9 Things Fathers Don’t Talk About

So you’re having a baby.  Congrats.

Perhaps.

Fatherhood is overlooked in the months of pregnancy.  With all the changes happening to the woman, the man, as usual keeps silent and gets on with life.  There are however many unexpected events in a father’s experience that no one talks about, and many men think they are alone in the experience.

 

1.  You won’t love your child.  When they first come out, and for the next few months or so, your primary thoughts will be “What the fuck was I thinking?” and “Will anyone notice if I accidentally drop this thing in the bin?”

The only thing that keeps most kids alive, I believe, is the fear of butt rape by professionals in a large prison.  Otherwise most babies would go into landfill.

 

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

 

You won’t love your child at first.  They are tiny balls of flesh with no personality and nothing attractive about them.  They look incredibly ugly, and yet strangely delicious.  Modern movies however would have you believe that little Northeast will have manga eyes that communicate the secrets of the multiverse with a serene buddha-face that says silently “Don’t worry Daddy, everything’s gonna be alright, the world is an amazing place” as you gurgle into a purpley puddle of affectionate goo.

Bollocks.

Most men, and many women for that matter, have no feelings whatsoever toward their children for the first weeks and months.  It is a lie that we have been sold.  I had to learn to love my boys, especially the first one.  They do nothing, say nothing, screech like animals, and shit all over your nice things, especially your hands (and occasionally your face).

 

2.  You won’t get a full nights sleep for between 3 and 10 years.  That’s right bitches.  Depending on how many kids you have you can look forward to behaving like a alcoholic retard for the next few years.  My vocabulary went down, my immune system died in the ass, and my work capacity went from a ten to a four.  Two to six hours sleep a night for years will do that to you.

Then when they do sleep through, you will wake up anyway because you fear they might be dead.  They aren’t of course.  But they might be.

 

3.  Babies are boring as hell for the first six months.  Especially for the first one, impatience can really get to you as you wait for little TimTam to roll over, smile, goddamn it, just DO SOMETHING!  You want them to do stuff.  They are so, so ridiculously boring.  There really is very little return on investment during this time.

 

4.  They are WAY smarter than you think.  Before having kids I believed that they didn’t develop brains until around five years old.  I have no idea why I thought that, or what I thought happened in that five year period, but there you go.

I thoroughly did not expect my boys do develop intelligence so early on. In their almighty struggles to move, communicate, experience and manipulate, babies and toddlers will educate you on how you became the way you are.  From the moment they are born they are trying to talk and move, and everything we say strikes a chord within them.  You will constantly be surprised (when you are not hideously bored) at the little ways they demonstrate smarts.

 

5.  There are approximately 843,982 ways for the mother and baby to die during pregnancy and birth.  There’s a reason child and mother mortality rates were at holocaust levels before modern medicine; it’s hideously dangerous.  Once I polled all the mothers I knew and found that, had they given birth 200 hundred years ago, over 50% of them would have died.

My wife and I spent several months wondering if I would wake up with her dead beside me from a placental bleed.   If she had sustained a major bleed she would have died in under a minute, and there would have been nothing I could apply pressure to, cos it would come from her vagina.  Fucking great.

 

Just like this

 

The hippies will tell you birth’s the most natural thing in the world.  It is.  For some mothers.  After you’ve seen a woman writhing around for 24 hours or more trying to eject an enormous parasite you may have second thoughts about how simple it is.

 

6.  Yelling at or spanking your kids makes them either a) harder to control, or b) easier to control now, but a bunch of shitheads later.  I’ve been following a no yelling policy with my boys and things have never, ever, been better.  It forces me to get down to the child’s level and understand the context of what is happening.  My boys feel like they are understood, which is 90% of the battle won.  How many times have you felt misunderstood, and crave understanding?  I’ll wager your childhood was full of frustrated moments of incomprehension.  Turn that around for your kids and you’ll reap the rewards.

If yelling is lazy man’s parenting, then spanking is unemployed junkie parenting.  Spastics, tough guys and the uneducated are simply not creative enough to find a reason for misbehaviour.  Well done, by hitting a child you’ve given a solid lesson on how your world works.  You don’t try to solve problems through open discussion, rather you enforce obedience through violence.  You will raise frustrated and (physical or mentally) violent kids.

 

7.  People without kids and parents with twenty-something children know how to parent better than anyone in the world.  That’s the impression you’ll get anyway, after the fiftieth slack-jawed fuckwit tells you “All he needs is a smack on the bum and he’ll be fine.”  Thanks for the info, cocksmoker.  That’s why one of your kids is in a juvenile justice centre and the other one won’t talk to you.

I’ll be the first to take advice if it’s useful, but most of the tards that approach you will be vomiting the same advice: Beat your kids, don’t discuss things with them cos it breeds impertinence, and, oh, beat your kids.

 

8.  Your wife/gf/significant other will create a nest almost as soon as she gets pregnant.  This will mean a change of home, buying a new house, repairs to the existing house, and other large financial changes you may not expect.  The hormonal impact of a pregnant woman has to be seen to be believed.  My wife was, compared to some of our friends, relatively stable, but we still ended up buying our first house very soon after pregnancy.  She was an unstoppable fat juggernaut, which changed our lives for the better.  But it is a little surprising if you are not ready for it how single minded they become on fixing a home for their brood.

 

9.  The vag will change.  Here’s a couple of interesting facts for you to ponder.  If your partner has a vaginal birth, chances are she will be incontinent for a while.  Or perhaps the rest of her life.  Many mothers I know cannot run or play on a trampoline for fear of pissing all over the kids.  This can be solved with pelvic floor exercises, but most mothers are too lazy busy with young ones to practice.

There’s also a little thing called the hierarchy of perineal lacerations.  Not only is it great bbq conversation, it also characterises vaginal tears from childbirth according to size.  First degree tears are tiny, while fourth degree lacerations extend to the anus.  Delicious!  After you pick your lunch off the floor, get your missus some photos off the net, and maybe it will motivate her to do some pelvic floor exercises so you don’t have to fuck a vagina the size of Saturn.

 

There you have it.  If any of you experienced anything and thought you were alone in it, leave it in the comments below.  I’d love to hear it.

 

Ritual De Lo Habitual, Or, I’m Reasonably Sure Jane Was Addicted To Her iPhone: #NoNothingNovember

Breaking habits is Zen in action.  I have to be aware every waking moment, for  my Autopilot works far better than I thought.  He’s basically a fully functioning human being without the capacity for reasonable thought.  He has no problem doing the things I have banned.  It’s slightly scary that he is in control 80% (or more) of my day to day existence..

 

Autopilot
And this is what he looks like. Pretty much a spitting image of me

 

My phone use is proving the most interesting at the moment.  Several habitual situations have reared up like superbly muscled stallions attacked by a bee swarm:

1. I can’t check email on my phone.  This was a deliberate decision, but I  found myself this morning tapping the icon before I’d thought about it.  Autopilot 1, Me 0.

 

2. I can’t check my blog dashboard.  This led me to an internal discussion about what is important about checking Google Analytics, which is the only reason I would visit my site on my phone.  I justified checking by saying that I needed to stay abreast of what was working to attract visitors and what was not.

I then countered with the argument that at this stage of the blog (less than 6 months old and less than 1000 page views a month) checking Analytics was nothing more than useless ego masturbation or crushing ego defeat, depending on what the numbers said.  Statistically, very little would affect blog progress, and there was nothing that couldn’t be handled at the beginning or end of each day.  I then congratulated myself for such a sensible and cleverly constructed argument, and toddled off for a well earned rest.  Me 1, Lawyers 0.

 

3. I like to read phone articles on the toilet.  So now I have to read old piss-stained editions of National Geographic. Did you know a teaspoon of nicotine contains 111 lethal doses?  Useless Trivia 54, Me 0.

 

4. I like to check my phone in bed in the mornings, on weekends and in the evenings sometimes.  Now I have to pay attention to my wife, who also joins me in bed it seems.  Because I don’t have a phone in my face I can put a vagina there instead. Me 4, My Wife 8.

 

5. More seriously, I often look for a moment’s reprieve from the loud, insistent, and occasionally cute onslaught of children.  This is one of the main reasons I have quit the phone for the month; I don’t want to be a role model with a phone in my face 50% of the time.  So many times I answer “Just checking something on my phone”, or “Just sending a message”, and my wife is much worse with constant FaceDouche updates.  My kids think it’s normal to have parents with phones for faces, and I don’t like that.

In addition, this momentary time I get on the phone is never good quality.  I get interrupted constantly, and am rarely able to finish what I am reading.  “What is the point?”  I asked myself in a moment of lucidity, after getting pillow-raped in the head by a five-year-old.

I decided then to actually be there with my kids.  So while I enjoy taking time out for a moment’s rest, in the long run I would rather be an awesome dad, and make the most of the time I have with my fast growing children.

Quality of Life 1, iPhone 0.

The Do’s and Don’ts of being a Dad – Part 2

This is the second instalment of this series.  You can find the first part here.

Lion and cub

Being a dad ain’t rocket science.  Some books and blogs would make it seem like you need advanced degrees in psychology and childhood learning before you can play peek-a-boo.

Don’t take that shit.  Do what I did in the first part of this series and decide what you want your child to be like.  Then, work backwards from there and find the behaviours that will model future character.

It’s really not hard at all, and a lot of it is common sense.  For example, if you don’t want a cruel child, don’t be cruel yourself!  Only a retard could fail to see that.  Are you a retard?

Here’s what I strive for with my children:

Don’t beat up your kids.

This should be obvious.  If you want kids who can trust you fully, you need to restrain yourself. Hey look, I’ve smacked my kids on the bum when I’m at the end of my tether.  I can count on two hands the times I’ve done it in five years.  Sometimes they just know the buttons to press.

When I review the situation after the fact, however, I find that their behaviour is, while not justified, at least somewhat predictable.  To warrant bad behaviour, they are usually

tired: from lack of sleep; a big day at some point in the previous three days; from playing with other kids; from a growth spurt.

hungry: from lack of food; or too much junk food.

requiring attention:  they haven’t got what they need from you in the past 24 hours.

A child usually cannot tell when he is hungry or tired.  How many adults do you know behave badly when they are starving or after a big night out?  Expecting a 3 year old or 6 year old to keep their emotions in check is like expecting a labrador to avoid peanut butter jelly time.

Re: that last point, your kids NEED parent time.  They don’t need a whole lot, but your kids require your undivided attention for a little while at least.  My go-to if I’m tight for time is usually wrestling.  I throw them on the bed or trampoline and go to town on them for a set time.

Ultimately, resorting to violence smacks of a lack of imagination.  Is my child misbehaving?  Should I discover the primary drivers behind this behaviour?  Should I uncover what has truly made my child upset?  Should I perhaps feed him because he is starving?

dad

I’ll just smack him!  

It’s the go-to for stupid people.  I’ve never met intelligent person who believes smacking is the answer.  The people who smack generally want their child to OBEY,  an action with which I am not entirely comfortable.  Obedience opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms, so it will be the subject of future discussion.

This doesn’t mean I don’t discipline my kids!  Kids need boundaries, they need strictness and occasionally severity.  But these are not taught through violence.

 

 

Don’t tease your kids.  

Teasing is the realm of primary school kids.  A tease from a parent is never, ever regarded as a joke by the child.  Name calling or deliberately annoying them in a cruel way destroys self-esteem, which, contrary to what some fuckheads in the manosphere community would have you believe, is as real in a child’s psychology as its sense of family.

If you want a cruel and self-loathing child, please continue with this stupidity.

Once I saw a boy of about 9 or 10 on a swing, with his dad swinging him. The boy screamed with joy.

“WHEEEEEEEE!”

“You squeal like a girl!” his father spat.

The boy shut himself up.  His face became a mask.

The morals taught?  Expression was obviously forbidden, but it was permissible to destroy another’s sense of joy.  Another future dickhead was born in that moment.

 

Don’t do their learning for them.

Most kids naturally have an inordinate sense of patience.  So where do they learn frustration and impatience?  Their parents.

When my son learnt to do his own buttons up, I was tearing up the walls.  I would rather peel my own face off than watch that performance again.

The thing is, I was the only one frustrated. Sitting warmly on my lap, he would find the button, grip it securely, then go to push it through the hole.

And miss. Patiently, slowly, surely, he would again find the button and push through.

And miss.

And again.  And again.  AND AGAIN.

Without a murmur.  His breathing would become measured by degrees, like a meditation master throat breathing.  There was no whinging, no whining.  Just trying.

I, meanwhile, was fighting an losing battle.  My inner dialogue was rapidly retrenching my desire for my son to independently learn.  Each miss sent my chest into spasms, my heart into hammer blows.  I so wanted to show him the way, and get it over with.

I finally got control over myself as my boy proudly showed me his shirt, buttoned beautifully.  His face was calm, beatific.  It had taken him ten minutes.  He didn’t mind.  Only I did.

Kids don’t do things for the end result.  They do things for the doing.  I once saw a one-year-old playing Connect Four.  He was having a lot of trouble putting the coins into the slots.  There was a woman behind him, who, whenever he had difficulty, would slot the coin.

Why on earth would you do that?  Having the coin in the slot is only a sign of success.  It’s not the point of the boy’s exercise.  Remember that next time your child is learning. Children don’t see things as frustrating.  They only want to try things, learn, and wonder.

 

Be in the moment with your kids.

Too often I am merely sitting with my kids.  I am not there.  My mind is elsewhere, daydreaming, reading, on my phone.  I am waiting for My Time (TM).

Being with kids is work.  Hard Work.  They are alive, so full of energy and always totally in the moment.  Playing with them, being with them takes energy, and it is too easy to just be there in body and not in spirit.

That’s too bad, because soon enough it will be gone.  They will grow up. My eldest is five already, and it’s just like every parent says: it goes by so fast.  

Adam Sandler starred in Click, an otherwise forgettable movie.  In it, Sandler finds a magical remote that enables him to play, pause and fast-forward through his life.  His skips all the boring bits, but finds that the remote takes note of his selections, and speeds through other parts that are similar.  In this way he ploughs through life at hyper-sonic speed to his death.

I often feel this way.  Life is the bit lived between work, sleep, meals and parenting.  What is left?  The hour or two a week you spend on your hobbies? No.

All of Life is Life.  Not just the bits you want to enjoy.

If you can live with this in mind, your kids will notice, and respond favourably.

 

“Let me think about that.”

This is one of the most potent and underused tools in a parents arsenal.  You are under no obligation to respond immediately to any request from your kids.  You can take all the time you need to decide whether the request is appropriate or not.

Too many times I’ve reacted instinctively to a request, then later regretted my decision.  The key word here is “react”.  We don’t need to react.  We can take the information on board, actively think about it, then hand down a solid decision.

 

Don’t be a helicopter.  

Hover parents are fucking annoying.  It’s like they have to micro-manage every part of their child’s life.  They make sure nothing untoward happens, that their child is playing appropriately, that their child is bored out of its fucking brain.

They are essentially saying to their child “You are incapable of playing without direct supervision” and “Life is entirely predictable”.

Here’s a tip: stay the fuck away.  Let the little bastards hurt themselves.  Let them eat sand. Let them give Jimmy a Knuckle Happy Meal and feel the consequences of a three-year-old’s burning wrath.

My boys have scars, cuts and bruises you wouldn’t see on grown men.  And guess what?  They are fucking smart, co-ordinated and pumped about life.  Next to nothing scares them.

Many of their friends look like they were pumped out of a factory production line, cookie-cutter kids.  They need mummy’s say-so to try anything new.  They run to dad if they fall over.

That’s all right though.  Our modern world needs plenty of fodder for the future’s factories.  Life is a learning experience, and if you are hovering, you are shitting on your child’s self-education.

 

Be patient.  

A father needs patience more than anything else.  He has a whole family to teach, advise, and protect.  In his realm he needs to be in control.  To lose control is to display weakness and vulnerability to his family.

In extremely specific circumstances losing control is allowable, but 99% of the time it is not. Patience is the ability to remain calm when frustration and anxiety rear their ugly heads.  Patience is not easy. But your children will respect you for it.

Patience is difficult, but it is successfully cultivated through practice.  Become a calm, solid rock for your children.  Be there to listen to them, teach them, and show them the way, and do so in a consistently patient manner.

 

No/low TV time.  

I don’t have a television.  When I mention this, the usual reaction is disbelieving silence.

Then: “What do you do at night?”

My answer is generally “Where do you find the time to watch TV?”

It is amazing that TV is so ubiquitous that to not have one is considered outlandish enough as to be unbelievable.  What is telling, however, is that the next comments after the above dialogue are often excuses about how they try to watch only “good” shows.  Yeah right.

TV hypnotises.  That’s all you need to know.  Look around you next time you’re watching a show.  Everyone looks like they are under anaesthesia.  The jaw is slack, the eyes are glazed, the body is relaxed.

When you are under hypnosis you become incredibly vulnerable to suggestion.  Is that what you want for your children?

In addition TV moralises in often unhealthy ways.  They promote weakness, groupthink, and putting everyone else ahead of yourself.  It tells you what the mob thinks you should find important, and informs you of what should cause you anxiety.

While we don’t have a telly, we do watch shows on the iPad or computer. The best part of this is the lack of ads.  But we still find that the kids want more and more show time.  Shows are great, as every parent knows, because they babysit well.  The kids will be where you left them. But of course the downsides are:

  • TV kids are generally fat
  • TV kids generally have a bad diet
  • TV kids lack imagination, and limit their games to mimic the shows they watch
  • TV kids are more badly behaved and require more parent attention when the TV is not on, because they forget how to play independently

Turn the TV off as often as possible.  The more you do it the easier your kids will find it to play independently.

….

Parenting is a hard task, but it is also problem solving at it’s best.  Working out the reasons behind bad behaviour, and coaching your kids towards being fucking awesome is the best thing I’ve done.  Let me know in the comments what your rules are.  I’m always keen to learn a little more!

The Dos And Don’ts Of Being A Dad – Part 1

Father and Son

 

Being a dad is arguably the most important role in a child’s life after the age of five or six.  This is particularly true if you have boys.  Both boys and girls look to their dads for insight into what it means to be a man and what to look for in a man.  In a psychological sense the father becomes the internal policeman.  If you are a kind, sensitive, yet self-disciplined father, this will reflect in their eventual behaviour.  If you are a cruel, selfish and stupid fuckwit you are sure to see self-destructive behaviour not too far down the track.

What follows is a personal reflection on what a good father should strive for.  Notice I said “strive”.  None of us are perfect, especially not me.  I am prone to breaking almost all these guidelines, particularly when I am tired or hungry.  However I am getting much better as I strive harder, and it reflects in my boys’ behaviour.  When I try harder to be more consistent, more patient and more aware, they too behave better.

 

Opportunity

I want my kids to have awesome opportunities available to them.  But my boys need the skill to see and take advantage of them.  Everyone gets opportunies.  But some of us are too fearful to jump at these chances. Some of us become our own worst enemy, and self-criticise into paralysis.  I’ve been offered many amazing things that I have turned down through fear.  I wouldn’t now, of course.  And I find it hard not to regret it, though I know I was somewhat a victim of my own programs.

It took me at least 10 years of work to get out of my own way, to nullify and replace almost two decades of childhood and adolescent programming.  There was the christian program, the beta-male program, the sexual program.  All were faulty or incomplete for functioning as a happy and satisfied adult male.  All restricted my desire to take opportunity.

As a father I want to show my sons the skills to take life by the throat, rather than live in the shadows.

 

Growth

It’s our job to create an environment for our children’s growth.  A growth environment is varied in its stimulus, and stable in its foundation. Timothy Leary’s Info-Psychology influenced me greatly here.  To grow beyond simple attack/retreat programs, an organism must first feel safe and secure.  A child must be able to go out and explore the world, and then come home to its nest without fear.  I believe this is why we have so many paranoid teenage psychedelic users.  They don’t feel safe after psychonautic exploration; they are scared of parental judgement.

Stability at home means:

  • Consistency – You, as a parent, act in a similar way in similar circumstances. There are not many surprises in terms of discipline, punishment or rewards.
  • Non-judgemental  Regardless of what your child does, you show that you still love them.  You teach that it is their behaviour that is the issue, and that behaviour can be changed.
  • A sense of structure –  The child knows where they belong in the family unit, and have clearly defined responsibilities.
  • Clear boundaries – the child knows what is permitted and what is not, and the boudaries are consistently policed.

 …..

 

My personal guidelines are based on one question: What do I want my kids to be like when they grow up?  In other words, what character traits do I want them to have?  From these end results I have worked backwards to decide on the principles I use.

I know I want them to be

Independent in nature: I don’t want my kids living with me in their twenties.  I want my boys to be paying their own rent, paying their dues, paying their way.  I want them to have a job, no matter how menial, and earn cash for themselves, or to be starting their own business.  I know too many boys in their late twenties living at home, rent-free, not cooking for themselves, not paying their bills. The use of the word “boy” is deliberate.  They are not men, despite their age.  Sure, they might save for a house earlier.  But they are not learning the fundamental skills of being a man.  This home environment stunts development.  Everything is so easy at home. We want to make things more difficult, so we can better handle the REALLY difficult stuff that will arrive soon enough.

Am I the only one that doesn't have mommy and daddy pay for everything?

 

Independent in thought: Being able to go against the crowd is an important trait. It enables one to find what is really important to them, and explore different areas of thought and action.  It allows one to discern when a group is wrong and move to work against them.  GroupThink is insidious, and is becoming more prevalent through FaceBook.  Think you have diverse information coming through that channel?  Think again.  Facebook is a mirror of yourself.  It shows you only what you want to see, again and again, through your use of the “Like” function.  True uniqueness is now incredibly difficult to cultivate.

Non- conformist

 

Considerate of others, but not at the expense of their own well-being. Compassion, sympathy and empathy are all important emotions.  However, some people transform them through personal experience into guilt, and experience them to their own detriment.

I know one girl who was brainwashed at university and felt guilty constantly because of what white people had done to other races.  She loathed the fact she was white, female, and human.  Her consideration for other races and species eventually outbid her means after she gave away all she had, and worked for charities for no money.  Her family is still suffering.

Look after yourself and your own tribe first.  Spend energy on yourself to get where you need to be emotionally and physically.  Only then will you have the power to help others.

 

Respectful to those who deserve respect. Respect is defined as:

1. a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements; and,

2. due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.

Respect in the first definition is for those who earn it through their actions.  Those who inspire us earn our respect.

In the second definition we treat everyone nicely unless our feelings, wishes or rights are impinged upon, or aggression is warranted.  Due regard for feelings and wishes is not for those who are assholes, special snowflakes, or those who have done nothing in their lives and still feel entitled to special treatment.

 

Self-honesty at all times, and honesty to others when required.  Self-honesty is the only appropriate way through this mess we call life.  Looking at our own lives without vaseline-fogged lenses tells us where we are fucking up, and where we are really succeeding.  True insight is a Castanedian Death-on-our-shoulder, ready to show us reality, the real, horrifying, but honest reality.

Too many people blame others for their position in life.  True men take responsibility for where they are, and take steps to learn and create the life they really want.

In my case I was a true fuck-up.  I did blame my parents for a long time, but in the end I had to be honest and see the one who had to change.  Taking a blazingly hard look at myself, I saw that almost everything had to be remade.  If I wanted to be happy and satisfied I would have to start from the bottom on every scale: charisma, strength, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, confidence, and all the rest of those awesome words.  Self-honesty showed me this.

Honesty toward others is a tricky one.  We all tell white (and cream, tan and downright shit-brown) lies from time to time.  True honesty at all times is the most energy efficient method, because keeping track of lies is difficult.  But if you want to make it in the world, you HAVE to lie.

Perhaps a better way of putting it is: be discreet.  Put everybody on a need to know basis.  Discretion is one of my core principles.  I would prefer to omit than to lie.

…..

Next week is The Dos and Don’ts of being a Dad – Part 2.  I’ll cover the principles I strive to abide by while raising my kids.