Tag Archives: Dad

Seven Things I Want my Dad to Know Before It’s too late

dad

Sure we’d say, “I love you,” and some things were just understood, but we didn’t necessarily communicate on a certain level – that level where you just sit around clearly communicating and talking about feelings. Our actions spoke louder than words, so it was clearly shown how everyone felt, and I felt loved, but I wish I could verbalize some things – to further convey that love. Below are seven things I’d want my dad to know before it was too late: Continue reading

Dreaming of My Dad Years After His Death

HeartLast night I dreamed of my dad. I wish I could say I remember all the details, but what I remember is enough. I woke up with a smile. Since my dad died 4 years ago from pancreatic cancer, I’m always happy when I dream of him.

I feel his energy and presence around me all the time when I’m awake: writing, reading, crying, laughing, walking on the beach, driving, meditating, and, of course, during savasana. Oh, sweet savasana! But when I’m asleep and I dream of him, those times take me by the biggest surprise because it’s normally unexpected (I’m not thinking about him when I go to bed or asking for him to show up in my dream).

I always wake up from one of these dreams thinking how normal it felt, as if the dream scenario was 100% real. Of course, it is real – real in another dimension than the physical plane we occupy now. I guess that’s what makes it so difficult to understand, because there are no big “aha” moments in these dreams. We are normally just hanging out as we did when his physical body was still here. Sometimes he is healthy, other times he is sick, but the dreams typically feel ordinary.

I have to admit, one thing that always nags at me the next morning is why. Why did I dream of him? What does it mean? I’ve always been a curious person, and I wish I knew why I dream of him sporadically and if there is a deep meaning behind it.

There are many schools of thought regarding the meaning of dreams. Dreaming of him could be a survival instinct to refocus on cherishing the physical realm relationships I have now. I could unconsciously be thinking of him more than I realize, and that’s why he shows up in my dreams. Of course, it could be Dad just dropping in to say “hello”. Or, it could mean nothing at all (although, that would admittedly be a downer).

I guess regardless of what it means, I am happy when he is in my dreams. Yes, sometimes it may make me sad and miss him, but I know I’m lucky to even have these dreams. I cherish them.

Years ago, I eagerly visited a shaman to ask him some deep, life questions. I was at peace when I left, but not because he answered my questions. Turns out, he told me I simply ask too many questions. I’ve always remembered that and understood what he was teaching me: There are many ways to “know” things, and they don’t always appear in ways our brains and minds can understand. My dream questions remind me of this. Of course, I am still intrigued with the why and what, but for now, I’m just happy to “see” my dad in my dreams.

Reach Out: The Communal Side to Parenting

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.There’s no class on parenting, no university degree in child-rearing. Yet for those who decide to become parents, it is a lifelong, 24/7 job that no amount of babysitting or book reading can fully prepare you for. So you dive in headfirst; you improvise, make mistakes, learn from your mistakes and adjust as time goes on. It may be some consolation to know that billions of people before you have survived the trials and joys of parenthood and that thousands of your neighbors right now are on the journey alongside you. And if questions arise? All you have to do is ask.

This week, The Chopra Well YouTube channel launches a new show entirely dedicated to conscious parenting. “Perfectly Imperfect Parents” features three Los Angeles mothers (a pediatrician, an entrepreneur and a comic) in a roundtable discussion on their challenges, successes and failures as they strive to raise balanced, happy children. They share stories and compare notes on some of the biggest issues parents face with their kids, including bullying, social media, healthy living, sex and body image.

Mallika Chopra, author and founder of Intent.com, hosts the show, alongside her friends, Dr. Cara Natterson and Dani Klein Modisett. Cara is a pediatrician who has authored several medical and parenting books, including the best-selling American Girl book, The Care and Keeping of You. Dani is a writer, actress, and comedienne who created the live show “Afterbirth,” which has been running in Los Angeles for eight years.

Perfectly Imperfect Parents” reminds us of the resources at our disposal through our friends, colleagues, siblings, and our own parents. There’s no science to being a parent, but anyone who’s been down that road before may have some useful tips to share about the journey. Mallika, Cara and Dani come together every week to discuss a different topic, bringing to the table a certain set of experiences and methods. But each of them walks away with a richer understanding of the issue and even some new tricks to try out, proving, as Dr. Cara says, that it’s never too late to try something new as a parent.

The show kicks off with a discussion on one of the hot button issues of parenting: bullying. This topic has come to the fore of public discourse recently, particularly with Amanda Todd’s tragic suicide in October of 2012 and with media coverage from celebrities like Lady Gaga and Jennifer Garner.

Join us on Thursday, February 7 at The Chopra Well for Episode 1 of “Perfectly Imperfect Parents.” And be sure to subscribe to the channel to stay updated on our latest videos!

photo by: legends2k

Are You a Perfect Parent?

How about a perfectly imperfect one?

This February The Chopra Well launches our new family-centered show, PERFECTLY IMPERFECT PARENTS. Consider it your go-to for thoughtful, realistic parenting advice, with a twist of humor.

Three Los Angeles mothers (a pediatrician, an entrepreneur and a comic) sit down to compare notes and share stories from their challenges, successes and failures in parenting. Host Mallika Chopra is the driving force behind the website Intent.com and has authored two books on parenting. Dani Klein Modisett is a writer, actress, and comic who created the live show “Afterbirth,” which has been running in Los Angeles for eight years. And Dr. Cara Natterson M.D. is a pediatrician who has authored several medical and parenting books, the latest an update and expansion of the best-selling American Girl book entitled The Care and Keeping of You.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 1.31.14 PMAs these three moms strive to raise balanced, respectful and happy children, they all face similar challenges, but with a slightly different approach. Every episode tackles a unique issue of family life, with plenty of tips and humor interspersed. How do you instill children with a sense of community responsibility? Do you allow smart phones? How about sleepovers? And how do you broach the subject of sex with squeamish adolescents?

The show launches on February 7, with an episode on bullying. This issue has featured heavily in the news recently, especially with celebrity coverage from the likes of Lady Gaga and Jennifer Garner. The hosts discuss the prevalence of bullying and what parents can do to ensure their kids’ positive school experience. Not to miss!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well now so you don’t miss the launch of PERFECTLY IMPERFECT PARENTS!

Find Inspiration in Unlikely Places: 5 Articles from Around the Web

Inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places if we just take the time to look around. Sometimes it’s counter-intuitive advice that packs the truest wisdom. Sometimes it’s a parent making the most thoughtful and unexpected sacrifice for a child. Enjoy these articles, and may you have a quirky and inspired day!

The Duchess of Alba puts us all to shame with her floral bikini and rockin’ 86-year-old body. Talk about woman pride! Ready to hit the beach?

If 86-Year-Old Duchess Isn’t Afraid To Rock A Bikini, Neither Should You (Blisstree)

Those who have spent time around animals may not find this article “unlikely”… Animals can be truly wise. And, when we let them, they can bring out the best in us.

7 Life Lessons from a Horse (Positively Positive)

Your son comes to and says he only wants to wear dresses and skirts, here on out. What do you do? This dad chose an unexpected and beautiful course of action.

The Sweetest Photo You’ll See Today: Dad Wears Skirt (Care2)

Looking for inspiration and creativity? Try being wrong. Really, try it. You won’t be dissatisfied.

Why Being Wrong Is the Best Thing for You (MindBodyGreen)

And for a look at the lengths people will go for one another…

Maine Woman Gives Birth to Own Grandson (Yahoo! Shine)

photo by: jillyspoon

All About Moms (Mostly): 5 Articles on Stress, Babies, and Parenting

Deciding whether or not to become a parent is one of life’s big decisions. For some, it’s a no-brainer. For others, it entails months, even years, of agonizing doubt and hesitation. Parenting isn’t for everyone. And for those who do choose that path, it will undoubtedly become the hardest, if potentially most rewarding, experiences of their lives. But first, says the media, lose that pregnancy weight! (Just kidding.)

So many moms are overextended and often exhausted. How much do you really know about stress and how it affects your life?

What’s Your Stress IQ? (Care2)

When celebrities are down to a size 4 just weeks after giving birth, the media applauds their discipline. When they’re still curvy and soft like every other normal post-pregnancy woman, the media attacks them. Go figure.

Celebrities Who Don’t Lose Baby Fat Fast Enough Face Backlash (YahooShine)

After this weekend’s scandal surrounding certain politicians’ takes on rape and abortion, it’s good to reflect on how our country really feels about the issue, and what we can do as parents and citizens.

I’m Doing My Best Not To Raise Rapists (Mommyish)

What do you do if you’re reaching the end of your fertility, don’t have a partner, and haven’t had kids? This woman’s friend tells her to forget about love and have a baby on her own. But maybe love is worth waiting for, after all.

Childless So Far: Why I Choose Love Over Motherhood (HuffPost)

And we know we said this would be all about moms, but here is a dad’s cute reflection on the two years since his daughter’s birth.

The 5 Dumbest Things I Did in My First Two Years as a Father (HuffPost)

photo by: christyscherrer

Trying to say goodbye…

Today, I am watching what pancreatic cancer has done to my dad.  Today, he told me he thought that he might last 2 more months than what he was told.  Today, I find I cannot stop my heart from hurting — and that anger that comes when you watch this happen.  I have done this before — with my mom.  And now my dad.  It does no one any good to be angry, I understand.  I do keep my ‘voice/tone’ up and love fills my heart for him.  But I am so not wanting to lose him.   So now, I have to be a big girl — again — and say goodbye to my last parent.  Each one had to suffer.  Each one gone too soon.  I am lost inside and hope that my prayers are heard because I feel that God might have forgotten me.   Even tho I know he is always with us — I don’t feel him.  I need to pray harder or something because this is becoming my whole emotional crisis — and I do enjoy every moment, every giggle, every guidance discussion with my dad – but I leave him and just feel so so much pain.    Cancer is the worst.

10 Festive Halloween Tips for Dads and Daughters This October

The search for Halloween costumes can be treacherous, filled with over-sexed and stereotyped "choices." These healthy ideas from Drs. Lyn Mikel Brown and Sharon Lamb (authors of Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes) help Dads fight back and let her creativity sparkle! (Use these tips with your sons, too–kids’ resiliency grows if they don’t get stuck in arbitrary gender roles.)

1. Help her think outside the box (especially boxes of store-bought costumes). Imagination and creativity can help girls break out of gender stereotypes…and are great practice for reality.
 
2.  Encourage her to be anyone or anything for Halloween–and the rest of her life. Help her to be inspired by real women doing wild, brave and phenomenal things.
 
3. Listen to her ideas and encourage all the possibilities. She is bombarded with pink princesses, sexy divas and pop stars, but don’t assume anything-let her costume choice surprise you!
 
4. Discuss and work on Halloween costumes together. It’s a great learning and bonding experience. Help her recall the best costumes she ever saw, and share some favorites from your childhood.
 
5. Add her own twist to pink and glitter, and have her character DO something. Help her imagine a feisty fairy taking on the evil dragon, a butterfly that saves the insect world, or a queen who fights for her country with sheath and sword. She can be a glittered firefighter, or even a sparkly skeleton!
 
6. Sit down and let your daughter create her own character and story. She can raid the family closets or dress up box to become the wildest or coolest character ever!
 
7. Tap her love for scary stories and the history of Halloween; help her go "traditional" and be a witch, Frankenstein, or a ghost. Avoid those sexy diva witch costumes; use your own imagination to create the scary, ugly, and awful look.
 
8. Draw on her favorite book or character. Reread the book with her to plan what she’ll need to "be" Anne of Green Gables, Dorothy of Oz, or Hermione Granger. And don’t rule out boy characters: Dracula, Harry Potter, or even Dumbledore!
 
9. Is your daughter an athlete or history buff? Halloween is a chance to become Lorena Ochoa, Mia Hamm, Danica Patrick, Sheryl Swoopes, Se Ri Pak, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, Sally Ride, Golda Meir-the list is endless (and can include males)! Her Jane Goodall can carry a stuffed gorilla; her Van Gogh can wear a bandage on his ear-once you start brainstorming, ideas will flood in.
 
10. Halloween is all about being what you aren’t…help her stretch her imagination. Teach her that it’s false advertising when stores label cowpoke, police officer and firefighter costumes as "for boys." (Then introduce her to the female police officers and fire fighters in your community!) Halloween is a day of imagination-a perfect opportunity to show her that she can be anyone, any profession, any role.
 
Learn more about healthy fathering @  www.TheDadMan.com.

 

True integrity

“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind,” declared Emerson. Personally, I think that integrity is the very base of a truly happy and blessed life. When someone is true to their integrity in their living – one way or another, the whole world knows it, the whole world is lit.

My father, Reginald Foster, had integrity. The time came when he had to stand by that integrity — just as it comes for each of us in our lives. At the age of 61, Dad, a veteran London journalist, suddenly found himself at the center of a whirlwind that had to do with a British spy named Vassall and leaks that had been made to the press concerning Vassall. The government, in its wisdom, set up a tribunal to investigate these leaks, and the bottom line was that my father and a colleague were given an ultimatum: "Tell us who gave you the information for your stories or you’ll go to prison."

Was Dad going to be true to the journalistic ethics instilled in him since he first became a reporter on the London Daily Mail at age 19 – that is to say, never disclose a source – or not?

In a dramatic face-off in a crowded, hushed chamber, Dad politely told the judge he was sorry but he couldn’t do what the judge wanted. It would be most untrue not only to himself, he told the judge, but to many brave colleagues who had perished in WW2.

Dad was given a six-month sentence, later reduced to four months, and he and a colleague became known worldwide as "the silent reporters."

We never know when we will be called upon to make the same kind of choice my father had to make in that long-ago situation — whether we will be true to ourselves and our values and principles or not.

Sometimes, perhaps most of the time, no one else is involved, or we think no one else is involved. And usually the issues are minor, or so it might seem. But the truth is, nothing is minor, or unimportant. Am I going to acknowledge, to myself at least, that something I said to another person was out-of-place? Am I going to recognize an unworthy or destructive thought for what it is?

Integrity, ultimately, is about honoring oneself, it seems to me – honoring the truth at the core of our own being. In a sense, it’s realizing we don’t have a choice. Dad wasn’t really trying to be a hero or impress anyone when he stood up and spoke as he did. He just didn’t have a choice.

Without integrity, our lives become hollow. We are a house divided, as the prophet said. And though our lives may glitter on the outside – or not — any real meaning or happiness continually eludes us.

What a different story, when integrity is present. When we surrender the delusion of choice, so that all that matters to us in any moment is to express what is true, and right, and helpful, in that moment, as best we may, we find a source of strength and comfortfs within ourselves that never fails.

In my Dad’s case — while he would no doubt have avoided prison if he could – it actually worked out in quite a positive and creative way for him. He became good friends with a number of inmates. He became good friends with the warden. His health improved, too, because he was relieved of the bother of going to a pub for awhile.

Most of all, he was able to live with himself – to keep on embodying the unique, indomitable spirit that was his until virtually the day he died, still youthful in spirit, at age 95. “A joke for every occasion,” he liked to say. Maybe it wasn’t quite true all the time. But it was true most of the time.

 

Moms and Dads – 50/50?

A few days ago, my husband and I had a 1 1/2 hour ‘conversation’ about what I consider to be a serious lack of help from him lately.. like for the past year. I feel as though he’s not been helping with everyday chores and taking care of the kids which has taken a tole on me over the last year to the effect of being on anxiety medication and an anti-depressant. I don’t take being on medication lightly as I prefer to deal with things more naturally and by communicating, but that obviously wasn’t working.

Yesterday I read parenting magazine’s "Mad at Dad" article and couldn’t have felt more relieved.  The relation between my situation and the mom’s featured in the article’s situation was exactly the same.  What timing!

My husband rearely helps with the kids laundry, feeds them the same thing everyday when he’s home with them, doesn’t remember to have our 9 year old do his homework, and wouldn’t give the kids a bath or brush their teeth if I didn’t ask.

One thing I was very relieved about and surprised to see in the article was that there are other moms who don’t want to ask or tell their husbands to do something. Again, my husband and I talked about that very issue the night before I read the article. I told him that I feel like I’m his mother when I have to ask or tell him what to do and that is not a good feeling to have about my husband, the man I’m supposed to be intimate with!

I want equality without having to ask for it. I want him to want to help me just because he knows that helping me will help with my anxiety levels, not be so stressed and consequently may be able to stop taking prescription drugs for the ridiculous anxiety attacks I have because I feel like I do EVERYTHING!

I love my husband. He is my best friend and makes me laugh more than anyone else.  For these reasons, I guess, is why I have let things get this way.

The strangest thing is that he seems oblivious to why and when I get worked up about the fact that he’s not helping with laundry or the dishes. Yes, these are little things but for a mom who:

  • runs a business from home
  • takes care of two kids (9 & 2)
  • has to keep the house presentable
  • prepare and clean up after meals
  • bathe the kids
  • help with homework
  • do laundry
  • and be available to take business phone calls

having his help with the kid’s laundry, or giving them a bath means A LOT to me.  However, when I have to ask him to do these things, I don’t want to thank him which bothers him tremendously.   He expects me to thank him for vacuming, cleaning the kitchen, or the bathrooms.

I want my husband to work with me and that is what I need to focus my energy on. How to get him to do that.

Read "Mad at Dad" on Parenting.com.

Alicia

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