As you guys know, I became a dad this year.

It’s sorta the best thing that’s ever happened.

I’ve always had a deep love of family, but I think the fact that Kari and I had “baby fever” for a couple of years before we conceived makes me appreciate it even more. So I get really excited when I find other guys with whom I resonate; guys that seem to take their role as husband and father pretty seriously and want to be awesome at it.

KC Procter is one of those guys.

KC isn’t messing around when it comes to family, but he doesn’t want to guilt you into being a better husband and father. He wants to encourage and empower you. That’s why I’ve asked him to stop by the blog today and give us a taste of his brand of parenting. It’s good stuff.

One of the biggest tests every dad faces is whenever Mommy is out. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a weekend retreat or just to go grocery shopping in peace. The bottom line is daddy and kids are on their own. Mommy isn’t there to save anyone.

And this, my friends, is when the fun begins.

Instead of shaking in fear as you stand in the doorway and wave goodbye to your lovely wife, seize the opportunity for mischief. As those taillights fade into the distance look at your offspring, smile widely, and introduce a little chaos.

5 Rules Every Daddy Should Break While Mommy is Gone

  1. Dress your best when leaving the house. Moms have this weird fixation with matching. Especially if you or the kids are going to be seen in public. Colors, patterns, accessories, whatever. Here’s my rule: as long as our children aren’t naked, I’m a good dad. Give pajamas, costumes or audaciously mismatched colors a try the next time you take the kids out and about. (Needless to say Mommy usually picks out the church clothes in our house.)
  2. Go to bed on time. It’s not unrealistic to expect children to sleep in their beds like civilized people 350-ish days a year. And if you don’t want to deal with zombies in the morning, kids should hit the sack before 8pm. However, once in awhile you’ve gotta throw off the chains of routine and crash on the couch (or living room floor) with popcorn and watch a Disney movie marathon.
  3. Eat healthy. A balanced diet is important for the mental, physical and even emotional well-being of your children. But you know what is awesome? DQ Blizzards or Baskin Robbins for dinner. The best part is watching your kids hit that sugar high then crash like a derailed roller coaster. When they finally land on their bed they look like crash dummies after too many test runs.
  4. Observe proper manners. On the subject of eating, do your kids ever eat with their mouths closed? Nagging about that and sitting straight in the chair are nightly reminders at our dinner table. I swear we’re not raising flea-infested banshees. Although, we have been known to see who has the highest quality burp on occasion. (BONUS! There are 4 factors to the perfect belch: Volume, Duration, Moisture, Pitch)
  5. Clean up. Let’s get real, dads. Have you ever been tempted to bag up all the toys and clothes on the floor and donate them to charity? Yeah, me too. I had military parents so I can get a little nutty about messy rooms. However, if Mommy is gone for the weekend I’ll let everything slide until the last hour before she gets home. Then I teach our kids the definition of “hurricane cleaning”.

Parenting is a serious gig. Once you start the work is never over. The job description might change over the years, but you’ll always be “Dad” or “Mom”.

It’s important to teach our children the importance of self-discipline, responsibility, manners, and personal hygiene. We also need to demonstrate the value of spontaneity, fun, and a little mischief. Routines and structure enhance our lives, but they do not define our lives.

Have fun and be silly with your kids. Remember what it was like to be a kid yourself. Break a few rules. Maybe even with Mommy when she’s home.

What are your favorite rules to “break” now and then with your kids? (Or your nieces and nephews?)

//You need to check out KC’s blog.
//You should also follow him on Twitter.