The United States of America: Behind on Paid Leave


The phone rang.  I was in a glass edit bay looking out a newsroom buzzing with activity.  I had been out in a live truck all morning covering an overnight shooting in the Kansas City metro area.

It was Mrs. Rookie Dad.  This is the 3rd time she has called me that day.  I had been anticipating a phone call from her to tell me that it was time to go to the hospital for a few days now.  The newsroom had been put on baby watch, knowing that at any moment I would have to leave.

But that morning, the calls from Mrs. Rookie Dad had been what I like to call the “nothing” phone call.  A call that can wait until I come home to discuss.  We were at the point in the pregnancy that I couldn’t just let the phone go to voice mail.

I picked up the phone and in my head I remember thinking, “Now what!” but on the other end of the phone before I could get out a hello, I heard:

“My water broke!”

Instantly, a feeling of guilt rushed over me as I stopped momentarily to think and regret what my thoughts were that morning. I realized that would be a memory I would never forget, the thought that went through my head when the Kid was born.  That immediate regret turned into a smile and happiness though when the Kid was born at 2 A.M the next morning.

Paid Leave - The Rookie Dad

The Rookie Dad holding his newborn son.

The moment that the Kid was born, my paid paternity leave started.  It was only two weeks of paternity leave, more than what most new fathers get.  Most get none.  I was one of the lucky ones.

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Balancing Work and Family


It was the most important part of the interview process.  My work life balance.

It was something through the nearly 50 job interviews that I was a part of asked each and every time.  The recruiter could see the ring on my finger.  They would see my position with Dads Round Table on my resume and ask me about my family.

They would bring up how much of a commitment this job was.  That there could be some long days even some weekend work.  It wouldn’t be just a 9-5 job.  But what job isn’t in our current culture.

Balancing Work and Family

Image Courtesy of Interesting Things

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I’m A Blogger, Damn It!


I’m a blogger, damn it!

I do not say that with a face palm. I say this with a sense of revelation and pride.  It took me close to 4 years to realize this.   I sit here over 450 posts into The Rookie Dad and feeling like I am coming into my own as a blogger and a writer.

Blogger

Image Courtesy of Compulearn Dublin

When I started The Rookie Dad, I was afraid to speak of it in public.  Like the online persona would shield me from the ridicule and stigma that came with being known as a blogger, which at the time was still something many people didn’t quite understand.  However, there was one night that my slight embarrassment of being a blogger changed.

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Merino Wool, The Way To Stay Warm This Winter


Fall is near, or if you have been to Starbucks lately, you probably believe that fall is already here as they are brewing up our yearly obsession of the Pumpkin Spiced Latte.  With each passing day, the sun rises in the east later in the morning causing a slight chill in the air.  One of the ways to keep warm would be to jump in your car and make the long trek through a Starbucks drive-thru to order your PSL.

Or there is another option out there.  Merino Wool.

Specifically, Super.Natural Merino Wool.  And their wool, is NOT your mother’s wool.

I started to pick up running this spring, my running gear consisted of a short-sleeved shirt and shorts.  I was not ready for the colder mornings that fall and winter brings to the Midwest.

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Growing Up Outdoors


When I was a kid, there was no MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or smartphones.  We were forced to go outside and run in the streets.  20 years ago it was a different time.  Myself and our neighbor kids ruled the street.  We had a tree house in an empty lot down the street, to which you needed the secret password to get into, until the city came to tear it down.  Scouting was big in my hometown and I cannot count the weekends that I spent camping out with our Boy Scout troop.

My favorite memory of those many camp outs was a starry cold night at Scott Lake in Western Kansas.  We always stayed in the same cabin on the east side of the lake.  It wasn’t very big.  In fact it only had one room with nothing but a fire-place in it to keep the place warm a bunk bed and a few extra mattresses for us all to sleep on.

The cabin was right below the bluffs to the lake.  At the time, there were three cabins along the side of the bluffs each about a quarter-mile apart.  To our troop’s camp fire story-teller, he called them the Troll houses.  I realize now that this “Troll” family traveled from campsite to campsite, sometimes they were in different states then the story we were told a month before hand.

Just down the dirt road from the cabin and across a highway, there was a small boat dock that we would send ourselves off in our canoes to explore the lake.  By that boat dock, there was a section of thick cat-tails that was no larger than a football field.  This cool crisp night, the cat-tails were laying flat.  They were thicker than the humidity on mid-summer day.  So thick in fact that, you were able to walk on top of them without even touching the water.

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