Ten “Dad Bag” Essentials

Okay dads, by now you’ve all had the epiphany that having a kid or kids also means having a free pass to carrying a fabulous man bag. I see you. Some of you opt for something more rugged and nondescript, while others go full-blown for a designer tote. I’m not one to judge the exterior of your bag (at least not yet – until I design my own), but I certainly will tell you what its contents should be. I have almost seven years of experience, so I know exactly what you need in almost every situation, and can tell you – these 10 items are crucial:

  • Some sort of wet wipes/napkins/etc. The use varies as your child(ren) gets older, but bottom line it’s about mess management. You could mimic what my mom did and use your thumb and spit to get the crumbs off your kid’s mouth, or whip out a wet wipe and do it with finesse. Trust me, you don’t always want to touch what your kids have had their hands in – these can be lifesavers.
  • A small container of Purell. This goes hand-in-hand with the wet wipes, but after a soccer game, a giant glop of Purell reigns supreme. It also assists for when you yourself are dealing with disgusting situations. Purell might be like the placebo effect of cleansers, but it certainly puts my mind at ease.
  • Chapstick/Carmex. I never knew the value of having lip balm on me until my son was crying in the back seat with split open lips during winter. I drove faster than I did to the hospital when he was being born, to find the nearest gas station to relieve his pain. Don’t make my mistake. Be proactive. Chapped lips will strike when you least expect it.
  • Miniature first-aid kit w/Band-Aids. You can buy these anywhere (airports have great small ones) and contain everything you need for a quick fix. I went the extra step and got an Epipen, even though my son doesn’t have any known allegies – you can never be too careful. Also, wouldn’t it be cool to be the hero in a scary situation and pull that thing out? Yeah, it would.
  • Noise-canceling headphones. Need I say more? Turn on, tune in, and drop out when you need it the most (playgrounds).
  • A bottle of water. How often a day do you hear the words “I’m thirsty?” My son and I have surpassed the question: I just always have refreshments on hand. Of course kids want you to produce a can of soda or a box of juice, but water does the job the best, and can also be used for emergency cleaning situations (see vomiting in the backseat of your new car).
  • A spare phone charger. We’ve all been there – awful situations that are impossible to get out of and the panic sets in as your battery drops to zero. Avoid this. If you know you’re going to be in an all-day endeavor (think amusement parks, zoos), charge your phone whenever and wherever you can. Nothing eats up your battery like the 8 billion photos and videos you ABSOLUTELY MUST TAKE.
  • Tiny bottle of Advil Liquigels. These are for you. Trust me, you will need them, and often. Sometimes it’s because you’ve had a super long day and get a hunger headache. Other times, it’s because Chuck E. Cheese is packed to the brim and the decibel level gives you a migraine. Come prepared.
  • An iPad, or similar device. Keep this thing full the brim with their favorite movies, songs, etc. YouTube Kids is an incredible app that filters content for you, and my son absolutely loves it. HUGE PIECE OF ADVICE: make sure it has wi-fi capabilities – there is nothing like dealing with a 6-year-old losing his mind because he can’t watch Netflix.
  • A small toy “surprise.” Something your kid has never seen before but would flip out about and love. By small, I mean almost pocket size – but go for big impact. Having a spare Minecraft Mini-figure has completely saved my butt when I encountered unexpected waits. The key is to first tell them if they are good, they will get a surprise toy, hold out as long as possible, then reward them. If they’re bad, take that sh*t away.
  • You don’t have to take any of my advice, but after you ditch your diaper bag, having a small “dad bag” is very useful. Mine personally never leaves my kitchen counter or my passenger seat unless I’m out for the entire day. If you don’t have one, find one that suits you, buy these ten items, and you will always be prepared. Just wait until you see a random mom fumbling through her purse for wet wipes and you beat her to the punch. You will feel empowered, and you will never leave home without that bag again.


    You can see more of Frank Lowe at:

    YouTube: www.youtube.com/gayathomedad

    Twitter: @GayAtHomeDad

    Instagram: gayathomedad

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/gayathomedad

    Snapchat: shhhhhhiknow

    Show Comments ()

    Supreme Court to Hear Major Case Concerning LGBTQ Foster Care Parents

    The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether cities are allowed to exclude tax-funded adoption agencies from foster care systems if they refuse to work with gay couples.

    In 2018, city officials in Philadelphia decided to exclude Catholic Social Services, which refuses to work with LGBTQ couples, from participating in its foster-care system. The agency sued, claiming religious discrimination, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously ruled against the agency, citing the need to comply with nondiscrimination policies.

    The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, follows a 2018 Supreme Court decision regarding a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that case, the court narrowly ruled that the baker bad been discriminated against, on religious grounds, by the state's civil rights commission. It did not decide the broader issue: whether an entity can be exempt from local non-discrimination ordinances on the basis of religious freedom.

    The court — whose ideological center has shifted to the right since the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in fall 2018 — may choose to do so now. Advocates quickly called on the court to consider the potential impact on the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system:

    "We already have a severe shortage of foster families willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these children," said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. "Allowing foster care agencies to exclude qualified families based on religious requirements that have nothing to do with the ability to care for a child such as their sexual orientation or faith would make it even worse. We can't afford to have loving families turned away or deterred by the risk of discrimination."

    "It is unconscionable to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families because they are LGBTQ, religious minorities, or for any other reason unrelated to their capacity to love and care for children," said HRC President Alphonso David. "We reject the suggestion that taxpayer-funded child welfare services should be allowed to put discrimination over a child's best interest. This case could also have implications for religious refusals that go far beyond child welfare. The Supreme Court must make it clear that freedom of religion does not include using taxpayer funds to further marginalize vulnerable communities."

    The court may choose to override a 1990 decision, Employment Division v. Smith, which created the current standard for carving out religious exemptions. In that case, the court ruled that laws that target a specific faith, or express hostility towards certain beliefs, are unconstitutional — but this standard has long been abhorred by religious conservatives, who think it doesn't offer enough protections for religions. If the court does overrule Smith, it could have far-ranging consequences. " As noted on Slate, "it would allow anyone to demand a carve-out from laws that go against their religion, unless those laws are 'narrowly tailored' to serve a 'compelling government interest.'"

    The four members of the court's conservative wing — Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh —have all signaled an openness to reconsider Smith. The ruling's fate, then, likely rests in the hands of the court's new swing vote, Chief Justice Roberts.

    For more, read the full article on Slate.

    Gay Dad Life

    Dads Tell Us Their 'Gayest Moment Ever' as Parents

    We may be dads — but we're still gay, damnit! And these "gayest moments ever," sent to us from our Instagram community, prove it.

    Did your child know all the lyrics to Madonna songs by age 3? Do your kids critique all the red carpet lewks from the Tony Awards? Do you often have baby food, diapers, sparkling white wine, gourmet appetizer, and fresh cut flowers in your shopping cart — all in one trip? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, you just might be... a gay dad.

    We asked the dads in our Instagram community to share their gayest moments as a dad, ever, and their responses were just as hilarious as they were relatable.

    Here's a great way to start the week...

    Keep reading...

    What's it Like to Be a Child of the 'Gayby Boom'?

    Tosca Langbert, who grew up with two dads, writes a piece for the Harvard Business Review about what it's like being among the first children of the "Gayby Boom" to come of age.

    We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

    In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

    Keep reading...

    Utah Bill Would Allow Gay Men to Enter Surrogacy Contracts

    Rep. Patrice Arent of Utah is sponsoring a bill that will remove a provision that currently prohibits gay men from entering into commercial surrogacy contracts in the state.

    Though Utah is not one of the three states that currently prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts, the state's current policy does specifically exclude gay men from doing so. That may soon changed, however, thanks to a bill in the state's legislature that was unanimously voted out of a House Committee that would remove that restriction.

    The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, a Democrat, was created in response to a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court this past August that found the ban on gay men unconstitutional.

    Gay men have been excluded from legally entering surrogacy contracts due to a provision in the current law that requires medical evidence "that the intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child," Rep. Arent told the Salt Lake Tribune — a requirement that clearly excludes gay male couples.

    The state's original surrogacy law dates back to 2005, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, which accounts for the gendered language. Though the state's Supreme Court already ruled the provision unconstitutional, Rep Arent further told the Tribute that, "People do not look to Supreme Court opinions to figure out the law, they look to the code and the code should be constitutional."


    Colorado Republicans Try and Fail to Outlaw LGBTQ Marriage and Adoption Rights

    A bill introduced by four Republican state legislators in Colorado that would outlaw same-sex marriage and adoption rights was voted down.

    The "Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act," which would have outlawed gay marriage and adoption in the state of Colorado, was voted down in the state legislature this week. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Humphrey and three of his conservative colleagues: Dave Williams, Shane Sandridge and Mark Baisley.

    If enacted, the bill would have enforced "state law that marriage is between one man and one woman" and restrict "adoption of children by spouses in a marriage ... that consist of one man and one woman."

    The bill, which had little chance of success, particularly in Colorado which has trended more progressive over the past several election cycles, was mostly symbolic, according to Sanridrge. "We all know this bill isn't gonna pass in this current left-wing environment," he told Colorado Public Radio. "It's to remind everyone, this is the ultimate way to conceive a child."

    In a sign of how far we've come on the issue of LGBTQ marriage and parenting rights, most Republican legislators in the state did not endorse the bill.

    Though the bill had little chance of passage, LGBTQ advocacy groups in the state are taking the threats seriously nonetheless. Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBTQ group One Colorado, told LGBTQ Nation that the bills were an attempt to return Colorado to its "hate status" of the 1990s, adding the aggressiveness of the measures were "a bit surprising."

    Surrogacy for Gay Men

    Dads Talk About Surrogacy Process in New Video for Northwest Surrogacy Center

    The Northwest Surrogacy Center interviewed some of their gay dad clients for a video to celebrate their 25th anniversary of creating families through surrogacy!

    Image: NWSC Clients

    Last year, Northwest Surrogacy Center celebrated 25 years of helping parents realize their dreams. And they celebrated in style by inviting the families they've worked with over the past two and a half decades to join them!

    At the party, they took the opportunity to film queer dads and dads-to-be, asking them a couple of questions: how did it feel holding your baby for the first time, and tell us about your relationship with your surrogate.

    Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

    Keep reading...
    Surrogacy for Gay Men

    Campaign to Legalize Surrogacy in New York Heats Up with Competing Bills

    Two competing bills — one backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and another by Senator Liz Krueger with stricter provisions — are aiming to legalize surrogacy in New York.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is once again attempting to legalize commercial surrogacy in the state, which is still just one of three states in the country to forbid the practice.

    "This antiquated law is repugnant to our values and we must repeal it once and for all and enact the nation's strongest protections for surrogates and parents choosing to take part in the surrogacy process," Governor Cuomo said in a statement in announcing a broader effort called Love Makes a Family. "This year we must pass gestational surrogacy and expedite the second parent adoption process to complete marriage and family equality."

    Keep reading...

    Fatherhood, the gay way

    Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

    Follow Gays With Kids

    Powered by RebelMouse