Matt Sweetwood serial entrepreneur and a tech start-up founder with over 30 years of experience. He is an internationally known professional speaker, author, coach, and social media influencer. However, his greatest achievement is having raised five successful children to adulthood as a single dad. He is a frequent national TV and publication contributor and has a #1 best-selling book: “Leader of the Pack: How a single dad of five led his kids, his business and himself from disaster to success.”
I expected there wouldn’t be a lot of men in the audience and I was right. But what I didn’t imagine was that the audience would be mostly young girls – well under the ‘R’ rated age of 17 you needed to even get in.
I think it’s fair to say most of us were shocked when we saw the Nationwide 2015 Super Bowl Commercial, “Make Safe Happen.” It’s pretty risky business to have a child in an ad who speaks about missing out on the best moments of his life because he died in a preventable accident.
When I became the sole and single parent of my 5 children, my 3 little girls were ages 18 months, 4 and 8 years old. Obviously dating was not an issue to be dealt with at that time but my thoughts of what the future would hold in that area weighed heavily on my mind. I know most dads (and moms) think about these things often.
My oldest daughter Michelle got married two weeks ago at a scenic venue overlooking Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea. I know destination weddings are now trendy, but that had little to do with the choice to have the wedding there…
No, it’s not the beginning of a joke. Yes that really happened. This past fall I was sitting at the bar of a Manhattan restaurant next to my friend, Adam Jacobs, who is a Rabbi at Aish Center, New York. We were having a cold beverage to celebrate the premiere of his documentary.
The urgency I felt when my own children were suffering, unproductive and unhappy was greater than keeping my own job. This was a real creative problem unlike anything I knew before because the solutions are not linear. I had significant problems occur every day. They had to be solved.
I got my get-out-of-jail-free card by just following the advice of the famous philosopher, Nike: “Just do it.” I couldn’t quit my job. There was no one else to do it, so I just put my head down and worked my ass off all over the place. I needed to be a dad, and dads do things with children that are perfectly good and are perfectly acceptable to me.
I wish I had the experience and wisdom then I have now because I would not have been in such mortal fear for Michelle and my failure as her Father. God knows his work and Michelle is in many ways, most like me (despite her frequent denials) of all my children.
My middle daughter Rebecca is twenty two (22) years old today. I find it difficult to fathom that I actually have a daughter in her twenties. But fact is, I have three daughters and two sons. So today, while she is roaming around Manhattan with her younger sister, I reflect…
One of the personality traits that successful parents develop is the ability to multitask. I don’t mean the normal kind of multitasking that one does at work where you complete an expense report while on the phone with the copier salesperson. I mean the kind of “multitasking on steroids” that allows you to handle multiple children at varying age levels, while having little sleep for extended periods of time.