Home Handyman

Home Handyman, Jack of all Trades, Handyman from Hell? What role as a dad do you play in maintaining your home? I’m not talking about mowing the lawn or cleaning, tasks like patching the wall, tightening the door, painting a room, landscaping outside, changing the oil in your car. These are all tasks which many of us take upon ourselves to do ourself. That we could also hire someone else to do.

Ill start with what I have done:

  • Patch holes in the wall, sand back, and paint good as new
  • change oil, filters, and brake pads on the car
  • removing old concrete from the yard and laying down turf
  • change a shower head and faucet taps.
  • Built a large veranda for entertaining.

just to name a few. We are also in the process of renovating our entire house, the bulk of which we are doing ourselves. Skilled family members and online instructional videos are extremely handy.

I have always gotten a sense of accomplishment after completing one of these tasks, a solid pat on the back, and a warm fuzzy feeling like I can conquer any task that might come next. Of course there is always the other side when things don’t go according to plan and you need to call in outside help, but i prefer to focus on the wins.

As a Dad I look forward to showing my kids what the Average Joe can accomplish when they put their mind to it, and hopefully passing on some of the skills and knowledge I have gained to them. What have you done? What are you most proud of?

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A Good Nights Sleep

When was the last time you had a good nights sleep? Please only parents respond to that question, the rest of you don’t know what your in for until you have kids. I’m not just talking about a night where your kid(s) slept all the way through, but one were you woke up truly rested and ready to start the day.

As I write this I have just gone through one of the worst nights I’ve had in awhile. The little guy woke up 2 hours after we had gone to bed and didn’t go back down for 4 hours. That’s 4 hours of playing, singing, reading, rocking, until he finally fell asleep – as I driving him around the block at 3:30am. Then 3 hours later he woke back up. We have an unwritten rule between me and my wife that if one of us isn’t working the next day then it falls to them to deal with these nights, until we realise they are struggling then the other will always help out. This was one of my nights.

Remember those days when you were younger, before fatherhood where you would stay up all night partying and then go to work the next day? Those are long gone, as a Dad you need to take the sleep when you can get it. As a Dad, or any parent your days just aren’t long enough to get everything done. After nights like these is it worth trying to stick to your original schedule and plan or should you sacrifice that to regain some sleep.

Personally I sit on the fence with this one. On one side, I feel the need to stay on top of a schedule and feel a little disheartened when plans fall through due to a rough night. On the other we need to look after ourselves and if that means missing out on an early morning gym session or the chores falling behind then that’s what happens. What do you do in this situation?

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31/3/18 Dad Joke of the Day

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My kid said to me “can you put my shoes on?” to which I replied

“No, they don’t fit me”

 

taking what kids say literally is key in creating a good (or bad) dad joke

Better then yesterday or Better then nothing.

Getting Fit isn’t so much about the destination but the journey you take getting there. Living an active lifestyle isn’t something that just happens. It requires doing what you can, when you can.

A coach once told me not just to define progress as getting stronger or running faster, but as being better then yesterday. If you did nothing yesterday, then doing something today makes it better then yesterday. You don’t have to be the strongest or the fittest out there, just try to be better then yesterday.

When you push yourself to get out of the house and either go for a run, play sport, or do a workout. You should see that as a win. While you may be exhausted by the end of it, out of breath, or a little sore. You have done more then anyone who stayed at home on the couch. While it may seem like progress it slow. You are also looking after your mental and physical health. Something is always better then nothing.

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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

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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. . .

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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.

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