Dads are Parents too!

My son started 1st grade this year and at the end of August my husband and I were anxiously awaiting the text message with the class placement for him. Finally, my phone pinged with the info. MY phone only. Not his. Apparently, they sent the information to the moms only.

The first day of school was amazing. They had a big ceremony to welcome all the first graders to “big kid school” and it was very beautiful and emotional. Before all the parents went home, the teachers asked all the moms to stay in the classroom for a few minutes. She wanted to give us the paperwork needed to fill out with all the medical information, permission slips for trips, etc. Why just the moms? Do the dads not know this info about their children?

That night, a class Whatsapp was created by one of the moms for all the other moms so that we can help each other out with questions and keep each other informed. While I think that it’s a great idea – why just the moms?? Why can’t we include BOTH parents in the group?

My husband (like so many other dads) relies on me to get all the information about our kids. I used to think it was laziness on his part but now I realize that it’s not that most dads don’t want or care to be involved, it’s that they don’t get included. There are so many “Mommy & Me” classes but there aren’t any “Daddy & Me” classes or “Me & My Parents”. It drives me crazy!

My husband loves our three children *to the moon and back* and of course he cares about the ins and outs of their day! He takes them to school almost every morning and packs their school lunches every night. He kisses boo-boos and changes diapers. He tucks them in to bed and reads stories with them …. Why wouldn’t he?

Dads are parents too!

 

‘Coz We Are Living In A Material World …

Last year I noticed that my oldest son (then 8 years old) was starting to become obsessed with materialistic stuff. Always talking about the size of this or that house, the cool new toys he saw advertised, expensive cars, etc.

He wasn’t lacking anything he needed (or even wanted for that matter) but I realized that I haven’t been doing a great job at teaching him the difference between what he needs and what he wants. I knew I needed to talk to him. During our trips to the city I would give him change to give the needy, but I didn’t feel that he really understood. I started thinking of what I can do to get him more involved.

I then met these two wonderful women who ran a small organization called “A Cake from the Heart”. They would recruit people to bake birthday cakes for children whose parents really couldn’t afford to buy or bake them one.

This caught my son’s attention right away. In our house birthdays are HUGE. I love to bake so I make so many cakes for him and his brothers. A small cake for their actual birthday at home, a cake to take to school to share with their friends, a cake for their party … and each time it has a theme and a design. For him to hear that there are children who might not even get a regular simple cake for their birthday broke his heart. I decided to get my two older kids involved with this.

In one month we baked 17 cakes for needy children. We asked for their ages and tried to find out what they liked (soccer, dinosaurs, etc) so that we can make the cake as fun as possible.

The boys helped me bake and design the cakes. I took the boys with me the first time we went to deliver a cake to the organization. When we stepped inside my boys saw all the second hand items that other people had donated. They saw clothes, toys, baby gear and more.

On the way home, my older son asked me what else we can do to help. He said he never thought about how hard it was for some children to just be able to afford clothes and how sad he felt for them.

We decided together that twice a year (when we de-clutter the house) we would take the toys and clothes that they have outgrown (or got bored of) and donate it to needy families. My son even got a few of his friends involved.

Around the holiday season we got his class involved and this year we are doing a school-wide project collecting gifts and clothes for the needy.

As hard as the experience was for him, I think it opened his eyes to a world he didn’t realize existed and helped him become a little less obsessed with the materialistic world and a little more driven with helping others.