10 Favorite Bloggers to follow on Instagram

Hey y’all! I’m back again with another installment in showing you guys some of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow.  I love Instagram, and I really love how it has evolved into a place where you can basically ‘mini blog’ things. I still spend time everyday traipsing around the internet and checking out my favorite blog sites to see their latest posts, but I also thoroughly enjoy seeing my favorite bloggers on Instagram. I love listening to/watching their Instagram stories – and seeing the things they share on their feed! The internet is just such a beautiful place, and it’s so funny and delightful how you can get to know people through what they share on their blog and social media platforms. There a few bloggers on here that I’ve been following for YEARS – and there are some that are brand new to me, but all of them are a part of my daily life as a peruse social media. 🙂

So let’s get to it shall we? These are my 10 Favorite Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow:

underthesycamore

I’ve been reading Under The Sycamore for a really long time. Her blog was one of the first blogs I ever started reading regularly. She is so down to earth and insanely creative and an amazing photographer. 

keikolynn

Keiko Lynn is another blog that I’ve been following for years. She writes a lot about makeup and fashion. She’s originally from Florida, but lives (has been living) in New York. 

mommyshorts

I first discovered Mommy In Shorts through Instagram and moved over to actually reading her blog as well. She also runs the Instagram account Average Parent Problems which is hilarious in and of itself. Her personal account and blog are super entertaining. 

thepleatedpoppy

The Pleated Poppy is yet another blog I’ve been following for years. She used to have a store where she handmade goods like purses and pins, but she’s moved away from that now. She writes about her personal life, real mom fashion, and home design ideas.

lovemaegan

Again, I’ve been reading Love Maegan for forever as well. LOL Her blog is mainly centered around fashion and she’s based in California. 

onelittlemomma

One Little Momma is a new(ish) follow for me. She’s the creator of our beloved Nickel and Suede earrings that you see showing up in all of our What We wore Wednesday Posts. She writes about all the things mommy lifestyle. 

mommyinheels

Another newer follow for me! Mommy In Heels was another blog that I first discovered through Instagram then migrated over to also following her blog. She not only writes a blog and is active on IG, but she is also the owner of Elizabeth West House – a physical and online women’s clothing boutique. Her blog is mainly fashion with a little bit of family life mixed in. 

authemmie

I discovered Authemmie through Pinterest….i think… lol . I’ve only been following her blog for a bout a year now. I really enjoy the authenticity from which she writes. She blogs a lot about fashion as well. 

livinginyellow

Who doesn’t already know about Living In Yellow? I started following her about a year ago as well. She’s a fashion blogger extraordinaire.  

whimsicalseptember

And last but not least, Whimsical September. I first discovered her blog through one of her StitchFix posts on Pinterest. I was totally hooked after that first post. She’s a military wife who blogs about all things mommy lifestyle. Her children are close to the same ages as mine and she’s from Alabama which makes me feel like I can relate to so much that she shares!


If you want to see my other two posts about more of my favorite IG Accounts, it is your lucky day – cause I’ve got them linked all nice and neat below for ya!

10 Inspiring and/or Pretty IG Accounts You Need to Follow

10 Funny & Entertaining IG Accounts You Need to Follow

Eat Happy: Salmon with Lemon Dijon Basil Sauce

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


Well HELLO! So glad you’re back (or new?) to our series. 🙂 Normally, I would have been filled with much fear and trepidation before attempting to execute this recipe. Why? Well. Fish in general is not something that is part of my normal repertoire of meat I cook. BUT – I’ve already tackled tuna two weeks ago. AND last week, Rhonda did a salmon recipe that turned out super delicious (according to her review). Therefore, I was super chill about this whole thing this week.

I’ll just start by saying, this was damn good. I’m for sure going to make this again…definitely for my dad. He really likes salmon, and I’m pretty sure this will impress the heck out of him. He’s a really great cook, and used to always encourage me to learn to cook well and to enjoy it. I never really got on that boat, but when I can impress him with something I cooked, I feel pretty dang good about myself. 😉

Anyway, to the experience at hand.

I ventured to my local Winn-Dixie to retrieve the salmon and other (very few) ingredients that I didn’t also have on hand. Which reminds me. I said this the other day in our NSNG Facebook Group. If you’re cooking recipes from this book and have to buy a bunch of stuff that you think you may not use again. You might be worried that it is extra money not well spent. You’re wrong.  You’ll totally use it again. For me, I really appreciate that. For example : I bought Dijon mustard ages ago and have used it so much while cooking through Eat Happy. Dijon mustard is not a typical staple in my fridge, so when I bought it I thought, “this will just sit in the fridge til it expires and I have to throw it out.” Um. Wrong. I’ve been using it like crazy!

But like I said – I went to Winn-Dixie. I went there once with the littles in tow. They were their usual distracting selves. I’d promised a visit to the trampoline park following this trek through the grocery store – so to say they were waiting on pins and needles is a huge understatement. Every time I grabbed an item, Coop kept asking: “is THAT the last thing???” I mean. Bless my heart. So we check out and leave and I run home to drop the goods off before we head to the trampoline park.

As I’m unloading the groceries – I realize my bell peppers are missing. There aren’t bell peppers in this recipe but I’d bought them for something else. SO – I get back in the car and call the store. They lady is like, “yup. we saw that you left them. Just come back when you can.”

Sooo, we go jump and then I have to break it to my very tired and very whiny children – that yes. We have to go back to the grocery store.

We go check in with customer service to confirm that yes I’m here to retrieve my forgotten bell peppers. Sophie sees a tiny child buggy that she MUST PUSH around the store. I allow her to get that. Now. We’ve got the bell peppers and are about to leave when the sweet lady who checked me out reminds me that I also forgot my lemons.

The lemons!

I definitely needed those for this recipe. SO, I have to tell Coop, who is done with this whole affair, that sorry bud. We gotta make the hike back to the other side of the store to grab those lemons. I also made Sophie put back her buggy. She breaks down screaming and crying. Cooper is going on and on about how he’s just ready to go home and watch rescue bots. I mean. You would have thought I was subjecting them to actual torture techniques.

AND while I’m getting the lemons, Sophie wanders off and finds an apricot that she decides to squeeze until it bursts in her tiny little hand.

I mean. Bless it all.

We did finally get all of the ingredients and make it back home. Compared to my shopping experience – cooking this salmon was a freaking breeze. Really though, it’s a very straight forward and simple recipe that sounds super impressive.  IMO

It’s so damn tasty too. And so damn good for my body. No sugars. No grains. I was satisfied and left feeling great about my choices.

And apparently. Rhonda and I love salmon. We had no clue. Thank goodness Anna is around to help us realize that through her amazing cook book. 😉

As I am writing this post, I’m heating up the left overs in the oven to eat for dinner. And I can’t wait for it to be ready!

What about you guys? What are your feelings on salmon? Any mom stories from the trenches of grocery shopping with unwilling kids to share? 😉

What We Wore Wednesday

Welcome back to our weekly installment where we show you what we’ve been wearing lately.  Sometimes it’s fabulous, sometimes it’s basic, but this is us… real mom life.

*some links may get us paid when you purchase*

Rhonda-

Tee: Mixtape. Shorts: Target, not available. Shoes: Target. Bracelet: KEEP. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Dress: Old Joe Fresh. Necklace: BaubleBar, not available. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tee: Target. Shorts: Mixtape. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Dress: Mixtape. Shoes: Jessica Simpson. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Ashley-

I’m over here riding the not so fabulous train. 😉

Shirt: Mixtape Boutique Pants: Standard Black leggings Earrings: N&S  Black

Top: Old Chambray from Target Pants: Pleather black leggings..old Target Earrings: N&S Gray Mosaic

An Unsolicited Review of Women’s Foldover Faux Leather Backpack – Mossimo Supply Co.™

I recently bought this Foldover Backpack/Purse from Target and I’m pretty much in love with it. So much so that I thought I’d do a whole little blog post about it. 😉

The truth is I’ve had it on my mind for a while now that I wanted to find a purse/backpack contraption to use so that I could ditch the diaper bag and to also relieve some of the strain that using a crossbody style purse was putting on my shoulder.

I really love having a large purse that I can just throw whatever I think I might need into it without it becoming unmanageably overstuffed. However, when I’m moming with two littles it’s so not effective to try to keep track of them plus a huge shoulder bag. So, in general since both my kids have been walking and running away from me in parking lots or kicking and screaming as I try to lift them into the buggy so that I can strap them down, I’ve been wearing a crossbody purse so that my hands are free to wrangle the wildlings. 😉

And until recently, using a crossbody purse has worked out really great – until like I said, I noticed I had lingering pain in my right shoulder from wearing it.

A couple weekends ago, Sophie and I were about to head to Hattiesburg for a morning to visit their zoo when I realized that I really needed to nail down that choice for a purse/backpack because I was for sure not going to be able to handle walking around for hours with my crossbody purse tugging at my shoulder. So, obviously I pointed my car straight toward my local Target to pick up a certain backpack/purse I’d been eyeing there during earlier Target runs.

So far, this bag has worked wonderfully to fulfill my needs. My only regret is that it doesn’t have the option to move the straps and make it become a crossbody or full on shoulder strap purse if the occasion would arise that I’d want that kind of purse. Besides that minor and totally overlookable detail since the purse is only $29.99 (!!) – I am one hundred percent pleased with my purchase.

It’s got one large section that zips up and is perfect for storing extra clothes, pull-ups, wipes, sunscreen, toys, or whatever other random items I need for the kids. In front of the large zip up portion is a huge pocket that I use to put my actual purse items in which include things like my wallet, keys, sunglass, etc. There are also two little smaller zip up sections on the front of the backpack that are perfect for my lipsense color and gloss tubes. 🙂

It’s just an incredibly functional bag PLUS its pretty cute if I do say so myself. I still will grab my crossbody for going to work, because the kids aren’t with me and so I don’t need all their things with me. 

So, what say you gals and/or guys – what kind of purse/bag do you prefer?

Life Lately

Hey hey…happy Monday – and welcome to our Life Lately post wherein we give you guys a little update on as to what has been going on in our lives!

Ashley –

Gosh, Life Lately eh? It’s summer and I’ve been trying to cram as much fun and activities into the time that I have off from work with the kids. We keep it pretty low key throughout work days. We just usually have so few hours each afternoon between when I get them and bed time that we need to recharge and focus on stuff at home.

However, some of the fun things we’ve gotten to do?

Our local movie theater in D’Iberville does kid days on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. They show just one particular (not new release) movie each week, but they show it in several different theaters. The show time is at 10 am, and you can get a ticket that includes a kid drink and popcorn for only four dollars! Even MY ticket was four dollars. So, I figured that was a deal I couldn’t pass up to let them have their first movie theater experience and just really to gauge how they would act. We had a blast. Cooper really enjoyed it and would have sat and watched from start to finish with no interruption if it hadn’t been for Sophie. She’s only 2.5 and well – obviously she got a little antsy after about 45 minutes of sitting. She wasn’t obnoxious though, and really with a theater full of littles there was someone talking or crying or moving around at almost every point throughout the movie. It was fun and we will definitely be going back!

The Saturday after our movie theater trip, we decided to hop in the car and head to Gulf Shores, AL to check out their beach and just really to have an adventure and make some memories. It was a solid two hour trip there and back, but the kids were real troopers. Cooper declared that Alabama had “the best waves ever!” He wasn’t a fan of the long drive and it may take some convincing and an in car iPad movie to get him to do that again, but it was so much fun and I know they really enjoyed themselves.

Sunday after our Gulf Shores trip, we did a little meandering around our own coast. I took the kids to the Big Play Family Fun Center in Biloxi, MS. They have bowling, a huge arcade, and even a little bar area for nightlife fun. The kids liked it, but it was extremely loud and busy which is not really an environment that Cooper can relax and have fun in. We’ve gone to the arcade area at Margaritaville in Biloxi and it is definitely a more chill and spaced out area that Cooper for sure enjoyed more. It was also a lot of work for me to make sure I had eyes on the kids at all times amidst the everything going on around us. After Big Play we went for a ride on the beach and stopped by Sharkheads Souvenir City in Biloxi. It’s definitely an iconic building on Biloxi Beach – one that I remember from my childhood and I hadn’t been back to it since they rebuilt after Katrina hit in 2005. The kids had a blast walking around looking everything and pushing their mini shopping carts around as they tried to pick out just one toy to bring home. The last stop of our adventure that day was to go by the Biloxi National Cemetery to see my Pawpaw and Mawmaw’s gravesite.  I knew that the permanent headstone had finally been put in place and I wanted to visit them. I wrote more in depth about that visit here.

And of course, there were lots of visits to local parks and checking out different splash pads. We always fit in time with Grammy and Ppop – some dress up playtime – and we even threw in a library visit. 😉 We had a really sweet Father’s Day as well. Cooper  spent a majority of the day with Grammy, Ppop, and Uncle Bud. Sophie and I were with Shaun and his family celebrating. 🙂

So far, summer has really been a blast! What about you Rhonda? How’s your summer going so far?

Rhonda –

Summer means some different things for us, since I stay at home with the kids AND they are homeschooled.  We took off a LOT of time from school in the spring, so we are schooling throughout summer, taking breaks as needed.

We have also been doing a lot of family stuff lately, which is pretty much Stuart’s favorite thing to do.  He works a lot, so getting away out to do something fun is really important to him.  The kids having experiences in life is a huge priority for him.  We even drove out 2 hours West to go look at the stars through real astronomers’ telescopes.  We were only there 20 minutes because the bugs were eating us alive, but it was worth it just to hear Quentin squeal with delight when he saw Jupiter and its moons.

Stuart and I took a child-free night, thanks to our neighbors, to go see Maroon 5.  It was a total spontaneous splurge.  We got suite seats, and holy shit, how do you ever go back from that?  It’s like flying first class.  Once you do it, you can’t ever go back to coach.  Anyway, those kind of nights take me back to the beginning of our relationship, when I flew out here to visit and we would pack the weekend with so much fun and adventure.

Now, you didn’t think we went 2 weeks without boozing in our backyard paradise, did you?  Of course not.  We’ve been doing the pool on the weekends and enjoying it all.  It’s been super hot and I can’t even be mad about it.  I am so thankful for where we live and that I don’t have to trudge through the snow all winter.

We hope that you all have been having some great summer fun!  Tell us, what have you been doing?

 

Inadvertently Dad

When Stuart and I made the bold decision to move in together with moving day being the day the kids met him, we didn’t know what would happen. Would they warm up to him in time?  Would it be a grand disaster?  We definitely didn’t expect to quickly fall into a place where we were all a family.

Not only did we all mesh together beautifully, but some circumstances changed and forced Stuart into the role of the primary father figure, one he effortlessly rolled into.

I am beyond thankful for the way he stepped up and the way that he and the kids love each other fiercely.

This Father’s Day weekend, I am crazy thankful.

Thank you Stuart for…

Helping the kids through projects I don’t want to do with them.

Being a source of reason when I just can’t Mom.

Giving our friends’ kids love and and patience when they need it most.

Demonstrating to my daughter what unconditional love looks like from a romantic perspective.

Respectfully and appropriately allowing my daughter to love on you.

Loving my daughter through sleepless nights, potty issues, and bratty behavior.

Ensuring that we all get out of the house from time to time.

Instituting Mandatory Fun.

Never making my kids feel dumb or out of place for calling you Dad sometimes.

Recognizing that I need a break – a LOT.

Keeping us fed and full of freshly grilled foods.

Understanding and accepting that the house will never again be spotless as you’re accustomed to.

Modeling Good Man Behavior to my boys, ensuring that they will someday make upstanding members of society.

Recognizing – and reminding me – that all the annoying “flaws” in my children are just part of them growing up.

Working your ass off so that my children can have a parent at home at all times in this difficult season of change.

Providing us with a beautiful home in a safe neighborhood, where we can grow and thrive together.

For being the absolute backbone of this family.

You are loved….deeply and earnestly.

Eat Happy: Pistachio Crusted Coriander Salmon

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?

I was, to put it mildly, not excited about making this meal.  I am super intimidated by cooking fish and I just don’t eat a lot of seafood in general.  In addition to that, I abhor pistachios.  Cool.

My stores that I frequent most often are Target and Walmart – solely because they are behind my neighborhood.  It’s quick, easy, affordable, and I know where everything is in the store.  They don’t have fresh seafood departments though.  To be honest, I am not sure I would have gone through with heading over to Kroger to get salmon if not for the fact that I was wanting to try their store brand seltzer water.  Motivated by my favorite Tito’s mixers, I headed on over.  I got the salmon and the goddamn pistachios, along with the (expensive-ish) spices that I didn’t have at home.

At home, I had to talk myself into jumping in.  The absolute worst part of the entire process was the beginning – shelling the pistachios.  I put on a training video I was wanting to watch and got after it.

There was some gagging over the fact that I was going to eat pistachios and that there was fucking skin involved in the fish.

Let me just tell you though – when the fish started baking, it smelled absolutely amazing.  The kids kept asking me what the great smell was.  They still had no interest in eating it, mind you.

Well… turns out it tasted just as amazing as it smelled.  Once again, the anticipation was much worse than the actual process and result.

That being said, I’ll substitute with another nut next time, because fuck pistachios.

 

 

What We Wore Wednesday

It’s Wednesday which means we are here to show you some of the outfits we chose to wear over the past week. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! We do this as a way of accountability for ourselves and to maybe inspire you to find some different ways to wear the things you own or see a new style you like. Also don’t forget that tonight we do our Wine Wednesday Live broadcast from our Facebook page at 9pm!

*We may make money off things you buy from some of these links.*

Rhonda –

Dress: Mixtape. Shoes: Old Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tee: Random brand from Ross. Shorts: Mixtape. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede. Bracelets: KEEP Collective.

Romper: Amazon. Shoes: Jessica Simpson. Bag: Betsey Johnson. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Dress: Old Joe Fresh. Necklace: BaubleBar. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Ashley –

Shirt: Kohl’s Pants: Denizen skinnies Shoes: old Target [similarEarrings: N&S Silver Shell

Shirt: Mixtape Boutique Earrings: N&S Leopard

Out of the Box Father’s Day Gift Guide

So, it’s the Tuesday before Father’s Day – and maybe you planned ahead and have that whole gift idea on lock down. OR maybe you haven’t quite nailed down exactly what you want to gift. We know that gift idea posts are a big thing for most blogs, and we personally love looking at them. We’ve actually done quite a few ourselves! However, we thought instead of doing the traditional gift idea post wherein we link to something you can click to and buy – we’d share with you some homemade/DIY and experience gift ideas to share with the fathers in your lives.

We’re sharing two different types of gifts that you can give. First we’re talking about gifts that are an experience, and the second category are Homemade/DIY gifts that you can make for the father figure in your life!

The first time that I’d really heard someone talking about giving an experience as a gift was while reading one of my fave blogs, Whimsical September. I think it’s really a fantastic idea and can’t believe I haven’t been doing this! The truth is that ten years from now – your loved one is more likely to remember and value an experience that you gave them than a pair or earrings or a golf club that you bought them.

  1. For the Sports Lover: Treat them to a game of golf, surprise them with a trip to the local batting cages. Are they more of the kind of sports lover who likes to watch instead of participate in the game? Well, that’s easy! Buy tickets to a local sports team game. Even if they aren’t particular fans for that specific team – it’s’ about the thought, consideration, and experience that the two of you are going to have while doing it!
  2. One on one meal: If we’re talking about you’re a grown adult, I’m betting that you don’t have lots of one on one meals with your dad and/or father figure in your life anymore. Especially if you are now a mom or dad yourself. Surprise your father and sneak him away for a few hours to sit down and have a quiet and quality meal together.
  3. Spend the day doing things for them that they normally do for you: Does the grass really need to be cut that weekend? Does your dad/baby daddy/whatever you call him normally do that? Well, get your booty out there early one morning and cut the grass for him! Does your dad/baby daddy/father figure in your life usually cook all the meals? Tell him to sit his booty in the recliner while you whip up a yummy lunch. Just ease their burden for the day. Lighten their load. I know as moms we are always screaming for this luxury to be gifted to us! It makes sense that the fathers in our lives would want that too.
  4. Dad Days: Give kids the opportunity for a one-on-one date with Dad, with the activity chosen by the child.  Rhonda did this with her kids years ago and the kids and their father both remember it fondly. Once you have several children, nurturing those individual relationships is both more difficult AND more important.  Ideas for dates (because you may need to offer suggestions to younger children) may include a round of putt-putt, the latest Star Wars movie, or a trip to the local frozen yogurt spot.

 

 

We know, we know…homemade gifts have such a bad wrap. The thing is, they are for sure underrated. And they don’t have to be something elaborate. You know what else? Any of these would make a great companion to that impersonal gift card you grabbed at the checkout line to stick in your father figure’s card. 😉

    1. Reasons why you’re a great Dad Book: Rhonda did a different version of this for Stuart’s last birthday. He turned 43 and she came up with 43 reasons why she loves him. All the reasons were designed in a simple editing app then printed at WalMart and put into an album.
    2. ‘All about Dad’ Printable: This is such a cute and easy idea and a fantastic way to get your little kids involved in making their dad’s day special. I found these from the blog Thirty Handmade Days…or you can always make your own. You just take a few minutes to get the kid’s answers and either write them in yourself or let them write it if they are old enough. The printables I linked to also have a place for your child to draw a picture of them with dad which is always cute to see their perspective of how things look. 🙂
    3. Print out a picture of your kids/their kids/you and your father figure and frame it: That may seem like such a silly thing to point at that you can do, but the truth is these days most people rarely actually print out the pictures they take. We are all walking around with thousands of pictures on our phones and backed up to our home computers, but we rarely print those out and put them on display! So take the time to pick out some nice frames and give the father figure in your life a picture of the ones that made him a father!
    4. Make a video about Dad: Whether as an adult doing this for your own father or a mother recording interviews of kids, this makes a thoughtful gift that can even be shared with friends and family on Facebook.  You can take one of the dad printables Ashley and ask those questions on video and keep it simple, or you can try your hand at video editing for extra pizzazz. As an adult, Rhonda made pictures of herself, her brother, and her child (this was before there were multiples) into a slideshow with background music on a DVD for Mother’s Day.  The whole family still loves to watch it.

 

As always thanks so much for stopping by, and let us know: what do you guys plan on gifting to the men in your life who are fathers??

Fatherhood in the Foreground

This Sunday is Father’s day and as much as we try to include dads in the narrative around here, things usually end up sounding like ‘mom this and mom that’ . 😉 We try – but look we’re moms and that’s the perspective we write from. 😉 The truth is, Rhonda and I both have some great guys in our lives that father our own children and that have fathered us.

What makes someone a Father though? This past Saturday I took the kids to the Biloxi National Cemetery to visit the grave site of my Pawpaw and Mawmaw. If you are a regular reader or social media follower, you know that I lost both my maternal and paternal grandfathers this Spring.

My Pawpaw (my Dad’s father) served and retired from the United States Air Force, and it was his grave that we visited. It was emotional to me. Sophie is still too young to really grasp what we were doing, but I had to take the time to really explain to Cooper what was going on. He knew Pawpaw, but not intimately so it took some memory jogging. Thankfully, Coop remembers EVERYTHING so it wasn’t too hard. 😉

We talked about who Pawpaw was and what happened to him. We talked about death. We talked about soldiers and why they were all buried there together. We talked a lot about Pawpaw’s relationship to my Dad and to me…who he was to us.

That visit coupled with this year’s upcoming Father’s Day on Sunday, really made me start thinking about what is Fatherhood to me. About how the expected role of a father has changed from my Pawpaw’s generation. Fathers are being held more accountable for the actions and everyday involvement in their children’s lives.

We are seeing the days of ‘baby-sitter dads’ coming to an end. A guy who takes his kids places solo is slowly becoming something commonly seen and not such of an anomaly.

Being someone’s father should mean that you are giving just as much as their mother when it comes to taking care of your children – and not just financially. You shouldn’t get to just deposit money in your baby momma’s account and walk away until the time suits you to take care of your kids like you deposited your sperm inside her while she carried those babies for nine months. It’s a we thing. It’s a thing that took two people to make and should be a two person job for the rest of your life.

For me there is so much wrapped up in putting forth effort to break the stereotypes that my generation grew up under when it comes to so many things, but especially for gender roles. You can divide up household chores equally and so that each person is doing something best suited to their own personal skill-set and tolerance level: not their gender. However, you can’t and shouldn’t divide up parental duties.

I love to see dads making an effort and fighting to be a part of their children’s lives. Mainly, I just love seeing a dad do the things he is supposed to be doing without expecting extra praise because he changed someone’s diaper or handled getting their dinner on the table.

If life takes you physically away from your children, you can still put in that effort. If life has you working tons of hours so that you can financially provide for your children, you can still put in that effort. Find a way. Make a way – to be a father to your children.

I know so many men that are doing it right. They are standing up and just simply being a father. They aren’t just some background figure while mom shuffles the kids’ from place to place and wipes the kids’ noses and folds the kids’ laundry and makes the kids’ dinner and is giving the kids’ all their childhood memories.

You can’t make someone change. If your partner is not exhibiting the fatherhood behaviors that you’d like your child to see and emulate, it’s likely that you can’t change that – especially if they don’t want to change or see no need to change. However, you can speak your truth about what a father is. You can do your best to expose your children to other men who are doing the whole father thing right. You CAN refuse to excuse his behavior when he isn’t involved.

Don’t belittle him. Don’t be negative. Just don’t accept his unacceptable behavior, and turn it into a positive learning experience.

I want my son to know that a girl can do anything a boy can do, and I want him to know that he, as a boy, can do anything a girl can do. He can’t ever physically carry a baby while it develops in the womb, but there’s a whole heck of a lot he could do to ease that burden. Or you know, who knows? Maybe he’ll just have to emotionally support his partner because they’ve got a surrogate carrying their future child. Either way. I just want him to be involved from the beginning. I want him to know and see and demonstrate Fatherhood in the Foreground.