Happy Father’s Day!
And a happy birthday to Paternity Fraternity!
I came up with the idea for this site when our second son was three months old and our first son was a raging, terrible two-year-old. My wife and I were both home getting our butts kicked by these tiny humans. The sleep deprivation – compliments of the newborn – was magnified by a toddler who was not-so-silently protesting the arrival of his brother.
Both kids combined forces to make life miserable for us sometimes.
Laughs were few and few between.
There, I said it. And on Father’s Day, of all days!
While we were glorifying #ParentLife by posting adorable photos of our two sons on Facebook, there wasn’t always a lot of happiness behind the scenes.
During this time I discovered these feelings can exist concurrently:
- Absolute love for your children.
- No regret about your decision to have them – not for even a
- Extreme gratitude they are healthy.
- Sheer horror from being trapped in parenting hell.
As you can tell, I’m all for discussing the realities of parenting and spinning them into something we can laugh about. But I’m also a fan of showcasing the cliche moments that got you into parenting to start. You know, those fun, magical, endearing, goose-bump-causing,
Kodak cell phone camera moments that make sense of all the madness.
Sorry to get Tarantino on you, but let’s flash back to when I had the idea for this site. At that time I noticed that my wife had a lot of support from her friends. She was lucky enough to have a few close pals with children roughly the same age. When she needed to talk or vent she had friends to reach out to. Even if it was just a quick late-night email asking about strategies for getting a newborn to sleep. Due to a major design flaw, a clearly over-tired, screaming baby doesn’t just drift off to sleep when placed in a crib and the lights go off. It can be a lengthy process to wind them down and keep them down. Who knew?! Not us. Her friend did, though.
Anywho, I do have a few good pals with kids but they were beyond my parenting stage. My best friend’s youngest was already seven. When I chatted with him about tantrums he didn’t seem to remember much about it. Maybe he got selective amnesia, which is probably a good thing. Or maybe his kids just didn’t behave the same way. Everyone has different parenting situations too – since I’m a (try to) work-from-home dad – I’ve probably had the delight of dealing with more tantrums. Whatever the case, the vent session didn’t go far because I wasn’t getting much feedback. There was no, “Oh man, I feel you! I remember this one time…” So I drank my beer and watched the game. A short while later he mentioned how his kids were fighting constantly and it was driving him nuts. I realized I didn’t have much to offer him in that parenting arena. So he drank his beer and watched the game.
I was really struggling during this new double-kid phase and I didn’t reach out to anyone. For some silly reason (probably similar to why I don’t like reading instructions when putting together Ikea furniture) I like to think I’ve got it figured out. Hell, those Ikea shelves turned out just fine so long as I don’t put anything on them…
My closest friends were either childless or much deeper into parenthood. Our situations were not in sync. Besides, the general vibe with dudes when we’re experiencing a rough patch is usually to, “Suck it up and deal with your shit. Oh, and hurry up, grab some beer on the way over.”
At one point I finally connected with a female friend via Facebook Messenger. She also had two boys nearly the same age as mine. They, too, were wreaking havoc on her life. We shared notes, but sometimes it was just a rant session. And I liked it.
So I thought I would create a platform to bring us dads together during our journey through fatherhood. To connect dads in similar parenting situations so they can better relate to one another. To admit that we’re novices and always will be as our kids age and continue to throw us curveballs. To concede that we’re exhausted, overwhelmed and still mourning the loss of our previous lives. To collaborate on ideas, tips and tricks that just might help each other along the way. But also to be painfully aware that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes the advice floating around the internet telling you how to tame your toddler’s tantrums just DOESN’T EFFING WORK.
We also want to encourage dads and their buds to bond over their babies. Like moms and their pals do. Let’s get excited about it. Let’s have “dadchelor” parties instead of showers. Let’s see our friends’ incoming kids as “game-on!” rather than “game-over!”
And one of the biggest components of PF will be making dads LOL. It is the best medicine during the grueling stages of early fatherhood. So be sure to connect with us at our social media accounts and have a laugh with us.
May sleep be with you,