\Welcome to my about me page. I am thrilled you want to know a little bit more about my life, my time as a stay at home dad, how I started the blog and where I am hoping it would go. To state the obvious parenting isn’t easy, and trust me I have made a ton of mistakes. But somehow through all the mistakes we still find ways to raise some pretty decent kids, and maybe share those stories with others.
First, let me introduce my self. My name is Bryan Alkire, and I am a Stay At Home Dad here and proud resident of Kalamazoo Michigan. That is where the Kzoo in Kzoodad comes from in case you were wondering.
Way back In 2012 I was working as a sales rep traveling all over the great state of Michigan. My wife had a job that was taking her all over the country racking up airline miles and hotel points that we kept telling ourselves made it all worth it. there was only one problem. We had a two-year-old we hardly saw.
Our daughter Ella was spending most of her day in daycare. She was being raised by some amazing daycare workers but not her parents. So after some introspection and a few long discussions, it was decided that I would leave my sales job and become a stay at home dad.
Being a Stay At Home Dad
If I’m being honest I had absolutely no idea what I was about to get my self into. Turns out this full-time parenting thing is pretty hard, and I made a ton of mistakes. It isn’t because I didn’t have help or good role models. Simply, It is because raising kids is hard. I had no idea how unprepared I was when we first had a kid. This time I thought I was more prepared for when I started as a stay at home dad but I was wrong. I made every mistake a man can make. How my kids have turned out as well as they have is a mystery to everyone including me.
I firmly believe that a shared love of Disney Movies my daughter and I shared was the only thing that got me through those first weeks. But I didn’t have long to dwell on these mistakes. Because we soon received some news that would change our lives.
Something is Wrong With Ella
While at an eye doctor appointment the Optometrist noticed something. A few hours and a trip to the ER later, and we found out that our two-year-old daughter Ella had a brain tumor. You can read more about Ella’s ordeal here. But suffice to say it is still all these years later one of the hardest times of my life.
After surgery and a week in the hospital, we were back home. I was still pretty new to this stay at home dad thing and now I had a kid that was recovering from having a hole cut in her skull. To say I was out of my element is a huge understatement. I was used to sales presentations, not repeated doctors appointments, MRI’s and physical and occupational therapy. Oh, and did I forget to mention my wife was about 8 months pregnant when we found out about Ella’s tumor.
So it wasn’t long before my second daughter Sophia was born. Doubling my work and ensuring a little job security as a stay at home dad for the foreseeable future. Sophia is a real handful. To raise the parental difficulty, Sophia was having problems.
She had boundless energy and would scream instead of talk. She would destroy her toys, break furniture, and hit her sister, would barely eat and refused to sleep. When she would finally fall asleep out of pure exhaustion she would have night terrors that would last for hours. We didn’t know what to do.
With the help of our pediatrician and a few specialists, we finally have a diagnosis of ADHD, Sensory Disorder, Anxiety disorder, and Defiant Disorder. We are still struggling to get Sophia the help she needs as she is now entering school age.
A Dark Place for a Stay at Home Dad
About 4 years ago I was having problems. I loved being a stay at home dad, but I was depressed, quick to anger and really just having a hard time with everything. Ella was doing better having almost completely recovered from her tumor, and Sophia was in the middle of the discovery phase of her issues. I wasn’t getting out of the house much and was just not enjoying life.
My wife was trying everything to get me out of my funk. Nothing was working and I know how tough it had to be on her to deal with everything and me too. I felt like I was losing myself and was alone.
In an attempt to deal with these feelings I decided to start a blog.
Kzoodad is born
When I started I really had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was I needed an outlet. A way to tell my story of being a stay at home dad. When I started my blog was a mess, my thoughts were all over the place, and my writing was atrocious. Seriously, If you think my writing is bad now you should have seen it then. Through many mistakes, I got better. my blog started to look more professional.
Soon I joined some Facebook Dad communities and some Dad Blogging communities. It helped. I had found people like me, and I wasn’t alone anymore. I was slowly digging my way out of the hole I had put my self in a year before. Then, out of nowhere, It happened. A post went viral.
A post I had written a few weeks before, 7 Things I Said Before I Had Kids That Are Total BullS*%t, suddenly and inexplicably went viral. In no time it had over TWO MILLION views and was still growing. my blog that was used to maybe 10 visitors a day was now getting over a 100,000. It was making money. Not I’m going to retire money but enough that my wife took notice. I was even approached by a few companies during this time to write some sponsored posts. I thought I had made it.
But it turns out I still had quite a few mistakes left to make. Just as quickly as the post went viral the readership moved on. I didn’t take the correct steps to retain that audience and I watched as my audience shrank from thousands to hundreds to tens.
It is incredibly depressing to watch success leave you like that. So, I tried desperately to recapture it. I tried writing similar posts, buying ads, and changing designs, I tried everything I could think of to get that lightning to strike twice.
I was at a loss and didn’t know what to do. Getting motivated to write was getting harder and harder. Every post no matter how well it did wasn’t living up to that one success. I stopped blogging for a while. when I did the content wasn’t very good. Once again I found myself lost and without direction.
A New Start
In an effort to get out of this blogging funk I decided to attend my first conference. The Dad 2.0 conference to be exact. There I met many of the guys I had talked to in the Facebook groups. I didn’t really feel like I fit in but at least I was learning. It helped me fix a lot of little errors and I learned a lot of tips and techniques that would help me. I also made some contacts that helped me finally bring some money in from this blog.
Soon some of my numbers and my drive started to return. I wasn’t hitting close to the highs I hit before but it was getting more consistent.
As my kids got older and went to school, I was faced with a decision. Was I going to go back to work or was I going to make this blog a business? I have to admit. At first, I was scared. This hobby is important to me. I didn’t want to mess it up. Plus to do this seriously as a job meant I was going to spend a whole lot more time in front of a screen tapping away at a keyboard.
It also meant that I was going to have to do more than write. I had to spend more time on social media promoting my writing, and I branched into Podcasting and Video Production. So far so good. The videos have been getting great viewership on Facebook and the Podcast should be launching soon.
If you are interested in a sponsored post, or a partnership between your brand and Kzoodad please Email Me.
If you have made it this far you probably know that for me that fulfilling thing is blogging. I love being able to share my thoughts, and mistakes, with all of you. That is why my final addition is a section on Blogging. It is my passion and I can’t wait to share with you the tips, tricks, and resources I have accumulated and still use on my blog.
Thanks for sticking with me through my story. I hope this gives you a better idea of who I am. Please look around the site consider sharing and while you’re here, I would appreciate if you took the time to sign up for my monthly newsletter.
Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.