To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question

Now we’ve welcomed number 4 into the world, number 3 is stepping up her game.

Not on call of duty or snakes and ladders, but in the “I don’t give a f*ck what mum and dad want” game.

Recently we’ve been struggling with bedtime. At 7 o’clock, we activate the bedtime routine. This means, TV off, bath, brush teeth and PJs. It’s a pretty flexible routine if I’m being honest and it usually wraps up at about 7:30/8:00 pm.

Call us lazy or neo-liberal parents, I don’t care, it works. Or at least, it did work.

Of late, Miss 3 has decided that she will now be dictating her bed time and if the last few nights are anything to go off, our little girl likes the late shift.

9 pm rolls around and we’re still fighting the good fight. Curse the person (me) who taught her how to open doors.

“Okay darling, time for bed” I say.

“No” replies Miss 3.

“You’re tired” I remind her.

“No” she asserts.

I try and steamroll her with the old ‘quickly tug and run’ job. No joy. She’s determined to send me to an early grave as I feel my blood pressure start to boil.

Last night was the end of the game. Christine decided it was time to implement drastic action and we put one of those plastic-handle-ball-thing on her side of the door.

VICTORY

Until at 11 pm I heard what sounded like a kick on the door. Yep, sure enough during her fight with the plastic-handle-ball-thing, she’d fallen asleep at the door.

You know that slow-motion door open that you do and hope they are far enough away from the door that you can squeeze in and pick up the child? Yeah, that.

DEFEAT

She’s awake again but dad saves the day with a quick manoeuvre into bed and cuddle to send her back to the land of sheep.

VICTORIOUS ONCE AGAIN

It’s a constant struggle. Miss 3 is by far the hardest of the kids so far with brute strength and a determination to make our life hell.

But hey, all part of the parenting journey right?

When have your kids tested your patience?

So much for raising 3 daughters

Some of the readers may already be aware, but we are expecting our fourth “bundle of joy” in a matter of weeks.

Like Doyin over at Daddy doin’ work, I too at some point wanted a boy and when we found out that my wife was pregnant, I thought, this might be the time! She was craving foods that weren’t on the list with the last pregnancies, like pickles, so I thought to myself we might be welcoming a son to the family.

At the 20 week mark, we went along to the scan. I was adamant that we were going to have a boy, I was going to have a son. After a grueling 20 minutes, the sonographer took a look, we were having another girl. My heart dropped. I was literally depressed for about 24 hours. I was so certain that we were going to have a boy because all the signs pointed to it.

After I came to my senses, two days later, I was excited that we were going to have another girl. Maybe this one would be the one that likes to watch football with me!

So now I have a dilemma.

My blog was always about raising 3 daughters, but I will now, with my beautiful wife, be raising 4 daughters. Something that I am very proud and excited to be doing, except for at 3 am, then I’m definitely not excited to be raising my kids! I might have to do a re-design of my banner!

With 10 weeks to run, we’re gearing up to welcome our little baby into the world. I’m excited to meet our little girl, but I can tell you, this is going to be the last one!

Doyin

Scaling back, doing less and being present more

I started blogging back in 2010 and instantly I was fascinated with how I could get more readers. I would sit in front of the iMac and read and read until I couldn’t see straight anymore.

Eventually, I decided I would start teaching people what I had learned after all I had also read that the best way to learn new stuff was to teach it.

So I started consulting small businesses on how to use social media better and how to harness the power of blogging. Naturally, I discovered people like Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas making money online from podcasting and blogging.

Fast forward a few years and I decided to give podcasting a crack.

I immediately fell in love.

Podcasting was and probably remains the most fun I have had online in learning how to Tweet. I could connect with people all over the globe, hold their attention for approximately 40 minutes and then influence many others after I had published an episode.

However, in addition to publishing daily podcast episodes I was also trying to accomplish the following things.

  • Be a Dad
  • Be a Husband
  • Consult businesses
  • Establish training programs
  • Be interviewed
  • Develop live events
  • Work full time
  • Study a Masters degree
  • Maintain a healthy fitness regime
  • Eat well

Of those 11 items, I was doing one well, publish a daily episode. The rest fell by the wayside. I was spending every waking moment trying to produce show notes and blog articles, interview guests from the other side of the globe, building courses and training programs so that I could generate more cash because I thought that would make me a better husband and father.

Three weeks ago, I said no.

I said no to 6 of the items on the list. I decided that making a little bit of extra cash on the side wasn’t that big of a deal right now, sure it would be nice but spending the day with my kids exploring nature was better. I wanted to get back to writing for fun because I love it not because I want people to love me.

I told my wife, I’m stopping podcasting for a bit. Just until things settle down. She supported me like she always does which gave me the confidence to actually do it.

So here I am. Back to writing for fun. This September, my wife, kids and I will welcome our fourth child into the world. Not sure what it will be yet but either way it looks like this little daddy blog is going to have to go through a rebrand.

I look forward to getting back to writing for fun and becoming a little bit more involved with my great brothers at Aussie Daddy Bloggers.

Peace.

 

Get off your phones (my goal for 2015)

source: http://uvamagazine.org/images/uploads/2011/winter/feature_essays_2015.gif

I am the worst for this. I admit it.

As I looked around the park this morning, 6 out of 7 parents were on a smart device.

Like I said in the first line, I’m pretty bad for this but today I made an effort to keep my phone in my pocket except for snapping a pic or two.

We’re not the most active family, I blame that on both the wife and I working full time, the fact we have a one year old that goes to bed at 18:30 every night and also, when I do take my kids out, they never bloody listen to me and I end up coming home pissed off.

But today, I’m making a promise.

A promise to my kids that this coming year, I am going to make more of an effort to be present when we’re at home and at the park.

Being present in their lives is one of my goals in life. I’m trying to start an online business so that I can spend more time with them however in the process, I’m spending less time with them.

What’s the answer?

I don’t know. I honestly don’t however, I do know this, moving forward, I’m making a goal to be on my smart device less when the kids are awake. I’m making an effort to get them outside every day for at least 60 minutes of play. I’m going to cook healthier meals, tastier meals that makes them want to eat better and finally, I’ll keep taking them to the gym with me. Taking them to the gym, they see me working out, being healthy and as a role model to them, that’s something I need to keep doing.

So screw new years resolutions, nobody sticks to them anyway.

This is my parenting goal for 2015, what’s yours?

We made it to one year and pissing off my wife

Typically, I piss my wife off once a week. Nothing new there but I thought that it would be a while after our first wedding anniversary before I pissed her off again. Nope. It took just 3 days.

We’d been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. We had foregone a massive honeymoon after our wedding due to work and the proximity to Christmas so we thought that we would go all out for this particular occasion.

We booked a package through Sydney Seaplanes that would fly us to a resort for a night, dinner and breakfast included and then back to Sydney where we would have a night at the Four Seasons. Sounded awesome, sounded expensive but it was totally worth it.

In addition to all of that, we squeezed in time to get tattooed, see Cirque Du Soleil and visit China Town for possibly the best chinese food of our lives.

None of that pissed my wife off, not the constant videoing of what we were doing with my new Sony actioncam, not my complaining of lack of Wi-Fi in the hotel room, no. It was something else.

I want the new iPhone 6 Plus.

Christine recently got sent the offer from her phone provider and having utilised my upgrade for her, I jumped at the opportunity. My impatience and constant checking which resulted in me ordered her the wrong phone plan pushed her over the edge.

Well done James, you’ve pissed her off again.

Moral of the story, don’t assume you know what your wife wants because she doesn’t want that one. Apparently, I’m a pro at pissing off my wife.

DIY? More like HSE

It’s no secret to friends and family that I am the worlds worst DIY specialist. I consider myself to be more of a HSE (hire someone else) kind of guy.

Recently, my wife has found herself in an incredibly demanding role at work. So while she’s off slaving away, lining peoples pockets with extra cash, I’m the stay at home Dad.

While I am studying full time, my work load is considerably less than hers so majority of the time I’m responsible for the day-to-day cleaning and finding a fix for anything that is broken.

We’re in a rental so we’re always having things go wrong. But all I can say is, thank god for Google.

Leaking showers in Sydney? No worries call Megasealed.

Hole in the wall in Perth? Call a friend who knows how to fix it.

Stains on carpet in Canberra? Call the carpet cleaners.

Google can help everyone and anyone who is a HSE no matter where you are.

Yeah alright, I know that I should know how to fix all of this stuff, but I don’t. Sure I could go forth and learn how to but at the moment, I don’t have the time and I don’t want to break this house even more!

Anyway, how does one become good at DIY?

Is it something that you’re brought up with? My Dad wasn’t the most handy of handy men either. Sure he taught me how to mow the lawn, change a tyre and check the oil, but we were lucky enough to be able to afford to hire people.

Being the Dad to three girls, I’m sure I should teach them a basic level of handy-ness. How to change a tyre, check the oil in your car, etc etc. Luckily, I still have a few years up my sleeve before my eldest starts driving.

Until then, give me HSE any day.

(This post was sponsored by Megasealed.)

Kitten Glo-Wash review

Kitten Glo-WashFull disclosure, I’m not the cleanest of people.

With three kids and both my wife and I work full time, the house is always a mess, the washing is piled up and the car is always full of kids crap.

Know the feeling?

Well I was contacted by Kitten Glo-Wash and asked to review their products. I thought, “hey, maybe this will give me the motivation to get my ass outside and clean the car”.

I then realised it was winter here in Canberra and it’s not often the temperature gets above freezing. Instead, I opted for a spot clean to show the improvements that Kitten made to my dirty car.

The product is actually pretty good. I’m not the biggest car cleaner but this product is something that I would consider buying in the future. What impressed me the most however, was that Kitten Glo-Wash doesn’t contain any salt like regular car detergents.

Apparently this causes corrosion of your car?

The bottle tells me that I should be washing once a week. Well, I can tell you now that it won’t be happening because I just don’t have the time! But if you’re a car fan and like to look after it more so than I do, Kitten Glo-Wash is a decent product worth considering.

Have I taken on too much?

Taking on too many tasks for the good of my family.

Image source: http://stanfordflipside.com/images/153rolloutPTSD.jpg

This post is in collaboration with Yes Loans. Their ease and speed when it comes to personal loans is unmatched and that is the sort of support that any busy person needs

In my quest to become location and financially independent so that our family can do what we want, when we want, I think I may have taken on too much and it’s piling up.

At the moment, I’m studying for exams at university, trying to building a training program, managing social media for two clients, writing in blogs, recording a podcast, being a husband and being a father.

It’s a lot.

Sometimes I just find myself needed to sit there and watch the TV, listening to the random advertisements like the latest Voice update, wondering, is it all too much?

I know that the reward for all of this will pay off in the end. I just need to keep my focus and keep the reasons why I am doing all of it at the forefront of my mind.

This is for my family and my kids so that I can spend every day with them and watch them grow up.

There are lots of people who miss out on this. I wasn’t one of those children and I was truly blessed to have my parents at all my big sporting events or school functions. I want to be able to give that to my kids also. I want to be the dad who is there on sports day, who is there for every birthday.

I have missed the last 3 birthdays of my 7 year old because of work.

I don’t want that anymore. I also want to help people who are in the same boat and I am sure there is a lot of us.

A new venture for the family

 My wife and I recently embarked on a new venture with Arbonne International. One of the reasons we really wanted to get involved is because we (my wife) wanted to be able to work from home and spend more time with our family.

Yes, to the outside eye this may seem like a pyramid scheme and that it would be impossible to build a business. To be honest, the selling of products is the side of the business that my wife will be taking care off, I just want to try my hand at building another business and applying tools I’ve learnt from Tweet Canberra and The Social Media Revolution.

One other thing that really highlighted this business compared to the others on the market, is the fact that you can qualify for a Mercedes Benz.

I have a thing for luxury cars, something that kids tend to ruin. Cars like Volvo Cars Australia, Mercedes Benz, BMW and of course the dream car, Lamborghini.

Reality is a b*tch and it takes hold when you begin to day dream about having a luxury car but I tell you what, even if there is a faint chance that I can be rewarded a car for building a business, I’ll give it a red hot crack!

I’ve been building a couple of businesses to try and build an income that allows me to have a lifestyle to spend more time with my kids. What about you? The question is what do you want in life and how are you going to get it?