Posts by category: Causes

Dads4Kesem: Why I’m Walking 84-Miles Across England This Summer

Dads4Kesem: Why I’m Walking 84-Miles Across England This Summer

What I’m about to tell you honestly started as something of a joke, to me. Someone posited the idea, and others got on board, and it truly sounded pretty awesome, but… there was just no way I could do it. No way. And so it was with that in mind I said to my wife that evening “Oh, honey, listen to this: some of my dad blogger friends are planning on flying to England next summer, and then walking 84 miles in a week across the country following the ruins of an ancient Roman wall. Doesn’t that sound awesome?”

But then came the shocker.

“Yeah it does!” she said, “You should do it! But that’s a long way, so only if you let me train you.”

And so here we are.

I’m so excited to be able to officially announce the Dads4Kesem Hadrian’s Wall Walk in July 2016, when I’ll be joining 11 other dad bloggers, writers, and influencers, as we walk together to raise funds for a new Camp Kesem chapter at the University of Maryland in honor of my friend Oren Miller, who lost his battle with cancer last year.

Here’s the sweet, sweet logo I had the privilege of making for the team:

Dads4Kesem

I’m sure I will post a lot more about this adventure in the months ahead, as I prepare, raise funds, and try to get in better shape to survive this very long walk. 84 miles in a week means more than 10 miles a day, so I definitely have my work cut out for me.

The group’s website and fundraising page is Dads4Kesem.com, where you will be able to find out more about the walk, the team, and help us as we raise support for Camp Kesem.

Please note: All monetary funds raised will be going towards Camp Kesem’s new chapter, not to pay for the trip to England or costs associated with the walk itself. Each member of the team will be paying their own travel and other expenses.

Meet the Team!

About Camp Kesem!

Camp Kesem

Camp Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. A program of Kesem, Camp Kesem operates over 80 free summer camps in 34 states for children ages 6 to 16 who have been touched by a parent’s cancer. This camping experience has a lasting impact on children by providing them a peer-support network that understands their unique needs, builds confidence and strengthens their communication skills. In 2016, Camp Kesem will serve over 6,000 children coast-to-coast – all funded by generous donations from individuals and corporate support. For more information on Camp Kesem, please visit www.campkesem.org, www.facebook.com/CampKesem, and @CampKesem on Twitter & Instagram.

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At last, Amazon Mom is now Amazon Family.

At last, Amazon Mom is now Amazon Family.

It’s finally happened! Joining the rest of the world in equality, the Amazon Mom program in the United States is now officially called Amazon Family, as it is in the rest of the world.

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I Want Milk for Father’s Day

I Want Milk for Father’s Day

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my six years as a stay-at-home dad, it’s that establishing — and honoring — routine can save your sanity. Whether it’s a scarily complex bedtime routine, a daily walk, or a weekly family movie night, kids do really well when they feel like they have some comfort in knowing what’s in store.

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Amazon Mom? Still? It’s time for #AmazonFamilyUS

Amazon Mom? Still? It’s time for #AmazonFamilyUS

Yeah, you heard me. I’m “raging” against Amazon Mom again.

It’s been a while. It was August of 2012 when I last wrote about how nonsensical it is for Amazon to continue to insist that they have to use “Amazon Mom” for their program — aimed at busy parents who would like diapers delivered to their door at a discount — because their only other option is apparently “Amazon Primary Caregiver.”  What’s wrong with “Amazon Family?” I asked. I never got an answer. I encouraged people to sign a petition, put together by my friend Jeffrey, asking for Amazon to consider the change. But it never took off.

I wasn’t the only one writing about the issue though. Almost two years ago today, my friend Oren wrote about the issue as well. It meant something to him. A lot, actually. And it’s in his honor that I (and others) have decided to take up the issue again.

Because it’s time for this to finally change.

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My Friend Oren

My Friend Oren

Today, my friend Oren Miller was laid to rest.

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Helping Oren: Break the Bystander Effect

Helping Oren: Break the Bystander Effect

I first met Oren Miller in October 2012 at the At-Home Dad Convention, meeting that year in Washington, DC.

Prior to DC, he was someone I only knew online, mostly through his writing on his blog A Blogger and A Father. There he tackles a lot of the same things I do here on Daddy Doctrines — a healthy mix of personal parenting anecdotes, both sweet and funny, and commentary on modern fatherhood through the eyes of a stay-at-home dad. He was also one of the guys I learned to rely on to play Devil’s Advocate for me, after he took a contrarian’s view on the whole Huggies Thing both before and after. I grew to respect him a lot.

Meeting him in person, like meeting anyone you have previously only known online, was a little bit shocking. Yes, there was the wholly unexpected strong Israeili accent, but more than that was his quiet, unassuming demeanor that held sway right up until a razor wit or ridiculously profound observance burst forth. Anyone who knows him will know what I mean.

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I look like a giant baby, and that’s okay.

I look like a giant baby, and that’s okay.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a creepy mustache must be in want of a razor.

– Jane Austen

Sorry, not this month, Ms. Austen.

It’s that happy time of the year again, when you start noticing men around you who normally sport facial hair suddenly shaving it all off and starting fresh, and men who normally go clean-shaven seeming to let themselves go all of a sudden.

Yep, it’s Movember!

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CNN/HLN reporter Josh Levs sues Time Warner over discriminatory parental leave policy, seeks (GASP!) equality for Dads as Parents

CNN/HLN reporter Josh Levs sues Time Warner over discriminatory parental leave policy, seeks (GASP!) equality for Dads as Parents

See Update Below!

I’ve had the privilege to interact with Josh Levs a few times now for stories he has done for CNN and HLN covering modern, involved fatherhood. He has always been a pleasure to chat with, and one of the few media people I have met who I know really “gets it.” As a young dad himself, he’s been a huge supporter of getting dads welcomed into the conversations about parenting in the media.

Recently, Josh and his wife had their third child. In planning for the birth, he did some research into the paternity leave policy that Time Warner (CNN’s parent company) provided, and was surprised by what he found: clear discrimination against biological fathers.

The full leave policy is likely very complicated, but in a nutshell, it is this: mothers get ten (10) weeks of paid leave, while fathers only get two (2). Time Warner has, in the past, justified this discrepancy because of the recovery time needed for mothers after the trauma of childbirth, although technically recovery time is actually already covered as part of their short-term medical disability leave. However, in the case such as adoption, surrogacy, and for same sex couples, the ten week paid policy applies to any new parent, man or woman. Time Warner has, rightly, been proud of their forward looking parental policy when it comes to supporting new adoptive, surrogate, and same-sex parents. So why does this policy exclude ONLY biological fathers?

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“I’m prepared to fight for my son’s right to live in the light.”

It’s amazing to think I’ve known Jodie Howerton and her husband Mike for almost 9 years now. Mike was one of the pastors on staff at my wife’s church when we first met, did part of our premarital counselling, baptized me and dedicated our firstborn son. Over the years we loved getting to know them and their family better; carving pumpkins in their living room, and even crashing their Easter dinner when we were back in town one year. I was also honored to work with Mike on producing artwork for several Christmas services, one of which was turned into a book. They’re a very special family to us.

I could not be prouder of Jodie’s latest project, where she and the family are courageously taking on how public education handles teaching our children about HIV/AIDS. I’ve asked her if I can share her story, and I hope you will watch the video above, read what she has to say below, and find a way to get involved.

Thank you!

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