Hi, I'm Tyler Blanski.
Our country faces a crisis of fatherhood.
If we hope to pass on the blessings of liberty to our children, we can't afford to let our guard down for another moment. The culture goes the way of the family, and the family goes the way of the father.
That's why Fight for Milk brings men together and invests in their success.
"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family."
—St. Mother Teresa
Like so many parents these days,
my wife Brittany and I are running our businesses out of our home. The path from the coffee pot to the printer is littered with legos and other land mines. But we're getting after it.
Fatherhood is the perfect storm.
Where else do a career, a marriage, and a brood of kids all come crashing together?
Don’t get me wrong: I love life with my three kiddos, and I’m head-over-heels for my wife Brittany. But this job hasn’t been easy. Nothing worth doing is easy.
I’m in the thick of it every day, fighting to make it happen.
It wasn't always this way...
Before kids, I went to Hillsdale College and learned the riches of our western heritage. It was there that I became committed to my faith as well as to the common good, liberty, and virtue.
Then I lived in an old attic above a recording studio in Minneapolis.
Benjamin Franklin said, "He who hath a trade hath an estate," so I started a house painting business and produced music albums and wrote books.
I didn't need any money. I didn't have any responsibilities. My hair went down to my elbows. And my only goal in life was to "live deep, not fast."
I make no secret of my love for God.
So eventually, I cut my hair and went to seminary because I wanted to have a positive impact.
Internships, prison ministry, fundraising, and my studies brought more responsibilities—as well as more opportunities to serve and grow.
But it really wasn't until I became a father that everything changed.
Maybe it's like that for every man. Fatherhood changes your marriage, your friendships, your relationship to work and money, your role in society. That's certainly been the case for me.
These days, like so many fathers, I just want to do right by my responsibilities—to be a rock, to lead my wife and children into a better future.
It's a perfect storm. But I've never been happier. I bet you can relate!
If you are also caught in your own "perfect storm,"
and if you are willing to fight for the love and happiness God intended your family, then I hope everything about Fight for Milk will cheer you on.GO TO FIGHT FOR MILK
BUT FIRST, HERE'S A LITTLE MORE BACKSTORY:
FINDING MY FIGHT
When my first child was born, it was one of those "perfect storm" moments. The same week our baby boy was due, I graduated seminary.
But there was a problem. About a month later, Brittany and I were going to become Catholic (that's another story!). And because married men don’t usually become Catholic priests, I had NO career prospects.
So right when I really needed a job for the sake of my family...I was out of a job.
Picture this: a new father who is totally broke and has no idea what to do next.
To make matters worse, we didn't know that our son had severe food allergies, so every day our home was a crying mess.
Brittany was struggling with postpartum depression, and I knew no other dads in the area.
Quickly, I came to grips with the fact that my former way of life was gone. But I knew in the depths of my being that, however challenging, fatherhood was my new vocation now.
I knew in the depths of my being that I was called to be a father.
From then on all of my interests, talents, ambitions—all of it was focused on this one thing: I needed to fight for milk for my family.
So I found my fight.
With an MDiv in my pocket, we moved to Wisconsin so I could work as the youth minister at a parish.
Eventually I became the pastoral associate of faith formation. And for me, it was a dream come true: I was able to do ministry and be a father.
We loved small town life.
Brittany and I bought our first home. I mowed the lawn and enrolled myself in the school of hard knocks for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and measuring twice. We made good friends. And, praise God, we had another baby!
Life seemed perfect...
But under the surface, a storm was brewing.
Four years later, the budget was constantly tight and a source of tension. We were far from our family in Minnesota. We were restless. We could tell that something was missing, but we couldn't quite put our finger on it.
All we knew was that it was time for a change.
From the outside,
leaving a good community and an amazing job probably didn't make any sense.
But when it comes to doing what's right for your family, you can't worry about what other people think.
We sold our home and moved back to Minneapolis.
It was horrible.
We moved into a 700 square-foot apartment in a rough neighborhood.
We had no income for six months.
As we started our new publishing business, I had to learn how to make cold calls, close deals, and run a team fast.
If you want to see a grown man cry, watch him tuck his kids into bed when he's starting a business.
But I had no choice: I had to make a better future for my family.
Thankfully, the hard work paid off!
The business grew—not with fireworks, but with tiny, daily disciplines that added up. I'm convinced that success comes from doing what you don't feel like doing.
We grew steadily over the years, became closer to God and closer as a family, and eventually bought our new home on Thornhill Pond.
We found an amazing new parish and school, made new friends, started a garden, and began to build something we really believe in: a home.
It's truly because of my fierce and beautiful wife that this dream came to be.
"Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull... The home is the one wild place in the world."
Fast forward a few years, and here we are.
God has blessed us with three fabulous children. We’re slowly establishing our home on Thornhill Pond. We’re still hungry for more God and more life.
It’s crazy to see plans scribbled on scratch paper come to life. We had a vision for our family, and we fought for it.
None of it would have happened without God’s provision, the American opportunity, and hard freaking work.
In the midst of life's storms, Fight for Milk is a community and resource to help men succeed in their vocation to fatherhood.
The name comes from this great scene in the film Cinderella Man.
A father and boxer named Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) has been on a losing streak until suddenly he’s not losing anymore. He’s winning.
So a reporter asks him, “What are you fighting for?”
Jim answers, “Milk."
Jim wasn’t fighting for medals or answering some distant call of the wild. Jim was fighting for milk for his kids.
For me, "milk" is all of a father's responsibilities, everything he must fight for.
That’s the backstory behind Fight for Milk.
I'm only six years into this, and I know one thing for sure: Fatherhood will cost you everything.
But it’s work that can move you toward greater independence, liberty, virtue and joy.