Monday, June 29, 2009
Omaha is 1,400 miles away from New York City! All of the New York City at-Home Dads are probably wondering if it is worth the trek & wondering what happens at this type of convention. I am wondering the same thing because I have never attended the convention before or been to Omaha for that matter. However, after talking with one of the seasoned event volunteers and reading their website, the convention sounds appealing. First, it presents an awesome opportunity to connect with other dads in similar situations from across the U.S. and Canada. The costs are kept low - hotel room is $109/night including breakfast + transportation to the airport & registration fees are only $40. Additionally, if you are "hungry for knowledge on how to raise your kids better and manage your household more efficiently...there will be experts facilitating discussions and hands-on workshops in a range of topics for at-home dads."
If you are interested to learn more about the At Home Dads Convention, check out their website for all the details on registration, travel, event schedules, and more or check out At Home Dad.
Please comment or give us the scoop if you have attended this event in the past...
I was pleased when Gymboree agreed to partner with our NYC Dads Group and host a DADS ONLY EVENT this past Sunday, June 28th from 10 am - 11:30am. It was a great opportunity for ALL DADS including working dads, at-home dads, and freelance dads to spend some bonding time with their kids and connect with other dads on the WEEKEND. The relaxing & fun event included breakfast, instructional playtime, open gym time, dad conversations, and more at Gymboree Play & Music on the Upper East Side! They have agreed to host more of these types of Dad Only Events in the Fall when everyone is back from vacations and school is back in session.
Here is a quote from the parenting director of 92Y Tribeca, "In honor of our newly developing relationship with your NYC Dads group, we decided to name the new (during the week) daytime film series: CineMamas & Papas"
92YTribeca Daytime presents "CineMamas & Papas", a film series exclusively for caregivers and their babies. The sound is kept low and the lights high relative to movie theater norms and there is space to set-up a blanket or relax in a chair. Admission to the show is limited to infants 0-18 months old (free) and their accompanying adult caregivers (general admission).
Nursery University : Getting in is No Longer Child's Play
Fri, Jul 10, 2009, 11:00am, 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street, Purchase $ 12 Tickets
*this film series will be continued in the fall after this July 10th summer event.
Lastly, the uptown 92nd Street Y parenting center offers a unique class on Sunday mornings where dads can join other new dads and their babies for a lively discussion. This 5-week class starting in October, meets on Sunday mornings from 10:30am - 11:30am, so it does no interfere with your football schedule!
I look forward to seeing more parenting options for dads in NYC in the near future. Are there any other unique dads only events or "daddy & me" classes?
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Last week the NYC Dads Group was offered a demo class at the new east side location of My Gym; a children’s fitness center in Manhattan. Our group had previously ventured to the west side location, which was a lot of fun so I was excited to see what this new venue had to offer. This stroller-friendly gym is located on the ground floor at 250 E. 60th St. and has classes tailored to babies and children 6 weeks to 11 years old. Our dad’s group has children that went beyond the range of their typical single class (ex. Tiny Tikes is 7 months - 13 months), but the enthusiastic staff accommodated each individual child.
As in the west side location, this My Gym offers trampolines, soft stairs, a ball pit, bouncy swings for the young children, and graduated swings for the toddlers as well as an impressive zipline. This new location seemed brighter and more open than the established My Gym on W. 66th and both gyms appeared to be immaculate and well-maintained. The demo class was an hour long, starting with the staff leading the dads in interactive, athletic activities. We then split off so that each child could experience the equipment (at their own pace) meant to increase agility skills and tumbling. The music that played in the background was neither intrusive nor annoying.
I may have been overly enthusiastic during our first experience at My Gym, forcing my then 5 month old son onto the zipline for which his lack of enthusiasm was quickly made clear, This time, he was old enough to be entertained by much more of the equipment available and giggled his way across the room. In this way, My Gym might be an experience that dads of children older than 6-9 months might want to consider. Tiny Tikes, the 3 time per week class for 7-13 month olds runs $199 for 4 weeks, making it a fairly good deal when comparing parent & me classes. Overall, the east side My Gym offers the same accessible classes and clean tumbling equipment but with a new larger and brighter facility; one of the best places we’ve ever been.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
GREAT NEWS - Jeremy Adam Smith is coming to NYC to meet with our NYC Dads meet-up Group on July 22nd for our weekly meet up event. Additionally, in a collaborative effort between Jeremy Adam Smith, our NYC dads group, and the 92Y Parenting Center, there will be an evening social event held at the 92Y Tribeca. On our behalf, NYC Dads Group member Matt S. has been instrumental in making this collaborative partnership come together! More information on this evening event in the next few weeks...
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The article was a quick read & a sign of the times that the dads in our NYC Dads Group already know about. In the article, Stephanie explains that dads "are making a place for themselves in what has traditionally been "mom" territory. In growing numbers, they are creating dads-only playgroups, launching "daddy" blogs and posting parenting tips on Twitter."
Of course, she hits the nail on the head in her comments about Playgroups. "It's awkward for dads to be the only guy in a group designed for moms. In response, they've begun forming their own support/play groups. With their charges in tow, they're connecting not just in playgrounds, zoos and other kid-friendly locations, but also on sports fields, where they enjoy quality time with their little ones while also exchanging parenting tips and, sometimes, job hunting experiences and advice. Meet-up.com lists 171 dads groups across the country." Our New York City Dads Meet Up Group is #7 in the USA based on our membership of 89 members!
I recommend reading the entire article - Are Dads The New Moms? by Stephanie Azzarone at MediaPost
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
As most stay at home parents know, we lift up our children countless times during the day, change a bunch of diapers, and carry the kids around from place to place. I guess this job of parenting takes it's toll on your body. I know several stay at home dads who have been experiencing back pain or other ailments as a result of lifting (parenting?) their children.
Personally, I have been experiencing wrist pain for about a month & finally had the chance to see an orthopedist to get it checked out. I was diagnosed with a type of wrist tendonitis called DeQuervain's tenosynovitis. About. com states that "this is inflammation of the tendon at the base of the thumb. Often seen in new mothers, DeQuervain's tenosynovitis is diagnosed by a specific test called 'Finkelstein's test' where the patient makes a fist and the wrist is pulled away from the thumb. Pain from this maneuver is diagnostic of this type of wrist tendonitis." Medicine.net describes "typical causes include stresses such as lifting young children into car seats, lifting heavy grocery bags by the loops, and lifting gardening pots up and into place."
When I met with the orthopedist, he was reading my paperwork, and chuckled when he read that I was a stay at home dad. He explained that my ailment was extremely common with new moms, but he said it made sense that it would happen to me as well. With an increase in stay at home dads...it would make sense that we are probably experiencing some injuries previously associated with moms. Consequently, the definition in About.com & conversation with the orthopedist display that there is much room in society to make the change in their stereotype of the "shifting" American Family.
There are many treatments for wrist tendonitis including Immobilization (Placing the wrist in a splint or a cast which is usually the first treatment step. In the interim, I am wearing a hand splint. However, it is pretty difficult to change diapers, dress your child, and do many other daily tasks with the splint. I also received a Cortisone Injection and I am hoping that this will do the trick! Sure, most people that I run into see my wrist in a splint, and ask what happened? Sports injury? Did you fall? Gym injury? I reply, "no, it is a type of wrist tendonitis common in NEW PARENTS."
I never had an on the job injury before. I never realized that being a stay at home dad would lead to my first job-related injury. Can some other dads share their parenting "on the job" ailments?
Monday, June 22, 2009
The segment included four of the dads in our group (including myself) explaining why we chose to be a stay at home dad. The segment was simple, but couldn't help notice George Bodarky, the narrator, mention "Mr. MoM." Will we ever be able to shatter the stereotypes?
You can listen to the WFUV Podcast here. Select the June 20th podcast from the menu & our group is on at about the 7 minute mark.
I have slowly (too slow) been starting the process of babyproofing our apartment over the past couple of weeks. This includes the basic stuff of inserting plug protectors into electrical outlets, moving dangerous items off of the floor, and taping/hiding plugs and cords so they are not visible. The next phase will be getting rid of our glass coffee table, our wine rack (very upset about this one), and getting latches for drawers and cabinets. One helpful piece of advice that was given to me is "to crawl around on all fours like your child to see what they see" so you can find trouble areas.
I know a lot of these things are common sense, but thought I would share this brief article from today's amNew york which inspired my blog entry:
Kid-proof your furniture (amNew York June 22)
Children are increasingly being injured from falling furniture, studies have shown.
Here are tips from Dr. Jim Schmidt, co-founder of the Virginia-based company Child Safety House Calls, on how to protect your kids:
■ Tether it. Secure any potentially unstable furniture to the wall.
■ Rock it. Rock each piece of furniture to test if a toddler’s weight could topple it, realizing that
even heavy objects can fall if a child pulls or climbs on open drawers.
■ Watch what’s on top. Objects you know a child will want — such as a toy or remote control — will tempt them to climb.
■ Watch coffee tables. Many are the perfect height for toddlers to whack their heads. Consider moving a table with sharp edges into storage or covering it with a thick blanket.
■ Hang TVs. Tether them to the wall or keep them low to the ground. Kids are naturally
curious about them and they’re heavy enough to cause serious injury.
■ Use Velcro. Kids often tear off protective padding that parents tape or glue on sharp edges. If you adhere cushioning with Velcro, you can easily put it back on.
■ Choose tempered glass. This glass shatters into tiny pieces rather than large, jagged shards when broken, so a child may get more small cuts but no life threatening wounds.
■ Ask for help. Ask a salesperson for guidance when buying glass-top or glass-front furniture.
■ Place furniture wisely. Keep it away from windows and railings, where a climbing child might fall.
■ Beware of choking hazards. Beads, rivets and wicker all can break into small pieces. Go for wood furniture or upholstery without beading. (MCT)
In doing some research on this topic, I also used this six-minute Australian video with Christine Erskine, an expert from Kidsafe, who explains how to childproof your home. I didn't know that nursery furniture accounts for 23% of all injuries of children up to one year old.
Please feel free to share some valuable babyproofing tips or advice...
Sunday, June 21, 2009
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Friday, June 19, 2009
I was away on vacation this week with my family when I watched the Today Show segment they taped with our NYC Dads & Stay at Home Dads Group a few weeks ago. Now that I am back in front of my PC, I have several thoughts that I would like to share in this blog.
Overall, the segment displayed our group in a positive way. The producers were able to capture the true dynamic of our group in action in Central Park - having fun, relaxing, supporting each other, all while our kids are playing & interacting with each other. We have doubled in size over the past four months because of the quality and commitment of the dads in the group. I know that I am "in good company" and surrounded by other caring fathers, as Jeff Rossen stated in the segment!
I was pleased to hear that the number of dads groups in the last 6 months has doubled on meetup.com. I am not surprised as there are more stay at home dads out there as result of their own choices and the effects of the economy. There are not enough support services for dads out there so it is encouraging to hear that they are finding ways to connect with each other and avoid the isolation! Additionally, the segment was great exposure for our dads group and enabled other stay at home dads who watched it, to find & join us.
A few negatives - I prefer the term "modern man" (thanks Mr. B.) when referring to stay at home dads. Unfortunately, the term "Mr. Mom" was splashed across the segment - from the title, silly movie clip, and background during psychologist discussion...I sure hope we are NOT always compared to that movie or as the "real househusbands!"
I agree with Rebel Dad...the Today Show could have provided much more on this grand media stage on how the American Family dynamic is changing.
I leave you with a few stats that were included in this segment:
- 31% of dads would leave their job to stay at home if mom's income covered all of the expenses
- 30% of dads would take pay cuts to spend more time with their family
- 39% of working dads report spending less than two hours with their children every day
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
It was a great day for all...Grace and I hope to see the group and more new Dads next week.
Patrick & Grace (in picture - Patrick in green holding Grace in pink)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Some benefits of having a baby nurse:
- Getting us on a schedule for feeding, napping, bath, and bed time - #1 benefit
- Demonstrating different techniques for holding, swaddling, and comforting
- Great sounding board for the trillion questions you have during this steep learning curve
- They are not your family - gives you some breathing room
- Enables you take some naps during the day and sleep late in the morning in the middle of a sleep deprived and stressful time
- Use them as a babysitter at night if you want to break away for a quiet dinner or catch a flick
- Very costly (daily cost + food expenses)
- You are not alone & it gets crowded (apartments in NYC are small enough...even smaller with another adult staying over)
- You may become too reliant on baby nurse which makes it harder when they leave
Curious to hear some stories on how you got through the first two weeks...
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
As most stay at home dads (including myself who prefers the term "modern man") dislike the term "Mr. Mom" which Traister used in his article, he also refers to himself as a flake and a schmuck. Therefore, he deserves a Mulligan. He gets philosophical at the end of the article when Traister states, "we keep hearing that women will surpass men in the workforce during this recession. As many of us (for whatever reason) find ourselves in a fiduciary timeout, we should not only think about how to repower the American worker but how to reimagine the American man. The moment our mothers entered the workforce and shattered expectations, the rules about gender roles in this country changed completely, even if our perceptions didn't. Trying to live like our grandfathers is no longer an option."
To read the article, check out Dude, man up and start acting like a mom
Don't most adults wear the same or a similar outfit every few weeks because they like the way it looks? Can't that same concept apply to your kids?...so, even though I literally dress my son every morning, I am not sure I am actually the one dressing him!
Any other dads care (dare) to comment on this topic?
Monday, June 8, 2009
Toting your baby around this summer could get even more exciting for you stay at home parents! About a month ago, I was strolling our son by our local pizza place, Roma’s Pizza, on the Upper East Side. I noticed all of the Haddads Film Trucks parked on the block and the pizza shop was lit up for filming the movie, "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" starring Sara Jessica Parker & Hugh Grant. I am a major 'rubber necker' and needed to investigate the action.
Julie Gordon of am New York, published an article titled Sets and the City over the weekend, sharing a guide to the movies filming in NYC this summer including all of their set locations. Julie says, "most New Yorkers try to play it cool when they pass a mess of crew members unloading trucks in their neighborhood (not me). But for those who want to indulge their inner celebrity stalker, here’s a guide to movies filming this summer in NYC."
Anyone have any cool sightings toting your kid around?