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Welcome to the Dadlands

Oct 06, 2021 10:00AM ● By Matthew Jones

Every dad's story is different. Some dads are married; other dads aren't. Some dads' kids are biologically theirs; other dads' aren't. Some dads work; other dads don't. There is so much variation to dadhood around one unifying fact: every dad has one or more wonderful, frustrating, tiny (or no-so-tiny) person in his life whose very existence has transformed that Man into something much more: a Dad.

Matt and his kidsMy story is similar to some. I'm happily married to my wife, Juliann, the mother of my kids. I work full time, so the majority of my time with my kids is in the evenings and weekends. I do work from home, though, so I also get to see them in the mornings and during the day when they're not at daycare. They go to daycare 3 days a week, and my wife watches them the other two days. It's tough to make childcare work with our need to work, and cost of childcare; 3 days a week is where we settled. That makes the most sense with my full-time employment and my wife's work as an adjunct professor of history at Germanna Community College.

I have two kids: Benny is 4 and Lily is 1. Like every parent, each day, week, and month brings both joys and frustrations from my kids. I'm so proud of how Lily is learning so many words ("Ah-poh" to get an apple, "Cah-coo" when she want a cookie), but I could do without her reaction to NOT getting those cookies, that shriek that bursts your eardrums and takes months off your life. Benny can pick up a song after hearing it just one time and is so good at singing, but God help me if I don't have any Disney music to play when he wants to listen to Disney music.

But kids are just one aspect of being a dad. "Dad-ness" is a strange intersection of what it means to be a parent with what it means to be a man. In this blog, I hope to explore what it means to be a dad, and what it's like to live in that strange intersection. I want to talk about different places to go and activities to do with your kids around Fredericksburg - especially for dads like me who are hesitant to take the reins in planning outings and activities. I also might mention my pet peeve of restaurant mens' rooms that don't have changing tables.

So come on, together with me, let's explore the Dadlands together.

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