The Book, The Press & The Future

emsigning Well, it's been quite a month. On May 24th, we launched Dude to Dad: The First Nine Months. It was like the birth of a third child and your response was overwhelming. The same day we reached #1 on

By the end of the rollercoaster, we reached #1 in Motherhood, #2 in Fatherhood, #4 in Marriage (which Mrs. Dude giggled at), and #215 of the 8,000,000 books listed on Amazon. We ended up #2 Mover & Shaker of ALL books on Amazon (Gwenyth Paltrow was #6!) It's the #4 Hot New Release in Parenting (behind 3 of Jim Gaffigan's books). And, #1 Hot New Release in Motherhood, Fatherhood, Marriage, & Family Relationships. You can still buy your copy here:

The press caught wind of it and we saw some incredible coverage (click each title for the article):

*Chicago Tribune - The Road to Dadville (Also syndicated in the Orlando Sentinel)

*MSN Living - What Dads Should Expect This Father's Day

*Argus Leader - From Dude to Dad and Everything After

*Dakota Midday by Karl Gehrke - "Dude to Dad"

*BookSparksPR - "Friday Five"

*KELOland - Dude to Dad; Twitter to Amazon

*Pregnancy & Newborn - From Dude to Dad

* - Father's Day Books Galore: Five New Books Are Great For Dads

* - Best Dad Books for Fathers Day

*Apartment Therapy - 21 Good Reads For & By Dads

As we move past the book launch and Fathers Day 2013, it feels like a good time to share what the future holds. When we signed contracts with Familius last year, they believed enough in everything we have been doing to commit to 3 Dude to Dad books over the next several years. As a result, we've already begun to write the second book, which should be released in time for Father's Day 2014.

The next book will be focused on raising what I call "a child of possibility." I don't know much yet about what the book will look like, but I do know that the entire Dude to Dad community will be much more involved in this creation. On August 9, Emerson and I have been invited to speak about some of this at TEDxFargo. We hope you'll check it out!


Final thought: On that first day and every day since, I've felt severely vulnerable and self-conscious as so many people that I know and love have opened envelopes containing their copies of the book. Your words of congratulations and praise have been felt deeply by my entire family. I just hope it has been worth your time and $10. Please know that none of this would have been possible without all of you. Whether you've been following along for five years or have just found Dude to Dad, you are deeply appreciated. Have a great week.





Life will never be the same....

After 22 months, there are still days that I just don't think that I'm cut out to be a dad.

Then there are the other kind of days when I burst with pride at her wisdom, laugh myself to tears at her wit and hope beyond hope that she will be a woman that listens to and openly love the people around her.

Those second kind of days happen more and more often lately.


I wrote that nearly two years ago and it's still true. As I work to update the site for the book launch, we are expecting our second child in April. Between the book and the new baby, I am reminded all over again how little I know. This adventure of fatherhood is unlike anything else I've ever experience. I've learned more about myself than I could have ever hoped for and I'm eternally grateful for that.


Question 2

Is there a secret to surviving the first couple weeks after the baby comes home? -- Exhausted in Elkton

Nope. There really isn't. We did learn two lessons very quickly though. First, take help when it's offered. There will be times when you will want and need alone time as a new family, but for the most part the lifeline of help will be more important than privacy (this may be only my experience.) Second, the key is tag team. For the first week, my wife and I were both so nervous/excited/paranoid/overjoyed that we both did everything. Lunacy! Lunacy, I say! Sleep when you can. There will be plenty of moments. If you're really, really afraid of missing something, buy a Flip camera. Again, sleep when you can. -- Hugh


Humbling Review of D2D

Just came across this posted review of and it made my day.

"What would you do with 100 days left until you leave your dudehood behind? Read this Dad's humorous day to day account from pregnancy to raising a baby. Donate to Mrs. Dude's Boob Fund, check out video reviews on the best breast pumps, and get a dude's perspective from a preacher, a father of four and the original dude himself on whether to breastfeed or formula feed. This dude to dad caters to all of the men out there. Finally!" - stet1


Question 1

I just found out that I'm going to be a dad. I'm kind of freaked out! What should I do? -- Don the Daddy-to-be

You've come to the right place, my friend. While I have no actual wisdom to impart, I can assure you that I know what you're feeling. My best advice is to find at least one (relatively new) father who knows what you're going through. I had plenty of oblivious (and borderline negligent) fathers around me, which wasn't helpful at all. If you don't find anyone soon, hop on Twitter and start using the hashtag #dudetodad or Facebook and join the group. It's amazing how many fathers are using social media tools to help them make the transition from an average dude to a great dad. Final note: Please ignore all baby manuals or guides except: "Be Prepared - A Practical Handbook for New Dads" and "ABCs for Expectant Dads." The rest will only marginalize you and make you feel like your kid is a slouch. No good. Oh, and, Good Luck! -- Hugh

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The Top 5 Things This DAD Wishes Someone Had Told Him Before the Baby Came

Originally Printed on 1. Parenting isn’t a situation where MacGyver or Mr. T are going to be of any assistance to you. There are no solutions to this dilemma.

Perhaps the biggest misconception that I had coming into fatherhood was that I would somehow be able to “figure out” my child. Oh, I knew there would be stages. I had heard about the terrible twos and teething, but I imagined that between these milestones I would figure the super-secret song or noise or funny face and that I would magically disarm the greatest of tantrums and tears.

This was incredibly misguided and now feels borderline stupid. Any “solution” you come up with lasts 30 minutes at most. In many cases, it only lasts about 30 seconds. Get used to it. Keep trying. Go Dad!

2. You will never again be able to make a single decision without considering the impact on your child.

Since the birth of my daughter, there have been no decisions that have been made without considering the impact on her. This is true in use of money, use of time and prioritization of life’s many scheduling conflicts. This doesn’t mean that I always make the perfect decision, but it means I consider them in light of her.

Prior to the baby, there were purchases that would be made very impulsively without a consideration of impact. Prior to the baby, I worked some long nights and extended social gatherings engaged in without a handwringing thought about a waiting meal or wife.

I can be honest in saying that even marriage didn’t have this impact on me. (My dear wife, Mrs. Dude, wasn’t terribly excited to hear this, but it is absolutely true.)

If fathers were being completely candid, I think they would have to admit that even in their actions that are less-than-fatherly they still consider the impact on the family.

3. Picture the worst possible imaginable disturbing (borderline criminal) thing that could be done to you by a child, increase it by several orders of magnitude and expect it to occur weekly.

I’m going to leave out some details here. It’s for your own good. You see, my daughter has had some digestive disorders in these first couple months that have required group participation in the process of waste excretion. I know this is vague language, but I can assure you it’s better that way.

In less eventful activities, my daughter has managed to project formula vomit into my ears. I have been covered from elbow to shoulder in a goop that most closely resembles the most incredibly foul baby poop mixed with a liquid form of death.

There is nothing sweet or adorable about this. It’s just a fact.istock_000001923756xsmall_mommymonster

4. Your wife at her best will be a fundamentally different person than the woman you met on your first date. Your wife at her worst will be an infinitely more terrifying person than the monster you imagined under your bed as a child.

There is no judgment implied in this. Plain and simple, the rules have changed. Learn the rules and it will all be fine. (Editor’s note: Mrs. Dude smiled and nodded when I read her this realization.)

5. Know your limits. If you don’t know your limits, trust friends and family when they tell you that you’ve reached them.

This is not to say that we are all ticking time bombs, but I have heard too many fellow moms AND dads say through tears “This is never going to end. I am never going to sleep. I can’t handle this anymore.” to believe that I am the only one.

Speaking personally, there are times (each and every day) when parenting is completely overwhelming. You are exhausted, the baby is inconsolable and the tension between you and your wife is high. Unless you learn to recognize when you just can’t handle any more stress (emotionally, spiritually, physically), there is a high likelihood that you will put yourself in a position to do and say things that you wouldn’t normally think possible.

So step away. Take a deep breath. Call a friend. But most importantly, acknowledge that you are overwhelmed and don’t take it out on your spouse or child.

BONUS # 6: This change…this baby…represent an opportunity to change life for the better. Please, please, please take advantage of it.

I don’t care whether you’re fighting addiction, have crappy financial management skills or just need to “grow up”, this baby gives you an excuse to become a better person. It’s like a reset button in life. Focus on the future and on something other than yourself and you’ll be amazed at what’s possible. I have friends and family members who struggled with all sorts of demons. Their decisions to embrace fatherhood and become good dads have made all of the difference in their life. Take the challenge. Make a commitment. Be a great dad and an even better person! Your kid is depending on you.

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