The 2018 Guide to Good Health is here! FIND LOCAL DOCTORS & HEAR FROM EXPERTS close

A Different Paternity Test

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

The ups and downs of dad-preneurship / By Clay Nichols

I can highly recommend parenthood. Same for entrepreneurship. Mixing the two, well, that’s one complex bastard, so to speak, because no matter how many disclaimers you offer in the course of your dad-preneurship, sooner or later, you’ll get labeled “Parenting Expert.” And that is just a plain unmitigated disaster.

About six or so years ago, I founded a company with a couple of other guys who sought to foster conversations about fatherhood, a role we felt had undergone significant change in a short period of time. The resulting enterprise, DadLabs, produces a slew of digital content on the subject of being a dad, with a focus on web video. But even a glancing encounter with one of the hundreds of videos or articles on our website will quickly convince you that you’re not dealing with traditional experts.

Even the back cover of our book, The DadLabs Guide to Fatherhood, Pregnancy and Year One proudly confesses, “We screwed up so you don’t have to.” I felt like the language there was pretty clear: we’re veterans, not experts. We might have a bit of experience in some matters of parenting, but mastery eludes us. I have an M.F.A., not a Ph.D., so my opinions are way more likely to be fabricated than researched.

Yet all attempts to divest myself of authority have done nothing to keep my wife from giving me that look. You’ve probably gotten a watered-down version of this look yourself when you venture an opinion at variance with your kid’s mom on a child-rearing issue. But that glare, no matter how baleful, just can’t compare to the instantly deflating “Well, excuse me, Professor DadLabs” look, a look that is closely related to the “Nice one, Captain DadLabs” frown I get when the school calls to inform us the credit card I gave them for lunch money has been declined.

Traveling for your parenthood-based business is always a nifty exercise in irony: “Honey, I have to leave town for a week to go talk about what it means to be a good dad right in the middle of exams and soccer playoffs, cool? Oh, and the conference is in Vegas. So I’ll make sure to bring the kids back a handful of poker chips and a stack of those picture cards they hand out on the Strip. Okey dokey?”

My kids find my expert status to be either hilarious or mortifying. Hilarious every day except the day they find that I’ve dropped a casual reference to some personal peccadillo—my teenage son’s newfound affinity for Axe, for example—in to a widely circulated periodical found on racks outside restaurants popular with their peers.

Having a dad business is also to tempt fate (to taunt it, actually), to give destiny a big fat raspberry. Karma almost demands that one of my kids or I, or all of us, end up on a blotter somewhere, mugshotted with a caption reading, “Expert parent and kids discovered smuggling tainted baby formula in precious religious relics while sniffing brake fluid.”

There is plenty of upside for the paternity-oriented entrepreneur, sadly, not always reflected on the P&L. It’s been my business to talk to a lot of smart people, actual experts, who have researched parents and kids. It’s been my business to be mindful of my own parenting while both off and on the clock. It’s been my business to laugh, along with others, at my own fitful struggle to be the best dad I can manage. Looking at the balance sheet, I’d have to say, complex or not, dad-preneurship is a good gig if you can get it.

Clay Nichols is co-founder and chief creative officer at dadlabs.com, the web’s leading resource for all things dad. He is also an author, playwright, former teacher, husband and father of three living in Austin, TX.

Share.

106 Comments

  1. In my twelve years of working in childcare, Clay Nichols is one of the very best dads I’ve ever met. He may not have Phd, but he’s a damn good parent (and writer). His advice and that of DadLabs is definitely worth following.

  2. iHWBr4 It as not that I want to replicate your web site, but I really like the style and design. Could you let me know which style are you using? Or was it custom made?

  3. You in fact dealt with several engaging items in this post. I came across it by employing Bing and IaаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒаАа’б‚Т€ТžаБТžve got to admit that I am now subscribed to your site, it really is very decent (:

  4. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, as well as the content!

  5. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Very helpful information specifically the last part 🙂 I care for
    such information much. I was seeking this particular information for
    a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  6. This awesome blog is definitely cool as well as amusing. I have chosen a lot of helpful tips out of this source. I ad love to go back every once in a while. Cheers!

  7. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I ave been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

  8. Normally I don at read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, very nice article.

  9. Im no pro, but I consider you just crafted a very good point point. You certainly know what youre talking about, and I can really get behind that. Thanks for staying so upfront and so truthful.

  10. Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We ave ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Wonderful. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  11. Thank you for some other wonderful post. Where else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the search for such info.

  12. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I ave shared your site in my social networks!

  13. Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else may just anyone get that type of info in such an ideal means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.

  14. Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It as on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  15. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is fantastic, let alone the content!

  16. I’а†ve read a few good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you put to make the sort of great informative website.

  17. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about sex.

  18. This particular blog is obviously entertaining and also factual. I have found many interesting things out of this source. I ad love to return again and again. Thanks a bunch!

  19. This blog is no doubt entertaining as well as diverting. I have found many handy things out of this blog. I ad love to visit it every once in a while. Thanks a lot!

Leave A Reply

Banner