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

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

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

Churn and Burn! Time to Get at it Early and Often, No Matter What! (slight profanity this morning)

4:25 AM – Struggling a bit this morning, legs hurt, ass cheeks are sore, and eyes are tired…Get the fuck up anyway! I’m out of bed. Our son came into bed with us last night so I had to pull a silent transfer back to his crib this morning without turning any lights on…don’t wake him, he is a sleeping beast! Time to get in The Church for some ground and pound!

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4:50 AM – Arms and Abs today, so that means no matter if your a big strong guy or a smaller frame man after this morning’s workout you will feel like you cannot fit through a door way and you probably won’t be able to wash your hair in the shower! Well screw it who needs hair anyway, I gave up on it this year and haven’t looked back!

Arms and Abs:

  • Dumbbell Curls                              4X15
  • Hammer Curls                                4X15
  • Spider Curls                                     4X15
  • Banded Tricep Pushdowns           4X15
  • Kettlebell Tricep OH Extension   4X15
  • Close Kettlebell Press                     4X15
  • Hollow Rocks                                   6X15
  • Situps                                                 5X20

5:50 AM – Message and photo received from a good friend message reads “Rise and Muthfuckin Grind”…next set was pure focus! Thanks friend!

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Got this photo from a good friend this morning at 5:30 AM with a message – “Rise and Muthafuckin Grind” – So that’s what we shall do!

6:00 AM – Workout finished, headed for a walk to see the views. It is beautiful out in the mornings and there still isn’t anyone in the neighborhood moving. I’m thinking about consistency with my plan and what I want to do to move forward. My workouts give me time to reflect and ravage, I need them, I want them. I don’t have a Dad bod but that transition is pretty easy to make then continuously make excuses. I’m not going to get a Dad bod, not in five years, not ten, hell not even 20. You will see the lights in my garage on early everyday until I can’t flick those switches…then I’ll get a clapper (you know clap on clap off, gotta explain for the new generation)!

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I’m looking down during the workout at my shoes, and thinking “wow I have had these for almost 4 years”. I don’t know if I have ever kept a pair of workout shoes that long, but they remind me of how much work I have put into them and i just can’t get rid of them. Some people might say “oh you have to try the new Nike or Reebok cross trainer, metcon, or nano, but today I don’t give shit about how they look, only about the amount of hours that I have put in. Growing up you always think you need the nice shoes, the new Jordans, the newest running shoes, but let me tell you if you put the work into whatever  you have and you out work your competition no one is going to say shit about your style. They can’t criticize what they can’t catch or keep up with! Kids don’t need the nicest shoes they need someone to teach them how to out perform their competition, an example, a Motivational Father or Mother.

I was not the kid that had the above perspective, but I learned over time how things should be in my eyes. I treat people with respect and I work hard, I have dreams, I have goals for myself and my family. I try to make people laugh on a daily basis because if you can’t do that then what the hell is the 8-12 hour day good for? Just work?

For me life is about achieving goals and creating relationships, I am trying to get better at both. I am forever a work in progress, because if i was totally content with everything then what will drive me to do better? I must do better, I have to do something big, I have to try and change people’s lives for the better! No more trying, no more excuses, no more talking let’s get to fucking work!

-Matt

The Summer Intern

So I am an engineer in a very standardized and bureaucratic industry, this is not a knock on the industry but a necessity. The industry is some times tough to break into for new engineers  without previous experience and that can mean less fresh ideas and less fighters for change. However, every summer we get these fresh minded and eager new, generally temporary, employees we call the interns. The interns come in wanting to be Tony Stark, Nicola Tesla, or Elon Musk but soon realize that in order to get paid you have to do actual work to ensure the company meets revenue goals.

This summer I have worked very closely with a few amazing interns and fresh new hires. These people pretty much say yes to everything, why you ask, because that’s what you do when you aren’t on the official payroll yet! These interns could immediately step in and out-perform some of the experienced engineers with ease (and in many cases this includes myself). See what changes after 5-10-15 years of experience is that you become formed into your role, you do not get excited as easily as you once did. The change in attitude from intern to experienced professional obviously differs from person to person but is typically a less excited version of your former self (like when you hear a great song then you listen to it over and over until finally it’s playing but you don’t remember hearing it play). Jealousy is my best description for my feeling toward these starry eyed newbies.

The interns are willing and eager to perform at a high level no matter the task, I like to believe I am that way for most of the time. I certainly miss the days where things were so new, so interesting, so refreshing. One thing keeps me going through stressful times at work, teaching/training/mentoring.

I have had the pleasure to be able to train these upcoming titans of industry, and have had a great time doing so. Not only do I get to train them on the obvious job structure, tasks, procedures, and standards but I get to share experiences with my career. I am able to share failures and successes and put a funny spin on everyday monotony. The fact that the interns and new hires continue to come back to me asking for advice, asking questions, and  sharing accomplishments is enough to make my day that much better.

Overall I have been extremely impressed by our interns and new hires of recent. I hope that they question everything and blindly accept nothing. Rules are made to be broken or at least challenged until someone gives you a good reason why it is the way it is. These newborns of the workforce are bright and can resist conformance if and only if they maintain the mantra of “Why?”.

Do not conform. Do not be a yes man/woman. Do not resist your temptation to stress the status quo!

-Matt

Work on Yourself First Thing Everyday

4:30 AM – Up and straight to the kitchen for a cup of caffeinated jet fuel before placing my offerings at The Church. No problem jumping up today but it was shoulder day after all. Another leg day coming in a couple days so that will be the true test of dedication.

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Early Morning Workout, Before the Neighborhood Wakes 

Shoulder Day:

  • 10 Minutes of Jump Rope (Only rest for 15 seconds when you screw up)
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press                    4X12
  • Standing Military Press (Barbell)       4X12
  • Dumbbell Front Raises                         4X12
  • Lateral Raises                                         4X12
  • Bent Over Shoulder Flies                     4X12

5:35 AM – I went on a walk to see the awesome views from our neighborhood and the song “7 Years” by Lukas Graham played, I have heard the song before but never really listened to it. This song put my thoughts into perspective today and got me thinking about the future I want for myself and my family, listen to it or better yet actually hear it.

I want to make sure that I have exactly the life I have always wanted and can show my son that you can do whatever you want. No one in my immediate family had graduated from college, I did it. I moved across the country without a real plan, or job, and only about $250 to my name, I made it work with amazing support from my beautiful wife. We have an little boy who is learning at an amazing speed so I have to change, I have to live my life in a way that he sees as inspirational or else I fail him. I can give my son or other people advice but if I don’t live it myself then it means nothing! Time to make dreams come true for myself and my family. Time to get more time with my family and more time for myself because who the hell knows, I’ve been on Earth for 32 years and I do not intend to waste the next 32. One trip around that’s all you get, one trip to make a difference in people’s lives, one trip to learn, love, and be happy. It’s not about money it’s about satisfaction and leaving a lasting mark.

Have a great day and stay motivated for your own sake not for anyone else!

-Matt

Early Riser – Row, Row, Row Your Boat…Then Clang and Bang!!

Day one back from a quick trip to Kansas City with the family! Thought it only right to start the week off right with a before the sun comes up workout!

Was not easy getting out of bed at 4:15 AM but I must be honest it was easier than getting up at 5:30 or 6:00 like usual. I got out of bed poured a cup of coffee from my preset coffee maker and headed out to the garage for some cardio on the row machine.

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4:50 AM – After about 20 minutes of solid rowing I decided to grab some breakfast. Fed my dogs, let them outside to do their business, ate breakfast then headed back out to the garage which I have named “The Church”.

5:15 AM – Decided to get back to the basics for a while. Went ahead and crushed some weights with the workout below.

  1. Barbell Bench Press         4X12 building
  2. Incline Push ups                4X15
  3. Dumbbell Bench Press     4X12
  4. Dumbbell Flies                   4X12
  5. Dips                                        3X12
  6. Hammer Curls                    3X12

6:00 AM – After completed that session I took a neighborhood walk to enjoy the fresh air and silence before starting my busy day at work.

6:15 AM – One last thing. I stopped in the garage to meditate for 10 minutes so I have exercised my mind and allowed myself to settle for the day. I never really believed in meditation, but that’s because I was ignorant to the benefits. I became very stressed from work and just life in general for a short time and was looking for methods of relieving tension, meditation was the key.

6:30 AMREADY TO CRUSH THE DAY!

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