Categories
Parenthood

Being A Good Dad

Being a good dad is tough. I’m only in control of myself. Which means that I need to influence a youngster to do what’s right without any control.

Being a dad is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but also the most challenging. Especially with my anxiety and ADHD. I worry a lot and stress about the small stuff quite a bit. Ultimately I need to remember that everything will workout okay and to roll with what life gives me.

My 7 year-old has a mind of his own, as he should. He is very headstrong and wants to be independent, but he also wants to know that I’m here if he needs me to help.

The trick is to give him just enough freedom to feel like he has some control over his life, but not too much where I and/or my wife can’t keep him safe.

When he was young (baby and toddler age) he needed me all the time. Then I was looking forward to these independent years. But now that we’re here, I miss him needing me.

Now I have to walk a tightrope of when to help him and when to leave him alone to do his own thing. I’m not going to lie, it’s tough — really tough.

All I can do is be here for him and help him on his journey. Try not to drive him crazy by being over bearing, but being present enough for him to know that I care and love him. Because I do, with all my heart.

Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

Categories
Getting Fit

I’m Fat… Time To Do Something About It.

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This is a new section of my site. It’s going to be devoted to my fitness and weight-loss.

Disclosure

In the interest of full disclosure, I am helping Mark Vandzura of GymGuyz of Greater Bucks with marketing. But with that in mind, I really am fat. As of today I’m 230.4 lbs. I’m 5′ 10 1/2″. The height won’t change, but the weight will go down. So, it’s a win win. Okay on to the post…

GymGuyz of Greater Bucks County PA

Seth, The Mesomorph

I’ve always been a bit husky. My mother calls me a mesomorph. Regardless, I always had decent metabolism until I hit my 30’s, got married, had a kid. The usual bullsh!t. Not making excuses, just a fact of life.

I’ve had bad cholesterol my whole life. My triglycerides have always been high. Due to this and not being the best with my health, I’m Type-2 Diabetic.

When I first found out, I dropped 20 lbs in a month and started eating better, but the laziness set in again. I got complacent and well, I have an A1C test this week and a doctor appointment next week and I’m not looking forward to that conversation. As of right now, I’m all diet controlled, my goal is to stay that way. Seriously.

The Plan

Fomer Lieutenant Commander Mark "Spark" Vandzura I’m going to start working with my good friend and personal trainer former Navy Lieutenant Commander Mark “Spark” Vandzura of Gym Guyz of Greater Bucks. He’s going to kick my butt back in to shape.

I’m going to check in here regularly to record my progress.

My hope is that by doing it publicly, I’ll have the motivation to keep it up and not get lazy again. It’s not just about getting fit and healthy. It’s about making a lifestyle choice.

Let’s do this Mark.

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Categories
General

As A Father It’s My Duty To Teach My Son To Respect Women

As A Father It's My Duty To Teach My Son To Respect Women

About a month or so ago a friend of mine was sexually assaulted at a nightclub/bar in Philadelphia. I was shocked and devastated that this happened. I immediately felt compelled to apologize for my caveman counterparts.

It is abhorrent that anyone has to go through that, regardless of gender or orientation. After talking with Briana and making sure she was okay (luckily she was, though shaken), Briana informed me that this happens a lot. Not just to her, but women in general. It might not be physical assault, but it’s still invasive. She recently wrote a follow-up post on Medium about the aftermath. It’s worth a read.

(Much to Briana’s credit, she’s a brilliant individual. She’s strong and is willing to talk about this publicly. I admire her courage. She is a beautiful person inside and out.)

Let’s get something straight. Women are amazing. What they can do far exceeds what we men/boys/cavemen can do. And I’m not just speaking in biological terms (though that alone is beyond impressive). Women, in general, are, for the most part, way more rational and every bit as smart as any man.

Being Raised By A Well-educated Single Mom Helps

I was pretty much raised by my mother. My father was very much in the picture and very involved, but the day-to-day raising fell on my incredible mother’s shoulders. My mom has a Ph.D. in Psychology, so you can say she’s very well-educated. She’s always strive to teach me to treat everyone with respect and dignity. It’s because of my mom, that I believe and know that women are equal to men.

Now this isn’t to say my father didn’t instill quality values in me. He did. My dad is a fantastic guy, and made sure I knew how to treat people with respect. But my mother really helped it stick.

My Duty As A Father

I’ve realized for a while that it was my duty as a father of a boy to teach him how to treat women and people in general with respect. But with something like this happening to a good friend, it was much more blatantly clear.

I’m a guy. I think women are amazing as stated before. I’m guilty of glancing at a pretty women in public from time to time. That’s natural, and I hope it’s not obvious. But that’s where it ends. Cat-calling, badgering, and assaulting crosses the obvious line. Just because a woman is pretty and dresses nice, it doesn’t give us cavemen the right to treat them like a piece of meat. It’s my duty to teach my son this – to know right from wrong and to be respectful.

What’s Crossing The Line?

Now this is where I have trouble. I firmly believe that women should be treated as equals to men. They shouldn’t be treated as objects. But I do understand that in some cases, what is acceptable can be confusing and blurry.

People should be able to compliment each other. Men and women should be able to go up to each other and chat. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, the issue is where does it cross into being inappropriate behavior? Obviously some behavior is blatantly inappropriate, but other things like hitting on someone can be interpreted differently depending on the person.

My Worry For My Son

As most fathers can attest, I worry about my son. I can only instill my values in him to an extent. It’s really up to him to follow them and develop his own value system. I worry that he’ll get himself in trouble, because of these blurred lines (regardless of which gender he decides to want to date). I can just hope that what I teach him now, he’ll bring into his own system of values and make the right choices.
What do you think? It’s a complex topic. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Post them in the comments. Thanks!

 

Categories
General

I Wouldn’t Trade My Time With My 3-year-old Son for Anything

Seth & Ilan
So many of you know (those who I’m close too, at least) that when my son, Ilan, was born, he had some issues to get sorted out at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 3 years later he’s doing amazing.
 
3 months ago my adorable, beautiful niece Chloe was born with the same bowel obstruction that Ilan had. She spent 3 months in the NICU at CHOP. She’s finally home. I was lucky enough to finally meet the little miracle baby.
 
When I was about to leave, my her parents house, my brother-in-law asked me if I wished Ilan (with all his crazy 3 year-old-ness) was back to being Chloe’s age and less “crazy.” I told him, no. I wouldn’t trade Ilan at age 3 for anything.
Forget about the health issues when he was young, Ilan now is such a vibrant, happy, spunky, adorable, loving, amazing, incredible, little human being. I wouldn’t trade this age for anything, well maybe the craziness. But even with that, kids grow up so fast. Right Mom?
 
Parents need to soak up ever minute of every stage, regardless of the craziness, because before we know it, our little kids will be big kids and eventually adults.
 
I Love You Ilan. With All My Heart!