the decades, Emo, Fall out boy

Dudes who fell in love with bands like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, and Dashboard Confessional tend to be overly sensitive and emotional – and their parenting reflects that.
Ninety-seven percent of Emo Dads are helicopter parents. Its not unusual for Emo Dad to burst into tears if his kid skins her knee. Huge proponents of Braxton-Hicks Neo-Extreme Attachment Parenting (recreating womb-like conditions for a child until at least the age of 11), Emo Dad will require no less than 13 hugs and kisses from his children before setting them free to board the school bus in the morning.
After the kids leave, Emo Dad will often drive around his cul-de-sac blasting Saves the Days breakthrough album, chain-smoking cloves, and weeping uncontrollably (79 percent of Emo Dads are unemployed). When he has too much to drink, Emo Dad may show up at his ex-girlfriends house (same girl whose initials he carved into his forearm with his PopPops swiss army knife) with a vintage boombox a la John Cusack in “Say Anything”, only to be chased off by his former flames Financial Advisor husband.
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Grunge Dad

[su_highlight background=”#f64c2a”]Early to mid-90s[/su_highlight]

The brooding brilliance and angst of Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, and Eddie Vedder left an indelible mark on Grunge Dad and ultimately carried over into his parenting style. Grunge Dad still thinks angst and flannels are cool (the $5 thrift store ones, not the $175 J-Crew ones).
From age two on, Grunge Dad bombards his children with troubling stories about climate change, political corruption, inequality, the cautionary tale of Moby, and other horrifying realities of this cold, cold world. Like his constant attempts to get his kids to watch Nirvanas legendary “MTV Unplugged” performance, his kids will often ignore his warnings.
Living a calm life in the suburbs with a beautiful family (the opposite of his Grunge idols) makes it challenging for Grunge Dad to find an outlet for his contrived anger. But its a challenge hes willing to meet head-on. Grunge Dad will tackle the mundane injustices of suburban living with the same veracity Pearl Jam used to take on TicketMaster in the mid-90s.
Whether its a ridiculous ordinance from the fascist homeowners association (Why do all the townhouses have to have beige doors? Answer me, goddammit!) or the need for a left turn signal at a busy intersection, Grunge Dad will fight with every fiber of his being.
Its not uncommon for a Grunge Dad to end an impassioned plea to the school board by quoting a Grunge Legends lyrics such as “All and all is all we are,” or “Im a man in a box/buried in my shit/wont you come and save me.”
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Punk Rock Dad

[su_highlight background=”#f62ae9″]Mid-70s to early 80s[/su_highlight]

Dad music through the decades, punk rock, Dead Kennedys
Punk Rock is more than a style of music. It’s a culture, a way of life. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Punk Rock Dad’s musical life directly spills over into his child-rearing. Loud, passionate, aggressive, and insanely dedicated, Punk Rock Dad jumps into parenting with the same abandon as he enters a frenzied mosh pit.
Punk Rock Dad wants his kids to experience life, warts and all. He often enjoys inducting his children into adrenaline-boosting activities, like bungee jumping, dirt bike racing, and organized protests.
Punk Rock Dad will often use his aversion to stupid rules to help his kids – e.g., sneaking a child who doesn’t quite reach the “must be this tall to ride” mark onto the new heart-stopping roller coaster. Even with children, Punk Rock Dad still has authority issues. It’s not uncommon to see him take a swing at a Little League umpire for making a bad call against his son.
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Disco Dad

[su_highlight background=”#f6ec2a”]70s to early 80s[/su_highlight]

Dad music through the decades, disco, The Bee Gees
Like the mindless, coke-fueled dance music they love, Disco Dads are vapid, self-obsessed meatheads, who raised their children to be the same way. Although they’re wildly misguided, Disco Dads are extremely loyal to their sons and daughters. They go out of their way to stress the importance of looks and appearances.
Having children didn’t stop Disco Dad from living his hedonistic lifestyle. Often, his kids would excitedly rush into their parents’ bedroom only to find a different woman in Mom’s spot – a side-effect of the wildly popular key parties of that time period.
Luckily, the majority of Disco Dad children rebelled against their fathers’ narcissistic style of life and opted for a different path. As a result, some of the more introspective music – including the Grunge movement – of the 90s was born.
 
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Classic Rock Dad

[su_highlight background=”#64f475″]Mid-60s to mid-70s[/su_highlight]

Dad music through the decades, classic rock, Led Zeppelin
These fathers were lucky enough to come of age during what is arguably the best time in the history of music. From the British Invasion of the Beatles, the Stones, and the Who to the genius of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin to the raw power of Led Zeppelin and the Doors, Classic Rock Dads experienced it all – and they’re quick to tell you all about how amazing it was.
“We’ve heard the Woodstock story a thousand times, Dad” is a universal gripe of Classic Rock Dad’s children. Classic Rock Dad is the type of hands-on parent so obsessed with reclaiming his youth that his own children have to sheepishly explain, “Sorry, Dad, it’s kinda just for kids this time.” Always looking to appear cool, Classic Rock Dad is quick to “spark up a doobie” with his own kids only to regret the decision later.
For Classic Rock Dad, music is serious business. He goes out of his way to instill the power of music in his children. Classic Rock Dad is responsible for convincing an entirely new generation to give a listen to the treasures of Paul, John, George, and Ringo, Mick and Keith, Roger and Pete, Jimmi, Janis, and Jim, Page and Plant, Clapton, and so many others.
The result of Classic Rock Dads’ collective efforts: A resurgence of palatable modern rock music in the late 90s and early 2000s.
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Jazz Dad

[su_highlight background=”#f77b1a”]Late 50s and early 60s[/su_highlight]

Dad music through the decades, Jazz, Miles Davis

Thanks to the influence of greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, and Ella Fitzgerald, Jazz Dads are generally accepted as the coolest of all dads. They tend to pull off looks that no other dad demographic would ever be able to get away with: scarfs in summer, a non-douchey-looking fedora, and tinted glasses.
Children are mesmerized by the aura of Jazz Dad and almost always go out of their way to behave and impress him. For his part, Jazz Dad is an exceptionally patient parent. He’s big on instilling the virtues of creativity and exploration in his kids and, in the spirit of the music he adores, will often turn a well-known bedtime story into a free-flowing, stream-of-consciousness adventure.
While Jazz Dad is a huge supporter of the arts, he often becomes testy about the “bullshit” his kids are learning in music class.
An unfortunate offshoot of Jazz Dad is Modern Jazz Dad (the subgenre of jazz that really took hold in the 80s). Modern Jazz Dad worships embarrassing icons like Kenny G., wears silly knitted vests, and often opts for wearing his hair in a ponytail despite severely thinning hair.
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Rock and Roll Dad

[su_highlight background=”#9c1af7″]The ‘rebel’ sound of the 50s[/su_highlight]

Dad music through the decades, rock n roll, Chuck berry
Rock and Roll Dads – not to be confused with Rock Dads or Hard Rock Dads – are a conflicted lot. Their parenting style reflects a sad confusion and latent self-hatred.
On one hand, Rock and Roll Dads see themselves as rebels. When Cleveland DJ Alan Freed coined the term Rock and Roll, it was instantly embraced by a generation of confused, mostly white teenagers, who were desperate to distance themselves from their “square” parents’ authoritarian ways.
Only later, did these rebels discover the truth about their Rock and Roll idols: They stole the sound from superior black musicians and, through slimy A&R men, left those superior musicians destitute and penniless.
Rock and Roll Dad is constantly trying to reconcile these unforgivable offenses, which leave his kids attempting to navigate a childhood of confusing messages, e.g. “Stick it to the man, son” or “You really need to get more black friends, Jason.
The result of Rock and Roll Dads’ breeding: A brooding, Prozac-fueled demographic the rest of the world refers to as Generation X. Thanks a lot, Rock and Roll Dads!
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Crooner Dad

[su_highlight background=”#f653ea”]Came of age in the 40s, and some annoying Millennials[/su_highlight]

Dad music through the decades, Crooner, Frank Sinatra
The Crooner movement emerged in the late 40s after the decline of the swing, jazz, and big band music, which dominated the early part of that decade. From Frank Sinatra to Dean Martin to Perry Como, crooners were powerful both vocally and personally. Dads who grew up on Frank, Dean, or Perry tended to be the strong, silent type, who enjoyed a stiff drink at the end of a long day and could do “manly things,” like change a flat or unclog a toilet without a plunger.
Crooner Dad typically entered into parenthood by downing a fifth of whiskey and chain smoking Pall Malls, while his wife labored away in an unsanitized hotel room. Crooner Dad was tough, but fair. Whether a skinned knee or a right proper beating at the hands of Patsy Carmichael, Crooner Dad was likely to tell his kids to walk it off.
Even if your Crooner Dad never actually said “I love you,” somehow you just knew it.
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Parent Co. partnered with WavHello because they believe in giving dad a fair shot at influencing his baby’s musical tastes.

Dad Rock Lullabies

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How Do You Lullaby?

No one puts their stamp on a lullaby quite like dad. Tag one who has really nailed their style.
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Parents Who Tragically Lose Their Kid Need Love and Support, Not Criticism

When a child dies in a manner that theoretically could have been prevented, people need someone to blame. But the parents need love and support, not judgement.

On Friday, a five-year-old boy in my hometown of Atlanta was crushed to death in front of his parents in a local restaurant.
It was a terrible tragedy. When I clicked on the story under the “trending” section on Facebook, these three comments were at the very top:

  • “[Keep] your unruly wandering asshole babies out of adult restaurants…”
  • “…people have to start being held accountable for being shit parents.”
  • “…maybe they should have cared enough for the child not to let him wander away from the table.”

 
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I understand the pull to find someone to blame, especially when an innocent child loses his life in a way that theoretically could have been prevented. But here’s the thing: This is the entirely wrong way to respond. Here’s why:

These parents are going through worse than hell right now

These broken parents just lost their child. The very last thing they need to hear is how it was all their fault.

It’s already over and done

Telling these parents what they did wrong does not help them even a little bit. They’ve already lost their son. Anything other than condolences can only make things worse.

Parents are not perfect, and accidents happen

My son broke his leg when he was two, and you know what? I could have prevented it.
I was sitting on my bed with him. He was getting on the bed and sliding off, having a great time. But one time as he was sliding off the bed, his foot got caught in between the box spring and the bed frame, and as his body went downward, his foot stayed in place. The result: a broken tibia.
Had I been vigilant about him not being allowed on my bed – like I am now – I could have prevented it. But, despite trying to be the best parent I can be, I failed at implementing this safety measure at the time.
Even though I was an imperfect parent, I also know two things: I am not a “shit parent.” And I assure you that I “care enough” about my child.
Parents are not perfect, and accidents happen. It is only for those few unfortunate souls that our parenting mistakes result in the death of our children.

Showcase your decency, not your supposed parenting expertise

If your goal is to impress people, impress them with your generosity, empathy, and kindness. Everyone wants a kind friend. No one wants to be friends with someone who publically calls other parents “shit parents.”
If you think you have parenting expertise to share, don’t share even one iota of it with parents who’ve lost a child. Double down and pitch an article to Parent.co. Let’s see what you got.

Learn from these parents’ tragedy

Instead of broadcasting your opinions about the parents, learn from their tragedy. Educate yourself on how to prevent the leading causes of accidental death for your children.

These parents need your love and support

Channel your grief into love and support rather than hate and anger. Send them flowers. Donate money. Write them a note. If you’re a person of faith, pray for them. If you want to contribute a few words on social media, make them words of condolences and kindness.
If any parent in this situation has done anything criminally wrong, the authorities will take care of it, not you. In this case, a terrible accidental tragedy occurred.
These parents need every bit of kindness and love they can get right now.

Your Clean House Won’t Matter 10 Years From Now

What will they remember? Focus your efforts there.

My firstborn baby just turned a year old. It’s mind boggling to think an entire year has passed since the doctor urged me to open my eyes during what would be the last push so I could meet my daughter.
My daughter – it still sounds weird coming out of my mouth, almost like I’m an imposter pretending to possess something that isn’t really mine. After all, she is the baby my husband and I spent nearly three years trying to conceive.
Looking at her can feel surreal at times, like I’ve daydreamed the last 12 months, and the fact that she’s really here and growing like a weed is all make believe. I can’t get over how fast time passes. That’s parenthood, everyone tells us. But I struggle on a daily basis with why I can’t seem to stop thinking about the next thing instead of enjoying the moment.
I’m under no illusions that this is a revolutionary thought, and that’s part of the problem. I can’t seem to find a solution. (This is coming from someone who is really good at scouring the Internet and voraciously reading everything even remotely having to do with kids.) Maybe there’s a mommy blog out there, in which someone in their infinite mothering wisdom tells me how to stop planning in order to just play.
Instead I always stumble on the impeccable ones that tell me how to do the exact opposite…how to cook, craft, plan, organize, and use essential oils to make my home perfect. I already have an entire drawer full of lavender and eucalyptus everything.
I think a bit of backstory might help. I babysat extensively throughout my high school and college years. While my friends were running off to the mall or hanging out with each other and bonding over crushes and glitter eye shadows, I babysat two kids who lived down the street. I happily sat on the floor with them for hours playing Legos, walked them endlessly around the block, and focused entirely on their happiness and well-being. I was in awe of their childlike joy and ability to make a good time out of a pile of leaves in the backyard or puddles on the sidewalk. It was fantastic.
I haven’t felt like that once with my own baby, and that’s a problem.
So, why don’t I experience that same joy now that I’m the parent, and the baby is mine? Is it simply because I was basically a kid back then, too? That’s the closest thing to an explanation I have. I was naïve to the troubles and responsibilities of life, because my parents were still shouldering the bulk of life’s stresses for me at that point. Sure, I made some cash, but the mortgage, utilities, and gas was paid for. I wasn’t distracted by thoughts of what dinner would be, because my mom had it waiting for me when I got home each night. I want my baby to grow up thinking that Mommy loved playing and didn’t rush everything.
Take, for example, last night. Emma was happily playing with leftover pasta remnants from the dinner she’d semi-eaten. Through her teething and fussiness, she’d managed to get a few pieces down, and then began using her index finger to drag leftover linguine scraps around the tray of her high chair. She was obviously fascinated with this activity, and happily emitting random giggles. Looking back, it was absolutely adorable.
At the time, I was impatient and frustrated, thinking only about how it was already after 7 p.m., and I still had to bathe her, change her, and get her to bed. But, so what? I should have just laughed and played along.
I know I can’t completely change my stripes at this point in life. My desire to please people and be efficient is too deeply ingrained in who I am, but I can learn new tricks. I plan to focus on the following three ideas moving forward, because they’re meaningful enough to force me to ignore what’s next till it actually needs to happen.

My baby’s not bored, I am

Chances are, I’m only bored because I’m actually thinking about the load of laundry that’s still sitting in the dryer two days after it was done drying instead of enjoying how content my little one is in the present moment. I need to stop allowing distractions to cloud my perception of now.
Instead, I’ll focus on the wonder my baby naturally has for everything she experiences. I will get down on her level for more than five minutes each night and crawl around. It really is refreshing to experience her world in this way, dog hair and all.

No one cares as much as I do

This concept is undoubtedly the most challenging for me, because I take pride in my home and genuinely want things to be orderly. That said, I also work full time and need sleep. If that means the kitchen counters remain cluttered for the night, I have to be okay with that.
In the past, I would make myself crazy cleaning up each night, only to crawl into bed exhausted and think, “At least it won’t look like a wreck in the morning.” So what if it does? No one conducts a midnight inspection of my family room. It’s uncomfortable at first. I get it. This is coming from a woman whose mother-in-law visits daily to babysit. I understand the desire for things to be clean and tidy in order to convey that you have life under control. But if there’s a happy, thriving baby running around, is that not proof enough that you have it going on in the mommy department?
I will try my very best to stop imposing cleaning rules on myself, so that the time I have with my daughter isn’t spent worrying about dishes in the sink.

It won’t matter 10 years from now

The most powerful thought I have in terms of reshaping how I focus while spending time with my toddler (seriously, the pediatrician told me she’s a toddler now!) is asking myself what she will remember 10 years from now.
I try to picture Emma as a preteen, hoping with everything I’ve got that she’s well on her to being a happy, confident, and secure young woman. I then imagine someone asking her, “Was the kitchen sink always clean when you were a child?” Because she could never lie, she’ll say, “I’m not sure.” Next question: “Did laundry get done on time?” Answer: “Don’t know. I always had clean clothes to wear.” And, lastly… “Did your mom always play with you?” Her answer: “Yes, always.”
There it is. That’s how I’m learning to just enjoy playing with my baby. It’s the most amazing gift I’ve given myself in a very long time.

Local Dad Unloads Dishwasher, Is Hailed a Hero

A local dad is being hailed as “the next Sully” after sources close to the family confirmed what may be the greatest single act of 2017.

ATLANTA, GA – A local dad is being hailed as “the next Sully” after sources close to the family confirmed what may be the greatest single act of 2017.
Around 2:05 p.m. EST on Sunday, local tax accountant and father of two, Stephen Bradshaw, 30, reportedly began taking clean dishes out of the dishwasher and placing them into the family’s kitchen cabinets.
“I’m just stunned,” said Meghan Bradshaw, stay-at-home mom and nine-year wife of Bradshaw.
“I had just finished putting our kids down for a nap and was getting ready to mow the lawn when I heard this strange clinking sound coming from the kitchen. When I ran in there, I thought for sure that one of my kids had gotten out of bed. But then I saw one of the most amazing things I could have ever imagined: My husband, yes, my husband was actually unloading the dishwasher.”
Mrs. Bradshaw’s eyes filled with tears as she recalled the event. “I can’t believe I’m so lucky to have married such an amazing man.” Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed, has already publicly applauded the efforts of Bradshaw and plans to present the keys to the city to Bradshaw later today.
***
This.
This is how it feels to be a husband and father who actually does his share of the work that comes along with: a) being married, b) having kids, and c) living in an enclosed space. This is how culture treats dads who do what they should already be doing. This is how unfair life is to my wife.
I went the satire route here not to make light of a very real issue, but to exaggerate a ridiculousness that pervades our culture. Women of today are still caught between the old 1950s expectations – that they should do the child-rearing and house-cleaning – and today’s reality – that they participate in the workforce (nearly 60 percent do).
So when any husband comes along who actually does something around the house or with the kids, going against the cultural expectation of his “role” in the family, he is thanked, applauded, and even hailed as a hero.
This is obviously incredibly unfair to millions of exhausted, hard-working moms out there who do all of that (and more), but get no thanks. The good news, however, is that families who actually share household duties reap major benefits:

When dad does chores, he improves his daughter’s aspirations

According to a 2014 study in Psychological Science, when dads do chores around the house, their daughters are more likely to be open to occupations like engineering and science instead of falling into more stereotypical occupations for women.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with my daughter growing up to be a teacher or a nurse. But it’s really cool to think that my doing chores around the house shows her that no jobs are gender specific and that she can consider any life path.

When dad does chores, he erases unrealistic expectations on women

When my daughter gets married one day, I hope that the current cultural expectation is simply a thing of the past. When I do chores around the house, I’m teaching my kids, the next generation, that husbands are expected to do their fair share – or even take the lead if Mom has a more demanding job than I do.

When dad does chores, mom and dad have more “adult time”

According to a 2015 study reported by Medical News Today, men who do chores have more frequent and more satisfying sex. Need I say more?

When dad does chores, he gives mom a much needed break

If you’re a mom, and especially if you are a new mom, you are tired. (There’s even an unnecessary study to prove it!) When I do chores, I’m giving my wife a much needed break. When my wife gets a break, she is happier. And when she is happier, I am happier and the kids are happier. End of story.
If your husband helps out, let him know you appreciate it. He needs your encouragement. On the other hand, if you’re a wife reading this whose husband “doesn’t get it,” consider reading this article: How to Get Your Husband to Help (Written by a Husband). It might give you some unique ways to approach him about doing more.