Posted by: babbo | March 23, 2014

The Loss of Time & the Art of Surviving

Lost Time & The Art of SurvivalI find it hard to believe that it’s been 4 months since my last blog post.

I have plenty to say, but three jobs, karate, swimming, financial stress — and doing my best to be a good dad and husband have left me tired and out of time.

Blogging, which was once done 3X per week, is now perpetually on the back burner. And this makes me sad.

I’ve recently started exercising and meditating again, which is helping me hold everything together. 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there, I feel like a thief stealing time that no longer belongs to me.

Survival trumps just about everything. But if all we focus on is survival, then we’re essentially standing still — or worse sinking in metaphorical quick sand. Yuck.

So, how do we get unstuck?

MOVEMENT.

Especially moving our eyes up & over the junk that lies before us. If we can look past the junk, we can see where we’d like to go. Once we accomplish this, we can take steps to get there. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing one or two major things each week to move my progress forward. And inch by inch, I am moving closer to my goals.

You can do this, too. I know you can. The trick is to stop thinking about it, and start doing it. Put it on the schedule — actually on your calendar — and do it.

Start today. Even if it’s only for 3 minutes.

And remember, you are not alone …

WorkshopForDadsDaddyBrain

 

The Daddy Brain Radio Show: Kids & Conflict

Monday, November 4 @ 7pm CT

Have you ever thought about how to talk with your kids about war and conflict?

It’s a delicate topic that many parents aren’t comfortable breeching. Our first guest, Niki Walker, has written a book called Why Do We Fight, which focuses on helping our kids understand, and think critically, about conflict and war in the world. She’ll be sharing some of her insights on healthy ways to discuss this sensitive subject.

Our second guest, Dr. Mark Brady, Ph.D. will talk with us about conflict and discord within our own homes. We’ll be focusing on conflict between siblings, spouses, parents and their kids — as well as how negative forms of discipline can play a role in children’s perception of conflict resolution.

I hope you’ll tune in on Monday, November 4 at 7pm CT for the Daddy Brain Radio show on the WORT access hour.

Local Listeners Tune in to 89.9 FM

Listen from anywhere in the world by going to WORT Radio’s Home Page and clicking on the “Listen Live” button in the upper right hand corner.

Want to Join the Conversation? I’ll be taking calls throughout the hour at: (608) 256-2001.

And remember, you are not alone …

Posted by: babbo | October 2, 2013

Healing from the Loss of a Child

HealingFromTheLossOfaChild

You might be wondering, what’s the significance of a girl’s T-shirt in a post about the loss of a child? Or in our case, the loss of two children.

For me and my wife it represents our two girls — Skye and Sheila.

And every time I walk into my local Target I’m reminded of them.

Typically, I enter the store through the same doors, the one that leads past the women’s section into the girls’ department. I always look at what’s on display to see what I think my girls would like.

Some may think this is inflicting pain unnecessarily onto myself. But it’s not. It’s a way for me to honor my girls, and even though it hurts it’s important for me to REMEMBER them and acknowledge their existence.

Before we had our two boys, Max and Joss, we had two ectopic pregnancies — the second of which almost killed my wife. These were our girls.

Whether you’re a mom or a dad, if you’ve experienced an ectopic pregnancy, it’s OK to talk about it. It’s OK to hurt. There are more of us in mourning that you realize.

In reality, it’s not something we’ll ever heal from — the pain is something we cope with.

And remember, you are not alone …

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Posted by: babbo | September 8, 2013

The Daddy Brain Workshop for Dads

The Daddy Brain Workshop
Saturday, October 19, 2013

DaddyBrain

WHERE
Meriter Hospital
2650 Novation Parkway
Madison, WI 53713

WHEN
10–11:30 a.m.

TOPICS INCLUDE
- Dad’s emotional life
– Transition into fatherhood
– Co-parenting
– Positive and negative forms of discipline
– Maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner
– Intimacy issues
– Coping with exhaustion
– Bonding with baby
– Second-class parent syndrome
– Goals for dad, kids and the family
– Maintaining a balance, as best as possible
– Supporting mom and and asking for support

For more info, or to register, please visit Meriter Hospital’s website.

And remember, you are not alone …

Family Blogs
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Posted by: babbo | August 2, 2013

Family Time is Sacred

FamilyTimeIsSacredBleet

Every moment with our family is sacred.

It may not feel like it sometimes — like when our kids are bickering or when we’ve heard the Minions version of YMCA (from Despicable Me 2) for the hundredth time.

I notice this truth most strongly when I am away from my sacred space …

My home. With my family.

My goal is to be there more often, and to relish in the gift of this sacred time.

I hope you enjoyed this bleet

Family Blogs
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Posted by: babbo | June 9, 2013

The 80-something Newlyweds

IceCreamSweetheartsYesterday, when I was at the ice cream shop with my boys, I noticed a couple on an afternoon date. They were in their 80′s — yet were sitting together like newlyweds.

It was beautiful.

It made me think of my wife, who’s currently out of town at a conference. I look forward to doing that with her when we’re in our 80′s. I look forward to the gift of every day we have together.

I hope you enjoyed this bleet

Family Blogs
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Posted by: babbo | December 19, 2012

Parenting and the Art of Balance


Do you have balance in your life?

I’ve been struggling with attaining it for years, and along the way I discovered something interesting — it doesn’t really exist, at least not  in the way I grew up understanding it …

Creating a Strong Foundational Balance

Finding balance between work, family and self can seem near impossible. As parents, it can often feel like we’re on a unicycle, constantly trying not to fall off while juggling work, kids, marriage, goals, etc.

But there’s a different type of balance that can be achieved. It’s called our Foundational Balance, and as the name implies it’s the foundation that we stand on while we’re juggling all aspects of our lives.

Our Foundational Balance is the very thing we need to be exceptional as opposed to acceptable. Exceptional parents, spouses, friends and professionals. And yet many of the parents I speak with feel they are just getting through each day, just getting by — instead of moving in a positive direction.

What is Your Foundational Balance?

Although it’s not  the same for everybody, your foundational balance consists basic things you need to excel in life. Here’s mine:

- Sleep
– Exercise
– Meditation/Spirituality/Religion
– Intimacy with my wife

As far as intimacy goes, I’m talking about more than sex (although I strongly advise you have it often). I define intimacy as quality time together — time to talk, date night, planning the future and helping solve each other’s problems.

Your Foundational Balance might include different things. Just remember, it’s not comprised of the things you must do each day. It is made up of the things that you need in order to function optimally.

You are Like a Car …

Think about the pistons in your car. They pump up and down — with great assistance from the motor oil you put in them. Now if I take the oil out of a car, will the pistons run? Yes. Will they pump? Yes. Will they eventually break down? Yes.

The pistons can accomplish their goal of pumping and getting you somewhere, at least least for a limited amount of time. But they are not going to be working efficiently.

They are not going to be anywhere near optimal.

You are the same. Without having a solid foundational balance — having your oil changed, your tires rotated, having enough gas and receiving timely tune-ups — you are going to run like a clunker!

And remember, you are not alone …

Family Blogs
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Posted by: babbo | August 8, 2012

Coping with Exhaustion

Exhaustion.

It’s something that haunts my existence constantly these days. And if you’re a fellow parent, chances are you feel the same.

The question is, how are we coping with our exhaustion? Are we treating our kids and our spouse in a way we’re happy with? Or are we constantly crabby, finding it hard not to be set off by the smallest thing.

When it takes just about every ounce of focus for us to accomplish just what needs to be done today, how do we find the time and energy to work on improving our family’s future?

I’ve become accustomed to feeling exhaustion. It’s the new normal. Problem is, I don’t see any relief in sight.

But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up.

What I’ve found is that if I continue to work on what I call my foundational balance – which consists of exercise, sleep, eating well, some form of meditation, and having an occasional date with my wife – I’m still exhausted, but my temperament is far more positive.

I’m the first tot admit that when I don’t work on my foundational balance, I’m no fun to be around.

What about you?

And remember, you are not alone …

Family Blogs
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Posted by: babbo | August 4, 2012

Engineering Better Kids

Every child has his or her own personality.

But how do we discern what parts are genetic, as opposed to learned?

Both my boys are awesome kids, but my older son has had a growing tendency towards whining and complaining.

Condemning him for acting this way would be a bad choice. But allowing it go on unchecked would be just as bad.

What it comes down to is that whining and complaining are habits my son has developed to cope with certain situations. And the more we use habits – just like a muscle – the stronger they get.

My job is to call him on his behavior, AND to help him find alternative behaviors that are more positive.

If we allow our kids to whine and complain, back out of commitments, be rude to their siblings, etc, we’re creating adults who are likely to do the same. In other words, we’re disabling them. The trick is to help our kids without making them feel bad about themselves.

Not an easy task.

Which is why when we’re trying to engineer better kids, we have to start by re-engineering ourselves.

And remember, you are not alone …

Family Blogs
blog

Father’s Day.

It can stir up strong emotions and memories for many of us. Some good, some bad.

Join me for the Father’s Day Edition of the Daddy Brain Radio Show on Monday, June 18th, 2012 @ 7pm CDT.

You can listen in from anywhere in the world! See details below.

The Topic?
How the way we’ve been treated by our dads has shaped who we are today – for better or for worse. We’ll also take a look at how our relationship with our dads has shaped the way we treat our own kids.

It’s true that Father’s Day is an opportunity to honor our dads, but it can also be a time to reflect on our own lives – who we are, who we want to be, and if we’re affecting our kids’ lives in positive ways.

I hope you’ll tune in on Monday, June 18th at 7pm CDTfor the Daddy Brain Radio show on the WORT access hour.

Local Listeners
Tune in to 89.9 FM

Listen from Anywhere in the World
Just click on the following link to download live online streaming audio in either MP3 or AAC format. It’s as easy as clicking a button to start listening!

http://www.wort-fm.org/listen.php

Want to Join the Conversation?
I’ll be taking calls throughout the hour at: (608) 256-2001.

And remember, you are not alone …

Family Blogs
blog

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