Parenting

Recognize: Step 1 of Lauchpad Dads Problem-Solving Strategy

 
 

LpD has a very specific method of solving problems as a dad.  The 4 R’s! They are Recognize, Reflect, Research, and “Rock-it.”

Each step will be explained so that you get the full idea behind this problem-solving method. It is important to drop your definition of the 4 R’s and focus on the LpD version of them.

Recognize

Basic but useful.  Recognize begins with you formulating ideas of what your problem may be.  A good question to ask is, “I feel down because?” “I am anxious due to?” and so forth.  Chances are you know what the issue you are dealing with is. Though, not always.

So often we are on autopilot: Point A, to Point B, to Point C, and then sleep. Right?  Psychological distress comes from the avoidance of the problem or buying into what this wonderful society tells .  It’s often exhausting the number of messages we get from society regarding our interpersonal and intrapersonal distress. It’s usually a load of bull too.  

You have to know what you are up against if you are going to work on it.  So what you want to do here is name your problem. “I am depressed.” “I am hopeless.” or “I am a confused mess.”  Slow down and examine the possible names of the problem you are having.

“I’m mad at my wife” may actually be “I’m mad at everybody” but you continue down the path that it’s your wife. If so, then:

  1. This is going to cause unnecessary marital issues.

  2. This problem is bigger than her and extends to multiple people in your life.  

I’m telling you.  It is important to give thought to naming your problem rather than burying your problem.  They fester in their grave. Slow down, take yourself off autopilot and think about what this key problem is.

The second step on this journey is to reflect.


The Good, The Bad, and The Dad: Pressures from Dadhood

Dad’s have it so easy. Actually they don’t. Dad pressures seep in relatively quickly once the big status change hits home. What are these pressures? Well, that’s not easily summed up in a post. But I would like to review 2 of them to get the ball rolling and get you thinking on how to improve.

Pressure 1: 2 Full Time Jobs

The Dad 1.jpg

I commonly hear about the work pressure issues that occur. I hear dads everywhere make the mistake, including this dad writing this blog at one point, “Well honey, I’ve got to go make the money. Good luck with the house.” “If someone doesn’t make the money, Who’s going to?” Or if its a dual income home, “Well I’m dad, not mom. They want mom.”

Bubble burst right here. While your thinking process makes some sense. It still isn’t fair. Imagine going to work and never leaving. Imagine having a bed at where you work that you would sleep in and get out to start work in the morning. Or, for dual income houses, imagine going to work in the morning and then going to work at another job. 1 job is 5 days a week and the other job is 7 days a week.

THE GOOD

Parenting is like another job but its very different one. And just because it is compared to another job doesn’t mean it is horrible or it is a job you don’t like! I use this comparison to easily explain how it is seen in the eyes of your spouse. This then signifies why being a present father is so important. Many dads are proud of their family. It is important the family is shown this through action not word. Well word too, but mostly action

That right there is the pressure! How do you manage your workload and still be a present father in your family? That’s loaded but I have faith in you to ponder this and think about ways to improve. If you get stuck. Shoot me an email at ryan@marriagegeek.com.

Pressure 2: Where’s the Sex?

The Dad 2.jpg

Sex gets complicated after child #1 pops out. What a bummer BUT! not all hope is lost. I assure you, it isn’t. I also want to point out the fact that you’re not just craving sex so stop thinking that way. Its more complex than that.

Sex is definitely part of it but when children are in the mix of your love life, it will likely decrease for awhile. Lets look at why first. Chances are Mom is stressed, Mom is fed-up, Mom is touched-out, Mom has had it, Mom wants everyone to leave her alone, Mom is tired. Also, breastfeeding has been associated with lower sex drive with women. Thanks a lot breastfeeding (its beneficial though).

I’m here to tell you that adjustment time is needed and intimacy is what you are craving more than sex. Its just we are flooded with sexuality from the media, our guy friends talk about it, and it is constantly on a dad’s mind. But you miss your wife and sex is harder to come by for an insurmountable amount of reasons like how long it takes to put the kid to bed. *Siren Blows* You’ve been blocked. Good night.

THE GOOD

Most men go into nagging mode or they go into withdraw mode and don’t talk about their feelings. Both are wrong. You want intimacy and/or sex from your wife? You’re going to need to understand what’s going on. And how do you understand it? By being a present father and husband in your family. Being emotionally available, being patient, and again talking talking talking. Its okay to have your feelings. That being said, your actions are what counts!

Don’t Nag, Don’t withdraw, fight the urge and seek connection. Be helpful and play peek a boo with your kid. Makes sense or starting to make sense? Good. Need help with this? Then reach out. I’m happy to talk.

Dad enthusiast, Dad therapist Ryan Plasch wants to be your everything dad related handbook. Contact him at ryan@marriagegeek.com

Surviving Parenthood: The Importance of Self Care

I have just reached six years of being a father. I have 2 wonderful daughters who I dearly love.  It has been a chaotic and beautiful journey and an endless teacher of life.  I wanted to take a moment to explore the importance of consciously, and I mean “in your face” consciously, caring for yourself.

Woohoo, Parenthood is Awesome

Being a parent is truly a gift.  But problems come when you lose control of your role in the family or in your life.  This takes the form of parent burnout, work burnout, ugly and longstanding disagreements with your beloved, when you feel the kids don’t ever listen and your stressed about it, and a whole host of other troubles you just want to be over.

I’ve been there and likely will be there again next week.  This culture of ours doesn’t make it easy to be a wonderful parent and it is our responsibility to work through this and be one despite the challenge. That’s where parent self care comes into the fold.

Self care isn’t always easy

Do not fool yourself into believing self care is this glamorous concept all of the time.  It isn’t.  Like other “fun” areas of life, we have to work at it.  Ask yourself these questions

  1.   What is my personal definition of self care and what are the activities I enjoy doing?

  2.   Am I currently connected with the activities that help me?

  3.   What can I do for myself right now or the next day?

  4.   What needs to be sacrificed for the greater good of my mental health?

I have to be honest here.  I fail pretty hard at self care and I cringe when I ask these questions to myself.  This, in turn, leads to me letting down my loved ones at times.  The important thing to remember is circling back to self care.  There are going to be days when nothing goes right and that’s when these important questions come to the fore.  Here’s an example of how I would answer them.

  1.  Self care is a process of doing activities for myself that helps to relive my often abundant level of stress.  For me this includes going for walks, reading memoirs or fiction, meditating, studying therapy, and other forms of various media such as shows, movies, games.  Also, sleep. Although, I am often a night owl and I enjoy the house when its quiet.

  2. I am not currently doing many of the activities listed above.  Especially sleep.  I have been missing out on a ton of it unfortunately and its my own fault.  Just being honest with myself.  I have been watching shows alone but this tends to keep me up later and awake longer when trying to fall asleep.  I really miss reading. I just feel so distracted and busy.

  3. Sleep.  I need to go bed at a decent time.  Also, instead of going on social media at night, I need to catch up with my newest book from Yalom.  I think I need to spend the next week prioritizing and early bed time and reading at night. Also, I should try to meditate just before bed. Regardless, I need sleep tonight, I need to read my book tonight, and I need to meditate.

  4.  My sacrifices to accomplish this self-care plan are many.  I am a night owl and do my best thinking at night.  Plus it’s my only alone time after working until 5p or 5:30p, spending time with the girls until about 8p, and watching shows with my wife until 9p.  I will have less alone time that I need to unwind.  However, I will have some alone time.

You get the drift.  The 4th question on sacrifice helps you to be conscious of what your self care plan will interfere with so you are not blind-sighted by it and can plan accordingly.  For me, I may want to ask my wife for us to do our own thing at 8p instead of spending time together for a night.  Another idea is I could ask for an hour after work to relax while giving her an hour, after or before, to balance it out before the girls go to sleep.

Is that all…?

Planning out self care can be a stressful task but following through with the plan is where rewards are gained  Also, it is important to put it out there that certain circumstances will happen in life making self care extremely difficult to come by.  These occur typically when major life transitions happen such as the birth of a child, a new job, the loss of a loved one, or crippling medical or mental health symptoms.  The important thing to remember is not to feel guilty about not taking adequate care of yourself but to COME BACK to self care.  It will always be calling your name so listen for it.