Friday, September 21, 2012

DadSquared....Whoda' Thunk It

Hello folks, 

It is me Joël. I also am now going to refer to myself as, GayDad. So GayDad here. I felt it necessary to let the blogging world know that, yes, I am a gay parent. So that I can educate and shed light on my parenting experiences. That my stuggles, life and worries are all the same as any other dad or mom for that matter. Anyhow on to the interview at hand.

 I have my next interview installment featuring DadSquared blogger Henry Amador-Batten. He resides in Florida, that state of oranges, and is also a salon owner. He and his partner have been together 3yrs now, according to his Facebook page (if I'm incorrect I apologize). They are a same sex homosexual couple who are also fathers. Henry was kind enough to offer me his insight, parenting thoughts and perspective on his blog and what started this endeavor of his. So here it is.....

Professional Title DADsquared

Why did you start your website? 

Well, personally, it began years ago as a way to chronicle our journey to Fatherhood. Soon I realized that there were others like me without a place to share their hope and fears. Eventually it evolved to where it is now. Both the site and the FaceBook page reflect the reality that we exist and that being Gay, Married and Parents is no longer a dream.
What was your main goal or goals for the website?

It will one day be a live and living journal not only for my child(ren) but for the Gay Parent rights movement as well.

What do you feel would be a benefit of your site to the dad community at large? Whether gay or straight
We have always maintained that there are still so many Gay men out there that still see the idea of marriage and family as an impossibility. Our goal is to show them that the life they dream of is possible and by supplying resources and sharing other's experiences it may help them to see thier light and follow it.
We always say our world is changing " one baby at a time."

What are your thoughts of heterosexual families and same sex families of the male specific?
Raising happy and healthy children requires the same skills, challenges and foundations whether your Gay, Straight, male, female or anything in between.
Once your a Parent, who you love or sleep with (if your lucky enough to get sleep!) takes a back seat to your new role as Dad!

What challenges do you feel that stay at home dads face? 

Well I can not personally speak to this, we are a two parent working family. I do however know many stay at home Dads, I'll leave that answer in their very capable and busy hands..
How do you approach the concept of dads being more and more at home with their kids? Is it still an unconventional thing?
Gosh, being a Gay Dad is certainly unconventional, and there are many single Dads having kids by choice, that too is so unconventional. I would guess to say that stay at home Gay Dads get it from both sides.... The gender role questions... Not only taking on the role of Mom as the caretaker but also as the breadwinner... Again, the experts, like you, are better suited to answer that question.
What would you offer to men who are stay at home dads as advice or insight to their roles in their family?
I would simply thank them for the roles they are playing in creating a new world! Your children will be amazing men and women.. Bravo!

Thank you to Henry for your time and answers to my questions. I can see you place high value on stay at home parents, whether male or female, based on your answer references to me as a stay at home parent. I did take from this interview that 'ALL' parents have the same struggles, issues, worries and day-to-day lives. So no matter your partner, you as a parent are going through it together llike so many other parents. We all just want to share our story and have some commonality with each other. A form of educating each other on how we as individual families handled our situations and relating to one another as parents. I appreciate your time and participation in my interview series. Please check out Henry's blog and also his Facebook page DadSquared. Until my next interview series of other bloggers out there. 

Lastly, mind your manners, say 'please' and 'thank you' for it gets you a lot. I know because I speak from experience. GayDad out! 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dads and Holistic Health

Hello Daddies, Mommies and anyone else that reads my blog; 

I interviewed several people about dad issues in general. Some of them are dad bloggers, one is a parenting coach and one is a non parent. I wanted various points of view on being a parent. Over the next few weeks I will be posting the interviews as blog entries on my website. I thank each person who participated in my interviews and for sharing their personal insight. I have gained new knowledge and new resource contacts from all this. Enjoy, comment and share your experiences. Thank you. 

Let me introduce you to a non parent friend of mine named Peter Bedard. He is a professional Hypnotherapist MA. C.Ht. who created He is a gay male and I wanted his point of view on his website, parenting and his thoughts on what dads face today. 

Why did you start your website Create Your Health? 

I died. I was in a serious accident. What I went through of dying and coming back to life was a life changing event. I experienced 20 years of chronic pain, having to take several medications and various surgeries. I had to find other ways of healing my body. 

How did this accident happen and what were your injuries? 

I was pushed into the back of a semi truck. I shattered my knee, split my wrist, cracked several vertebrae and sustained brain damage. A parked car came behind while on my scooter. I was going 20 miles per hour on impact which was enough to cause death  had I not had a helmut on. I suffered from fibromyalgia. 
alleriges, chronic pain and I had to re-learn to walk. 

What did you do to find alternative healing methods?

I searched alternative therapies, learning from other people's experiences and most of them were just people who said this worked for them and had tried it. Those people found that those therapies worked and I tried everything afterward.

What was your main goal or goals? 

To share these ideas and therapies to other people. To see and learn about it. The biggest was to take the mystery out of holistic health....people have a fear of hypnosis, crystal energy, acupuncture - but I say take time to see, hear and experience what it looks like - take what you like and leave the rest. The main ending concept was to have this website be a main resource for alternative therapy and have it be a constant evolving process.

How often do you post or try new therapies?
Of course when time and funds allow for more productions, blogs and it is a 
labor of love. I enjoy trying new therapies, sharing them and seeing how they actually work. 

What do you feel would be a benefit of this site to the dad community at large? 

Well, the adage of 'moms take care of everybody,' its a myth. When you are a caretakeer you need a resource.  Conventional medicine, surgery and various therapies are offered but there is no talk of nutrition, holistic health or wellness awareness.

What can dads do to help incorporate holistic health into their family?

Someone being a caregiver can find out resources to help their families feel better. A mom, dad or anyone can have this as another resource, or a dictionary of holistic health. That is one of my main goals. To be able to offer that as an option to everyone. Also holistic nutrition is something folks don't know and neither does a conventional doctor. The conventional doctor tends to...(a-say eat better) or (b-exercise more). But what is that and what does it mean. That is not clear to 'you' as the patient. You can see that on the Create Your Health website. 

Now moving on to the topic of families today....What are your thoughts of heterosexual families and same sex families of the male specific?. 
I never thought they differed.  It's a misnomer that they are different. Each type of family has to deal with different issues, age differences, a disabled child and daily stresses. To separate families in a categorical manner only helps keep a distance between them and it only maintains the fear of 'different' families. 

What challenges do you feel stay at home dads face? 

Support! Dads don't get the support they deserve. Our culture is so inclined to give the support to moms. When someone hears that a 'dad' is a stay at home dad , there is a surprise.  It can come across that a dad can't raise a child in a way that a mom can, which is a fallacy.  I have caught myself saying, "You're a stay at home dad!" as a surprise. One more common thought toward stay at home dads is that they are less of a man and are emasculated in choosing to be a stay at home dad. 

 Do you believe that gay parents try to raise better children than their heterosexual counter parts? 

No. Being a parent for any lesbian, gay, bi, transgender person is more of a choice. It is a possibility for heterosexual couple but they can face infertility issues. Both parties have the option to adopt.  When a level of desire is so high to have children then those parents tend to be better parents. This is my observation based opinion.

How do you approach the concept of dads being more and more at home with their kids? Is it still an unconventional thing? 

Los Angeles, New York  and Chicago are becoming the cities where it is conventional. However, the rest of the country still see it as unconventional. Do I think it should be more acceptable for men to be given an opportunity to be a nurturer- yes. Will it be more widely accepted across the country, probably not. An example I see of dads being more present is a daycare in Silverlake that I drive by. I can see more and more dads picking up their children. 

What are some fears, worries or concerns that all stay at home dads may have?

To see men who are nurturers - men who are afraid of their feminine side- who want to be a stay at home dad. They haven't been able to integrate that into their lives. Some may have a partner who is 'Yes' go ahead be a stay at home dad. Some may have a partner who doesn't feel that it is okay and the male feels punished for wanting that -esmascualted for a male wanting to be nurturing to their child. I see more and more men who want to be the primary caregiver- to change diapers, is our society okay with that overall....not yet. 

What would you offer to men who are stay at home dads as advice or insight to their roles in their family? 

My advice - follow their passions, joys and loves. Don't let the views of society limit them expressing those things. There are so many opinions and judgements out there that if they listen then it puts you one step closer to your grave. 

My insight is if we learn to let go of all those limiting beliefs, judgement and opinions that you then can reclaim your joy and discover what that joy is.

What do you feel is the biggest obstacle facing gay stay at home dads? 

The threat that comes into their masculinity and gender identity. One common question is, 'Who is the mother in the relationship?' and that is not the case. The case is both are nurturing caring fathers. A double threat is from society that they are less of a man. The way to overcome that is to heal the double wound of the gender identity and to have a positive self-worth evaluation of oneself.  A secondary wounding - am I valuable in the relationship/ life , not the bread winner, not out there in a traditionaol role. Again it is about knowing your worth and your role and being confident in it. To  live in your joy of being a parent. 

Thank you to Peter Bedard for sharing his thoughts, opinions and personal experience. Please visit his website for more information on holistic health. I did take away from this interview two main points. To have a positive self-worth evaluation of oneself and to follow your passions, joys and loves. My next interview will come in a few days. Please comment and share your thoughts or experiences.