Tag Archives: single dads

Single Fatherhood: Taking Care of Them Means Taking Care of Yourself

‘Single father': it is tough to think of two scarier words for a man. There are all kinds of heroes in the world. Fire fighters, police officers, soldiers, doctors: all are heroes. None are any more heroic than single dads. Unfortunately, they do not get the recognition they deserve.

There are responsibilities common to all parents. Being a single dad makes even the most common parenting tasks exponentially more difficult. Some parenting tasks are even tougher for single dads in this society than for single moms. But as difficult as they are, they still have to be done. Here are a few examples:

Take Care of Your Health

A single dad is the lifeline of the family. Parents often prioritize the health of their children over their own. But it is a little like the airline instruction concerning oxygen masks. Place your own mask in position before attempting to help someone else. You have to be healthy and conscious if you are going to have a chance to save anyone else. Saving yourself is not an option. It’s a necessity.

Because you are the lifeline of your family, you have to save yourself by doing all of the little things that you might leave undone if you had someone else to count on. Taking care of yourself includes everything from treating that suspicious cough before it turns into a full-blown flu, to using a skin tag remover. The difference between a skin tag and skin cancer is not immediately obvious. By doing what you can to deal with the little things while they are little, frees you up to take care of the kids.

Under the best of circumstances, dads are terrible when it comes to taking care of themselves. They eat poorly, exercise poorly, and develop a poor work/life balance. They tend to rely on others to remind them of their health. Single dads have to do a better job of taking care of their own health.

Ask for Help

If there is one thing men are notoriously bad at, it is asking for help when they need it. This is likely an evolutionary trait that was once extremely useful, but is now a detriment. It is not hard to imagine that a show of weakness in a tribal situation was bad for finding a good mate, and rising through the ranks of leadership.

But today, we recognize a show of vulnerability as a show of humanity. Not asking for help is viewed as a sign of arrogance, even foolishness. There is no shame in being a stay-at-home dad. Whether it be from parents, coworkers, or professional nannies, single dads need the same help as single moms. They just have to learn to ask for it.

Live a Simpler Life

There are two ways do deal with challenging life circumstances when resources are limited: The first choice is the most popular. Find a way to make more money. We are convinced that we can solve just about any problem with enough money. The second option is the road less traveled. Make a conscious decision to live a simpler life.

As a single dad, you always have the option to work more hours and hire someone to raise your kids for you. But in doing so, you miss seeing your kids grow, not to mention the opportunity to guide that growth. You will make enough money, but miss out on the reason you are working.

For context, it would help to see how people live in other parts of the world. They make less money, live in smaller homes, and still find a way to put family first. Making an intentional choice to live a simpler life is something that everyone should probably consider, especially single parents. It is doable, but the harder choice to make.

There is nothing easy about being a single dad. But you can relieve a lot of the pressure by taking better care of your health, asking for help when you need it, and choosing a simpler lifestyle. To all the single dads who are out there making the hard choices everyday, we salute you.

 

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Your Baby in Danger: 5 Common Car Seat Mistakes

Baby in car seat for safetyBabies need to be in car seats. Basic information for parents, right? But did you know that 72 percent of people don’t use car seats correctly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Proper car seat safety requires more than buckling your precious cargo into a car seat. Check out these common car seat mistakes to avoid so that your little one is always protected.

Old Car Seat

Avoid using hand-me-down car seats. Car seats actually have expiration dates — usually about six years after they were manufactured. Past the expiration date, the plastic starts to slowly decompose, and the car seat will under-perform in a crash. Also, you never know if a used car seat was involved in a previous crash, which makes it no longer effective. Continue reading Your Baby in Danger: 5 Common Car Seat Mistakes

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4 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Crooks

Burglar SignLittle things you do daily may literally be opening the door to your home to burglars. Home theft may take less than 10 minutes. As a dad, your job is to protect your family at all costs, and ensure their safety.  Here are 4 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Crooks.

Never Leave Your House Unsecured

When you go for your morning walk, make sure you close and lock all doors and windows. You might think, “I’ll just be gone for a few minutes.” That may be all a burglar needs to break into your home.

Most burglars walk or drive down a street to determine which house would be easiest to break into. They may watch you leave your house and not lock the door. If they have been watching the neighborhood for a few days or weeks, they may even know your schedule.

If you live in a house with a very long driveway, even walking out to the end of the driveway to check on the mailbox or take out the trash could be enough time for a burglar to walk in and take something.

Burglars aren’t interested in stripping your household. They want to take the two or three most expensive things they can walk out with quickly. In the amount of time you’ve walked to the end of your driveway and back, your laptop or jewelry could be gone.

Don’t Advertise Your Valuables

Be careful when you put out boxes from expensive purchases. Many types of packaging can tip off a burglar as to what you may have.

A box for an expensive set of speakers may mean you have a valuable stereo system inside. A box for a jewelry chest can mean expensive jewelry. Boxes for luggage might mean you and family are going on a trip soon and won’t be home. Even boxes for children’s toys might mean a mother who might have jewelry lives in the house.

Keep windows covered, so people can’t see inside. If possible, keep expensive TVs and stereos out of sight. In this day of huge, inexpensive flatscreen TVs, that can be difficult, which might make you consider a home security system. Services such as www.securitycompanies.com can direct you to security companies that can help protect those valuables you just can’t keep hidden.

Control Trash!

Trash is one of the easiest ways to find out about a household. If you take your trash out the night before pick up, you give burglars a window of opportunity to sift through it.

From magazines, they can tell if there is a single man or woman living in the house, an elderly person or a family with children. The mail can tell them the chances of valuable jewelry or electronic equipment, of your financial status, or that you might even have guns inside.

Your trash provides a little biography of you and your family. Be aware of what goes into your trash, and don’t leave it out for someone to get to know you.

Be Aware of the Neighborhood

Talk to your neighbors. Read the local newspaper. Know what’s going on in your neighborhood. For example, a Seattle neighborhood recently experienced 16 home burglaries within less than a week. Some of the homes were hit twice.

Watch for unusual activity in your neighborhood. Find out how the break-ins were done, and make sure your home is secure from the current method being used.

What tips do you have for protecting against burglars? Share them in the comments.

Photo by Flickr user Elliott Brown

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Essentials for a Fun Family Road Trip

Family Road Trip

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that life is journey, not a destination. Family road trips embrace the idea that the adventure to a place is equally or more important than arrival. Many factors go into a successful road trip: the comfort of the vehicle and clothes you wear, snack and beverage selections, and the activities planned for travel.

Start by choosing a road trip your family will love. Once you’ve made your plans, pack your bags with these road trip essentials.

Rent a Comfortable Ride

A comfortable ride can make or break your travel experience. Why rent? Road trips speed up wear-and-tear on vehicles and add quite a few miles. Rentals can be roughly $25 per day, which is affordable and worth avoiding damage to tires and clogged vehicle air-filters. A few suggestions from dealerships in Dallas: The Toyota Highlander is great for traveling rugged terrain. The Honda Pilot is known for its easy maneuverability, above-average fuel economy and interior comfort. Continue reading Essentials for a Fun Family Road Trip

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Poolside Safety For Children

Summer is just around the corner! For kids, nothing beats spending a hot summer day by the pool after the winter blahs. Besides being fun, swimming is also great exercise and a good way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

Unfortunately, if proper precautions aren’t taken, a fun day of swimming can turn into a tragedy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury death among children.

Keep your kids safe by following these important tips:

Sign them up for swimming lessons

Kids who know how to swim are safer in the water. Formal swimming lessons will help your child become more comfortable in the water, learn about water safety, become confident swimmers, and learn how to tread water. Low-cost lessons are offered in most communities by the YMCA or local Parks and Recreation centers. Your kids can start swimming lessons as toddlers and work their way up through advanced levels each year.

Supervise children around water

Children should be closely supervised by an adult at all times near water—including bathtubs, swimming pools, rivers and lakes. Many children drown without an alerting scream or splash and every second counts. So, even when there is a lifeguard present, keep a close eye on your children and avoid distractions like reading and talking on the phone.

These are not adequate substitutions for adult supervision:

·  Flotation devices such as noodles and water wings

·  Older children watching younger children

·  A distracted adult

·  An adult periodically looking out the window at the pool area

·  Anyone who is drinking alcohol

Teens and young adults should always have a buddy when swimming.

Make your backyard pool safe

If you have a backyard pool it is extremely important to install barriers to make it safe for your children and also neighborhood children. Check your local ordinances, but the CDC recommends a fence at least 4 feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates. In addition, you’ll want to use alarm systems for extra safety.

Make sure to have proper safety equipment like life hooks, poles and rings. Have a working phone nearby to call 911 if necessary and learn CPR. Be sure to keep your pool drains in good working condition to avoid the risk of entrapment.

It is important to protect yourself with adequate insurance to cover the liability of a pool. Remember, you may be held liable even if someone sneaks into your pool without permission and drowns.

Think about safety when your kids are with friends

Remember to protect your children even when they aren’t in your care. Be cautious about letting children spend time at a friend’s home if there is a pool or they’ll be going to a pool. Certainly make sure safety precautions are in place and that your children will be properly supervised by an adult.

Swimming pool accidents may involve only minor injuries. Unfortunately, many times the accidents lead to life-altering injuries or even death. Should your child ever be injured you may need to consult a swimming pool accident lawyer for help, as legal liability issues can get thorny.

Hit the pool!

Don’t let the risks deter you from taking your kids swimming this summer. The CDC is a great resource for more safety tips.  By following safety precautions you can keep your kids safe while they have a great time swimming this summer!

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