What Father’s Do- A Real Social Media Post

His Royal Highness King Zawadi Mungu

The smarter business and social media bloggers will take a moment to read this so they can figure out if this really is a social media post or if I am just trying to link bait them into reading.

If I wanted to go I could fill the beginning of this post with all sorts of nifty tricks and tips. We could talk about the importance of managing expectations, determining what metrics you need to hit to be successful and what kinds of tools improve your productivity.

Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. Carolyn has a great list of Chrome Extensions and Shonali has a list of 20 tools you can use to improve your productivity. And just for kicks I’ll toss in Two Things That Are Killing Twitter.

And Now For Something Different

I Will Wait- Mumford and Sons
Ghost Riders In The Sky- Johnny Cash
Boogie Chillun- John Lee Hooker
Burn- The Cure
Layla- Derek & The Dominos

Those are the last five songs I listened to before I started writing this section. Music and lyrics moving through my mind as I think about the question of what fathers do.

I missed Career Day at my son’s middle school. Missed it because I am 1,500 miles away and I couldn’t get back for it. Missed it and a bunch of other things that are important to him and his little sister.

Those things are important to me too because they are important to the kids and my kids are important to me.

But I am here because there was a career opportunity that was too good to pass up and it didn’t make sense to make them move during the school year. I am here because this is what fathers do, we provide for our families and when you find a better way you have to consider it.

Smart Isn’t Always Easy

The smart move isn’t always easy and you can’t always predict what the right thing to do is. Sometimes you have to just go for it and figure it out as you go along.

So I picked up and moved to a place where I didn’t know anyone because I believed it would create a foundation for a better life for my family. I used Twitter to find people who lived in the city and asked for advice and suggestions about places to live and Twitter came through.

I went on Facebook and learned that a Facebook friend lived here two years ago. He connected me with people and suddenly I had people to hang out with and places to go for a home cooked meal.

The kids and I have Skyped and used Google Hangouts to say hi and to do homework.

I have listened to them tell me about their day and heard them beg not to make them move.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Haven’t lived in an apartment in a million years, but here I am again. Turned on Eclipse off of Dark Side of The Moon and remembered being in my early twenties.

Lay down in the middle of my living room and remembered the last time.

It was me and a few of the boys, we were drunk and lost in the lyrics and a discussion about what it meant. Back then no one was married and no one was called dad. Life was nothing but infinite possibilities.

This time I was sober and irritated because the neighbors were playing their music too loud.  Some of us have to work in the morning. This time I wondered where this would lead me, I still saw possibility but instead of infinite it was just many.

Still good, but a bit more limited because I don’t do things without thinking about those little people who call me dad.

A Real Social Media Post

What makes this a real social media post isn’t the knowledge that people in Triberr will tweet, stumble and G+ it. Nor is it because of the links to Twitter news, browser extensions or productivity tools.

Social media is about people and most of you who read this are parents. And those of you who aren’t still understand what it means to move to places you have never been for opportunities you hope will pan out.

So I shared a story and some thoughts and perhaps you’ll do so in the comments and then we can say we had real engagement and another social media success story will come to life.

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15 Comments

  1. Annah Elizabeth May 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Tough decisions…and such is the quandary… Money? Family? Funds to keep the home fires burning are a necessity.

    I’ve always said to my children, “Don’t chase the almighty buck. Figure out what you love doing, find a way to make a living at it, and then live within your means.” And yet, in an economy of shrinking jobs, what are we to do? When opportunity appears, logic says we should strike while the iron is hot…

    The great thing about humans? Especially children? We are resiliant. Your kids will come to appreciate your thoughtfullness in letting them finish out their year and to say their goodbyes. And then they will make many new memories in your new place…

    Best to all of you!
    Hugs and healing…

    • Jack May 6, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Hi Annah Elizabeth,

      I agree. Chasing a buck is a rough ride. We can’t always find the perfect career but it is worth trying hard to find something that is fulfilling. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

      But as parents we do what we can to provide for our families and hope our decisions are smart ones.

  2. D. A. Wolf May 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    What struck me first is when you said you had to provide for your family, because “this is what fathers do, we provide for our families.”

    That is also what mothers do, even when it prevents us from moving, or moving on in some ways, or at least – postponing, for however many years it takes.

    You’re a good dad, making one of those decisions where we can’t possibly know if it’s the best choice, but giving it your best shot. Those little people, as you say, change everything. Even when they’re not so little, you may still be making the bulk of your decisions based on the impact to them.

    It’s what we do.

    And here’s to social media and its power to connect. Good stuff. And good luck with this move.

    • Jack May 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Hi D.A.,

      Yes mothers do this too because it is what parents do. Sometimes I like to focus on the fathers because we don’t always get that sort of attention.

      I don’t know that I would characterize myself as being different from other parents. I did it because it was necessary and there is no way to see what would happen without taking a chance.

      Months later I think it was the right thing and am glad I took the shot, but it hasn’t been easy.

  3. Mike Larson May 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    It’s not easy being a dad. And the pressure that comes along with being a provider is often overlooked. But it’s our job to do what is best for our families, even if it means not being there sometimes. I feel your pain, man. Hang in there. Great post.

  4. Khaja Moin May 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Title of this post is very different, thanks for the title. First I read first para of this post, then I skipped to last one. I didn’t get anything.
    Then I read it completely, got something.
    As am not a father yet I couldn’t understand it completely but when I keep myself in your kid’s shoes I find it cool.

    ~@Khajamoin1

  5. John Taylor (TheDaddyYoDude) May 2, 2013 at 4:53 am

    When we first moved to the town we live in now I was working at an Applebee’s as a cook. We only had one kid at the time. But the job I had just wasn’t making the bills. So I did what dad’s do and took my first and only factory job in a town an hour away. 2 hours on the road and 12 hour shifts for six days a week. I missed my son’s first birthday and party.

    When I was laid off from that job I was back at Applebee’s. Picking up extra shifts and always coming in when called and sometimes working from 7am till midnight with only a 30 minute break. I missed his first steps and first words.

    I worked there for a little over 4 years and missed so many things that were important to me because they were important to my kids. But that’s what dads do.

    You’re right. The smart way is not always the easiest, but we do what we have to.

    Thanks for sharing this story Jack.

    • Jack May 3, 2013 at 4:24 am

      Hi John,

      Some of the choices we make are hard but I am confident that when the lights go out and we are left with our thoughts we know that hard or not we are doing the best we can. It is not perfect but it is enough to help get us through the rough moments.

      Hope you are feeling good and doing well.

  6. Betsy Cross May 2, 2013 at 2:45 am

    LOL! I never ask my kids if they want to move! Gets me too confused. I figure they can decide when they have families of their own. I take the decision-making out of the equasion for them so they can focus on complaining about me and my ways.
    One thing that panned out over all of our moves was that wherever we went, there WE were. The WE never changed.
    So it was all good. Now the kids have a ton of stories. I can remember so much more about the kid’s lives because I can picture them in different houses and schools and with friends that they played with on the streets out in front of them.
    The Internet stays still, too. I like that!

    • Jack May 3, 2013 at 4:22 am

      My kids don’t have a real vote, they just like to think they do. I don’t mind them volunteering what their feelings are about moving, but they don’t get the final say. That decision is left for the adults.

      Sometimes life experience of lack thereof makes it harder for them to see the possibilities and understand why some of these things benefit everyone.

  7. Emmanuel May 1, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    The whole issue of social media can’t be properly addresses without bringing uo the idea of networking. That is all about social meda.

  8. Stan Faryna May 1, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    “Social media is about people.”

    It really is that simple.

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