Hi! I’m Ben. I’m a stay-at-home-dad, turned social worker, turned stay-at-home-dad again. My wife, Wendy, brings home the bacon, I cook it, and our two kids (ages 9 and 7) would eat it, except our 7 year old is too picky to eat bacon. I know. I don’t get it either.
Here’s a few of the things I’ve done for work that have affected the way I think about parenting and families:
- My wife and I have been together for something like 16 years and married for almost 15.
- I spent a few years in Mississippi working at a group home for kids. I worked mostly with boys between the ages of 11 and 18. Some were there because of behavior concerns at home, some were there because they’d been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, and some were there because they’d lost their parents and had no one else to care for them.
- I worked with adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
- I did my first stint as a stay-at-home dad from 2004-2009.
- When my daughter was 5 and my son was 3, I returned to school and got a Master’s in Social Work degree. I got to learn all sorts of interesting stuff about child development, family relationships, social dynamics, and communication skills.
- While I was getting my social work credentials in order, I really became aware of how unique it is to be able to take so much comfort from one’s family. So many families fall into cycles of communication and behavior that undermine their ability to really enjoy one another. I wanted to help others get a little bit of what I had, so I got a job working with the state of New Hampshire helping to organize trainings for child welfare workers and write curricula for them.
While I was working in child welfare training, my family and I began spending more and more time taking day trips to Boston. We were slowly, but surely, seduced by the allure of life in a more urban area and Wendy and I dreamed that one day we’d sell our house and move to an apartment in the city. Our daydreams turned into schemes and our schemes turned into a plan.
In late 2012, several things came to a head and we chucked our “careful” plan and went for the “just jump in and see what happens” plan. In the summer of 2013, we left New Hampshire and shipped down to Boston. And that’s when I returned to full-time dadding and began this blog.
At first, I thought of the blog as a way of chronicling all the cool things I love about Boston and our adventures here (which I’m still doing over at bostonexplorers.com). As I got more into it, however, I found that I really enjoyed having the opportunity to organize and share my thoughts on parenting and family life. Being a good husband and father is what I’m most passionate about. I spend a lot of time thinking about family life and how to apply what I’ve learned about kids, child development, and positive communication strategies. So that’s what I blog about now.
With all that said, here are some things that this blog isn’t:
- It’s not a mommy-blog, because I’m not a mommy.
- It’s not quite a daddy-blog, because I don’t tend to focus on the stay-at-home dad thing too terribly often (although I do sometimes and being a stay-at-home dad probably affects my perspective on things pretty frequently).
- It’s not a blog where I promote a patent-pending parenting approach because, while I approach parenting seriously, I don’t have any sort of patent on that.
So, I hope you enjoy the blog. I’m really interested in hearing from readers about your thoughts on family life. What are your favorite parts of parenthood or couplehood? What are the toughest parts? What works for you? What doesn’t?
Thanks for reading!