Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Postpartum Depression for Dads? Com'n Man!

Heard about this article in Newsweek on talk radio the other day. Just had to look it up and read it for myself.

It's written by Joel Schwartzberg, a columnist and PBS producer. He writes of his struggles as a new dad. Please, read it for yourself then see if you share the same reaction.

Basically he takes about 800 words to say he's selfish.

"When a child was added to my life, it was as if something enormous and coveted was subtracted in return, and the transaction left me reeling, like someone who'd just gambled away his soul."

"...not 48 hours after we returned home with our boy, a truth dawned on me with shocking force: my life was gone. Movies, sleeping, long showers—all gone. We became slaves to this tiny new thing living in our home, and there was no going back."

You learn that a few visits to a psychotherapist helped him discover that what he was actually dealing with was male postpartum depression. SERIOUSLY?!?!? Since when did men experience hormonal and physiological changes after NOT carrying a baby in their bodies for 40 weeks that led to uncontrollable depression as Schwartzberg describes?

As you read further you learn that his wife calls him out.

"My wife seemed to consider me selfish and irresponsible. She was tired, she'd say, of parenting both of us. Even when the bickering ended, the wounds never healed. Our marriage took a fatal hit."

Okay, timeout here. Your wife takes priority over everything. If you can't get your marriage straight, you ain't gonna get parenting straight. That's the struggle any new dad can attest to. Your family is growing and the newest member requires constant attention, so how do you maintain your relationship with your wife? Being just as needy as the newborn yourself won't do it.

In the end the writer comes around and realizes his son needed him all along. Took him nine years to realize it! But the sad part is he just dismisses the whole affair by claiming to simply have been a "lost" father.

Now, as a father to a 16-month-old son, I can relate to some of the writers feelings. Late night feedings and sleep deprivation, the constantly dirty and wet diapers, spit up covering every horizontal surface, a house that isn't always as tidy as it once was, etc. These things can wear on you and cause frustration and fatigue, but there's a name for it. It's called parenthood. It's not postpartum depression! It's called fatherhood, which means you now have a responsibility not only to your wife, but also to your son.

So, as you can see I'm a bit fired up by this article. What are your thoughts? Can you relate to the writer? How did you handle the transition to fatherhood?

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Scariest Sight I've Ever Seen

Yesterday I witnessed an image that will not soon be erased from my memory.

I was home alone with my 15-month old son. My wife was performing at church and would not be home for another couple hours. I fed my son his lunch and put him down for his nap. It was exactly noon.

Here's where things got ugly. I, in my very ambitious go get 'em parenting style, was hoping to begin to break my son of his pacifier addiction this weekend, so I put him to bed without it. Naturally he threw quite the fit, but I told myself, "Self, let him fuss for 10 minutes. If he's still fussing, go in his room, remind him it's nap time, give him a kiss and leave him be."

12:03 p.m. - I began to make myself a man-sized lunch. Fried pork chops and oven-baked fries. Yum.

12:06 p.m. - My son was still fussy, rather vigorously, but nothing out of the norm.

12:10 p.m. - I went to check on my son who was still crying, but not as loudly. I opened his door to find him covered in blood. His entire face smeared with blood. Blood on his hands, arms, pants, sheets, blanket, crib. Blood everywhere. It was the scariest sight I'd ever seen.

12:10 and 3 seconds p.m. - I snatch him up and whisked him off to the bathroom, apologizing profusely for letting him cry all that entire time. "I'm sorry buddy. I didn't know you were hurt. Oh, I'm sorry. How long have you been bleeding? Come here. Daddy's got you. I'm sorry."

12:10 and 42 seconds p.m. - I grab a wash cloth and immediately begin cleaning him up and searching for the source of the bleeding. My first guess was a bloody nose, but that wasn't it. He had blood in his mouth. Did he knock a tooth loose somehow? No.

12:12 p.m. - Finally I discover the source of the bleeding. He'd split that thin, little piece of skin that attaches your upper lip to your gums.

My guess is he was throwing a fit in his crib and banged his mouth on the rail. The bleeding had slowed, but didn't stop. So I decided to have the pros take a look. I took him to the nearest immediate care center.

The doctor there was very reassuring. By the time she saw him the bleeding had completely stopped. She told me several times I did the right thing, which was all I needed to hear.

No need for stitches, it will heal on its own.

Mommy arrived home shortly after us at which point we found a pacifier and put our son to bed with a heaping helping of hugs and kisses.

We can wait until another day to break the pacifier habit, whadda say?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Somedays It's Hard to Be a Fan

When your team does something like this:

Cutler thinks he is still on trading block

and this

Marshall arrested for disorderly conduct

As you probably know I'm a die hard Broncos fan. Loved 'em since my youth. Will love them 'til I die. But this has been an unusual off season. So far the head coach of 14 years (who also won two Super Bowls) was fired and a new coach (with no head coaching experience) was hired. Two pairs of the GM trio were fired and the new GM and head coach are shopping the franchise, pro bowl quarterback. So now he's upset and hurt and not interested in talking to the team brass. To add insult to injury our young, pro bowl wide receiver has been arrested again which will probably result in a lengthy suspension (my guess is 8 games).

It's times like this that it's hard to be a fan. I'll support my team through thick and thin, but if they loose their talented young QB, the leader of the team, because a new head coach and GM screwed up than what am I cheering for? A mascot? A city?

It's times like this you realize you're cheering for the players and the coaches. I'll pull for whatever team Mike Shannahan goes to next year and if Cutler leaves I'll pull for his team too, but I'd much rather they just stay put. The new young coach will grow on me and he was rather quickly as of late, but these lastest shenanigans are two big steps back.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Credit Crisis for Dummies

Found this little gem today. Explains in simple terms why banks are failing and how it really does all go back to credit.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

I like to think I'm a pretty bright guy, but I've not been able to follow this whole mess. This helped me clear it up and also reassure me that not owning a home at this point in life is probably the best thing imaginable.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ear Worms Anyone?

I don't follow music as ferociously as I used to. That is, unless I stumble across it I'm probably not gonna hear it. That said, the one band I anticipate new things from is Mute Math. They released an new EP this month.

I'm listening to it for the first time on (also something new I stumbled across). Good stuff. Worth a quick listen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"...create or save jobs..." O-BINGO!!!!

Looking for something to do tonight during Obama's quasi-State of the Union address? I am, but instead of turning the TV off, I'll be playing along at home. It's O-BINGO Time!

The American's for Tax Reform have taken the otherwise politically mundane and turned it into family fun. Pretty sad though when you've regurgitated the same lines over and over enough for some outfit to create a game based on your empty phrases.

The best part is they have 4 different cards so you really can play along at home.


What kind of survivor are you?

I've quickly become hooked on The Glenn Beck Show on Fox News. I've set my DVR to record it everyday. He's on at 5:00 p.m. here. If you haven't seen him yet, check him out. He's honest, sometimes blunt, and often times funny. I think if I had a news/political commentary show it'd be just like The Glenn Beck Show.

Anyway, enough of that. Last Friday he had Ben Sherwood on who wrote "The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life." Beck was considering some worst case scenario possibilities with all the strife that is developing in our country. He took a what if approach rather than the Chicken Little angle. Very interesting.

Sherwood has a quiz you can take to determine what kind of survivor you are. Everyone will fit into one of his five categories. Check it out. I'm a realist. What are you?

Friday, February 20, 2009

I've got no complaints

Here's a video from Kanye West. Not a fan, but found this on a church + media blog I read. Wanted to share it.

Seems like everyone wants a piece of the rock star life, whether it's the fame, the money, the travel, the comfortable lifestyle, but maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be...

KANYE WEST "Welcome To Heartbreak" Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

I've got no complaints, no regrets. I love my family and I love my life.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where's the missing page?

I read the story of God testing Abraham today (Genesis 22). You know, the one where God sent Abraham off to sacrifice his son, but just before he goes through with it God stops him and blesses him for being so faithful.

I gotta believe there's a page missing somewhere. I mean, here you have Abraham, his son and a couple of servants heading out into the wilderness. Abraham leaves the servants and goes with his son to build an altar and offer a sacrifice to God. Isaac astutely notices that they have everything they need for their act of "worship" (I love that) except the sheep.

I can picture the scene... Isaac is walking along side his father, carrying as many branches has his little arms will hold. Abraham clutches the flint and the blade as his hands begin to sweat. He takes long, deliberate strides, staring into the distance as he considers the deed at hand. Isaac is doing all he can to keep up.

They walk silently. Abraham asking, "Do you have it son? We're almost there. You're doing good." Isaac calls back, "Yes, Dad. I'm alright."

A few paces more. Reluctantly Isaac speaks up. "Dad?" "Yes, son." "We have everything we need for the sacrifice, but where's the sheep?" Abraham, mouth dry and heart sinking, replies, "God will provide one, don't you worry." He's proud of his son, both for his quiet obedience and his keen observation.

They come to the place where God directed them. Abraham gathers a few large stones, rolling them into place. Isaac follows suit with smaller rocks. The altar is completed and Isaac passes the wood to his father, still curious about the sheep.

At this point I realize, something is missing. Clearly a page was left out of the original manuscript, because what follows next is Isaac being tied up and placed on the altar. Where's the dialogue? Where's the explanation? Surely Abraham had to explain to his son what was going on. Surely he told him what God said--how God instructed him. What child would, without explanation, let his father bind him and prepare him for sacrifice? Something is missing from the text.

As a father to a son I want to know what Abraham said. How did he convince his son to be the sacrifice? What did he say?!?!

But God in his infinite wisdom left those details out. It's not for us to know. I could be that Abraham had raised such a faithful and obedient son that he didn't have to explain anything. That's what I like to think. And that's the most challenging part of this entire story.

How can I, like Abraham, raise such an obedient son that the only explanation required of me is, "It's the Father's will"?


Someone Famous Once Said...

"If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated,
let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does
in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right."

-- Bill Cosby