Dad Update

It’s been a while since I touched on being a dad.  Our boys are now 4 (H) and 2 (J), and as we’ve heard from a lot of parents (specifically the parents of older children), we’re ‘in the thick of it.’  I see what they mean.  Our 4-year old’s independence is growing daily.  He doesn’t need mom and dad within arm’s reach every waking minute.  He enjoys playing by himself, even if it’s for only 30-minute increments.  Our 2-year old is thriving.  He is a sponge – he wants to do everything that his big brother is doing, and is learning so much.  He’s also becoming really vocal.  It’s a lot of fun.  He gets a little frustrated when he can’t communicate effectively, but what’s cool is that he and his brother totally understand each other…like C3PO and R2D2.

Our weeks are largely the same.  Monday through Friday our boys are at school from 7-5.  H is in the pre-K program, where he is really enjoying learning.  J is still in the traditional daycare program.  Mrs. RCS and I are both still working from the house and are taking advantage of our time together.  We both do our best to shut down around 5-5:30, then it’s kid time.

During the week, our evenings are either at home (play > dinner > playtime > stories > review our house rules > prayers > bed). We try to go to the pool at the club as much as possible before they shut it down.  We’ll pick them up from school and head straight over, swim for an hour, order dinner, and play until they melt down.  No sense in not taking advantage of the daylight.

We moved J into H’s room a couple of months ago, so the boys are officially sharing a room.  The transition has taken a while, but we’re getting there. The boys have FOMO in the morning…sometime EARLY morning…but I have faith that it’ll even out.  I’m a morning person, so I don’t mind.  We use the Hatch light and have trained them that they need to sleep until their light turns green (programmed at 6:30 AM).  That training is going slow (wink face emoji).  If anyone has any advice on getting children to sleep a little later, I’m all ears.

Our weekends are actually a lot of fun.  H just started soccer at the church, so that’ll consume a lot of Saturday mornings through Haloween. The pool should be open through September, then we’ll get busy on the Zoo > Aquarium > Fernbank season. Some friends who have pools will keep them open for a while, so those will be fun afternoon playdates.  Other than that, we’ll frequent playgrounds, golf – either the golf course (putting green) or a mat in the driveway. We’re still doing naps – the boys operate much better with a couple of hours of downtime in the middle of the day.  Those naps are a Godsend.  Honestly, by Sunday night Mrs. RCS and I are both pretty fried.


Mrs. RCS and I work hard to keep a balance. We love our kids – they are the most important people in our lives. However, we both have interests outside of being parents.  Obviously, our children are our priorities, but we have other interests outside of raising children.  We both allow and encourage each other to enjoy those interests. We’ve learned that this makes us better parents.  For our children, they know that we love them unconditionally, and we’ll always be there for them, but Mrs. RCS and I don’t judge our parenting ability by the amount of time we spend with them, or how ‘friendly’ we are with our kids.  Of course, not everyone is built the same, but we’ve found what works for us.

We both love date nights and traveling together.  We try to have a night out at least 2-3 times a month and try to take a couple of vacations a year sans kids.  We also have a great relationship with both of our families.  Her folks keep our kids ~one weekend a month, which is HUGE for us.  It’s a nice mental break, and we miss them like crazy come Sunday.

We also support each other’s hobbies. If I’m going golfing or hunting one day, she is more than happy to wrangle the kids.  Same with me: if she needs a night out with her friends or just some alone time, I’m more than happy to hang with the kids and give her that.

Here is some stuff we’ve found that really works – I’m going to say “we” because L and I are 99% on the same page.  Again, this is our plan.  Everyone is built differently.

1. We constantly remind our boys of the Golden Rule: ‘Treat others how you expect to be treated’ (paraphrased from Matthew 7:12).  This will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
2. We don’t treat our boys like babies. We do our best to let them figure stuff out. Want to climb on a chair? Cool! I love climbing on chairs. However, I’ve fallen off my fair share, and know the consequences. Me telling my kids one thousand times: “don’t climb on chairs because you could fall off and get hurt” isn’t nearly as effective as a solid fall and fifteen minutes of recovery. Metaphorically, there are times when we let nature take its course. And then we don’t have issues with them climbing on chairs. Ever again.
3. Mealtime is the time to eat. We’ve tried to get away from grazing all day.  Our youngest eats like a horse, but our oldest is pretty picky.  It’s been a bit of a challenge, so we’ve found that putting some structure around it helps.
4. Kid toy purges. Stuff accumulates. Stuff breaks. Stuff collects dust. We’ve got to purge. It doesn’t matter what we spent on it. If the toy is still in good shape but the boys are done with it, then we donate it. Otherwise, we trash all the broken/random pieces.
5. Kid clothes. Holy lord. Thank God our kids wear uniforms to school – makes it so much easier.  We try to keep their closets free of stuff that they won’t wear for whatever reason, which helps.
6. In addition to “I’m proud of you”, we also remind them “you should be proud of yourself”.  Self-worth.
7. We have a healthy budget for babysitters.

So that’s where we are these days.  Being a parent is extremely rewarding, and pretty trying.  Both can, and should exist.  The best advice we’ve received is ‘the days are long but the months are short.’  That couldn’t be more true.

How are things on your end?



  1. CCE
    08/24/2021 / 9:45 AM

    We have one 4 y/o girl (so far), and we are at that stage where life is pretty good (no diapers, regular sleep schedule, don’t have to watch her like a hawk). I work and my stays home, and being able to support each others’ hobbies/interests and giving each other a break is key, as you mentioned. It’s also important that we make time for our adult friends, and I think it’s good for our daughter to see that mommy and daddy have healthy adult relationships outside of family members (it’s so easy to let adult friendships deteriorate when you have young children). Another key for our mental health has been finding a solid group of families that are in the same season of life as us; for us this was joining a church but there are other outlets, I’m sure. Being a parent is hard and my one piece of advice is to not be afraid to ask for help and don’t feel bad for wanting to spend time away from your kid(s).

  2. Will
    08/24/2021 / 9:50 AM

    As a new dad (2 months today), I really love the dad posts you’ve had and this is no exception. Thanks for taking the time. Looking forward to more in the future.

  3. Max
    08/24/2021 / 11:06 AM

    This was a helpful read as my first is on the way. I was really turned off when I saw a family out to dinner and the kids all had iPads. Didn’t say a word to each other the entire meal.

    I give a lot of thought as to how I can keep my kid from being buried in an iPad his entire childhood. I fear it’s going to be an uphill battle.

    • H
      08/24/2021 / 1:23 PM

      I used to think that I would never be the parent/family with iPads. I have a 4 year old boy and 3 year old boy. Really only time they use them IS at a dinner ( not a higher end place – family atmosphere ones). My kids are outside non stop, play sports (the ones they are age for), go to school/daycare but an iPad is actually pretty helpful when they get impatient or hungry – plus they use it for learning games they don’t just like search the internet. My 3 year old JUST turned 3 and speaks better than most 6 year olds and I credit the ipad with some help from the things kids can learn on them now.

    • DCD
      08/24/2021 / 3:18 PM

      1. Congrats, being a dad has been the best thing that happened to me.

      2. Dad of 3 here (4,2, 6 weeks). This day and age I am of the view that the iPad/tablet is inevitable. It’s part of life. It’s your job as a parent to set the expectations and how it is used. Ours are loaded with educational apps and YouTube Kids to ensure the content is of the right nature. The oldest knows its a privilege and has learned to share it with his younger brother. They don’t use it a lot and would rather spend time outside (thank God), but it serves a purpose as a parent of 3. And it never comes into restaurants with us, we bring our own crayons and paper for the analog entertainment if the restaurant doesn’t provide.

      3. Ultimately it will be your call and you need to do what works for you and your family. I have learned to give parenting advice only when asked because what works for me, may not work in your situation. Always happy to share my point of view, but know it may not work for everyone.

    • MJ
      08/24/2021 / 8:44 PM

      Our 5 year old daughter doesn’t have an iPad, and really she doesn’t even know what she’s missing. She still watches her fair share of Disney plus, so it’s not like we’re totally against any screen. We just didn’t want a portable one that goes everywhere. Like you, we didn’t want to have that kid that throws a fit in the restaurant if someone doesn’t hand her an iPad. And of course different strokes, YMMV, etc etc but works for us.

      This reminds me – I need to do a better job of staying off the phone myself.

  4. CRW
    08/24/2021 / 2:57 PM

    Have a 3.5 year old boy. As my mother puts it “He’s a busy boy”. He is go go go all the time. Trying to keep a good schedule of Activities is important. He is signed up for his 2nd Soccer Totes experience. This time with Gwinnett Soccer Academy. He can’t wait and neither can we. Weekends can be tough. Still taking Advantage of Pools and Splash Pads that are in the area and we have access to them. Looking forward to some Hikes and maybe a camping trip in the fall.

    He started early Pre-K this year with a uniform. Took about 3 weeks but he is finally falling in line with it.

  5. TM
    08/25/2021 / 11:19 AM

    Just don’t introduce it to them. Kids aren’t born with the awareness of/desire for devices. They’ll adapt to whatever you introduce into their lives. That could be books, art, and being outdoors or it could be all manner of screens. It’s amazing to me how many toddlers have devices these days. Many folks use them as babysitters. You’ll often hear those same parents complaining about how their kids have meltdowns when their tablets are taken away.

  6. SFM
    08/25/2021 / 5:18 PM

    We have a 1.5 year old, and he is shot out of a cannon, but a lot of fun and relatively good natured. I think it was mentioned in the posts above, but having good friends who are on roughly the same time table as us with kids is fantastic. It allows us to get together and trade off watching over the toddlers (The wives will take a minute and hang out unencumbered, then the dads will sneak off for a beer, and so it goes). It helps with sitters too as many of us don’t have adult family members immediately near by. I’m still new at this whole dad thing but I’m so grateful we did it, even though I’m sure the toughest is yet to come.

  7. PC
    08/25/2021 / 8:59 PM

    Love the article, we’re in a similar place with 4 yr girl, 2 yr girl, and a 4 week boy. We have the same clock for them that turns green and it was tough initially getting them to buy in to it. So my wife had the genius idea to get a “prize bag” that she filled with $1-$2 prizes from dollar store and Target and if the girls kept quiet and didn’t yell for us until the light turned green in the AM then they got to pick a prize out of the bag. It took a 5-6 nights but they did finally get the hang of it and now we get to play the game of slowly bumping back the alarm time— we have gone from 6am all the way to 7am now and it is GLORIOUS! Give it a shot!

  8. Taylor Johnson
    08/31/2021 / 3:00 PM

    My first child a boy will be turning 6 months old in a few days. It’s been fun. He is the coolest,

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