Archives for posts with tag: Parenting Tips

The worst part of my life is the amount that I travel. Yes, it’s the coolest part of my life, too, but you know… it has its drawbacks.

Don’t get me wrong, traveling is probably the most important part of my life from a career standpoint, too. I encourage my business travel, as it’s generally the main source of leads for me. Plus, let’s not kid ourselves, I do go to amazing places, and have amazingly good times.

But, it can be really depressing getting texts from Dibs of her and Gray playing and having an awesome time. It’s rough on dads to be away from their kids so often. You’re often left wondering if they’ll even remember you when you get home. It’s a source of constant frustration for me.

With that said, I thought I’d try and put together a little survival guide for other dad’s who, like me, travel entirely too much.

1. Photos, photos, photos – Dibs is very good at constantly sending me photos of the little guy when I’m on the road.

2. Video chat – While my schedule to compared to theirs often doesn’t allow for this often (different time zones, etc), the best possible way to connect is to video chat with them.

3. Education – Let’s be honest here. When you’re at home with the wife and kids, it doesn’t really allow for much “you time.” (Openly admitting I get me time will likely land me on the couch tonight.) This is a perfect opportunity to catch up on books to help you be a better dad and husband. I recommend Brain Rules for Baby, which was given to me by my friend, Beau Lebens. (More on this book soon)

4. Short trips – Really, that’s the best thing you can do. Try and schedule full days of meetings in order to get in, get out and get a lot accomplished. I used to go to conferences and wing it. Now, I’m a lot more diligent in reaching out to potential leads, and setting up meetings before I arrive. This way I can be a lot more productive in a shorter amount of time.

5. Drink a lot – This way, you don’t have to think about what you’re missing out on too much.

In an ideal world, I would never have poop on me.

This is not an ideal world.

No, this is a world covered in poop. I am the world. I am covered in poop.

I know what you’re thinking, “Toph, what’s the deal, buddy? Why can’t your kid keep it in his pants?” To be honest, I have no idea. We’ve tried so many different types of diapers. We’ve tried the Pampers Swaddlers and the Huggies Little Snugglers and still poop comes pouring out.

(Yes, you’re reading this correctly. Another edition of Gray’s poop stories)

His favorite place to poop seems to be on me. When I have him in the position that’s photoed in this post, forget it, he’s going to poop on me. As soon as I feel the rush of poo, I pick him up quickly and sprint to the changing table. Too late. I’m covered.

We do seem to have a bit more success with the Little Snugglers.

I think the biggest problem is the amount of poop Grayson produces. Seriously, when he lets it go it’s everywhere. When he goes more than day without pooping, our house is on Threat Level Red. Expecting parents prepare yourself. When these kids poop, it goes everywhere. It goes between their leg creases and under their huevos. The best part is when they start kicking their legs and get their feet in it. The whole thing escalates quickly. Next thing you know your kid is covered in poop and Brick killed a guy with a trident.

My steps to avoid this disaster (though futile) are:
1. Removing socks and pulling up onesie as high as I can.
2. Trying to clean his butt with the existing diaper as much as I can.
3. Holding his legs up while I get more wet wipes.
4. High pressured water hose.

When you’re traveling with him, I also recommend packing a few freezer bags in his diaper bag, plus an extra outfit (or two, depending how long you’ll be gone). The freezer bags help to protect the contents of the diaper bag after an explosion. Just be careful not to leave the poop-laden clothes in the diaper bag too long. Trust me. I opened a 2 day old bag, and it fried my nose hairs off. Sure, it was good to get rid of some unwanted nose hair, but there are better methods.

“I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Never has a song lyric meant so much to me. Being in a city with a baby where we have no family, we’ve leaned on our friends pretty heavily.

Let’s be honest, everyone says when you have a kid, you’re going to lose your friends. Well, I quite like my friends and I definitely don’t want to lose them. Sure, we can make some new ones along the way, but we have great friends now. Just because they don’t have kids, doesn’t mean we have to lose them. Granted, we’re not going to be getting wasted till 2am every night (some nights… one night a month? year?), but we can still be a part of their lives and vice-versa.

We haven’t taken them up on babysitting quite yet, though they have marked it our calendar, but we have used them for just about everything else.

Thought I’d share with you guys some ways to get your friends involved without going to the bars every night. Believe it or not, they do want to still be a part of your lives.

Invite Your Friends Over – We’ve found this is has been the easiest way to hang out with our friends. Sure, you’re place might be a mess, but at least you’re most comfortable there. Plus, if you need to breastfeed, you can escape to the bedroom, if it makes everyone more comfortable. We’ve been having people over for Cowboys games, and it has gone really well. They get to hang out with Gray, hang out with us, plus, root for the Cowboys.

Lunch/Brunch – We’ve found that Saturday/Sunday brunch has been easily manageable with Gray. We’ll feed him before we go and we’ll take a bottle just in case. We haven’t really had any problems, which is good. No one wants to be around a baby crying and acting like a fool at a restaurant. Sure, our time will come, but it hasn’t yet.

Visit Friends Homes – Same concept as hanging out your place. As long as they’re cool with you feeding at their place. As I mentioned before, we had our first friend’s house visit not too long ago. Everything went really well. It was like the foundation of being out of the house more.

Walks/Workouts – Our friends have accompanied Dibs on walks around the neighborhood and workouts down at Marina Green. Once we get a BOB, then we’ll be able to do more of this.

Free Babysitters – Finally, you’ll eventually trust one of your friends to look after your little person for at least a couple of hours, when you go on your first date away from the baby.

Escaping with Your Friends – Sunday night was my first time to escape (non-work-wise) with my friends, as we went and played golf. I’ve forced Dibs to have ladies nights, too. It just really helps to lean on your friends to get a break from the daily goings-on of parenthood.

If you have great friends, then they’ll offer to bring you food, take you out