All posts by B.K. Mullen

B.K. Mullen is a SAHD in the Philadelphia area for his beautiful daughter Emma. He blogs at dadonthemic.com and is a contributor for The Good Men Project, Life of Dad, and the National At Home Dad Network. Ben is also the co-host of a podcast about being a Father called The Poppin' Bottles Dad-Cast (www.poppinbottlesdadcast.com).

S2-Ep 4: Baby’s New Bed

Emma has officially out grown her crib. Now we are in the depths of “sleep training” so she can get used to her new one. Did we go with a toddler bed? Nah…straight to full size. It’s been a crazy week, check it out here!

https://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=7755614&autoplay=false

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Johnny Manziel, Depression and The Ignorance of The NFL

I called it just a few weeks ago. Johnny was going to go from bad to worse, and he has depression. I knew it in my bones. Not only from the personal experience that it goes hand-in-hand with substance abuse, but from knowledge of how it affects people like Johnny.

Continue reading Johnny Manziel, Depression and The Ignorance of The NFL

Life & Snowmageddon

My only hope is that Bruce Willis doesn’t try to blow it up.

I love snow, and I do mean love. Perhaps it’s cause i’m a January baby or because i’ve spent a whole lot of fuckin time shoveling and plowing it in my life. All I know is every time it hits Winter it doesn’t snow soon enough, and when the snow comes, i hope it never stops. I dig Summer as much as the next guy, but snow? Snow is….refreshing. It falls ever so kindly like a whisper on a leaf. As it covers the Earth it gives you the same feeling as an artist with a blank piece of paper: its a new beginning. And when it all washes away revealing the Earth you know and love….It’s like seeing an old friend for the first time in a long time. 

Some people hate the snow, and I get that. I saw a meme on Facebook the other day calling it “200 Tonnes of bullshit.” I get it, it can be a hassle. It’s cold, wet, heavy and annoying to have to move out of your way. 

But I think to myself: In this new world we’ve found ourselves in, sitting a lot, staring at screens and filling our head with nonsense that we think is important, it’s good to get out for a while. Experience the unforgiving cold, work your back muscles a bit, start and finish a task and breath fresh air. Y’know….like a human. 

A lot of people in the generations ahead of mine think that ours is quite unfufilling. That we’ve taken the technology they’ve gifted us and perverted it so that we never have to do an “honest days work”. But as I shoveled this evening I was deep in thought about the future and all of us “lazy” people on our iPads and I realized that where we will excell is not in the labors of old, but in the endeavors of new. 

Not so many of my generation will have to do things like work in a coal mine, shovel shit or get our hands dirty to pay our mortgages. But do not mistake our focus on the present ammeneties as an unwillingness to work. Recognize that our generation is in its Fall right now. The snow, our great task ahead of us, will be here soon. And just like the generations before us, we’re preparing our tools to handle it. We’re unpacking our cold weather clothing, dusting off the shovels and setting our sites on the blizzard we will face. 

What will it be? War? Global warming? What? What is it that will come to a head and attempt to lay waste to our culture and our world? We don’t know. We don’t know when the snow will come, or how heavy it will be. But as time passes we’ll be readied. Some of us with shovels, some with snowblowers. 

But no matter what, when the snow starts to fall, we’ll be smiling. Because as annoying as it can be, there is no greater feeling than taking on a heavy task…..and making it your bitch. 
Cheers,
B.K. Mullen

@dadonthemic

Auto-Dad: The Kia Sorento! 

For the past year, we here at DOTM have been planning an awesome new YouTube series that we’re happy to officially announce! Please keep your eyes peeled for “Auto-Dad: Car Reviews for Parents”!

The idea started when I realized no car review shows focus on the parents perspective, and with that idea we kicked it off with our good friends from Kia! They sent me an awesome new Sorento to drive around for a few days and it was an amazing experience Continue reading Auto-Dad: The Kia Sorento! 

How To Succeed at Parenting (Without Really Trying)

A question was posed in a Facebook group the other day. It was from a fellow Dad who is my age (25) and he was very blunt in his question. 

“Aren’t we too young for this?”

That, my friend, is an easy answer that is difficult for many people to wrap their brains around. You see, we all believe that age deliniates knowlege by experience. The younger you are, the less experienced you are therefore you are not as skilled or knowlegeable as your elders. In many cases thats true, but for this one…..no. Not at all. 

I’ll put my answer as bluntly as he put is question:
We all go into this parenting thing the same. No matter how much we prepare we all go in the same blubbering, confused mess. From then on out all you can do is your best. Thats all we, as parents, ever do. We do our best from day to day. 

So do your best today. If you make it through, congrats. Then do your best again tomorrow. Screw up? Learn from it, and try again. There are are more complexities than anyone can realize with the raising of a human being. So complex in fact, that there is no algorithm or style or training that will prepare you for the process. You must have the constant ability to think on your feet and enjoy the quiet moments in between. 

The best part though? 

It’s what we were made to do. All of us. We’re every single one of us capable. The only limit here is the lack of confidence in oneself to complete this mission. Perhaps thats why he asked the question in the first place. Not sure if he can handle it and trying to justify his feeling of failure by considering his age. 

Yes we are young. But we are all, by no means, perfect parents. 

To quote the Mythbusters: “Failure is always an option.” 

Obviously there are certain HUGE things that you cannot fail at, such as the whole feeding thing. However, what the phrase truely means is that every failure provides you with DATA. Knowledge that will help you in your continued success. 

Do not fear. Even on your worst day, you are doing the absolute best. 

A Thank You To David

Dear David

Today I woke up and, like I always do, I checked Facebook. As I scrolled, I saw a few pictures of you with no words associated to it. Just pictures. I didn’t pay it much mind though, you’ve just had an album come out and besides you are an amazing individual. One of those fixtures in the world, a force of nature. Fire burns, wind blows, earth grows, water flows and David Bowie.

But today is different. Today we mourn the loss and celebrate the life. You moved us in a way that few have been able to do. Not just in music, but in your lifestyle. Always pushing boundaries in one way or another, while being a “regular bloke” at the same time. You showed the world how amazing a simple person can be, and how simple a rockstar truly is. And yet in all your simplicity there was a level of complexity that some of the world had trouble coping with.

When I was 9 years old, I heard the song “Golden Years” for the first time while watching the movie “A Knights Tale”. A week or so later I asked my older brother if he knew the artist and he looked at me partially shocked, partially excited.

“Have you ever heard of David Bowie?”

“No.”

And without a word he went to the computer and pulled up “Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars”. From that point on I was transfixed on the magic that existed in that album, which my brother than bought me for Christmas. I listened to it constantly and was moved by every second. At that time I didn’t understand what half the lyrics meant, but it didn’t really matter. I was moved by the music as a whole and it changed my whole perception of what magic really is.

From album to album I kept finding you, and then as time went on I found your influence in some of my favorite music of my teens and now into my twenties.

You re-invented one generation and inspired the following two. Needless to say you will always inspire, always influence, always make people fall in love, always help people identify, grow up and stay young.

You, “The Thin White Duke” have moved us all simply by expressing yourself and exuding your love. You are more than just a few hundred songs collected on a few dozen albums. You are more than soundbytes and inspirational posters. Through our passion you will always exist. From the next big musical artist, to the simple people relying on their headphones for sanity, love and inspiration.

Deep inside, there is a Ziggy Stardust in all of us. We all have an invisible lighting bolt painted on our face.

Thank you David. Thank you.

Why I Hope My Daughter is More Like Poe and Less Like Rey

First and foremost, she’ll never be abandoned in a sandy place forced to collect junk in order to earn portions of dehydrated food powder. Also, I should mention that this is not an attempt to quash her girly-ness. If one day she feels that she is Transgendered that’s perfectly fine, but this post is more about the mindset than the physical attributes. No this is a consideration by a HUGE Nerd who is also a parent of a little girl in the realm of “should our kids look up to this hero”. Continue reading Why I Hope My Daughter is More Like Poe and Less Like Rey

New Year, New Beginnings 

Yeah yeah yeah, everybody says that on New Years Eve/Day. How “this year is gonna be different” and yadda yadda. Well for my family, 2016 is going to incredibly different. Why? Because we took the time and put in the effort back in 2015 to make it so.

In 2015 I became a full time Stay-At-Home Dad and it’s been working out better than I could have possibly hoped. Staying home with the little one and getting to concentrate further on projects that mean something to me has been truely amazing. My Wife got an awesome new position at work in which she quite comfortably accells and looking ahead, there are some wonderful opportunities for her coming up. The little one? She just started potty training full-time and she’s a CHAMP. All of this is in addition to a steady change in our diet to healthier things that still satisfy us, and most importantly…..a new home. 

A full on HOUSE. No more renting, tons of space and a world of opportunity. We worked very hard to get to this point at this stage in our lives and this is one of those times when we can truely look behind us at what we’ve done and reap the benefits of our hard work. The best part is, though, that the work is only truely just beginning. My Wife and I are both the kind of people who like to stay busy as much as we like to relax. Now, we have a home where both things are possible. We have enough comfy space to curl up and watch TV and play with the little one, and a good amount of space to work on all the things we dream about. 

2016 so far is full of some all new things and good feelings that we haven’t felt in a long time. 
This is gonna be good. 
Cheers,

-B.K. 

When You Need it Most: Date Night

***I recieved a Restaurant.com gift card for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.***
It’s the Holidays, and for any parent that means one thing above all else: Stress. 

As Hannukkah passes and Christmas gets into full swing, it’s hard to find time for just you and you partner. Sure you may be able to drop them off at Nana and PopPop’s at some point, but your time is filled with the rushing around of buying gifts. While you may be able to turn that into a good time, you still gotta get that Date Night in some how. 

The Date Night is quite possibly the most important tool in a parents’ arsenal. It’s one of those things that needs to happen regularly so you both can decompress. This holiday season, my friends at Restaurant.com have a little something for you. 

  
The holiday season ushers in festive foods, décor, and winter’s highly anticipated movies of 2015! Explore the galaxy, sing with the Chipmunks or solve a Sherlock mystery—and dine out with Special by Restaurant.com’s Dinner & a Movie deal. Now through December 20 for $30, you’ll receive two tickets PLUS a $100 Restaurant.com eGift card to redeem for a star-rated restaurant. 

Spend family time discovering the perfect table and flick. Use your movie tickets to see any winter blockbuster hit here. Hurry – this offer ends Sunday, December 20 at 11:59 pm CT or when it’s sold out
Restaurant.com and Specials by Restaurant.com make great gifts for everyone on your wish list. Connect with Restaurant.com on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and never miss their next great deal! 
  

***I recieved a Restaurant.com gift card for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.***