Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Sometimes I need to get away from the office in order get some work done. That’s when I venture to the local coffee shop downtown. The hiss of the espresso machine and the light buzz of conversation while “Coffeehouse Music” plays overhead is the perfect noise to help me focus. Perhaps you can relate.

What I don’t usually expect to hear is the sound of a baby screaming.

That’s what I found on my last visit for a mocha while catching up on email. Just a few tables away sat a young couple, mid 20s, and their two small daughters, probably three years and six months old. It looked like the mom had some textbooks open while the dad was helping the 3-year-old munch on a chocolate muffin. They collectively looked a little tired—understandably so—but all was calm at first. Parents were sipping coffee and kids were acting chill.

But then, it took a turn.

As dads, we can often sense when things are about to get out of control. The young dad got up for a coffee refill or something. Then the infant started crying. The 3-year-old ran away from Mom to see where Dad went. Mom panicked for a second and had to put the baby on the floor, still screaming. Dad came back with the 3-year-old close behind. But when Dad stopped, the toddler kept walking and bumped into his leg. Coffee spilled out of his cup and onto the floor, scaring the toddler into tears. In just 60 seconds, they seemed on the verge of chaos.

I wasn’t intently watching this whole time, but could kind of see it all take place out of the corner of my eye. When the screaming got louder, I looked up, expecting to see the young dad distraught.

However, he was smiling. Yes, smiling!

Perhaps he didn’t want to lose it in public, but whatever the case, he kept his cool.

Mom looked a little overwhelmed, but also held it together. She scooped up baby and toddler and just sat and hugged them until they all calmed down. I marveled at her reserve.

Dad then wiped up the coffee spill on the floor, swept the muffin crumbs off the table, and tidied up for the next guests. They gathered their belongings and peacefully walked out the door. That situation could have gone a completely different direction with parents dragging kids out of the place kicking and screaming. Honestly, this onlooker thought it was building toward that outcome. But that didn’t happen.

I caught myself wanting to reach out to this young couple—but particularly to the young dad. I’m no old man yet, but I probably have 10 years’ experience over him. My kids are now 11, 9 and 2. I wanted to shake this young guy’s hand and commend him for doing it right. Commend him for taking care of his wife and kids like a pro. It’s tough to figure this stuff out right away.

I’ve felt their exhaustion. I’ve felt their panic in public when kids go crazy. I think we all have. It’s just part of the dad job.

But one thing I know is that getting frustrated and huffy about it never helped matters much. In fact, my reactions to situations often impact my family’s reactions. If they see me get frustrated and angry, they usually follow suit. That’s when all hell can break loose. But when I stay calm, they stay calm.

This young dad in the coffee shop reminded me of that.

To this newish dad who didn’t know I was watching: keep up the good work, young man. You’re making a great impression on your family, as well as those around you. I wish you all the best in this crazy, fun, frustrating, amazing journey.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kyle Means

Kyle Means is the Director of Marketing for the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He enjoyed a fulfilling career in Sports & Entertainment prior to his work in higher education. Past stops include HuskerVision, Houston Rockets/Toyota Center, and the Tri-City Storm/Viaero Event Center. Kyle left the sports biz in 2014 to pursue a career more focused on marketing where he can use a combination of strategic and creative skills. Plus, he now has a few more nights and weekends to spend with his awesome family including his wife (HerViewFromHome founder) Leslie Means, their two daughters Ella and Grace and son, Keithan. Kyle still enjoys watching and playing a variety of sports. The competitive, yet unifying, nature of sports is a strangely beautiful concept that he loves. When he’s not enhancing the brand at UNK, spending time with family or watching/playing sports, Kyle can usually be found volunteering at First Lutheran Church where likes to display a strong faith and give back to the community.

My Dad Showed Me the Greatest Lessons Are Taught Through Example

In: Fatherhood
grandpa holding donut box with grandson

Waiting at the window, I arranged the blue ruffles on my brand new dress and flipped my hair around to look just right. It was a night to be fancy. It was my first date. My face was flushed as I looked forward to the night ahead. I knew it was a big deal to be taken out and I would get special treatment. I would pick the restaurant and maybe we would have some ice cream and walk around downtown before the sun went down. After that, I was pretty sure we could go to the store and that...

Keep Reading

It Doesn’t Matter How Old I Am—I’ll Always Need My Daddy

In: Fatherhood, Grown Children, Living
Vintage photo of little girl on bike with her dad

I have always been a Daddy’s girl, much to my mom’s frustration.  She always said my dad and I were wired the same, and that’s why it’s always just “worked.” Sure, we have had our struggles and frustrations—when two people think almost the exact same way, certainly there will be battles. But my dad has always had my back, without fail.   Whether he had to question a school decision or staff my senior class retreat (yes, my dad is featured in my high school yearbook), I knew he would be there. He thought he would lose me someday, that having...

Keep Reading

I’m Just a Little Boy, but Daddy You’re Teaching Me How to Be a Man

In: Fatherhood, Marriage
Daddy on the floor playing with son, color photo

I’m only a little boy, still too young to tie my own shoes or make my own breakfast. My days are filled with playtime, snacks, lots of hugs from Mommy, and plenty of tickles from you, Daddy. Right now, my life revolves around me and you and Mommy. I don’t know much about the world outside our home yet. I haven’t learned about responsibility or self-discipline or sacrifice. I haven’t had to find my place in the world yet. But I guess I’m pretty lucky because even though you may not know it, you’ve already begun teaching me everything I...

Keep Reading

You’re the Father You Never Had and I’m So Proud of You

In: Fatherhood, Marriage
Dad and kids walking on beach

Can I tell you about my husband? He’s amazing. He’s kind and doting and loves Jesus, but perhaps his most endearing trait is the absolutely incredible father he is.  In our early days of dating, he was crippled by the fear of what type of father he would be. To him, fatherhood was burdensome, grumbling, abandonment, and fighting for the final dollar during tax season. His experience as a son crippled his anticipation as a father.  But I knew it all along—what an incredible dad he would be. Although I must admit, he has often far surpassed what I even...

Keep Reading

To the Stay At Home Mom From Your Husband: I See You

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

To the woman who sacrificed her comfort zone—leaving her family, friends, and everything she’d ever known—to follow her new husband across the country for his job: I see you. To the wife who pours herself into making a house her home, only to have to move again: I see you. To the wife who put her career, education, and personal pursuits on hold for the sake of her family: I see you. To the mom who went through pain and misery for nine months, only to have motherhood turn out to be nothing like she’d dreamed and longed for it...

Keep Reading

I Struggled With My Son’s Diagnosis, But Found Hope in the Special Needs Community

In: Fatherhood, Tough Times

When I found out I was going to be a father I was beyond excited. My wife and I had been trying to conceive for years before she got pregnant. So, when she told me I was going to be a father I wanted to shout it to the rooftops! I made sure to call my wife every day at work to make sure she ate lunch. I’m sure I annoyed the heck out of her. We later found out that we were having a boy, and started to plan everything. We started to paint the baby room with blues...

Keep Reading

My Son is Growing Up, But I’ll Hold On To the Pictures Forever

In: Fatherhood

A certain part of my heart longs for these moments to never change. I look back on pictures like this one, where my oldest son tastes the salty breeze on his lips for the first time, feeling the sand underneath his toes and laughing out loud at this wholly new experience. I look back and want to freeze it, but in something more than a single picture, more solid than a flimsy memory, more lifelike in substance than what a camera can fashion. RELATED: Stay With Me a Little Longer, Daddy Because that little person who could not stand without...

Keep Reading

I Want My Sons to See How Important It is to Cover Your Wife

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

Transparent moment—I did not always do the best job of covering my wife. Early in our marriage, I was often guilty of being selfish. Our first of four childbirths had contentious moments. From the whistle I jokingly wore on our first trip to the hospital while she was in labor, to me telling her in the midst of her frustration that if we didn’t have the baby that night, she could decide if she’d go into work the next day—I’m not proud of the way I handled some of the challenges. RELATED: 5 Ways To Love Your Wife After the...

Keep Reading

Dads: Your Kids Love Doing Things Because They Get to Do Them With You

In: Fatherhood

This piece was co-written with the author’s husband, Nathan Glenn. I remember my husband taking our daughter golfing for the first time and wondering if she’d enjoy it like he did. He’d dress our kids up in Pittsburgh gear, hoping they’d love the Steelers and Pirates and Penguins as much as he does. When we imagined our someday kids, he hoped he’d have someone that would want to play catch with him and go sit on the banks for hours fishing. Now here we are over a decade into this parenting three thing, and our oldest has her own clubs...

Keep Reading

This British Dad’s Parody of Orlando Bloom’s Daily Routine Has Us Cracking Up

In: Fatherhood

Two men on the same parenting journey see things a bit differently. Read to the end for this British dad’s hilarious take on what it’s like to be a father if you’re not a famous A-list celebrity. Ever since his cinematic debut as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings film series, celebrity actor Orlando Bloom has been capturing hearts around the world. Let’s be honest, we all know why our wives were so excited when Pirates of the Caribbean hit theatres. Outside of fantasy, there’s not much that makes Mr. Bloom relatable to the average Joe. However, parenthood tends...

Keep Reading