By Frank Lowe
Originally published on Advocate.com June 27 2014 8:13 AM ET
Happy Friday, everybody! This is my Q&A session from Twitter. Anyone can ask me a question in regard to parenting, and I will select a few and answer them here. To submit a question, tweet me @GayAtHomeDad and use the hashtag #AskFrank. Think of me as your bitchy gay Dear Daddy.
Question 1 (from @sroy81):
How does parenting change you and a relationship?
It would be easier to give you a list of what doesn’t change, because having a child requires a complete life makeover. I always say that having a child is the best way to relinquish your selfishness, which is actually a really good thing. Instead of you and your significant other being the center of your universe, now your little one is the center of the universe. Keep in mind, at the center of the universe is a massive black hole that sucks the energy out of everything it comes in contact with. This analogy works perfectly with children! The biggest change has been the time management. Having a set schedule is very important now, and if things ever deviate from the schedule, there’s hell to pay.
Question 2 (from @Manofsteele1313):
I want to have kids, but my partner of eight years doesn’t want to. Any advice?
Wow, that is a tough situation. Tread lightly. Since you have been together that long, and if you truly want children, perhaps suggest couples therapy. You need to get to the bottom of why he is resistant. Maybe he has some fears that he has a hard time expressing, so it’s easier to just shut it down. I actually have a lot more questions for you, like does he party often and doesn’t want to let go of that lifestyle? Do you think he would make a good father despite his decision? What kinds of things has he said, exactly?
If you want kids, you need to get in there and start probing (and not the fun kind, unfortunately). I wish you both the best of luck and hope you can come to an agreement.
Question 3 (from @dfwAggie):
Did you notice more people checking you out after getting a kid (even women)?
Hell fucking yes. And I had no clue it would be like that. I noticed it early on, when he was a baby. Not to say I wasn’t used to turning heads, but when I pushed him around with a stroller in the mall, people’s heads were on a swivel. With all of the loss of sleep and routine that came with having a kid, this was a nice bonus surprise that I didn’t expect. I’m guilty of it as well — when I spot a hot DILF with his kid, my eyes are glued to him like I’m watching a new episode of Orange Is the New Black.
Question 4 (from @sardonnica):
How can I work on my 7-year-old niece’s attitude? She lives with me and it’s atrocious.
Well, the one thing that works with my son is toy removal. In other words, when they act like a brat, put their favorite toys somewhere for a set amount of time. Accompany this with a “time out.” It goes like this:
1. He starts acting up and does something unacceptable.
2. I tell him if he continues the behavior, there will be consequences.
3. He either stops or continues.
4. If he continues, put him in a “time out” for 10 minutes or so – a place with zero stimulus so it is boring and not fun for them.
5. If he continues beyond that, I start with his favorite toy and hide it for a set amount of time.
6. If he continues beyond that, more toys go. Then I start laying into fun things for the weekend.
Get the idea? Take away things she loves. There has to be something, whether it’s a movie she watches over and over or her favorite doll. Hope this helps — it has done wonders for us with our son.
Question 5 (from @Sw33tCh377yPi3):
Would you like to have more children?
I am shocked you’re the first person to ask me this. The answer is yes, but under one condition — it must be a girl. Right now my house is a goddamn sausage fest and I really need some feminine energy in here to balance it out. Wanting a girl makes things tricky, though — you can’t technically request a specific gender when you adopt, so if we choose that method again, it’s a crapshoot. Surrogacy, however, provides that option, but it’s outrageously expensive. We are currently figuring out exactly how to do that, and hopefully by this time next year, I’ll have my precious princess once and for all.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at gayathomedad.