Swimming Lessons

Just Dad and the little guy, time to teach him how to swim. What could go wrong? After almost 2 terms I can tell you a lot can go wrong, but both of us have come out the other side better then before.

Living on the coastline in a part of the world where summers are hot and dry learning to swim is a necessity. Not only is it a good skill to have, its great to keep active, and it also helps to cool off on a hot day. However to enjoy all the benefits, one must get through the trials of swimming lessons first.

Let me describe the situation, Wednesdays Dad has the day off to spend with the Son, Mum and Dad agree its time to start swimming lessons, and it would be a good opportunity for Dad and Son to Bond. Sounds good so far?

Trial #1: Preparation

As with any outing with a toddler, you can never pack too much. Always pack extra nappies/wipes/anything else required for a change, along with this make sure you have multiple sets of clothes. Towels are important, yes that’s plural. Snacks are also important (afterwards only, no one wants a sick toddler in the pool), swimming uses a lot of energy.

Also don’t forget about yourself, toddler swimming lessons means you are in the pool too, you need a towel, you need a change of clothes, and a snack is nice too. Always good to remember this is about them not you, so avoid the budgie smugglers, and if you’re rocking the dadbod, a rash shirt won’t go astray.

Trial #2: The Lessons

Now the fun begins, every lesson is a new adventure. Sometimes they will be happy and laughing, others they will be crying, or refusing to get back in the pool. A note for beginners, this is pretty normal, and you can guarantee every other parent in the pool has had the same experience. Don’t be ashamed by it or embarrassed, just do your best, there is always next week.

If your not sure of the songs and the activities don’t worry, they are exactly the same every week. apparently humans of all sizes learn through repetition, it only took me 2 weeks. Hot tip though, try to avoid swallowing pool water (that goes for Dad and Son), usually tears will follow and it can be hard to settle. On that note, focus on reassuring your toddler as one crying toddler can quickly multiply and the next thing you know every toddler is crying. I learnt that the hard way.

Trial #3: Afterwards

Just because your not cold doesn’t mean toddler isn’t. Focus on getting them dried and dressed first.  Then they can relax (did someone say snack?), while you attempt to get dressed – don’t forget to bring your change of clothes, its embarrassing to get halfway changed then realise you forgot them. I say attempt because take too long and whoops they fell over in a puddle – remember that extra change of clothes! Don’t worry if this takes awhile at first and your the last parent left, you will get quicker as time goes on (repetition?)

Current Situation:

Preparation – Check! This is second nature now, given our lessons are in the morning, our bag is always packed the night before when our head is clear and we are not rushing.

Lessons – Check! Yes the songs are stuck in my head but they are in my sons too, the familar sounds help reassure him and he is finally feeling comfortable in the pool.

Afterwards – Check! Well I am still the slowest, but have avoided having to get dried and dressed multiple times for a few weeks now.

 

While this may seem like I dread our weekly lesson, its quite the opposite. We both enjoy it now, I can see the benefits, and no matter how bad the lesson might go, I know everyone else has had the same and next week will be another lesson. Learn what you can from my experiences, but most of all enjoy them!

Update 25/5/18:

The tale of Swimming Lessons continues in Part 2 find it here

swimming 2

Rough Day at Work

Everyone has a bad day at work ftom time to time. For some its a rare occurence and easy to brush off, maybe you find yourself having more bad days then good days (more on that later), and sometimes it just feels like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.

At the end of the day you need to remember why you are there. For Dads that’s easy to answer, to support your family. If we didn’t need to do that then we could stay home and spend more time with our families.

If you are finding you really dislike your job. Then my advice would be to find a new one. Its not good for your mental health which means its not good for your family. Ill expand on this in another post as i think it deserves more detail.

I try to stick to one train of thought when having a bad day, tomorrow will be a new day. Ultimately when you have tried your best and still come up short there isn’t a lot you can do about it, and a good boss will understand that. Try to leave your stress at work at the end of the day and go home and enjoy your time with your family. Tomorrow will be a new day.

I work in a leadership role and I see both types of people. Those who don’t care about what they are doing and it shows, and those who are trying their hardest and still struggling. The latter are the ones who succeed in the long run. They are also the happier and healthier people in the workplace.

So try to enjoy your time at work, do the best you can every day, and remember, tomorrow is a new day. . .

dad and ol

Keeping Fit or Staying Active

Keeping Fit and Staying Active are very similar, but also very different. Keeping Fit requires a certain level of discipline to maintain and is often done by choice rather then necessity. Staying Active is something anyone can do everyday, and looks a little different to everyone. Both have health benefits, but only one is easy to stick to as a Dad.

Everything changes when you become a Parent

I’d like to think that before parenthood I kept fairly fit. I visited the gym more often then not, I could run a fair distance, and I kept in shape. This is what I call Keeping Fit. Consistently pushing the boundaries of what my body could do. While this took up a lot of my spare time, and required commitment, I enjoyed it.

When I first became a Dad I thought I could keep it up, that didn’t last long. But what kind of example would I set for my kids if I fell into that classic ‘dadbod’. I want to raise healthy and active kids, but how can I do that if I can’t commit to it myself. This is where my mindset changed. I realised living an active life doesn’t mean I need to spend every day at the gym.

Ideas for keeping Active

Now my goals are a lot simpler, to be active everyday. How can I maintain this? by looking at day to day activities and how they contribute to being active:

  • Taking the dog for a walk
  • Chasing my kid around the backyard
  • Walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator
  • Getting up and walking across the office rather then sending an email

The list can go on forever, the trick is to find what works for you. Do as much as you can, but just remember, doing anything is better then nothing. So don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get a chance to take the dog for a walk, but try something else instead.

Now I know there are some Super Dads out there that can go to the gym everyday while raising multiple kids, and I tilt my hat to them. Well Done!, Keep up the good Work!. But for me, that lifestyle doesn’t fit being a Dad at the moment, so in the meantime I’m going to focus on being a little bit more Active, Every Day.

active

Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke

My Daughter had just given birth to a lovely boy. I asked her what his name is and she replied “James”. I said “I didn’t know you were having twins”. She looked at me with a surprise and asked what I was talking about. . .

Isn’t James plural for Jame?

Our House, or rather Our Home

What is the difference between a House and a Home? A House is the physical place where you keep your belongings and where you sleep at night. A Home is where Love is nurtured, laughs are had, and memories are made.

As i write this i look around my house and see a never ending to do list. This list ranges from day to day tasks such as cleaning, vacuuming, scrubbing. To longterm tasks such as fixing that loose cupboard, or repainting the hallway. This can seem quite daunting, how can someone possibly stay on top of all these tasks while working a full time job and raising a family? The answer is simple, they don’t. . .

While it may drive you a little insane that there is dirty washing all over the house, your kids aren’t going to mind. This is what i’m getting at. Don’t spend all your free time trying to tick off that to do list instead of spending with your family, growing your love, laughing a lot, and making those memories.

Sure your house may have been perfect when you moved in, but it was just a house. Now it’s a home, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as you and your family are happy. and yes when your friends come over to visit its in your nature to rush around and tidy the house to give the impression you are holding it all together, but don’t worry too much. Because i can guarantee if they have kids in their household, they are going through the same situation as you.

Sure tomorrow morning i will probably get up early, spend my time away from work mowing the lawn, ticking that job off the list. But after that ill be able to enjoy spending time outside with my family.

yard

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.

 

Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke

What would a Dad Blog be without the occasional Dad Joke?

Why did the Scarecrow win an award?

Because he was outstanding in his field. . .

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. . .