June 16, 2016

To the Man Behind the Door

I know that you are scared.

You have no idea what is going to happen on the other side of that door. The world as you know it is about to change. You think life is moving pretty fast now, but as soon as those doors open up, it's going to get exponentially faster.

I know why you are crying.

You aren't sure if you are ready for this.  Trust me, nobody really is. The door that sits in front of you is like a portal to the unknown.  It's a whole different universe; filled with sleepless nights and hours upon hours of worry. You will worry if you are good enough. You will worry if you are doing enough.  You will worry that you worry too much.

I know what you can expect because I sat in that same seat.

I was you.  I was the guy that really wasn't into your wife's pregnancy that much.  I was the type that needed it to be over and have the baby arrive before I showed any sort of emotion.  Nothing was real until I heard a tiny baby cry and the doctors yell out, "It's a boy!" That's when it hit me; it was no longer just about me.

I know what you are feeling.

What if I'm not a good dad? What if I yell a lot? What if the baby cries? What if they hate sports? What if they hate me? All of that will happen and more.  There will be so many emotions that hit you as a parent that you didn't even know you had. You will cry when your baby takes his first steps, you will cry when your baby scores their first soccer goal, you will cry when you drop off your baby for the last day of preschool. The point is, you will cry all the time.

And that's OK.

I will leave you with one bit of advice before I leave.  None of us really have any idea what we are doing.  None of us are experts. We're all in the same boat. Just go through those doors and be there.  Be there for your kid.  When they need you... BE THERE.

Go through those doors and thank your baby for the man you are about to become.

This Father's Day Pampers celebrates the incredible feeling little ones bring to the hearts of dads through unconditional love. On Father's Day as well as every day Pampers is giving thanks to babies for making dad feel exceptionally special and empowering him to discover new roles through fatherhood. Pampers is honoring dads for all that they do.  Please join them in tweeting why you are most thankful for baby using the hashtag #ThanksBaby.

You can find Pampers on the web at Pampers.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

DISCLOSURE: I partnered with Life of Dad and Pampers on this promotion.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 9, 2016

Somewhere a Garden Grows

I've come to realize something as I've gotten older; I can build things with the best of them, but I can't grow things to save my life.  If I had to rely on my gardening skills to feed my family, we'd all be dead in about a week's time. I'm a big fan of the grocery store though where I can walk in, pick up some produce, then go home and cook it.  I've never had the patience to wait for MONTHS while food grew in my back yard.

My parents are gardeners.

Since I was little they have always had a garden.  Some years the garden grew great, others not so well.  When you are growing your own food you really have to rely on Mother Nature for everything.  Too much rain and your crops won't grow, too little rain and your crops won't grow either, throw in some pests like squirrels and rabbits and you wonder how any of us have any food to eat.

My kids love the idea of having a garden.  We used to go to my parents house every Memorial Day weekend to help them get their garden growing, then come back at the end of the summer and be amazed at how much everything grew.  The garden even got them to start eating vegetables... well some anyway.

I've tried my hand at gardening on my back deck.  I ran into a few problems with that though. I had so little space that the only thing I could grow was cherry tomatoes and peppers... neither of which we really eat. Also I would always forget to water everything leaving everything a dead rotting mess. If I am going to actually try my hand at gardening, I need to go bigger.  The problem is that my yard really wasn't big enough to do so.

Fortunately (but not fortunately) my kid's playset rotted to the ground last year and that opened up some space for us to finally put a garden in.

I figured something like this would cost around $500 after all was said and done, but just think... my vegetables would be worth way more than that.  I can't tell you how many trips to Lowe's I made.  I seriously lost count because as I was building my raised garden I would think about something else that I wanted to add to it. 


After I built the boxes, of course I had to fill them with dirt.  After I filled them with dirt, I had to build a fence to keep out the animals.  After I built a fence, I had to construct a gate.  After I constructed a gate, I had to add irrigation.  Needless to say I spent more time at Lowe's looking for supplies than I did at home actually building this thing. But why not spend time there?  It's like a toy department for grown ups, and with Father's Day coming up, perhaps I can come up with some gift ideas.

I actually built the gate out of our kids' old play-set and it's probably the thing I like most about our garden.  I'm thinking about creating an accent wall in our house with wood now, it looks very cool.

I'd like to say that my kids jumped in and helped me build this thing, but they didn't.  I'm not quite ready for them to be using the power tools that were necessary to build this, but I'm sure that time will come.   They did however help me plant the garden, which was the point of this whole thing anyway. For me, the process of building this wasn't about spending time with my kids... it was about building something that we could share together later on.

So it's not quite my parents garden, but it IS our garden. We might not grow enough vegetables to last us the winter like they do, or even grow anything at all.  But maybe one day my kids will bring THEIR kids to my house to help me plant it. 

Whether anything survives after that point we will have to wait and find out.

What are you growing your garden?

To find out more about Lowes and their #DadTime campaign, visit Lowe's on the web

DISCLOSURE: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Lowe's on this promotion.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?