Fatherpreneur.com

My journey of balancing small business and small kids


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Seventh Anniversary of Dadhood

Seven years ago today I became “DAD” better known today as “Daddy, daddy, daddy”.  The very word strikes fear in the strongest of fatherless men world wide, yet I claim it proudly. I am dad hear me …. frankly sometimes its hard to hear myself because I’m the father of two little girls.

Seven short and at the same time long years ago at 2:56 pm my Ayla was born.  I honestly can’t remember what it felt like to not be a dad. There is a piece of my brain and all of my heart that has been captured by my littles.  I was always afraid that becoming a father would cause the identity of Joseph Cortez to be lost. In reality it was not until I became a dad that my full identity was fully revealed.

I’m not saying that I was incomplete prior to fatherhood just that who I am increased. It’s like God expanded my capacity to understand Him in a new way.  The same can be said of when I married my amazing wife.  There are certain things that only parents can ever understand and that can only be revealed through marriage.

I now look at the world through a lens I didn’t know existed prior to that magical day. Each and every day on this journey I discover new things about the world and myself. I find new weaknesses and once hidden strengths.  My outlook and approach to the social constructs under which the world operates have undergone a transformation in some respects and been reaffirmed in others.  I comprehend love to a level I never could have reached with out the precious gift that is fatherhood.

The main lesson I have learned over the past seven years is that no matter how well read I am, how many sides of every social and political issue I research,  how much advice I garner, I am incapable of being a great father without the grace and strength of God.  On my own I would give in to the temptation of taking the easy way out of difficult situations,  of discipline and guarding their hearts.  I so try to guard their hearts not to shield them from the world but to teach them to be rooted in the strength of conviction of knowing Gods love as best I can through the completely fallible vessel I am. 

The complexity of being a dad in a world focused on Bruce Jenners issues while a Christian holocaust occurs in the Middle East and goes untold is a daunting task.  Parenting in a world where we can’t figure out who should use what bathroom anymore and what was once right is now wrong is becoming increasingly difficult as being self guided instead of God guided is the new normal.  I shall keep my head laser focused on their hearts and do my best to grow as a father and understand I can only control my part. I must trust that my daughters will become who they are supposed to become.  So today I celebrate my daddy hood anniversary with great joy with, great concern for , and most importantly great love for my daughters.

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Mom’s Gone Now What? Running Solo for A Week Part one

When my wife asked me if she could go to a conference for her company I said sure.  I go to two or three trainings a year and spend thousands of dollars a year on events to further my personal and professional education.  I love events where I can get surrounded by colleagues and superstars in my business.  My natural response was “yes”, because I want my wife to have the same opportunity I get.  What I didn’t fully realize at the time was that her being gone for 6 days meant I had to fly solo with two precious little girls during the summer in the midst of the busiest season of my work world with over a dozen real estate deals going and four construction projects on the ground.  I pulled up my daddy boots and put on my house husband apron and went to work. I am thankful that my parents were able to watch the girls during the days while I worked.  Without that I’m not sure I would have made it.

I’m fully capable of handling dinner and bedtime solo  and hanging with the girls for a night, as a HOTONE (Husband of Thirty-One) that’s no big deal. If you didn’t know my wife is a rockstar Thirty-One Gifts consultant. She really is amazing in her business, meaning I get to practice nighttime with the girls several times a month while she is hosting parties. Comes with the territory and I’m glad to do it. Supporting your spouse is key and should work both ways.   Doing nighttime and daytime for six days in a row was definitely a first.  Who knew kids ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus a snack and another snack and another snack. These kids eat like teenage boys. I was never told that growing girls eat like crazy as well.  Oh yeah did I mention that my six year old had just come out of the hospital for pancreatitus and was on a low fat diet. No easy out with McD’s and pizza every night. I actually had to come up with real meals and made a lot of salads. Thank God they ate them.  During lunch I crammed as much fattening food as I could find to ease the pain and fill my fat food cravings. 

We got so busy before my wife left that neither of us remembered to go grocery shopping.  Taking two little girls to the local grocery store at 5:30 pm in the middle of the week is like running into a hurricane. Don’t people shop on weekends? What was supposed to be a quick trip turned into an hour of “Daddy can I have this, daddy can I have that ….., daddy why are you buying so much wine?”  My kids are great when we go to a store about not crying over toys and other items. When it comes to telling them no about food it’s like I punched them in the gut and ran over their non-existent puppy. I was looking around to make sure no one called the police telling them I was depriving my girls of sweet tarts.  I could hear the sirens in my head and the “doink doink” sound from Law and Order.  Best thing to do is race to the check out and head home with boxes of non mom approved cereals (insert villianist laugh, hehehehe)

I did my best to keep up with dishes (paper plates), laundry (wear the same clothes for 6 day kids), and house work.  I did nothing but work, be dad, and house work. By ten o’clock each night I curled up in a little ball in my bed with a sippy cup of wine and watched Big Bang Theory reruns counting the days till my wife came home. 

Over all I really handled it well.  I actually managed to get a bunch of work done with the kids which I will detail in my next post. Nothing like showing your most expensive property of the year with the little ones in tow. 

The day before my wife came home the girls and I put it into high gear to have the house as clean as possible. The goal, let mom come home to a house with no dishes, laundry to be done and no toys in the living room.  I accomplished this with Disney Princess and Tinkerbell movie marathons and lollipops. 

I have the utmost respect for single parents everywhere.  If you’re a single parent and running a business you have the absolute toughest job in the world.  As a dad I’m equipped to handle a lot of things, spiders, bills, changing light bulbs, checking for the boogie monster and scaring off boys. However I’m not equipped for a week of dressing, feeding, and attempting to do the hair of  little girls. I tried and had some epic hair fails, so much so that my oldest just looked at me and said, “Lita (grandma) will do it when you drop us off.”

Amidst of all the chores and girly things I had some of the best quality time I could ever imagine with my kids. We danced and played games, watched movies and stayed up late a few times because it takes me forever to get through their nighttime routine while taking calls, sending out contracts and doing dishes.  I also developed an amazing appreciation for my wife.  The one thing I made sure of was to do my absolute best not to complain to my wife about the extra stress.

I wanted her to enjoy her time and get the most out her trip. Making your spouse feel guilty over work trips is not going to help your marriage at all. I must say my wife has been really good about this over the years. I never felt more guilt than my self imposed guilt. After a few trips I gave myself permission to enjoy my time and really focus on my trips. The great thing is once a year we now take a trip together to attend a personal growth event.

I made it through the 6 days unscathed and the kids had a good time, but we were all super excited to see mom.