Tuesday, November 05 2013 21:22

You Want It All But You Can't Have It (Actually, You Can)

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Note: An earlier version of this post was previously published as a guest blog for gDiapers as part of their "It Takes Guts" Father's Day promotion back in June.

When I became a Father for the first time back in 2009 (on our 10th Wedding Anniversary!), I entered into the job without much by way of expectation. I was excited to be a Dad, but there wasn’t any real or definitive outlook for how the experience would actually be. I didn’t enter into Fatherhood with the “fear” that some seem to put forth, nor did I have any grand plans for how those first days would be. Sure, there was preparation (and a lot of nesting), but I steered clear of the parenting books, and somehow managed to miss the fact that “Parent Blogging” was even a thing.

What I’m saying, is that my wife and I entered into parenthood by winging it. Actually, she was probably better-prepared than I.

Our oldest daughter turned four this summer, and our youngest is 17-months-old as of this month. Just over four years into this (51 months, to be exact), and we’re still winging it – meeting each challenge with instinct – but I think we’re doing alright. The girls seem to be turning out well (sans the occasional tantrum here and there), and above all, we’re a happy family. As parents, my wife and I put our kids first, and that’s how it should be … and I hope that it will pay off in the long haul. There’s no such thing as perfection, but we strive to be the best that we can, just as I believe most parents do.

Over the years, I’ve had and have chased a lot of different gigs. What I didn’t fully realize until just after my oldest daughter’s first birthday in 2010, was that I’d already scored the greatest gig of all – being a Dad. It was my calling.

Sometimes it’s just about trusting your gut. Happiness by way of winging it.

In the space between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year, I’d seen a lot of talk about parents “having it all” come floating across my timeline on twitter and facebook. This week, it sorta flared-up again, like a rash that just won't go away. I’ve taken a quick glance at a few of the articles and blogs, and beyond the pot-stirring, traffic-bait that fuels much of the “discussion” throughout the new media landscape, what I’ve been struck by is the overwhelming feeling that many of the most vocal parents put forth a depiction of parenting that poorly reflects families like my own, and thus paints the modern American family as being focused more on the interests of the parents than the kids. I don’t believe that this is the norm, and that the white noise created by the combined voices of those who create controversy where there is none just doesn’t matter. Is parenting easy? No. Is it hard? Sometimes. But being a parent is far from a burden.

“You Want It All But You Can’t Have It…” – words from what is undoubtedly the most well-known (but far from best) songs from my absolute favorite band of all-time: FAITH NO MORE. Words with which I have to disagree.

If “happiness” is “all,” then yes, you CAN have it all. And I have it.

Being a parent doesn’t take guts, but sometimes it seems that it takes guts to say that.

For All the Parents Who Rock, I Salute You.

PS... how about watching FAITH NO MORE's 1990 performance of the aforementioned "Epic" on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE with John Goodman? Why not?

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James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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