Planned Parenthood?

It’s easy to look at only your own life and make assumptions and judgments on parenthood.  I do it every time I write one of these posts.

You mean everyone reading this isn’t in their 30s, has two kids (the second of which is probably swinging from a chandelier right now) and is still learning how to balance life, work, and family while also trying to come to terms with the realization that the “me first” world we knew all this time no longer exists?

The fact is that I’m a parent, most of you reading this are parents, but it’s the different ways in which we got here that are most fascinating to me.

Parenthood and selflessness are on my brain right now because I’ve recently met two dads in social media who are over 40 and having/had their first child.  I’ve often marveled at how friends I’ve made on Twitter, friends with completely different backgrounds than mine, have ended up in the same place and time, with similar parenting theories and challenges.  The majority of these friends are close in age to myself and with kids close in age to mine.  But I honestly never took the time to consider what it would be like for someone in their early 40s to be going through what I went through in my early 30s.  For example, one of these two dads I mentioned writes about his days in the fast lane, living life to the fullest into his late 30s only to wake up one day and realize he was “utterly over himself.”  Despite all the living like there was no tomorrow, traveling, and career success, at the end of the day all he wanted was to know what “we” meant.

This blew my mind.

My wife and I talk all the time about wanting to travel more.  We even started an “Italy fund” for that day in which we either feel comfortable enough leaving the kids with someone else for an extended period of time, or *gasp* bringing them with us , but neither of us can be considered world travelers.  Career wise, all too often I lament the fact that I don’t have enough time at night to pursue some of my ideas for my own business, or even when I do have the time, that I’m too tired to be in the right frame of mind to do anything productive about it.  Live life like there is no tomorrow?  Tomorrow always seems to be 5 hours away and I’m kicking myself for not being asleep already.

Do I know what “we” means?  I’ve known “we” since my senior year in college.

I don’t say that as a bad thing, but simply to highlight the different paths this other dad and I took to parenthood.  But whereas with many dads I’ve met our paths took different twist and turns, with this dad, I almost feel like we weren’t even on the path at the same time.

My path had me up late the other night after a party, I was feeling no pain and listening to music while looking at pictures I recently took in pursuit of my next career as a world traveling photographer, and all of a sudden I was hit by an uppercut of emotions when looking at a particular picture of my boys.  I immediately sent my wife a message saying, “Looking at pictures of the boys.  Thinking I’m the luckiest guy alive.”

I am.  And the fact is, we all are; dads and moms alike.

It doesn’t matter your path.  Learning about the various paths we all take to parenthood is my favorite part of this writing experience.  Learning about all of your lives gives me perspective, and perspective is enormously important.  I’m humbled by this experience and humbled by your stories.

So what I’m really trying to say is, my “we” has officially expanded to include all of you.

Brad the Dad can be reached at and found on: Facebook|Twitter|Pinterest


The Beginning
About Brad the Dad

Enjoy a unique, fresh and entertaining perspective on parenting as Brad the Dad learns what it takes to raise 2 boys in today's world. #DadsRT co-founder.

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  1. JamesHudyma says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.  I’ve met so many amazing dads, including yourself, who help ground me and inspire me.

    • @JamesHudyma Thank, James.  It’s kinda why I’m liking this DadsRT so much.  Bunch of amazing dads supporting each other towards a common goal.

  2. SaskaDad says:

    @readbradthedad excellent post

    • readbradthedad says:

      @saskadad Thanks, bud. Had a snafu with my original pic for post. It was sideways after published. I was losing it last night. Lol.

  3. readbradthedad says:

    @stuart_sheldon Hope you liked it. Really enjoyed this post and mostly learning about your journey.

  4. Jamie says:

    does that mean WE get to go to Italy with YOU???  Hope that fund has lots of cash in it! 😉

  5. JustJessicaHoho says:

    @readbradthedad Love this. And yes, I’m spending some free time reading you.

    • readbradthedad says:

      @JustJessicaHoho Thank you very much. Not sure if you got the memo, but ALL free time is supposed to be spent reading me. 😉

      • JustJessicaHoho says:

        @readbradthedad Huh. I missed that memo. I may have been out shoe shopping 😉

        • readbradthedad says:

          @justjessicahoho You mean, weapons shopping? I’ve seen those things that you wear!

        • JustJessicaHoho says:

          @readbradthedad Ohhh, you ain’t seen nuthin yet!

  6. Kevin from SportsDadHub says:

    Good stuff Brad. I guess I was “over myself” by the time I was 23. :>)  I can’t imagine my life without my wife and our 3 boys. Seriously. I have no idea what I would do with my time. I agree with you though. It’s so helpful to hear different perspectives and stories from other dads who are going through similar experiences as me. Reminds me that it’s OK that I don’t have everything figured out. 

    • @Kevin from SportsDadHub I love the perspective. Helps me get over *myself* when I’m staring at a floor full of matchbox cars and crayons and wondering why I’m not on an island somewhere with a fancy drink in my hand.  Because I have matchbox cars and crayons on the floor and it’s the best damn thing anyone could ask for, that’s why.

  7. SportsDadHub says:

    @readbradthedad Love the “over myself” comment! Good stuff Brad.
    @stuart_sheldon #DadsRT

    • readbradthedad says:

      @sportsdadhub @stuart_sheldon Thanks! Stuart, Kev is great follow. His writing is top notch and he gives great perspective on kids & sports.

      • stuart_sheldon says:

        Great perspective on kids & sports! Bring it! @readbradthedad @SportsDadHub #parenting #dads

      • SportsDadHub says:

        @readbradthedad Thanks Brad. I dig your new avatar BTW. Looks pipin’ hot!

  8. BruceSallan says:

    @readbradthedad – How goes it, Brad! #DadChat

    • readbradthedad says:

      @BruceSallan Great, Bruce. Really trying to embrace your social good concept. Feels right inside. Been doing Twitter for @FCCFinfo.

  9. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t get over myself until I was about 26. By that time, all of our kids were already born. (We have a “hers, mine, and ours” situation…) Now? I can’t imagine what I would have been like now or when I turn 40 (another 4 years.) 
    When I do think about “what would have been had I not…” I simply divert my mind to “you wouldn’t have any of them…” and I move on, enjoying the fact that I am a dad.
    Great insight.

    • Thanks for sharing, BPD. I still go through phases of getting over myself, but to be honest, the great group of dads I’ve met here help me realize I’m not alone in my challenges.

  10. Jen says:

    Your blog is delicious to both my eyes & my heart. In love w/ it! Hooray for blog hop!

    • Thanks, Jen. Hooray for blog hop is right. We are practically old friends these days.

  11. Beautifully put!

    • Thanks, Gina. This post has had something of a resurgence the past few days….I’m going to go out on a limb and thank you for this. Much love.

  12. Twinsies says:

    Ah, this post made me tear up. I often find myself getting overwhelmed in the busy-ness involved in working full time and striving for balance. I will purposefully scroll through pictures in my phone of my 5 and 3 year olds and remember the “why” I am working as hard as I am.

    You worded these feelings beautifully!

    • Thanks, friend. This post wouldn’t be complete without my sister-from-another-mother weighing in. As much as I enjoy learning about the different paths and experiences of others, I also greatly enjoy learning about those who shared similar paths/experiences. Now turn off that B&W tv, the buzzer just went off. 😉

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