Guest Blogger Mark Tolman: "Becoming Dad"

Guest Blogger Mark Tolman: "Becoming Dad"

Jonathan here: Allow me to introduce my friend, Mark Tolman (see his bio below), who I met my freshman year of college. We camped out one night  with some friends on the sidewalk in downtown Salt Lake City. Why? That's another story. But back then we were just regular guys. Neither of us were the polished professionals we are now who (seemingly) have all the answers for our clients. For now, I'd like you to hear Mark's thoughts on Father's Day, not as a professional, but as a regular guy, who like me, and like you, have had to somehow figure out this whole dad thing...

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The Answers You Get

The Answers You Get

I often remind people to be careful when seeking my advice and counsel: "Do you want the answer you want to hear or that is easiest to hear or do you want the answer you need to hear even if it's hard to hear?" For example, on one daddy daughter date last year with my teen girl I asked her, "How am I doing as a dad? What can I do better or differently to help you?" The answer I got really surprised me.

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Why You Should Respect the Mother of Your Child(ren)

20120615-071850.jpgYou may have a great relationship with your child(ren)'s mother or you may not. But you should always respect her. Why? Well, there may be many reasons but here's one: She gave you your child (whom I'm assuming that you, like me, consider your greatest treasure). Now let's look at the basic math here:

Your male contribution to the birth of your child:

  • Pre-conception: 5-15 minutes of fun (orgasm achieved—woo hoo!).

Her female contribution to the birth of your child:

  • Pre-conception: 5-15 minutes of possible fun (may or may not have orgasmed—huh?)
  • Conception to birth: 15,960 minutes (average length is 266 days) of:
    • body changes/upheaval,
    • sleepless nights,
    • back aches,
    • hormonal changes,
    • mood swings,
    • immediate attachment to the child from the moment she knows she's pregnant, which comes with constant vigilance and worry about the child's well-being,
    • nausea,
    • weight gain,
    • taking all kinds of vitamins and supplements,
    • OB/GYN examinations,
    • carrying an actual moving, living being inside her womb,
    • and finally hours and hours of labor (yikes!).
    • AND a full willingness to go through all of that for YOU and YOUR child. Seriously, what man in his right mind would not give some serious and sincere due props for that?!

All that is for just ONE child. If you have more than one child then multiply the above accordingly. For me, my wife has given me four children which means her birth to conception grand total is 63,840 minutes to my contribution of 20-60 minutes. There's nothing for me or any father to feel bad about or guilty that we didn't contribute more--that's just all we can do. But, there is clearly a LOT for us to be grateful for and I sure hope the mother of your children knows how much you appreciate her sacrifice for your treasures.

PS: It's been 11 years since the birth of our last child and I'm still in awe of the above numbers.

Any Dad's Relate to the Work of the Woman, the Craft of the Father?

From one of my fav movies. Any dads relate?

"I stand outside this woman's work. Now starts the craft of the father." —Kate Bush, This Woman's Work, from the movie She's Having a Baby

Please honor the mother of your children. Work your craft to be a father of honor.


BONUS: "This Woman's Work" cover by Maxwell