Thank you to all those who have expressed interest in the upcoming season of dad/men's classes. The fall and winter schedules for "Becoming a Ninja/ Frontlines of Fatherhood Wellness Development (for fathers and men)" as well as our other classes for active dads, infants and toddlers (all taking place here in the South End of Boston) are currently being finalized. Email me directly at email@example.com or subscribe to the blog to be the first to know about the fun journey we'll be taking together.
Gentlemen of the Boston Dads Group, City Dads Group brothers, active dads and notable fathers,
Happy Father's Day.
Thank you for taking the time to occasionally meet up with your fellow dad. The fruit of such important camaraderie stands apparent and our opportunities for fellowship appear to be increasing organically in earnest. That’s no small feat. You can feel the fervor active dads have created.
I salute you all. The day is ours gentlemen.
The Boston Dads group, Co-Organizer
Recently I sat down with Christie Sweeney (Program Director, Parent Connection at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) to introduce our community of active fathers to the hospital as a possible outlet for new dads in their network. Beth Israel's great and I love'd our experience there two years ago. I remember CJ took advantage of a feature in Parent Connection which pairs new moms with volunteer mentoring moms after the baby is born, plus we took some great classes and the food was great during our stay, and I happen to have been born there myself. ;)
"The Parent Connection is a free service that offers new moms groups in several community locations as well as a mentoring moms service where parents are matched with a trained, volunteer mentor who provides weekly phone call support through the first twelve weeks post-delivery."
Anyhow Beth Israel then did an awesome thing and blogged about our group. It was that blog post, our original conversation and finally a somewhat serendipitous confirmation from CJ that spawned this idea below.
We had just sat down to a screening of the movie Belle which I was pretty excited to take her to. It was only our THIRD movie since the baby and it's the sort of period piece she'd like. The lead is beautiful (I like) and it's based on a true story. So what better way to kick off Mother's Day fun than a midweek flick without the toddler? We arrive early (shocker), take our seats, and after a second trip to the front the popcorn is now adequately salted and buttered to her liking. The lights dim, the chatter decreases and the score fills the theater. Just before it starts CJ lightly exhales and whispers "I just need a break". Well I stand corrected. Don't get me wrong the outing was appreciated but my epiphany was the realization that all she really she needed was some rest, relaxation and time off. Which I totally understand.
Well ask and you shall receive woman. BAM! (Tommy Davidson voice)
So dads listen. You can print these, forward these, email these, text these, or simply make your own. Give her 2 days off, redeemed at her discretion, and maybe even save a little bit of money on that "filler" gift that you sometimes add in just to make sure you've taken care of her adequately on her day of days.
Or mom feel free to nudge dad or point him to these or to print them yourselves. Make it easy.
When you cash in a coupon if you want snap a photo or write an update using #BMDGE to be reposted on Tangible Transmedia's twitter/instagram and/or the Boston Dads Group accounts.
Happy Mother's Day!
Not to sound too much like a commercial, but it is in fact an Easy Decision for this dad when it comes to choosing brands that get me.
Make sure to view video in HD.
Once, possibly twice, during my first three months of parenthood I found myself huddled in my home office, secretly and somewhat reluctantly shedding a tear in the dark. A very dignified and manly tear that is. The kind that well up and gloss over just the bottom half of the eye before stoically leaping from the eye like a Red Bull cliff diver descending in a super quick, unquestionably deliberate, straight line down the cheek, never to be seen again. (Denzel Washington did it in Glory, I last did it in 1986 when Optimus Prime died after battling Megatron).
Well, this tear was brought on by a combination of things. My newborn's consistent, piercing screams, the unexpected disagreements with her mother on what to do during those times, my guilt for the occasional "bad" thought many parents have felt at some time but rarely admit and my unconquerable writer’s block. I remember wondering if I was "depressed a little". I had been feeling this way for longer than I cared to admit and I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling. And as a man I didn't necessarily know what to do except secretly cry in the dark.
It wasn't until we were at CJ's first checkup after giving birth to our daughter that I even thought about my manly tear incident again. Typically at this appointment women all over the country are asked to fill out the Edinburgh Depression Scale to find out if their experiencing "signs or symptoms associated with postpartum depression." After reading the questions I started uncomfortably laughing a bit because as she was answering them I began to feel like someone should be asking me the same questions. Now I realize I didn't have to carry or give birth to a 7lb human being but I have been there from day one and every day since the baby was born. It's not like the consistent shrieks and cries of an inconsolable baby or the physically and emotionally draining late nights and resulting sleep deprivation were her's to experience alone. (My journey to becoming a ninja father started at conception. I'm hands on. That’s been my choice). So yes I was up with her helping out (and suffering just the same) as much as I could through all of those early tests of parenthood. And maybe it wasn't postpartum depression I was experiencing but something was going on inside of me. The first three months are one of those stages where I do believe certain mothers are better equipped than fathers to withstand the irritability of their newborn. CJ didn’t seem to be as emotionally affected as I was.
So when CJ was filling out the form I decided to make a column for myself next to her's so I could answer the questions too. We went in and I of course made light of my little “cry for help” that manifested itself in the form of a drawn in column on a postpartum questionnaire and so she laughed a little too, we all laughed and then we got back to focusing on CJ.
Men's mental health is rarely discussed and almost taboo in some scenarios. This is another reason for why I have shaved my face and started to grow a mustache this month to raise awareness and funds for the Movember movement. For the past ten years, the movement has raised funds and awareness to combat Prostate and Testicular Cancer. Movember has since brilliantly added mental health to this already impressive slate of men's health issues that it successfully battles. Please help Movember to keep fighting the good fight to keep men healthy and sane – donate at HTTP://MOBRO.CO/JAMESMAHAFFEY.
best viewed in HD
Currently I have a few friends that are expecting their first child in the upcoming months. And so I decided to write this post about the final hours leading up to my significant other's water breaking. Keep in mind she was determined to deliver our first child with her doctor.
Tuesday of that week our doctor told us she was scheduled to deliver babies at our hospital that Thursday and that if we wanted to deliver with her (and not with some other doctor we've never met) it would need to happen Thursday. We went home and begin to make a plan. We heard the rumors that having sex, walking or eating spicy foods could help induce labor. So we tried all three and none seemed to work.
By Wednesday evening there were still no signs of her water breaking. So I went online and looked up other methods to "induce labor". I quickly came across a video that claimed it could help you induce labor with acupressure. So we watched the video together and I performed the simple moves on her hands and ankles. She sat on my lap and we went back to watching movie trailers on the computer (one of my favorite past times.) Well what do you know? Within 20-30 minutes her water broke while sitting on my lap. This was Wednesday night.
So we went to sleep because we wanting to labor at home as much as possible, woke up the next morning (Thursday) and she delivered the baby at 7:30pm that night with her doctor. Mind you she was also politely notified by the wonderful nurses who had been assisting with her labor that their shift was ended at 7:30pm and that a new set of nurses would be coming in then. And she very quickly delivered before the 7:30 deadline. So maybe this story is really about my S.O.'s mind-body control. True story.
To the left is my family. Taking care of myself is one way I take care of them. This is why I "Mo" during the month of Movember. I've committed my face to the Movember movement and will be growing a moustache for the entire month to raise funds and awareness for men's health. Now it takes me a long time to grow facial hair so this could take awhile. But if you'll laugh with me along the way for 30 days I'll join thousands of other men around the world who are very visibly raising awareness and funds by prompting private and public conversations about men’s health-- prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men, as well as mental health issues like depression, anxiety, psychosis, and schizophrenia.
I’d like you to support me as I fight the good fight. You can donate to my moustache by:
1. Donating online at HTTP://MOBRO.CO/JAMESMAHAFFEY
2. Writing a check to 'Movember', referencing my registration ID: 6675433 and mailing it to: Movember US, P.O. Box 1595, Culver City, CA 90232
Your donation will support world-class men’s health programs that combat prostate and testicular cancer.
These programs, directed by the Movember Foundation, are focused on awareness and education, living with and beyond cancer, and research to achieve our vision of an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.
To find out more, visit the programs section of Movember’s website: HTTP://US.MOVEMBER.COM/PROGRAMS
Thanks for supporting Movember and helping me change the face of men's health.
My daughter occasionally likes to wear her halloween costume from last year. And hell why not? I would too if I had a cool costume. And on this particular day she insisted on showing me her newest accomplishment.
Boston Dads Group is a diverse community of fathers who take an active role in our children’s lives. We seek to create an online meetup group to bring fathers together in person. We'll meet several times per week, with our kids, at parks, playgrounds, museums, parent-and-me classes, and living rooms across the greater Boston Metro area. We'll also organize parenting workshops and dads-nights-out to give our members an opportunity to socialize, learn, and support each other as we navigate parenthood.
Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) #FellowNinja