Normally I would feel a little intimidated by being the first man to guest blog here at Girlfriends Book Club, but it just so happens that I’ve got an ace up my sleeve. It’s not the first time that I’ve been surrounded by beautiful women.
Just last weekend, I went out on a limb and stood up in front of a 300+ person audience at the Synetic Theater in Arlington, Virginia as part of the annual ‘Listen to your Mother’ theater series. Fifteen of us read original pieces that pay homage to motherhood. It runs in 24 cities leading up Mother’s Day and I was crazy enough to audition. Here I am feeling super comfortable (sort of) with the rest of the talented cast.
Since you probably don’t want to hear about how my daughter is going through her ‘Tyrannical Threes’ or that my 2-year old son tried to rip his penis off this morning, perhaps I should focus on telling you a little bit about myself and why Tuesday, May 7th is one of the biggest days of my life.
My name is Adrian Kulp. I was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania and moved to Los Angeles when I was 21. Over fourteen years in Los Angeles, I was the comedy booking agent for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS, as well as a Vice-President of TV development for both Adam Sandler and Chelsea Handler’s companies.
Now… I’m a full-time stay-at-home dad for two toddlers in Rockville, MD. It’s been this way for a little over three years. I’ll be honest I never pictured myself doing what I’m doing, but that’s okay.
My transition from executive to primary caregiver wasn’t the easiest. When the phone calls and emails began to eventually dry up, reality set in as Ava and I sat on the floor of our living room on weekday mornings staring at each other. Several weeks went by where I felt lost, I questioned my self-worth and my pride was challenged.
In an effort to regain some form of sanity and perhaps commiserate with others that were in my position, I started my blog, Dad or Alive, writing funny stories about parenting. After a few weeks, those stories caught the attention of a literary agent in NYC and she suggested that I write a book proposal. I took her lead and within a few weeks, I had it finished.
I turned it over and waited with bated breath for her to either call me and let me know that the publishing houses had passed OR the alternative.
She called me with the alternative.
The Penguin Group bought my comedic memoir about becoming a first-time father and my subsequent year as a full-time, unexpected stay-at-home dad. They gave me a year to write it.
In that year, my wife and I had another child, a boy named Charlie. We moved across the country and I still spend every day with them. Ava is now 3½ and Charlie will be 2 in July.
In the beginning, I didn’t see the good fortune in losing my job and having to stay at home with my kids, but now, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I can’t wait until they’re old enough to appreciate my humor (and not repeat curse words), and look back at the picture of us on the cover, and begin to understand exactly how much it meant to me to be their dad, how I picked myself up, dusted myself off and evolved as a man and as a father…
And today, Tuesday, May 7th, a years worth of yelling story ideas into my phone app while dropping off at preschool, jotting down notes on the cardboard of a diaper box and staring at my computer monitor with bloodshot eyes at 2am will finally pay a dividend.
This book would make a great gift (I know the author, he told me) for Mother's or Father's Day. You can pick it up in any major bookstore, or order on Amazon or Barnes & Noble for your e-readers!
Adrian Kulp is a full-time stay-at-home dad for two toddlers, Ava & Charlie. He writes the blog “Dad or Alive” as well as for The Huffington Post. Circle of Moms ranked him #4 on their Top 25 Daddy Blogs of 2011. His blog has been optioned for Television by Sony Pictures/ Happy Madison Prods and Adrian’s first book with Penguin Publishing debuts in bookstores May 7th. He is also the former VP of TV Development for both Adam Sandler & Chelsea Handler, as well as a comic booker for “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” on CBS. He currently lives just outside of Washington, D.C. with his family.