Don’t we all wish we could give our kids the world? Then, reality bites you in the buttocks!
Back in 2005 a book motivated me into leaving the demanding work environment of a Big 4 CPA Firm in New York City in search of finding better quality of life.
This book was different because it was written by someone that I interacted with multiple times. What made Gene standout was that although he was the Chairman of KPMG a large accounting firm he was a very approachable & nice person.
One of the highlights of the book is when Gene writes about the perfect moments in life. Those moments when everything in the Universe aligns and you experience happiness. These moments can arise in the most unexpected moments but what makes them stand out is the experience you leave with.
My Alertness on High
I came back to Puerto Rico in 2006 trying to keep a balance in making money and having fun. Fast forward to 2012 my life took a take a turn for the best. I became less dependent on material things and even closer towards the importance of family.
Since becoming a Dad those perfect moments happen more often. When I see my daughter accomplish a milestone or just observe her as she progresses I get quick reminders that we are only here for a short period of time and I need to cherish that moment.
As I saw my daughter the other day dancing with my number 1 mentor (Uncle Irving) I quickly realized everything had aligned so that my Uncle, Grandmother, Lucy, and I could spend the afternoon together enjoying the breeze coming from the ocean while we listened to a Funk, Disco, and Soul Playlist on Spotify.
Seeing my daughter interact with those who I love was the key component to it being a perfect moment. Seeing how at such an early stage she loves her Tio Tito and how those moments will always be captured in my head and through the lens of a camera.
Tears can Be Added
I tend to tear up often as I am doing now just thinking of the awesome day I had and how I am so blessed to have great people surrounding me who make time to spend with my daughter.
What is a Perfect Moment
To understand the components of what makes a perfect moment we can have a discussion here. I had a special moment before I reviewed this post I was holding my 18 month old daughter while we both look at the moon. I wonder how many more people came before me and did the same. I made it a special moment.
Open your ears, heart, train your eye; enhance all your senses so when that next perfect moment arises you can enjoy it then and there.
I can believe it has been a year already when Rick, Lucy, and I launched this project.
It has been an interesting year and it also marks my second Father’s Day as a Dad. My daughter is about to turn 18 months and reality is that every day I enjoy the joys of parenting even more.
First of all I want to thank Lucy who has taken most of the weight of updating and maintaining the site. Rick does an awesome job to create a piece of art while sharing his experiences as a Dad with the Daddyknows comic strip.
Over the past 12 months we have shared many things we felt might be of interest to you and the rest of our readers. From sharing my advice on how carrots can help with teething to helping you understand a bit more how to recently sharing on how I feel as a new dad every time I reach a Milestone.
Instead making this one of my longer posts I really want to make it very clear that I want to thank you for supporting this effort.
The Definition of a Father
Last year I wrote bout My Papaheroes as my first post. I still feel the same way about my two uncles and dad so I rather share with you guys what being a father means to these three brave gentlemen that shared their thoughts via audio or on text.
NELSON BERMEJO’S AUDIO REFLECTION (IN SPANISH)
- REFLEXION PADRES (Download) by @nelsonbermejo
SUMNER MUSOLF’S QUOTE
My father molded me into the man that I’ve become. As such, I am continuously conscious of the essential role I play in the future of my children, even long after I leave them.
There are few greater gifts in my life than the unconditional love my father gave me, and in turn, the evolutionary, unconquerable love I provide to them._~Sumner Musolf
JULIO R. VARELA’S QUOTE
“Being a dad is being an equipment manager. You work behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly for your kids. Doing the dirty work and not looking for glory. The glory belongs to your kids.” ~Julio Ricardo Varela
For all of you that have collaborated either by posting one of your badges on your site, mentioning us on your blogs, writing a post for us, mentioning us, referring us or any other action we are very happy to have you as part of the Papa Heroes Alliance!
I can write a very long list on the many advantages of having two monitors or more can boost productivity. As a stay at home dad I wanted to share tips I use to accomplish quick and easy tasks.
I use one monitor for doing my primary tasks. Instead of printing out documents, I usually review them on one monitor and make any annotations on the other.
Recently I realized that having two monitors is something that helps me when my 17-month-old daughter needs to be entertained for a short period of time while I still need to get work done.
I put my daughter on my lap and open a new browser window where she can watch her favorite youtube personality and my friend @PayasaAgapita.
To prove how effective this can be, I wrote this post while my daughter sat on my lap and watched her videos.
Give having one or more monitors a try. It might help you read or write a blog post or get a few emails out of the way. This is helpful on those days that your toddler or children needs more attention than usual.
Take a look at one of Payasa Agapita’s Videos. Her videos are great if you or your children are learning Spanish!
Payasa Agapita Video
From my perspective parenting is a team effort. I work hand in hand with Lucy to make sure our daughter has everything she needs and is well taken care off.
Since I see it is a team effort I can’t image how difficult it can be for a single parent. I have a few friends that are single moms and I see how they take the challenge everyday and make a better living for their families.
What is a Typical Family?
Children are tought in school that they should have a mom and a dad. For some strange reason many people expect every family to have the same structure and this is not the case.
I am lucky enough that my parents are still married but when I look at my family structure I consider my Uncle to be my other dad and my grandma in many occasions has taken over the role of mom. I also have a few spiritual mothers and fathers who have guided me along the way and have given me a helping hand.
As a dad, I see how many of the things Lucy and I do that would be difficult to accomplish if we where both not present. We raise Daniela together, run multiple blogs, run a business, and take on multiple projects while balancing other elements of our personal life.
A Single Mama Hero
These past few months I have had the privilege to work hand-in-hand with someone who I did not even realize that I admired so much. I guess when you see that someone is so strong and positive you forget that they are human ( I truly think she is one of the Avengers).
On many occasions I have wondered where my friend Eudeliz hides her cape because she does a such a great job as a mom while chasing her dreams trying to set up her own small business.
I admire Eudeliz because she has always been very driven while being a great human being.
Similar to Eudeliz, I have a can do attitude that when someone tells me it can’t be done and I know I can I focus all my efforts into making things happen.
As I see Eudeliz struggle in building her business, with limited resources and being an awesome single parent, I have to tip my hat off to her. I feel I owe Eudeliz a huge applause for doing such a great job and even more importantly a big thank you for always supporting me in everything I do.
How can we all Help?
How can we help more single parents? Those strong individuals might just need some motivation to get them closer to their dreams.
I want to give her my complete support. I call upon the Alliance (that is you if you are reading this post). It would be very cool if you could do the following for her and I:
- Offer some advice on how to help small business owners who are single parents. (If you are reading this and identify with the title I want to hear from you).
- Leaving Eudeliz a message here on the comments or via twitter @eudelizs while cheerleading her to continue going after her goals.
- Any other suggestion or feedback are also more than welcomed and if you want to contact me directly feel free to do so.
A big applause for Eudeliz for being a Super Hero Single Parent and if you are a single parent and you feel like sharing your story feel free to contact us since we want to hear from you also.
The Alliance and myself send a big salute to Single Parents. You guys rock!
I consider myself to be a new dad (parent), but the other day I was talking to Lucy and we started asking ourselves when do you lose the right to use the title new mom, new dad, and new parent?
Is there something like an old parent?
For me an old parent is one that has had too many kids about 12 and has proven himself as a true veteran or old parent in my mind also translates to grandparent (which I like more).
New makes me love the title more
As humans the word new can be enchanting. I remember getting my 1st Palm Pilot back in 1999 or 2000. I was so happy with it, a few years later I decided to upgrade to Palm 505 which was a color PDA, then two years after that I bought myself a Palm Tungsten T3, and so the story continues to my first smartphone a Palm Treo 650 all the way to now where I have an iPhone 4. I would love to get the iPhone 4s but wanting to upgrade is a bad addiction many people have. The same goes when you buy a car and months later you stop seeing your car as a new one.
Since objects don’t evolve it is easier for them too lose the charm fairly quickly. The experience of being a parent and having children is different since they continue to evolve into new stages with different needs.
Your always a New Parent
I am so attached to the new parent title, I want to keep it for a while and I might have way to do so. Maybe by creating different stages (since each kid is so unique many things will be new):
Newborn → New Parent
Toddler → New Toddler Parent
Teenager → New Teenager Parent
Going through school where you are a freshman in High School and then In college so why not be a new parent at each stage.
Seeing that my mom sees me as her baby I think that after 32 years she is still holding on to the title giving me another excuse to keep the title.
How do you feel about the term new Parent?
One of the things that changed the most since I became a dad is how I start my day. Before I use to wake up and either get ready to take off for a client or answer emails and get to the key things I had to start in the morning.
Since my daughter was born things have changed greatly and I have to say I enjoy my mornings (and the rest of the day) even more.
The Alarm Clock I love
I have never enjoyed using Alarm clocks in the morning. I have always been very good at getting up in the morning at the time I needed to get up at. Plus having a beeping sound alert you to have you wake up is not probably the best way to start the day.
I guess than since I live on a tropical island and the sun is always beaming that is nature’s way of waking you up in a relaxed manner. At my house know I have two alarm clocks one is my Black Labrador Juanga and the other one is my 15 month old daughter.
Our daughter sleeps in her room and we have decided not to put her in a crib so mom sleeps with her on a mattress on the floor. We don’t need to worry about falling out of a crib or climbing over. She rolls right up and goes straight for toys or books that are at arms lengths for her. For the last few weeks she has decided to walk over to my bed in the early morning and wake me up with the most enchanting smile only a Dad would understand.
Wake Up Call
Once she wakes me up she makes hand gestures so I can play music. I reach for my iPhone turn on Spotify and play a diverse selection of my favorite waking up music. We also read a bit especially when she brings books to me. She is more into the images than the text so she ends up pointing at the images in the book so I can name the items or people in them.
While we are running through these activities we might let Mom rest a bit more since she normally takes care of the late night shift. When mom is up it also gives mom the chance to prepare breakfast for everybody.
I have to say that the opportunity I have to spend time with my daughter is one that starts my day in a good way. Running a business with my business and life partner and running other efforts takes up a huge part of my day and sometimes I feel like I have not spent as much time as I wanted. Spending time with her in the morning allows me to have quality time with her and then focus on the tasks at hand the rest of the day.
Working from home also gives me the opportunity that the almost 2 hours I use to spend in traffic in the morning I can enjoy my daughter and walk to my desk.
How do you start the morning? What time of day do you make sure you spend time with your kids or loved ones?
One of the things I learned while being in the military was the fact that teamwork is critical at every level when it comes to accomplishing a mission.
Even something as simple as cleaning the barracks while in Basic Training you have to make sure everyone is pulling their weight and giving it their best. If someone decides to slack everyone else suffers consequences (during basic training it was in many occasions more push ups)
Being part of many teams from the military, sports, accounting, consulting teams, and let’s not forget the @papaheroes alliance.
If you find the right people you can either join or be part of an important team.
A team I joined 15 months ago
Well Lucy and me ended up creating a small team. We recruited our first member by adopting Juanga (our Black Labrador) to keep Lucy Company while I was working late in the San Juan Metro area.
With Juanga we had an idea of what it meant sacrificing to make sure his quality of life was good. Juanga is a critical part of the family. Not only does he entertain us he is the best alert system possible when it comes to letting us know someone is approaching the house.
Youngest member of the team
Months later we found out that we where adding a key member my now 15-month-old daughter. Our daughter has been a key player in keeping our spirits up since the last year has been a very difficult one in many aspects (especially on the business side). Having her do something silly or just offering me a kiss will bring my spirits up and focus on getting everything up to speed.
I have to thank my daughter and Lucy for helping me overcome hurdles by providing me with the love and support they give me daily.
Depending on Other Team Members
My daughter and Juanga are dependent of us for their well-being. In Juanga’s case he will be always dependent. With my daughter we try to make her as independent as possible. She already eats on her own, plays on her own for short periods of time, and even takes the risk of climbing up and down the stairs under our supervision (although we prefer to keep her away from the stairs for know).
However our daughter will be dependent on us for many more years.
Since Lucy decided to Breastfeed our daughter a few nights ago was the first night our daughter was not breastfeed given that Lucy was taking medications and we would rather not have her consume any of those chemicals. Our daughter got very limited sleep which in turn made us get very little sleep because she could not have what comforts her during the evening which is natures pacifier.
We tried substituting with other liquids but we could clearly see that she wanted to be breastfed.
A Well Run Unit
When our daughter is breastfed she is a happy baby. However we see how Mother Nature creates a bond with mom and daughter to the point that when one is not functioning correctly the other one gets affected which in turn affects me (and even Juanga).
Mother nature is incredible in the great way she has planned everything out and we have received great benefits from Lucy breastfeeding our daughter. We have stayed away from doctors other than for vaccines and checkups.
I am fan of breastfeeding and I guess last night was a small loss (of sleep) compared to the great benefits we all have received as a family.
I tip my hat off to those parents where their kids have health issues. I am blessed to have such a healthy daughter and we do our best by giving her the best chances in nutrition and other factors to keep her that way.
If you still are not convinced that breastfeeding is something you should consider as a parent maybe this image we shared previously can convince you other wise.
As a Family how do you keep everything running while keeping your family healthy?
Do you care about your home team?
As a kid we all probably had something that terrified us that we might find silly as adults.
For some reason when I was a toddler, there was a Spanish comedian and ventriloquist named Jose Luis Moreno that had a black raven named Rockefeller who sounded pretty mean and scary. Watch the following video so you can get a feeling of his strange voice. The puppet’s voice still irritates me.
My parents, uncle, and grandma say I was fearless and not afraid of the normal things other kids are afraid of. I would walk around in the dark and actually hide and play games in the drak when other kids would rather not be in the dark.
Why I became scared of Rockefeller the Puppet
Nobody really knows why I was so scared of the puppet. My parents say that I might have been doing something mischievous near the TV when the puppet came out on the program. Not sure why I was left alone near the TV but I guess that is old style parenting and that might be the topic of another post.
Over the years, I was so scared of the Puppet that when anyone mentioned one his signature phrases which sounded like “Cate Nene” it would bring chills. When I was six or seven years old, they puppet appeared on a program and my parents had to shut off the TV because I became terrified once I saw the nasty puppet.
Using fear to get things done
Since a few of my family members knew that I was terrified by hearing the phrase “Cate Nene”, it became a habit that every time I did not want do something, like taking a shower, they would mention the phrase and next thing you know I was ready to go in the shower. I guess it worked perfectly for my family members it got me to do what I needed to get done.
Using Fear is not an Option
I came out fine (Well I think), but I know that I will not be using fear tactics to make my daughter take action on things.
I will look for ways where the communication is healthy enough that I can convey to my daughter the pros and cons. I know there will be times where too much explaining will not be an option and my daughter will just have to get things done because we are the parents and we said so (but I will use that only for certain situations).
What were you scared of as a kid?
Was it used against you in any way?
For the past few months, I’ve heard numerous people talk about Courageous. “A movie that every father needs to watch”, they said. They were correct.
Let me start by saying, I cried like a little girl. There. I admitted it. Now we can move forward. Remember what I said back when I wrote about The Human Torch? Well this movie takes that to a whole new level.
I’m not going to spoil it for you, but let me say that the movie encourages any father to become better at it. To follow God’s guidance and make sure we up-bring our children correctly. But that’s not the end of it. By becoming better fathers, we become better neighbors, better co-workers and better human beings.
The movie has drama, comedy, action, suspense… EVERYTHING. I was baffled by the amazing talent the Kendrick Brothers showed with the script, as well as the talented actors they chose to portray their characters. I will purchase the DVD as soon as I see it. But even more, I plan on buying the book on which the movie was based. I will make the resolution. And you know what?, you just became my witnesses.
Here’s the preview to get you started.
If you saw it or will see it now that I’ve mentioned it, drop us a line on the comments sections. I’d love to now what you got from the movie. What you learned, and best of all, what you will apply on your life now that you’ve seen it.