The following is a post from Jim Mckenzie. Jim is a happy, totally committed and passionate dad of seven (7) young home-birthed children (which he hand delivered). He is publisher of Every Little Thing birth and Beyond 360 Magazine and blogs at The Fatherhood Biz. Get details on the Every Thing For Dads Convention and follow Jim on Twitter. Interested in blogging for us? Read our guest blog guidelines.
Three years ago, I was coaching a really popular health and wellness class at the my local Boys and Girls Club, and it was so disappointing that out of a class of 48 parents and children, there was only one dad…me!
I thought “if I have a busy life (I was then a dad of a mere five young children) and I can be here, paying it forward and more, then why can’t other dads?” This was the pivotal “ah ha” moment that led me to launch a movement to engage modern dads in their families’ lives, because so many were missing out on something truly wonderful…so many children were losing a chance to develop into well-rounded young adults because of fathers failing to be “present’ in their lives, even when they do live with their families.
I’m honored to be a guest blogger for National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) who has been such a trailblazer for informed parenting! The rest of this blog might feel a little infomercial-ish; but do excuse me, because it’s my first blog post here.
I have a lot to tell you in a short space of time…so here we go...
Here's my family...
Here's my story...
Two years ago, when I researched the subject "family lifestyles," it was clear that there was a serious lack of media speaking to and for the support and promotion of a dad's pivotal role.
When I created Every Little Thing Birth And Beyond 360 Magazine, a free digital magazine for 21st century parenting lifestyles, I assembled an “army” of dads who had been trying to make an impact on the need for change, but who needed a cohesive voice in the media—the Every Thing For Dads movement was born!
Fast forward—now the unique dads section of the magazine runs to over 50 pages each month, covering many issues facing fathers today. With such momentum going forward, there is no doubt in my mind that dads' issues have to be brought alive. So on March 15, 2014, I’m launching the very first Every Thing For Dads Convention in Sarasota, Florida. It's meant to be a celebration of dadhood, which will also feature the MEGA Dads Awards; it will also be livestreamed. We will have celebrity guests from the NFL and TV at the event (teaser alert—you’ll have to check in with me to find out who…) Part of the proceeds will benefit The Every Thing For Dads Foundation which has a mission to create a live internet channel to reach and inspire dads from all walks of life.
The future? My goal is to be the hub for all dads and families to speak to making positive change for the better. We live in an era when the mom, dad, and two kids family is becoming less common. I can speak about how to be a great married dad, but I know very little about what it means to live as a single dad, divorced dad or blended-family dad. That’s why my mission is to include and connect dads from all walks of life with the very best information; caring and intuitive dads who can connect and convey their experiences to others with authority…and without being condescending—know what I mean? When the day arrives that I have Every Thing For Dads Conventions running in every state, and my own version of “The Oprah Winfrey” TV Show for everyday dads and families, then I will know my mission is on the road. I hope that you’ll join me on my journey to get there! See you in March!
NFI is proud to support the upcoming film, Home Run, opening on April 19.
Baseball all-star Cory Brand knows what it takes to win in the big leagues. But off the field, with memories of his past haunting him, his life is spiraling out of control. Hoping to save her client’s career and reputation after a DUI and a team suspension, Cory’s agent sends him back to the small town where he grew up.
Forced to coach the local youth baseball team and spend eight weeks in the only recovery program in town, Cory can’t wait to return to his old life as quickly as possible. As his young players help him experience the joy of the game, Cory discovers his need to find freedom from his past and hope for his future…and win back the love he left behind. With this unexpected second chance, Cory finds himself on a powerful journey of transformation and redemption.
Watch the Official Trailer!
Home Run releases next Friday, April 19. Get more information on our Home Run page and stay tuned for details on our Home Run Twitter Chat next Thursday, April 18 with great give-a-ways!
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The following is a post from Christopher A. Brown, Executive Vice President of National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI). If you would like to blog for us, email here.
You’re probably aware that more fathers than ever carry more of the load at home while they continue to build their professional careers. As reported in NFI’s most recent edition of Father Facts, the gap between the number of hours that mothers and fathers care for their children and do routine household chores has closed dramatically. While this shift to a more egalitarian household has benefits for fathers, mothers, and children, there’s also a downside for fathers—an increase in stress in the delicate balance between work and family life. Indeed, recent research (also reported in Father Facts) reveals that more men than women report this stress. Many men say that they would trade their current job for one that provides for more work-life balance.
In light of this research—and my own struggles through the years to juggle work and family life—I was taken aback by Embrace Work-Life Imbalance, a blog post by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic that appeared on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Mr. Chamorro-Premuzic takes issue with studies on the harmful effects of excessive work because they “rely on subjective evaluations of ‘work overload’”. He goes on to say that work overload is only possible if you don’t enjoy and have fun at work and that we should, essentially, stop crying over spilled milk (he refers to people who complain about poor work-life balance as “self-indulgent”) and stop talking about work-life balance or, at the very least, redefine it.
Intrigued by his proposition, I kept reading to determine whether he has a point. His rationale for redefining work-life imbalance rests on the premise that the key to work-life balance is working hard at something that you enjoy (i.e. are passionate about). He asks the reader to consider five factors that, together, lead to the conclusion that we must “switch on” rather than “switch off” in relation to work. He says that too few people enjoy work. As long as we can engage in work we find fun, the amount of work we do is irrelevant.
I love my work and have a lot of fun doing it. (My daughters often say that I’m a “professional dad” given my work with NFI.) But while I don’t dispute Mr. Chamorro-Premuzic’s point about the need to embrace work-life imbalance from a general perspective, I wonder whether he would change his mind if he focused on the impact that a family has on a man’s view of work-life balance. (As an aside, many experts on work-life balance consider work-family balance to be a sub-category of work-life balance.) Does the value in embracing work-life imbalance change when a man has a wife and children? Absolutely! Why? Because a family changes the dynamics of the work-life equation. Without a family, work is life for many men because it defines us. The centrality of work in how men define themselves is the foundation for our struggle to balance work and family. When we marry and have a family, we expand our view of what brings meaning to our lives. The amount of work we do becomes relevant regardless of how much we enjoy it. Work no longer holds sway over our lives, and it shouldn’t. It should remain, however, vitally important. We should continue to work hard, embrace it, and enjoy it. But it must not own us.
What do you think? Do I have a valid point? Share your comments. We’d love to hear from you!
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Week three of The Dad Games of 2012 is complete. Let week four begin!
The Dad Games challenges you to be “Gold Medal Dad.” Each week we provide you with a checklist of seven actions to use in connecting with your family. This week's challenge is Gold Medal Dads...Balance Work and Family.
Let’s face it, dad. Work has its responsibilities and so does family. Do you often feel like when you are doing well at work your familly is left to wait on you? Or if all is right on the homefront, then something at work needs attention? It can be difficult juggling all the responsibilites we dads have.
However, an important part of being a Gold Medal Dad is learning to manage the responsibilities of work and family. We will use the word “balance” this week; but we are really working to help you "manage" your responsibilities as leaders in the workplace and at home.
This week you will be challenged to be intentional about how you are prioritizing your work responsibilities alongside your family's needs. We can do a better job of working hard AND still show our families we love and value them.
Warning: this may be the most difficult week of challenges for you. This week may also be the most important and life-changing week for you as a leader. It's vital your co-workers, your wife/ex-wife and your children see you as the person who "has it together." Let's up our game, gentleman! Take the challenge and be a Gold Medal Dad!
Question: What’s the one thing you find most difficult about “balancing” work and family responsibilities?
To honor your efforts, we're giving away prizes including sports memorabilia signed by celebrity athletes and free gift packs of men's skin care products. Learn more about the prizes here.
How can you win?!
Enter to win by sharing your experiences and connecting with other dads in The Dad Games on Facebook, Twitter, and commenting on our blog (Get more info on how to enter here!).
Subscribe to the Dad Email™ and get The Dad Games weekly checklist in your inbox.
Visit Gold Medal Dads…Balance Work and Family for tips on how to rethink your priorities this week. Stay tuned during the week for more.
Share and connect with other dads this week on our blog, Facebook and Twitter (#DadGames12).