How to Be a Fun Daddy!

So unfortunately I’m currently on business travel, sitting at a bar waiting on my chicken to arrive, instead of being at home playing with my little buddy. I thought I might take a minute to give a little back to the Daddy community, considering I’m the only one at the bar. My introvertness is shining through because I am writing at a bar. My “Dad” is shining through because I ordered the roasted chicken, which was amazing, and the first cut squirted juice on my only t-shirt…oh well, I’m also wearing tennis shoes and jeans so fucking sue me!

I have not missed my family this much before. The main reason is that this is for work, not play, not relaxation, not betterment, just work. I’m rolling my eyes just thinking about it. I have a little dude at home that yells “Dada!!” every time I get home and it makes me feel so great!

So to be a great Daddy, not merely a Father you must….well let’s list a few items.

Act Excited When You Walk in the Door

Everyday when you get home be as excited to see your child as they are to see you! If they scream “Dada!” then retaliate with “insert child’s name here!” then go straight and pick them up or immediately play with them for a couple minutes. Your child will remember this every single day and look forward to it. You need to hit your knees and get down on their level and make noise to play with them.

Get on Their Level

When you are playing with your kids get on the floor! Yes you may feel tired and want to sit but who cares get your ass on the floor and play! My son loves trucks and horse back rides so that’s exactly what I do. I get on the floor and make weird noises while he rides around on my back. I had to show him how to climb up onto my back but once I did he never forgot. I crawl around with him like a horse and he is in his super happy state. I also drive trucks around with him while making lots of truck noises. Granted a lot of what I’m saying is for a boy but girls will have similar likes at this age so get down there and plays trucks or dolls whichever!

Rough House

Ahh my favorite pastime, rough housing. My son is at the age where I can throw him around and he loves it! You must know he sees you as Superman when you throw him around a room or throw him on the bed or couch! That’s right you are Superman to someone, no matter what jackass you work for all day, when you get home you are the man, the head honcho, the super hero! Throw them, carefully, tickle them, suplex them, and make mom nervous sometimes! Remember that you are the Daddy of a new person and your responsibility is to make them successful in everything until all they do is success. Yes they can, will, and should fail throughout life but give them the basic tools for success.

Chill With Them

Finally just chill with them when it’s almost bedtime. Turn on a good cartoon movie and lay on the floor with their toys and books and most likey they will sit and relax with you. They need to know that Dad is fun and also likes to relax before bed. Give them some chocolate milk and a bedtime snack, you need one too obviously, and just kick it.

Well now you know how to keep your child interested in you. It’s fun having a mini me around the house because it drives mom a little crazy which we both love! Play with them, make noises, and relax with them! Easy as that!

-Matt

Being Parents…To a Little Ball of Concentrated Enthusiasm

My main man, my second mate, my crime fighting side kick, my reason why, my son. My son’s name is Lincoln and he is about 1 1/2 years old and has a vast amount of energy, like the kind of energy scientists are looking for to power our way to Mars and beyond! When he was first born he was a beautiful little guy with tons of personality as you can see below he was clearly a little skeptical of his new found situation (don’t worry buddy we have to provide you everything for at least 18 years or so).

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Skeptical with the People’s Eyebrow

It’s absolutely insane how someone so small can flip your life into a totally different direction, my wife and I have changed for the better. We are both absolutely in love with this king of the castle and get so many laughs everyday!

Alright now time to get serious on when a Dad finally gets to his point of true compatibility. When your child is first born and being breast fed or bottle fed by their Mother all the time then guess who get left to the side for a bit of time??…yes of course you’re right, good ole Padre. Your baby at this time requires tons of nurturing attention and who has that instinct? Well I’m here to tell you that in most cases it isn’t Daddy! Guys are very different beings although, very impressive in their own right, we do not have a strong sense of nurture and that’s alright. During that first year or so you are pretty much the assistant to Mom and Baby, even though all you want to do is play with your new sidekick! It wasn’t really until at or just after one year that I was truly able to play with my son and receive his feedback, where he would seek me out to play. When you child starts looking for Dad to play that is one of the most rewarding feelings a man could possibly have. You finally feel as though there is something you can do that will put a huge smile on their faces while also giving Mom some break time.

 

Lincoln is now watching everything that I do and tries to mimic if possible, or even if not possible, so I have to be careful! One day I’m carrying him on my shoulders and we are outside, I spit in the grass, we guess what? Lincoln spits on my head! I really got a kick out of this so I did it a couple other times for the reaction, but then realized “Oh crap” I don’t want him to pick up this bad habit! Now he also copies everything else. If he sees my outside washing one of the cars he likes to use the hose or wipe the car with a sponge…but the hose is by far his favorite because he gets to spray Dad! Every time he pulls the trigger on the hose he lets out this manly grunt (think Tim the Tool Man) so I know he is definitely my son! He watches me workout if he is awake and wants to play with all the cool stuff in the garage like the stick I some times use to stretch, which he just swings around yelling “Hi-Ya, Hi-Ya!!”. If I am boxing in the garage then he wants to wear the gloves and throw some punches!

Now we are at the point to where he likes being rough housed, wrestled, and chased! This is the ultimate Dad/Son bonding time because Dad is the best Luchador in all the land! I can throw him on the bed, pick him up over my shoulder and tote him around upside down, and the holy grail of early fatherhood the famed horse back ride!

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“Sleepy horse back ride”

Being able to play with my son now to a point that isn’t just stacking a couple blocks makes it much easier to come up with new games and keeps him interested. Like I said he loves being chased now which is fun because you get to see this tiny human run as fast as he can will you make noises going after him!

Being a Dad is an amazing experience that just keeps getting better with age! The main thing is that I need to keep my own energy at a high level so that my son keeps his at a high level, they watch everything you do. If you workout and play then they will see that as normal, if you only sit on the couch and watch tv all the time then they will see that as normal, pick your path carefully. I am enjoying this part of our lives so much and CAN wait for the next stage (I don’t want to rush anything). Our son is a vast amount of energy concentrated into a small hungry package and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Some times he gets a little tired and relaxed, but it never lasts long

Enjoy Fatherhood and make it fun!

-Matt

It’s Crowded at The Bottom

4:30 AM – Waking up is a little difficult today. Who am I to not get up and push my body and mind to perform? There are people out there that have extreme disabilities, unfortunate circumstances, and even two or three jobs! Here I am laying in bed thinking about getting another hour of sleep…what a sad ignorant thought. I told myself “Get your ass up! There are people out working you that are missing limbs, people who are single parents, people who operate everyday on little sleep!”. The people that have everything stacked against them are my role models, my heroes. I am lucky to be able to wake up everyday and jump out of bed and go do whatever I want to do! I cannot waste this opportunity called life. Everyday we get closer to the end, who are we to waste this precious time? I have work to do. We have work to do. Get up and work on yourself!!!

Why is everyone so content with “Normal”? This leaves us at the bottom, and it’s crowded down there. It’s so crowded at the bottom so I’m going to make a nice spacious spot for myself at the top!

Life is the biggest risk, because you are not going to get out alive. Keep taking risks and improving!

I am up today at 4:30 AM working on myself before I go into work. I get my workout in while it’s still dark outside. By the time I get to work I have already completed half a workday just for myself and I feel damn proud of that. One day when my son is older he will see me up so early and will probably think I’m a crazy mother fucker but it will be ingrained in his memory forever. My son will be able to say “My Dad works harder than anyone!” because it will be true. I thought I was tired of having my back against the wall until I realized it was necessary to keep it there! I do my best work when I’m under immense pressure and for whatever reason I forgot to perform in this manner for myself! I am going to kick my own ass outside of work just like it gets kicked at work because I owe that to myself and especially my son.

The last couple of days I have had a voice in my head saying “Come on just go back to the way you were, sleep in, skip today’s workout, don’t write because you don’t have anything to say”. You know what? I still got up everyday, I still got my workout in, I still kept my head up! There is a turning point going on right now and there will be many more in my future, I am fighting through those thoughts everyday until they are pushed down so far that I can’t even hear them any more.

My back is against the wall everyday because I make the decision to keep it there! Nobody is going to help me get where I want to go, I have to do ALL the work! Be up for this challenge because once it’s over it’s over. Create a routine for everyday, don’t make it easy! I’m up everyday before 5:00 AM and I go straight to the black kettle that holds that sweet caffeine blood flow, then I walk right out to the garage, open the door, at this point it’s happening already. Once you get so far it’s hard to turn back and go back to bed because you will disappoint yourself, and your conscious does not want that feeling.

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Keep Your Back Against it All The Time!

Some times when I wake up early I want to go back to sleep, but then I remember why I’m doing this routine. I have to show my son and myself that you can do whatever you want and it’s never to late to make a change in your life!

Remember it’s crowded at the bottom so claim a spot at the top!

-Matt

Empty The Dish Washer…You’ll Thank Me Later

This was one hell of a weekend. After a strong week of training, working, and everyday chaos it was time to wind down. Just a couple of mini stories below from the weekend all which felt much deserved after a productive week.

FridayThe Gentlemen’s Evening

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A couple friend’s and I decided we needed an evening for the boys, so we politely informed our wives that we were going to go ahead and….who am I kidding of course I made sure it was alright with her before going out, leaving all evening home responsibilities to her. Although I some times make stupid mistakes (think forgetting to move laundry from washer to dryer, or empty the dish washer of the clean dishes…gentlemen if you want to get some “attention” from your wife then empty that damn dish washer! This single task may have ultimately led to the conception of our son!)…alright I have to side bar this thought. Guys, your wife will ask you to do many things in life but if you ever empty the dishwasher without being asked and put all the dishes where they go then I’m here to tell you that you will become a God among men, a King among peasants, a Lion among gazelle. Your stock will immediately rise and possibly even split a couple times in the process, this will pay dividends for the rest of your life! Alright I digress (sorry for all the sad puns) I believe I have made my point here, just heed the advice and watch the magic happen!

“Empty the dishwasher! You’ll thank me later!”

One thing that I got a bit of a chuckle out of before starting the evening where history will be made was the way two of us traveled to meet the third. We were about to leave my house and I realized I needed a pick me up…not a roadie or starting beverage. I quickly made a homemade iced coffee, put it into a red solo cup (this seemed familiar) and headed out to the car. I sold my beautiful Toyota Tundra pickup and bought a small Ford Focus so we could buy a house recently and I obviously have a car seat in the back. So here we are, old college roommates jumping into my silver bullet car with an iced coffee in hand and a car seat with a Toy Story Woody doll in the back, ready to P.A.R.T.Y!! Times they are a changing.

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Saturday – Slept in due to not being able to handle more than three or four good beers (and maybe a small vodka) but the night was well worth it. Almost took a nap while our son was sleeping but decided to get up and go into the garage for a sweaty training session, best decision I made.

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Look at the sparkle of that bald head

Sunday – REST DAY!!!

Called a brunch with a some great friends. Always good to have friends that have kids of similar age to our son, he loves being around other kids. Little pool time after breakfast and just relaxing the rest of the day.

Time to get back at it tomorrow! Setting my alarm for 4:00 AM going to try and squeeze a little more time into the morning routine. I’m going to make this week pure hell in “The Church” (kind of an odd turn of phrase).

Monday Starter Kit

  • Get up early on Monday
  • Eat Clean on Monday
  • Workout hard on Monday (Start with Legs)
  • The rest of the week will fall in line
  • Get your ass into gear and go do it!

“Have an awesome week and remember to EMPTY THE DISHWASHER!”

-Matt

To Be a Great Dad, Watch Mom

My wife and I have been parents for about a year and a half now (or a some parents say, 18-months, this is okay to say as long as counting in months stops at 2 years old! No more “my son is 36 months old”…he is 3 years old until he is 4, come on people!) We have learned a ton together and are still learning new things about parental organized chaos every day! We both work full time and are career oriented, both have goals in mind for ourselves and for our son. We are fortunate to have many great friends that we see often and even get the opportunity to pass on some lessons learned from our experiences. We are busy ass people as many parents are. I wasn’t sure how well I was going to do as a father because I knew it would be busy and I’m am not the best multi-tasker as my wife will clearly tell you. My wife however is amazing at juggling multiple tasks and deadlines and is able to remember what we have planned every weekend.

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I could not organize our lives let alone my own without her scheduling everything on my Microsoft Outlook calendar. She tells me where to be and when because at some point in a conversation I agreed to all these tasks and events. She schedules her doctor’s appointments and our son’s appointments and due to an eye surgery, over the past 8 months, has been quite a task. She keeps our family in order and never asks for much in return. Some times I feel as though I’m going a little crazy from how busy we always are but that is just this period in our lives, friends getting married, having babies, birthday parties, other kids birthday parties (which are really adult parties to celebrate another year you were able to keep your child in good condition!). Everyday is a new adventure at home let alone the 8-10 hours of work for either of us.

My wife is always organized even when she has a breakdown thinking she isn’t on top of it, this is why we are such a great match. I am typically the calm, laid back, living right now person while she is the planning aficionado for each and every week. I drive her crazy and her me, but the differing styles tend to compliment one another. I have never had to “confirm” my decisions so often to anyone but her project management lifestyle ensures that I am held accountable! If it wasn’t for her I would crumble trying to do all of this (major props to those single parents out there, my Mom was one of them who busted her ass to provide a great childhood for my brother and myself). She is the sticky project planning glue that holds us together and keeps us all happy! This is the main reason I want to become a more productive person, a Motivational Father, a stronger parental partner, because she is so strong and just keeps pushing every day.

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My wife is the most loving, caring, supportive, and brutally honest person that I know. She loves being around friends and family with a good cadillac margarita and some chips and salsa (preferably queso dip) and relaxing outside. This lady drives me to become my best self and I could not imagine my life without her. I assume I would never know what was wrong with my dogs, when the next appointment is, if anyone has a birthday coming up, if I agreed to do something, hell i would probably forget to pay bills even though the money is there. The biggest thing that I might forget to do without her is to drive myself to become the best example of a man for my son. I might not be nearly as driven as I am today to move forward and better myself. She is always the most supportive person in my life no matter what I’m going through.

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To my wife

Thank you for my reasons “why”. Thank you for supporting me through creating this site so I can data dump my thoughts and for helping me to reach the best version of myself.

I love you (and yes, I can confirm that!)

Also, I know you are going to tell me to change one of these pictures but I like them so live with it woman!

-Matt

Train, Work, Family

Right now you are at work looking at the clock thinking “damn, just a few more hours until I get to go home”. What is your plan when you get home? What are you gonna do? Are you going home to tell your wife how bad your day was? How busy you were? How your boss pissed you off? Then you go straight back there the next day, well I want to tell you, that whole day is now gone and you will never get that time back. You want to make a change? You want to start exercising? Want to get up earlier? Spend more time with your family? Go on an amazing vacation? Well get up and get on it! All you have to do is start! Take the first step and just start! Why is it so hard? Ask yourself that question, then listen to how stupid your excuses sound. “I cannot get up earlier because I need that extra hour to feel good.”, deep down you know that’s bullshit! Make a change, make the change for yourself first but then for your family or loved ones! How successful and happy you are will affect all those around you in a very positive way, and if it doesn’t then those are the people that get cut from the team.

I get up before the burning ball in the sky so I can train my body and mind before I start my day. I’m up so early that I don’t even see another person for the first two hours of my morning. Any idea how much I have accomplished by that time? Some times I have trained twice or at least one long strength conditioning session. I usually use the remaining time to cook myself some egg whites with peanut butter toast and maybe a protein shake. Finally I get on Motivationalfather.com and write about my workout and whatever I have been thinking about during that quiet time in the morning.

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My ultimate goal here is to bring out the better person that I know is inside myself. I know I have a highly trained, intelligent, and productive person lurking within. I am going to tell my son that he can do anything he wants and puts his mind to, but you have to give 120% to what you love. He will not be lacking in confidence or vigor because I’m not giving him the proper support. I will lead by living. My son will see me live and do extraordinary things, and hopefully he will see this example and strive to create an amazing life!

The best part about accomplishing so much before 7:00 AM is all the free time in the evening for my family. When I say “free” time I mean really free because I have already trained my body, mind, and done some things for myself, that’s free. When you aren’t working out or accomplishing any personal goals then all your “free” time turns into guilty time. You should feel guilty when you aren’t working towards your goals, so get after it today! I have more energy to play with my son and do things around the house. This is really working for me and I am positive that in some shape or form it will work for you too.

-Matt

4:00 AM Comes Early, But So Does 32 Years of Age

Let’s GO!!!

4:23 AM – Monday means LEG DAY time to get up and build that foundation of strength! Popped right out of bed this morning, added a cup of dark black roasted adrenaline to my blood stream then right out to “The Church” for some sweaty painful morning ritual!

Leg Day:

Keep the workouts and movements simple so you don’t have to think of a workout this early in the morning. I am not a super athlete but I do know what works for legs, squat variations, lunges, Romanian dead lifts etc. Keep it simple, voluminous, and sweaty!

  • Row                                         2,000 meters (wake up call!)
  • Barbell Lunges                    4X25 
  • Banded Leg Press               4X15
  • Barbell Squats                     3X12
  • Romanian Dead Lifts         3X15
  • Quick walk around the neighborhood so I can make sure I’m the first one working!

5:23 AM – A good friend of mine sent me a text saying “he was working late and 4:00 AM came real early today”, this got me thinking. I have been getting up and going straight to work for someone else for many years, yes I have been a fairly early riser for most of those years but not like this current run. I started thinking “you know what comes early? 32 years comes early.” I cannot believe that I have not been getting up this early for my entire adult life! I cannot imagine what I could have accomplished with an extra 3 hours per day and the amount of continuous energy that this schedule gives me. Doesn’t matter what I could have done all that matters is what I’m going to do next!

We are so fortunate to be able to wake up everyday and make choices for ourselves! You can sleep in, you can get up and workout, you can get up and swim, you can get up and write or read. Who are we to waste this most precious time and decide to constantly hit the snooze button everyday? When you set your alarm the night before and have these solid intentions of getting up and doing shit what stops you from accomplishing this simple goal. It’s easy, just get up! Pour coffee and open the blinds or turn on the lights, turn on some music or a video of some drill Sargent screaming, just do something! Stop doing nothing! 30 years will come fast if it hasn’t already, then 40 years, then 50, 60, 70, before you know it your at the end and wondering “What if?”.

No more snoozing the alarm, you are an adult, you are in charge of every choice you make. If you didn’t get enough stuff done then that is your fault and your fault only! Get shit done! Take care of yourself so that you can live a long happy successful life no matter your circumstances. If you keep hitting snooze then before you know it your years are gone!

Get after what you want starting today!!!

-Matt

Wedding Season – The Plus One

Two weddings back to back weekends this month, one family one friend. This weekend was a different perspective for me, I was my wife’s plus one for her former co-worker’s amazing wedding. The venue was a beautiful winery in Santa Maria called Presqu’ile. Mountainous views and all these people in nice suits and dresses, people love this wedding stuff. These types of weddings make you feel like you are in one of those Hugh Grant romantic comedies, as a matter of fact the groom was English, which of course makes all the ladies swoon during his vows (sorry babe you are stuck with the country boy accent).

What made this even more fun was the fact that I left my phone in the hotel room intentionally. I had no reason to take extra photos or post to social media because to be honest I really didn’t know anyone, even the bride or groom. I got to listen to speeches from friends and family which allowed me to kind of piece together what their lives were about and even how they met. Hearing these stories is very interesting, almost like reading a book and being totally immersed in the story. The bride had a great speech and it was quite funny, as usual the groom is always on roast. The bride’s father had an extensive speech but very endearing to someone he is clearly very proud of. At the end of these speeches I felt as though I knew the couple at least a little bit.

One thing that really spoke to me at this critical change time in my life was something the father and best man spoke to. Apparently the groom was unemployed when the couple met but had a great idea for his own business. They spoke to how he overcame some adversity and had driven to create an amazing recruitment business. It was easy to tell that he was clearly well respected, because a good majority of the guests were his employees! It definitely says something about a leader if his employees and team members show up and even travel distances to come to your wedding. I believe every leader should strive for this sort of support. It was a really cool opportunity to be around so many successful and driven people, many scientists, Doctorate degrees, and entrepreneurs. Definitely a crowd to gain some inspiration from!

Enjoying some syrah thinking about how lucky I am to have the life I have.

One other thing, the band was unreal! I have never seen such a diversely talented group of musicians. Every musician sang many different songs and all were incredible. I have to shout out to the big guy on stage singing “Superstitious”.

After all was said and done it was an amazing evening with some great friends and a lot of cool strangers. I almost felt like a wedding crasher!

Weddings are over for the year, time to stick to the grind and make those big changes!

-Matt

You Can’t Make Time

It’s 4:25 AM on a Friday, I’m getting my ass out of bed to get the day started on myself. I have a great workout ahead of me but first I need that sweet black nectar of the gods and some great music!

There are people out there beating you ever day, people getting up before you and working on their dreams. There you are just hitting snooze over, and over, and over. Get up and get to work on you!

I started thinking about all the extra time I have since I have been getting up so early, it’s about 3 hours more! I have been able to workout, some times twice, cook and eat breakfast, then write on Motivational Father to hold myself accountable. I cannot believe all the time that I will never get back due to sleeping in or hitting snooze, I don’t even want to do the math because there is no looking back, only forward. My mind still tells me every morning to just hit snooze and then hurry into work but I’m changing that mindset to “get your ass up and do something!”

I feel so accomplished by 7:00 AM everyday…that’s crazy because some people don’t feel accomplished by the end of an entire day! If you have always hit snooze or get up right in time to get where you need to go I challenge you to get up at least 2 hours prior to our normal wake time and see what happens. Do you really feel better when you sleep an extra 15-20 minutes? No, as a matter of fact most of the time you feel even more groggy and exhausted. GET UP!!! Just try it, what do you have to lose? Most of us are fortunate enough to have this time available, everything is so convenient in today’s society. We do not have to do much to cook breakfast, gyms are open 24 hours, the internet is always on and ready for you to create something, books are always charged and read to be read, not to mention typically the weather is much nicer in the mornings than in the evening especially during summer. What do you have to lose? Nothing!

Create achievable goals for yourself such as:

  • I want to am going to get up at 5:00 AM tomorrow.
  • I want to am going to workout tomorrow.
  • I want to am going to eat healthy for lunch everyday this week.
  • I want to am going to accomplish that one thing that is constantly on the back burner.

Stop using the words “I want to” and start saying “I’m going to”. You have to make the decision to make the change and then execute. I know you have wondered how people become so successful, and it’s because they use their time much more wisely than the “average” person. Use your time like you have none left, work on yourself first because change starts with you! Make shit happen and make your old self jealous. Today you are no longer the same person! You are getting rid of bad habits and time wasters. There is no time left to make this decision you have to take action!

Make a change and do it right now! Not tomorrow! Not after this upcoming vacation! Do it right fucking now!

-Matt

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