There is nothing on this planet that prepares you for being a parent and I mean nothing. Your entire life is flipped upside down overnight. I always love the people that are all “I’m exhausted, we just got a puppy so we are prepping for when we have a baby”. I either spit out whatever I am drinking or I normally have to physically hold my hand down from back handing whoever utters those words. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that preps you for this life event. There is also no tired you will ever feel that is the same as the tired you feel for those first few months or even first year. There is just no way around it and yes it is all more than worth it but man it is not easy.
What I think is one of the more underrated aspects of those early years is the amount of patience you need while being thrown so much information about what your baby should be doing at this stage and what they shouldn’t be doing at that stage and when they should be walking and at what month they should have teeth etc. etc. Whether it is from your pediatrician or the millions of articles online you’re constantly being bombarded by timelines and goals that inevitably your baby won’t meet, and that is perfectly fine. The worst source of information is probably your neighbor or your girlfriend whose baby started walking at 8 months and had teeth at 6 always bragging about these milestones and questioning why your child hasn’t started yet while simultaneously posting photos and videos about their “miracle child”. My response to all of this is please have patience and block out all of the noise. There are actually studies that say walking to soon can cause issues and lead to physical therapy down the road since your child’s core might not be strong enough yet or her legs developed enough to handle this motion. Please don’t be that person who sits around all day and passes your child back and forth hoping to catch (i.e force) them to “walk” so you can post it on social media and brag to all your friends. The later your child walks the stronger they will be and more prepared they will be. Yes, there are kids who are ready earlier and physically advance faster than others but at this point what does it matter right? I get it it’s a big milestone but when she is a teenager does it matter if she started walking at 8 months or 15 months? Nope, walking early doesn’t mean your kid is going to be a professional athlete.
My wife and I have just lived through this scenario, we kept seeing children her age or younger walking around like little toddlers while our daughter would walk but only back and forth between the two us from a fairly short distance away. We knew she could do it she just didn’t have the confidence to take off on her own. It caused us a lot of stress and anxiety wondering if there was something wrong, or were we not practicing enough with her, or was it something we did? The answer is none of the above. Right around 14.5 months we were walking out of a restaurant one night with her holding my wife’s hand and like magic she dropped my wife’s hand and just starting walking on her own and from that point on each and every day she has got stronger and sturdier and more confident. The next day even she was getting up from a seated position like it was no big deal. I think a lot of that can be attributed to her waiting a bit longer to go off on her own; she was strong and more developed. It was such a burden off of our shoulders and just like that all those anxious and stress filled weeks and days were part of the past.
The moral of the story here is don’t rush your baby and always talk to your doctor. Our doctor for instance said to relax and be patient if your child is not walking by 16 months then you might need some therapy but until then she will walk when she is ready. Listen to the professional, don’t get sucked into social media and listening to other parents, your child will walk when she is good and ready. Encourage her and help her when she needs it and trust the process. Always remember there is no perfect path and there is no guidebook to parenting, we all do the absolute best that we can and that is good enough. Your child will hit all of these amazing milestones and you can look forward to each and every one whether that be earlier than expected or later than expected they are all so special.
A main trend in today’s business landscape is flexibility at work, melding the corporate office with the luxuries of your home. While I am a very strong supporter of this movement and would advise all corporations, no matter how big or small, to offer this choice to their employees is the downfall productivity?
In general I think each person is different. Some people enjoy the structure given to them by a corporate office while others are distracted by the distractions and need a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of the cube farm. But how can anyone be sure that work will not suffer?
In my opinion productivity and maintaining it is the major road block companies are hitting on the work from home front. Will we get taken advantage of? Can we trust our employees? Will we get the same level of work and productivity? If yes, how do we measure this and how can we formulize this data into tangible real life results? All very relevant questions and while these can all be built out in various shapes and forms what will the cost be?
It’s easy to see both sides of this argument right? From a corporate perspective people have kids, pets, TV’s, phones, tablets, couches, and beds that all scream out to them. On the flip side people have the luxury of sneaking in a couple hours on the weekend or late at night and can argue they will work more hours without losing productivity. It does not matter what point I bring up there is a strong counter argument from the other side. How then is one supposed to approach this growing trend that is quickly becoming a reality?
What do you think? Will productivity suffer? Could you carry out your daily tasks just as effectively from a home office?
I feel like picking a daycare is a little bit like the college search these days, and me and my wife are currently in the process of being overwhelmed by the options, styles, curriculum, and endless reviews. I mean my wife and I are about take more time off of work to go on our third scheduled tour of a daycare facility, this process is literally showing parallels to touring college campuses. It is amazing how many there are too, within I’d say a 2 mile radius there must be close to 10 different daycares. Each of them so different yet so similar and none of which our daughter will even remember. I think finding a daycare is another one of those instances where parents overthink and overanalyze every minute detail until they drive themselves crazy. It’s understandable though, especially at this age where your beautiful child is still so sensitive and still needs lots of love and attention so how do you know the place you choose will provide that while still teaching those life building skills that are so important as they transition from infant to toddler? Is there even a right choice? Should I choose a Montessori school? Should I choose the same daycare her playdate friend goes to? What age should we put her in daycare? Is the more expensive place worth it? The questions along with the anxiety they bring never end.
This past week my wife, daughter, and I spent a week in the Dominican Republic and while it was
beautiful and nice to be away from the daily grind, it was exhausting. Traveling with a 1 year old is
stressful enough, especially on a trip that pushes roughly 5 hours of air time but factor in early
departure times and layovers and unfamiliar scenarios for a baby that has a very structured life at home and things start to get even more stressful. She did great (and my wife deserves all the credit) and we are so blessed to have a baby that is well behaved but overall I think as parents we stress ourselves out, right? We make ourselves so anxious about the hypothetical “what ifs?”, that we drive ourselves crazy when at the end of the day we all get through it and we survive and everything is ok. I think people tend to put themselves in bubbles and need to realize that millions of people travel with children and have been forever so you are not alone. People understand the complications and stressing yourself out only rubs off on the people around you. Stay calm, ask for help when needed, and know everything is going to be ok. Something that really helped us, and I think can help anyone traveling with a young one, is scheduling your departure times as close as possible to the babies nap time and/or sleep schedule. For instance leaving early in the morning will allow the baby to fall asleep for a large portion of the trip, and for us our daughter naps around 1 p.m. every day so scheduling flights mid-afternoon allows her to eat, have a bottle, and fall asleep. I also had a friend suggest to me that using a sound machine not only helps at home but the sound is very familiar to the rumble of the plane so your child will be used to the rumbling from the plane’s engine. Every little advantage helps you and your little one make the trip better for all parties.
While my true name may be anonymous the title of my blog paints a complete picture of who I am and what I represent. I personally never knew if I had a true identity and characteristics that made me stand out. Some people are extremely charismatic, some people are great athletes, some people have a personal style that is unforgettable but I don’t think, until recently, I really ever knew what made me the individual I am today. That is where this blog, Vegan Sports Dad, came into focus for me. Initially I didn’t exactly know what to call my blog and while I had started a few before I always tried to have catchy and flashy names so I wanted this blog to be about me. Who was I though? I was always a little confused what my true identity was as well as what passions truly drove me but it seemed that all I had to do was look in the mirror and see what defined me and made me the person I am today so let’s take a closer look and give you all an idea of why I chose this name and who I am.
My wife and I want to raise our daughter to be a strong, independent, healthy, and intelligent woman. We don’t want to force anything on her just because we want her to be a certain way as that defeats the entire purpose, so I am wondering when is the best time to truly educate her on the benefits of veganism? I say “best time” because obviously as an infant and toddler we can dictate what foods she consumes as well as when she starts and progresses through the early stages of daycare and school. What happens though when other kids start talking about their lunches, or when she really begins to think independently and stay with friends, or have sleepovers, and maybe even goes to sleep away camps? How can we best prepare her? I think that question mostly answers itself right? The path forward starts early as you raise them to enjoy the food that you eat yourself and I think just the subtle continuing of education helps to set your child up with a solid foundation. The basis for this post was I think the majority of people become vegan after watching “X” documentary, whether that be Cowspiracy, What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, Live and Let Live or the numerous other powerful films many of which may not be appropriate for kids to see at certain ages. I’ll be honest, even to this day, I can’t watch some of the animal cruelty shown on TV and the internet. So that brings me to my initial question, when exactly is the right time to show them one of these videos or really drive home the benefits of veganism, the pitfalls of eating meat and dairy, and then to let them make a decision on their own? Is it when they are teenagers? Is it when they become young “adults” what exactly is the right play? I want to say when they are teenagers is the right call since this is when kids really begin to mature and open their eyes to what life is, it also a time when kids tend to really think and make decisions for themselves. I guess time will tell but what do you think is the right time?
My daughter just turned 1 this past July and my wife and I figured it was time to transition her away from formula and to milk. Both being vegans obviously that milk was going to be non-dairy but with all of the options out there we struggled to determine what milk or combination of milk to use. Do we use Almond, Cashew, Macadamia, Oat, Pea, Soy, Coconut, Rice, or Hemp the list today is literally endless. We had a good conversation with our pediatrician and he said to absolutely go ahead and use non-dairy milk but if anything do your research and make sure if one is lacking in any area to supplement her milk with other foods. For instance Almond milk is very low in protein so we couldn’t use only almond unless we supplemented the protein intake elsewhere. Well we did our research and while we don’t mind at all supplementing where needed we wanted to provide the most nutritious feeding for her bottle time. At present what we are doing a mixture of Oat and Pea Milk. Pea Milk is very high in protein and the 50/50 mix of the two doesn’t sacrifice taste while still providing a great balance of the vitamins and nutrients she needs. The result has been great and she loves the milk which we still add a multi-vitamin too and she has been finishing her full bottle on a more regular basis. Has anyone else had success with other options or combinations?
Why people? Whyyyyyyyyyy!?!? I’m going to give a little bit of advice here I have worked for many different companies from small to large from strict to flexible and the #truth is they don’t care if you work late or you work on the weekend or you don’t take vacation days. It doesn’t help you climb the corporate ladder and it doesn’t help you get that dream job. A company will ax you without reason at any time for no reason, they only care about their bottom line and your left at the alter burnt out with regret. It is also not cool telling people you haven’t had a vacation in 3 years when you’re standing around the water cooler at work. The joke is on you, the only thing winning in that situation is your employer who is paying you to do someone else’s job. I’m sorry this is just a fact and these days are yours and yours only, if you find yourself with extra towards the holidays then just takes days off and stay home and be with your family or go visit a friend or better yet just sit around the house and do nothing. Believe me the next promotion doesn’t care who took vacation and who didn’t it only cares who does the best work and I’ll be willing to bet the person taking the vacation and recharging their batteries and relaxing is more efficient and organized than the person that doesn’t. Take your days! Prioritize loved ones! They are the ones that are there for you at the end of the day.
I came across an article the other day that said according to a recent study by a team of sociologists at Brigham Young and Ball State universities fathers today are more engaged with their kids than previous generations. Whether you agree or not I think there a few factors that play a part in this discussion.
Parenting is hard enough as it is, especially year 1, but living a vegan lifestyle and wanting your child to follow in your footsteps always adds a little wrinkle to your already hectic schedule. Granted in year 1 it’s not like parents are chopping up burgers and hot dogs or bacon (please god I hope they aren’t) and feeding it to your baby and most of the level 1 foods are fruits and vegetables but there are always the tough decisions on what formula is the best, do you want it to be Vegan? Will you make an exception to give your baby the best brand that might not have a dairy free option? What about eggs? Will you feed them a substitute or will you only use tofu? What if the doctor recommends something you don’t agree with?