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.

I’ve earned the title of Dad

This is the second post in a two part series when I talk about earning the title of dad and that it shouldn’t just be awarded to someone who helped conceive the child. If you haven’t read the first post you can check it out here.

All dressed up and heading to the movies

All dressed up and heading to the movies

 Treating them like your own

I’m a big softie. Anyone who has spent any decent amount of time with me will be able to confirm that. I also believe I am a good father. Sure I have some ups and some downs but overall I think I rank pretty high on the parenting scale. When I met my Fiance she had a 3 year old daughter (Daughter 1) and I knew this before I had even been introduced to her. I’d seen a friend have a relationship with a girl who had a daughter around the same age and it failed, terribly. But for me, I didn’t care that she had a child. Truth be told, I was glad that Daughter 1 was around. I loved the idea of being a role model to someone, to be the one responsible for her well being. It was a great feeling the day she decided to call me dad.

It’s an honour

For a child to accept you as their dad, when they have a choice, is no greater honour. They are trusting you with their lives, no greater trust could be bestowed upon you. This is exactly how I felt when she decided I was her dad. My partner didn’t tell her to call me that, she had called me James from the beginning but we had formed a bond that was incredibly strong and has been growing ever since. She is my daughter and I am her dad and no one will take that away from me.

I’ve been there for her when she’s been sick, I’ve been there for her when she has come home from school upset, I have been there for Christmas day but unfortunately I have missed her birthday for the last 3 years due to work requirements. Although I miss her birthdays, I make sure I make it up to her whenever I can. Take this for example. It is her birthday one week after I leave next week so next weekend is all about her. There’ll be balloons, there’ll be cake and there will be party food. We don’t know anyone in Canberra yet so it will only be our little family but man it will be fun. I’ll post pictures afterwards.

What’s next?

The adoption laws in Australia seem fairly straight forward but having said that I don’t have a clue where to start. I’ve been reading and its fair to say, I can do a lot more to get my head around what needs to happen and how the process works but that is the route we are headed down. She is one of the four best things to happen in my life and I will never ever let her down (I’ll try not to at least).

Earning the title of Dad (2 part series)

Biological fathers still need to earn the title of dad

Biological fathers still need to earn the title of dad

It’s my opinion that the word dad or father is earned and shouldn’t be a given right. It takes more than a sexual act, 9 months of pregnancy and the birth of another human being, in my eyes, to truly be considered a father. In this two part series I’ll be exploring the meaning of being a father and then exploring my personal situation and our lead up to applying for adoption. 

Daughter 1 is not my biological child. It pains me to say it because I consider her to be my own but I will never be her biological father. I am not going to go into details about the situation because that is a private matter but all I will say is that the “sperm donor” split the moment he found out.

I wanted to write this post to really give my perspective on what the definition of being a “father” means to me. I also wanted this post to be a place where others in a similar situation can post their stories, make sure you leave it in the comment section below.

Meet my daughter…

I met Daughter 1 in December 2009, when her mum brought her round to my apartment before we went to a local beach for a swim. Christine had never introduced Daughter 1 to a partner before, maybe she could sense something was different about this relationship. Later that year we got engaged.

A study conducted by John Moores University in the UK found in 2005 that 1 in every 25 fathers was not actually the biological father. That begs the question, should we think of being a father as more than just biology? In my opinion, most definitely. I have a great relationship with my dad (I assume he is my biological dad, I haven’t been told otherwise). We talk a few times a week and see each other when we can as we now live on opposite sides of the country. Our relationship is built on trust, respect and honesty. Which to me are the key factors to any relationship but lets go further.

A father by definition of the Oxford dictionary is;

The definition of Father

First of all, we have the definition “a man in relation to his child or children”. Great we got that, but let’s look at the variants which follow. “An important male figure in the origin and early history of something” and “a man who provides care and protection”. I feel I tick both those boxes and I bet many others who are in my same situation feel they do to.

So by definition, calling yourself the father of a child who isn’t biologically yours is still correct in the English language. Personally, this is incredibly important not only for me but I think for my Daughter, when one day we sit down and tell her that I am not her biological dad. But it shouldn’t really matter.

If you love them like your own, care for them like your own, provide for them like your own and even call them your own (I do, it gets messy otherwise) there is no reason I can see why you are any less of a father than the one who helped conceive it. By showing love, compassion and affection, not only to your biological children, but to kids who may not be biologically related, you earn the title of being their father.

It shouldn’t be a participation title. Fatherhood takes strength, courage and an immense amount of patience. If you can manage all of those things, plus being an excellent role model, you’ve earned the title of Dad in my books.

What are your thoughts on the definition of being a Father? Do you think it should be based completely on biology, or on who provides and loves the child? Let me know in the comments below.

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