Observing Other Dads

We are all Different, Everybody is different, Every Family is different, Every Dad is different. How we do things is also different. How you manage a tricky parenting situation (out of control child at the shops anyone?) could be different to how another parent handles it.

This is a response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/observe/

Dad’s are generally pretty honest about how much they know about parenting. Most of the time we haven’t read all the books, gone to all the classes, all listened to our other halves when they said “don’t forget to pack their. . .” When we are out and about as a family, this isn’t an issue. When Dad’s running solo with the children, things can spin out of control.

How do you handle the situation? How does another Dad handle the situation? Look around, Observe! what are other Dads doing. You can learn a lot from others just by observing their actions. Doing the groceries? can’t seem to settle your child? Look around, did that Dad just open a yogurt off the shelf to give to his child? okay that looks like it worked, give it a go!

Observation is a powerful tool. As a Dad don’t be afraid to borrow a few ideas off fellow Dads, you can guarantee everyone has been in the same situation before.

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Preparing for Mother’s Day

Parenting is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year role, it may slow down from time to time but it never stops. Two days a year we celebrate the wonderful job our significant others are doing as parents with Mothers/Fathers Days. If you think raising kids is tough, try forgetting about the above.

With Mothers Day just around the corner, as a Dad Blogger I thought it would be smart to offer advice to other Dads out there on how to prepare.

Note, a card and a bunch of flowers from the supermarket alone won’t cut it.

Every Mum has thought about the ideal way to spend their special day, but most won’t elaborate on all the details, its up to you as a Dad to decipher their clues and make the day as special as possible.

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The Ideal Mothers Day

Now I’m not going to describe these as perfect as only a Mum could set out the perfect day. What I will give are some ideas for different stages of motherhood, but again its up to you to plan the best day for your better half

  • The New Mum – Rest should play a big role in this. Letting them sleep in until they are ready to get up is a no-brainer. Whatever it takes, make sure your the one who gets up to the kids. But rest isn’t just sleep, its about taking it easy, so guess who is on diaper duty for the day. By taking as much responsibility off them as possible you will make their day a lot easier and they will definitely appreciate it.
  • The Mum with Young Kids – While sleep is always important, Mums at this stage are probably used to not having as much sleep anymore. What they will value is having their kids involved in the day as much as possible. That means, making breakfast or and early lunch. Foot rubs probably wouldn’t go astray either. It is after all Mothers Day.
  • The Mum with Older Kids – Remembering is the most important part here. You have been celebrating it for years now, but is it at the top of your list? You can guarantee your SO won’t forget so its vital that you don’t either (card and flowers from the supermarket is not enough!). You also need to make sure your kids remember, even if it means dragging them along to the shops to pick up a present the weekend before.

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The Ideal Present

This is by no means a complete list, but here are some easy wins if your a little stuck.

  • Spa Vouchers – if you can’t pamper your SO, pay a professional to do it for you! Pro-tip! unless you fully understand the treatments on offer, a generic voucher is the smarter way to go as it allows your SO to choose what she would like rather then being forced into a awkward situation.
  • Pajamas/Slippers/Dressing Gowns – another safe bet, but be sure to know what your SO prefers. If she doesn’t like silk pajamas don’t buy them just because you like them, again this day is about her not you. A quick size check of existing pairs before you shop will save you some hassle.
  • Handmade Presents –  we all know the ones, whether they are from daycare or school they always carry a sentimental feeling with them. I’d say these are better for new Mums and those with younger kids. Keep in mind these will get old after a few years, but if your kids are certain they need to give them to Mum, make sure you back it up with something else. Otherwise Grandparents love these presents.

Warning, be careful when choosing appliances and the like for presents unless you are 100% certain its what she wants, while they might seem like a good investment, No Mum wants to be seen as a maid.

Remember you are celebrating Mothers Day. While you may think your SO would love a day of rest, they want to celebrate it too. You can’t celebrate Mothers Day without those that made you a Mum to begin with. You can take the stress of parenting away for one day without taking the kids away.

Finally if for some reason you are supposed to be working that day, you need to take it off. As a shift worker who works every second weekend I understand this isn’t always easy, but this isn’t any old Sunday, this is the one day of the year your SO should get to celebrate being a parent without the stress. If there is no way out of working that day, then sit down with your SO, discuss the situation, and reschedule in advance. This is one you can’t miss.

Every Mum has thought about the ideal way to spend their special day, but most won’t elaborate on all the details, its up to you as a Dad to decipher their clues and make the day as special as possible.

Daddy Daycare or Why send your kids to Daycare

Why do you send your kids to Daycare? So you can return to work? To give yourself a Break? To allow them to be more Social? Every parent has their own reasons for paying someone else to look after their kids, and they shouldn’t be afraid to do so.

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So Why do we send our child to Daycare?

We do it for a number of reasons. Firstly it has allowed my wife to return to the workplace. This means my wife can focus on her career instead of it simply being pushed aside because of our child. If she wants when our kids are at school age it will allow her to easily return to full time work. The extra income my wife is making while working also makes our lives more comfortable.

It has also done wonders for our child’s development in a number of areas

  • Before going to Daycare our child didn’t like being away from Mum and Dad at all. He would get upset to the point where only us returning would cheer him up. After a couple of months of daycare 1 day a week, some days it feels like he would rather be there then home.
  • He is constantly learning off other kids. Almost every week he comes home having learnt a different word. He has picked up more in his vocabulary from daycare then he has from home.

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Reasons Parents choose not to send their kids to Daycare

I can sit here and preach about the benefits of sending your kids to daycare but there are always going to be those who are against it. While some of them are valid points, I still feel the pros outweigh the cons.

  • My Child always comes home sick from daycare. While your child will be exposed to more children who are potentially sick. This also helps boost their immune system. If you child was coming home sick every day, I would probably question the daycare you were sending them too.
  • I’m not working, why should I send them. This is the only argument I would agree with, to a point. If your not working at all then don’t send your kids to daycare 5 days a week. One day however will still allow them to reap the benefits and will also give you some time to yourself, which if you have read any of my other posts you would know I am a firm believer in (see Date Night).
  • It Costs too much. While Daycare is expensive, you also need to keep in mind the job they are doing. Looking after multiple kids at the same time, tending to their every need. My child currently attends daycare two days a week and my wife makes sure she works those two days, that way the cost doesn’t feel as high.

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A Day in the life of Daycare

So what does your child get up to at daycare? This will vary depending on the provider, but here is a rundown of what our child’s routine is.

  • Daycare Drop Off. For some this is relatively easy, you sign your child in, put their bag in the designated area, say goodbye and off they go to play. Other’s will get quite upset at the sign of their parents leaving. Our child used to be like this, but now he can’t wait for us to leave. Rest assured your kids are in good hands and will soon settle down.
  • Playtime. The activities they enjoy may look like harmless fun to an outsider, but they are actually structured around developing their fine and gross motor skills. All while having fun! We actually get photos throughout the day of their activities, its always nice to check in and see they are enjoying themselves.
  • Food. Depending on their age and the provider you might have to send a packed lunch. We have found that since eating with other kids, our child’s skills and interest in eating have grown significantly.
  • Sleep. If your child still has a nap during the day (cherishing it while it lasts), they have areas set aside for this. If you have a routine they will try to follow it. We just let them do what they want. Generally they are pretty good at wearing our child out so he has no problem sleeping.

So whether you decide to send your children to daycare or not is entirely up to you as parents. The choice was easy for me and my wife and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

 

 

26/4/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

Don’t promise if you can’t deliver

Last year i replaced all the windows in my house that that expensive, double-pane, energy efficient kind. Today I got a call from the contractor who installed them.

He was complaining that the work had been completed a whole year ago and I still hadn’t paid him for them.

So I told him just what his fast talking salesman had told me last year.

“these windows will cut your energy bill in half and pay for themselves in one year”.

23/4/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

A man goes into a bar. . .

A man goes into a bar and sits down. Then a giant cockroach comes and punches him in the face.

The next day the man goes into the same bar, has a drink and the cockroach comes in with a knife and stabs him.

The next morning he wakes up in hospital. The doctor asks “What Happened?”

The man says “I was attacked by a giant cockroach.”

The doctor says “I heard there was a nasty bug going around.”

2/4/18 Dad Joke of the Day

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Some background on this one, i work in a supermarket and I don’t think this guy was a fellow dad.

A guy walked up to me in the supermarket and asked “do you have any delicious apples?”

I replied “hard to say I haven’t tried them all”

For the other male adults who don’t get the humour, red delicious are a type of apple.

Easter Morning or Is it ok to have chocolate for breakfast. . .

How did this magical rabbit sneak into my house last night and why is there chocolate eggs ‘hidden’ everywhere? Did I miss a joke played against all parents of seeing how sick or hyper active our kids can get before midday?

Its Easter Sunday and given my little guy isn’t quite 2 years old yet the hype around hiding chocolate in foil is still lost on him. However given its a tradition both of our families grew up with and we still enjoy the occassional chocolate we have decided to play along this year. Although the game is called “can mum and dad keep the child engaged long enough to find all the eggs mum and dad forgot where they are hid before the dog finds them”. Not to mention can we control how much chocolate the child eats before it becomes an issue.

Looking in shops over the last few weeks its no wonder everyone still follows this tradition because eggs are everywhere, in every store. And they couldn’t be less appealing to children if they tried. Although these days confectionary companies are trying so hard not to affend anyone they are no longer easter eggs but chocolate eggs and rabbits. And chocolate just about anything else that lays an egg.

Has easter moved away from its original intention? Has it just become another long weekend that burns a hole in our wallets? Probably, but given it keeps the kids happy for the most part, I cant see it going away from the Down Under Household. Next year ill try to come up with a better name for the game, or at least a shorter one.

Work Life Balance

Many workplaces preach the importance of a work life balance, but how many put it into practice? Where does that fine line get drawn? What positives of one side can you give up to benefit the other?

These are the questions I am currently asking myself after being offered a role that provides a stepping stone in my current career path. From a Work perspective its a great opportunity, however the hours will mean restructuring how we do things at home. In the long run my family life will be better with the benefits of my job, but ill need to push through the harder times first.

Don’t worry I’m not after relationship advice or asking you to make the decision for me. I am simply putting my thought process out there for you to read. I know this situation isn’t unique to me, in fact I’d guess most people have been or will be in this position at some point in their careers. Hopefully this provides some comfort for you when you are faced with this decision.

Being a Dad can be tough and making these decisions isn’t easy. My only advice is if your a Dad then your family should come first. Weigh up the benefits of both choices, talk to your family about it, make an informed decision. Then run with it.

 

My Story begins Here

Well actually it began a long time ago. 30 years in fact. But at the moment that’s not Relevant. No one is interested in my history. What is Relevant is where I am today.

I am a 30 year old Dad (obviously). Married to my beautiful wife Shannen for 4 years now. Father to our son Oliver for almost 2. Spending my days working, My nights caring, My weekends enjoying, and my spare time, well you have found it.

What is it you have found? A collection of my experiences, learnings, ramblings, and day to day happenings as a Dad trying to make the most of life with his family.

So sit back and enjoy a casual read or get involved in the discussion and share your own experiences. But most importantly have a laugh – cause that’s what Dads do. Who knows you might take something back from it, at the least you will hear some Great Dad Jokes because what would a Dad Blog be without Dad Jokes. . .