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men who change diapers change the world

Thursday, 25 November 2004
Looking for something?

Happy Thanksgiving guys. I almost didn't make it to the at-home convention this year. I've been caring for my nine-year-old son who has been wheelchair bound the last 6 weeks due to leg surgery (to correct one leg longer than another). I ended up watching the Red Sox Yankees series from the Boston Children's hospital in the wee hours... I could even see the Citgo sign out the window. My son will be back to school next week so I promise I will be back to my blogging game. I will give my thoughts on the convention and a bunch of other at-home dad news. You may have noticed that I've begun adding to my at-home dad blog list. If you would like to be included let me know.

Posted by athomedad at 1:33 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 28 November 2004 12:39 PM EST
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Wednesday, 6 October 2004
Extreme Stroller walking

Looks like at-home dad Michael Zorek has taken stroller walks to an extreme level. A few years ago this New Yorker started requesting to have his 4 month old Jeremy's picture taken with celebrities he has meet in the city. It started out with the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis and Tiki Barber. Over the next few years with the help of attending book signings, charity events, and political campaign stops his kid mugged with Howard Dean, Spike Lee, Julie Andrews, Bill Clinton, Ringo Starr, Billy Joel (at right), Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker and on and on. As the pictures grew he threw them on is web site "Who is that with Jeremy" he's claimed to have 425,000 hits as of today. Asked in an interview by AP reporter Rebecca Miller weather he is exploiting the child, he says "I don't want people to think we're monsters and that I drag him around and thrust him at people," he said. "I ask people if I can take their picture. If they say no, they say no." Besides, he says his "snapshot days are numbered.... He's starting preschool, which will cut down on his celebrity-trolling excursions."

At-Home Dad Playgroup Updates: We have a new playgroup in Lincoln, Nebraska, And Marc Allen is now the new playgroup leader at the Delaware At-Home Dad Association (DADA) taking over for Stuart Ungar, thanks for the service Stuart!

Posted by athomedad at 10:33 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 28 November 2004 12:40 PM EST
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Wednesday, 22 September 2004
The Stay-at-Home Dad Handbook

An at-home dad book I have been working on has finally been released. Those that I promised a copy to will get it by the first week of October. I have stories and quotes from many dads that have been in the At-Home Dad Newsletter, active in the playgroups and websites. Here is a list of those people. Thank you so much to those that contributed. Although it's billed as a "handbook" the several stories submitted by dads, some humorous some heartfelt, will distract you from the "handbook" implication. If you read a copy I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think. If you would like to actually be an author of a profitable parenting book on fatherhood, it's pretty easy, you just have to be Bill Cosby. His book Fatherhood which according to started the round of huge advances for the big names. If you still want to try, here's a poor overview of what you need to know. The Proposal - Submitting the idea is easy, getting the publisher to say yes is not. You or your agent (if you have one) will peddle your idea to a bunch of publishing companies, in my case 30. I got back 29 vague rejection letters that went something like this: Although we felt that, Peter has a nitch audience we are discouraged by the past performance of fathering books but we do hope you find a home for it (read: we don't think it will make money). One of of the publishers may bite, which in my case was the Chicago Review Press of which I am grateful. The Advance - This is the fun part, on the strength of your proposal idea they actually give you money before you have even written the book. Of course you may have to settle for something less than the million dollar Bill Clinton-ish advances. Writing the book -That's easy, just write as you go. When your baby is doing something, like say, projectile vomiting, don't clean it up right away! Write down what you are seeing and feeling while the vomit is still fresh in your mind. That way the experience is written raw and is believable and funny. The editors love that stuff. The First Draft, The Second Draft, The Third Draft - After submitting your "final" copy (you will be asked to re-write it over and over until you are totally sick of your own book.) it is then the copy editor's job to edit out all the good parts you wrote about projectile vomiting. Naming the book - My title was picked out of a few choices. When I submitted the manuscript to my publisher I offered the title, Men who Change Diapers and the Women who Love them. I thought was it was pretty clever until they they started tossing around the four magic self explanatory "how-to" book title words like, manual, guidebook, survival guide and handbook. (Amazon has 144645 titles with "handbook" in it.) Thus we went from the Men who Change Diapers title to The At-Home Dad Survival Guide which lasted a week until it gave away to the final mainstreaming title: "The Stay at-Home Dad Handbook" which you will likely find in the book stores nestled between the Stay-At-Home Handbook and The Stay-at-Home Parent's Survival Guide. Promoting the Book - I've just started doing that now, I will keep you posted on my progress in future posts. If you still want to write a dad book, I'd be more than happy to help you out through the book process by e-mail or at the At-Home Dad Convention. -Pete

Posted by athomedad at 1:46 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 28 November 2004 12:43 PM EST
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Friday, 17 September 2004
Pampers melting in a Maytag dryer...
Topic: music

We start out with a new song and music video out of Tennessee that would have been the theme song of the movie Mr. Mom if it were written 22 years ago. It's from the Country music group Lonestar out of Tennessee, called Mr Mom. It's at No. 71 on the billboard charts and 30 on the country chart. The lyrics below are lock-step from the movie script Mr Mom right from the first line.... "Lost my job, came home mad...." with the usual expectations "Watch TV and take long naps" Then of course the exaggerations of dad's ineptness at home "...Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer....The kids won't eat my charcoal cake" They have also come out with an animated video ("Lenny" plays "Mr Mom" at right) for the song which you can see and listen to here, If that doesn't work try here. The video was Directed by rev-o lution pictures' Roman White offered this consolation saying "I hope viewers enjoy it "especially those real-life Mr. Moms out there working in the trenches." In an interview at, lead singer Richie McDonald (who co-wrote the song)says "Mr. Mom? is more of a tribute to the housewife, the one who doesn?t get the credit. I can?t imagine doing what my wife does, and if I did, the result would be Pampers in the dryer, crayons all over the floors and walls. ?Mr. Mom? is a light-hearted way of saying thanks to the stay-at-home mom. They have a tough job." He reflects his thought with the final lines " Thought there was nothing to it...Baby, now I know how you feel"

Mr. Mom By Lonestar

Lost my job, came home mad
Got a hug and kiss and that's too bad
She said I can go to work until you find another job
I thought I like the sound of that
Watch TV and take long naps
Go from a hand working dad to being Mr. Mom

Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer
Crayons go up one drawer higher
Rewind Barney for the fifteenth time
Breakfast, six naps at nine
There's bubble gum in the baby's hair
Sweet potatoes in my lazy chair
Been crazy all day long and it's only Monday
Mr. Mom

Football, soccer and ballet
Squeeze in Scouts and PTA
And there's that shopping list she left
That's seven pages long
How much smoke can one stove make
The kids won't eat my charcoal cake
It's more than any maid can take
Being Mr. Mom

Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer...

Before I fall in bed tonight
If the dog didn't eat the classifieds
I'm gonna look just one more time

Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer....

Balancin' checkbooks, juggling bills
Thought there was nothing to it
Baby, now I know how you feel
What I don't know is how you do it

Posted by athomedad at 12:28 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 December 2004 4:29 PM EST
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Wednesday, 15 September 2004
We're here! We're Home! Get used to it!

More news from the Batman fiasco - . ...This quote from Matt O'Connor, a spokesman for Fathers 4 Justice "If a bunch of amateur dads are able to get around (security) without too much trouble at all, that is worrying," It's the first time I have heard the term "amateur dads". If we are good at being a dad but still don't get paid are we still amateur dads?

One group who didn't have to wear Batman-like tights to get publicity was Kevin Kellar's, Austin (TX) Dads group shown above. They continue to rack up publicity and have 80 members on board. here's the latest spot on their local station (A second window may pop up as the video starts, just close it) I have also added the video on our playgroup site.

Latchkey Kids ---> Slackers ---> At-Home dads - One survey I missed the boat on while I was goofing off this summer was also reported on late by Laura DeMarco of the Oregonian titled Gen X turns out some grade A parents and is worth a read. The premise is that the Generation X kids - the 60 million Americans now between the ages of 25-47 (I barely made the cut!) who were labeled as "slackers" in the 90's are having kids now and more of them are at-home dads. The article points out some stats sprayed to the media late last year from a Reach Advisors survey titled "From Grunge to Grown Up," which surveyed 3,020 Gen X and baby boom parents. This survey spawned several GEN-X articles in the media this spring and summer, (my favorite spin of the media reporting is from daddytypes). The survey noted that "Xers were the first generation with large numbers raised in broken homes (read: Latchkey kids). Almost one third had divorced parents, compared with 13 percent of boomers". With this background they were labeled as spoiled (read Slackers), "mocked in pop culture as lazy, selfish types who would rather spend their time moping in overpriced coffee shops than moving into adulthood." So why did they end up as at-home dads instead of slacker parents? The article quotes James Chung, the president Reach Advisors "Gen Xers grew up in the aftermath of a time of much social upheaval, in an era of rapidly increasing divorce rates and mothers rapidly re-entering the work force, Some of them want to raise their families different from the way they grew up." The bottom line: We are college-educated homebodies and our kids have more fun, more discipline and more time home with us.

Posted by athomedad at 12:57 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 15 September 2004 4:15 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 14 September 2004
Get me a beer from the bat refrigerator Robin!

BAAMMM!! I couldn't resist this story after my mention, of sports vs. dad heroes last Thursday. Today, a dad dressed up as Batman somehow managed to scale Buckingham palace to draw attention to the organization Fathers 4 Justice. Their aim is to protect fathers? rights to access to their children after marriage breakdown. Apparently Robin couldn't make it past the tight security. Batman finally left his perch after 5 hours as the cold was too much for the caped crusader. Incredibly this isn't the first time this has happened. reports that on Saturday, the London Eye was scaled by another dad from Fathers 4 Justice dressed as Spiderman. Maybe we can hire the Hulk to climb the Golden Gate Bridge for an anti Mr Mom crusade.

KAPOOOW!! "Boys Behaving Badly" is now my my favorite at-home dad playgroup name for a new playgroup out of Australia.

WHAPPP!! Brian Reid reveals his new site design and comments more on the Australian playgroup at rebeldad.

Posted by athomedad at 12:39 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 September 2004 12:39 AM EDT
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Thursday, 9 September 2004
Sports Heros vs. Dad Heros

If I were to hire an ad agency to promote at-home dads this would be pretty close to it. I spotted it in the August 23rd Issue of Time magazine. As the photo shows at left,It features a 1970's style baseball card but instead of Pedro Martinez of the Red Sox, we see an unknown  "Jerry Chambers". This generic "DAD" card has him ironing what looks like a pair of slacks with the his profession "Ironer" emblazed on the bottom.

The back is hilarious with stats on his "washing ironing and folding record"  with a break down of the number of clothes  he has ironed each year. They guy even irons shirts and blouses (I don't know about you but my wife wouldn't let me near her clothes with an iron) The stats are complete with his percentage of clothes "lost per load".   Underneath the stats it says "You don't have to be a hero to be a hero"   The Ad was designed by the AdCouncil to promote adoption. Their line  "You don't have to be a hero to be a hero." challenges me to think about the issue of the sports hero vs. the involved dad. In the absence of a dad or the presence of an ignorant dad,  kids will instinctively turn to a father role model to take his place. More times than not its either a sports hero or a  gang member that takes his dad's place.  In the media what gets more attention? Sports heroes, or at-home involved dads? No research needed here but it's a good reminder to me to wonder how much of a father figure I would be if I were working outside the home.

Posted by athomedad at 1:35 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 1 September 2004
Keynote Speaker Kyle Pruett - At-Home Dads' Convention
Topic: at-home dad convention
Here is the final program for the ninth At-Home Dads'Convention. Looking forward to seing you all there. It is looking to be a good one with one of the bigger names in fathering research, child psychiatrist Kyle Pruett taking the helm as the keynote this year. Yes thats him in the photo at right as he also sings opera and performs professionally. Maybe if a few of you bring your guitars and we buy him a few drinks... Anyhow read this if you are interested in his musical side (scroll about half way down to read his story).

Rebel Dad plans to shake up the convention a bit with a talk titled "Sex and the At-Home Dad: Triumph, Satisfaction or Oxymoron?"

A little bland statistics news...Andrea Kay of Gannett News Service served up this article about Mothers and More who found that about 71 percent of its stay-at-home mom members plan to return to work. Dr Bob Frank asked the same question on his survey of At-Home Dad Newsletter readers back in 1996. 37.8% Said they were definately going back outside the home, 25.3% said they would work at home and 23.6% were not sure.

Posted by athomedad at 7:33 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 December 2004 4:28 PM EST
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Thursday, 26 August 2004
Ninth At-Home Dads Convention Lineup
Sorry for the long break but well.. the kids are out of school and I just dont have the time yet. I will be up to speed Sept 7th or so when the kids are back to school. Just wanted to note that a tenative lineup for the ninth At-Home Dads'Convention is out and I wanted to keep you up to speed. There will be very little change from what you see here.

Posted by athomedad at 5:08 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 1 September 2004 5:32 PM EDT
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Friday, 2 July 2004

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, kids are out of school & family issues are taking up time. I will not be posting much during the summer. We have had a furoius thread going on the message board about the kids being home during the summer or weekends while the spouse is still working. In one post a reader writes of the weekends: "Me being the kitchenbitch (self elected title) still does all food and plays host to the paycheck person (sounds grim, but I actually enjoy it most of the time, thus we decided this role change. But I really wonder sometimes WHEN we do have weekend .. And with this initial Vacation post (of course I thought immediately this will be the post of a panicked AHD who things he cannot control the kids if wife is 2 weeks out of town) I realized that having wife as a 'stay at home princess' for 2 weeks must be quite a challenge!"

The convention At-Home Dad Convention is still being shaped up. Kyle Pruett will be the Keynote speaker. Dr. Kyle Pruett is an international authority on child development with a special interest in fatherhood and its effects on children. Dr. Pruett is the author of the award-winning book The Nurturing Father, and was the host of the Lifetime Cable series Your Child Six to Twelve with Dr. Kyle Pruett.

Posted by athomedad at 10:18 AM EDT
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