One of the best Australian Dad Blogs, sharing stories of my trials and tribulations of raising girls in Australia.

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Pursue excellence. [source= unsplash]

 For the longest time I’ve been searching for one of my passions that I could develop into a business venture. I believe that to be successful you need to be passionate but I don’t have a clue which passion to pursue.

Leadership, motivation, family and the internet (everything on the internet is GREAT), these are a few of my favourite things. For the longest time I’ve been looking for additional projects for my spare time and something that my partner and I can both work on together. But I’ve been on struggle street for ideas on what I/we can do.

I listen to a lot of podcasts to try and help get my creative juices flowing. The Smart Passive Income podcast is one of my favourites. Pat Flynn is an inspiration to thousands of people around the globe. To me, he inspires me to set up a diversified, valuable business that provides benefit to others. I want to better the world, one person at a time.

That is why I started this blog. Not to make money, not to become famous but I thought if I could some how better someone’s life, somewhere, then I would have achieved my mission. Sharing my stories about parenting and being a father is incredibly rewarding and it has led me to meet some great people right around the world.

In particular, the blokes from the group of Australian Dad Bloggers. I originally approached the group in the hope of writing a guest post but what I got was a group of blokes who I can bounce any idea off and blokes who help me better my writing. These blokes are helping me figure out what my passion is and hopefully you’ll be able to see that in my writing in the future, but I’d like to take a minute to shout out to these great guys;

Aussie Daddy Bloggers http://www.daddybloggers.com.au
The Illiterate Infant http://illiterateinfant.com/
Fast Lane Dad http://www.fastlanedad.com
Ydad http://www.ydad.com.au
Mr Palindrome http://www.mrpalindrome.com/
Big Family, Little Income http://www.bigfamilylittleincome.com/
3AM Dad http://3amdad.tumblr.com/
Dad Rites http://www.dadrites.com
Being A Dad http://beingadad.com.au/
Tork’s Blog http://torkona.blogspot.com.au/
TackleNappy http://www.tacklenappy.com
Reservoir Dad http://www.reservoirdad.com
Dad Down Under http://daddownunder.com.au
The 40 Year Old Dad http://www.fortyyearolddad.com.au
A Working Dad Production http://aworkingdadproduction.com/
Kangaroo Dad http://kangaroodad.blogspot.com.au/
Memoirs Of The Mind http://www.memoirsofthemind.com

If you are looking for great stories and posts, have a read of these blogs. Make sure you share this post as much as you can to give love to all these great dads.

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Dining out with kids

The other day, after we dropped Miss 7 off at school, we headed over to a local cafe that I’ve been wanting to try for some time now, Chatterbox espresso bar.

Breakfast and coffee at Chatterbox Espresso Bar

Breakfast and coffee at Chatterbox Espresso Bar

It’s an exceptional spot and if you ever visit Canberra you have to get a latte from here!

When we decide to go out, a little bit of fear starts to appear in my stomach. When we walk past a new Range Rover Sport, that little bit of fear increases to an overwhelming amount of fear.

I almost start crying.

My kids are generally good kids, generally. This morning was a good day but further into our dining experience, we encountered a problem. Miss 1 loves to squeal.

I apologise to the public of Canberra.

Miss 1 wasn’t the problem this morning although she did contribute to the noise of the cafe. Miss 2 (almost 3) needed “tuddle” (that’s a cuddle for those of you who don’t speak 2 year old english) when I was half way through my breakfast. All I wanted was to enjoy my beautiful breakfast but instead I had a two year old that insisted on having a cuddle with her head tucked right into my neck.

I love that my daughters love me. I’ve certainly not always been the favourite but for a while now “I need Daddy” has been the phrase of the day. I never want it to change except for when there is a delicious large breakfast in front of me.

But it’s not just when we are out and about with kids. Tonight whilst watching My Kitchen Rules, Miss 2 insisted on have a cuddle whilst I finished my dinner. What is it with these kids?

It’s almost like they sense that we are enjoying something and feel the need to ruin it.

I should probably add “Dining out with kids: A way to make everyone hate you” to my “10 reasons why I love parenting” post. But for now, I just want to eat a meal in peace without a 2 year old on my lap.

Do your kids annoy you at the wrong time? Let me know in the comments below.

3 simple steps for staying fit these holidays

We all know how it goes. “I’m on holidays”, “It’s okay, I’ll start the diet in the new year”. I’m the worst for that stuff. Every year I fall off the wagon two days into the silly season. Well not this year, oh no. I’m going to be training no matter what, even if I am hungover. Besides, if Fast Lane Dad can run his fitness regime over the holidays I can too.

But how am I going to do it? Yes there will be a few curls (beer curls) involved but most importantly I’ll be focusing on cardio to burn off that extra serve of pudding and ice cream I am more than certainly going to demolish.

However, I know that you are going to want to join me in my holiday fitness so here are a few “fun” exercises that I’ll be doing to keep on top of that waistline.

1. Morning run/swim/ride- Yes, that is when all of our heads are going to hurt the most but getting out in the fresh air first thing helps clear the mind and gets those wonderful endorphins running and sets us up for the rest of the day.

2. Use the kids as fitness equipment – Kids make great light weights for heaps of reps. I use my daughters sitting on my back while I do push ups. I also use them for leg raises. Lay on you back, let your little weight lay on your legs and hold on, raise your legs up and down until your abs burn and can not go any more.

3. Box jumps – I am sure if your household is anything like mine you will have a tonne of boxes laying around from opened toys. Lay one of these on the ground in an open area, stand to one side, and then jump over the box to the other, repeat until knackered.

There you have it folks. Three simple steps that can help burn some extra calories this holiday season to make room for that tasty christmas dessert.

Moving on from the holiday season, I am going to be starting a new blog series that will run from now until the 1st of November 2014. It is called, “I’m going to run a marathon”. It will run right up until I complete the 42.2km marathon at Carcoar cup located in Carcoar NSW. In this series I am going to be documenting my training, nutrition and struggles leading up to the big race. I would love for you to join me on my journey and if this is something that you have wanted to do, let’s do it together.

My top ten reasons why I love being a parent…

Babe, if you get up, I’ll let you sleep in”

1:30 am

I roll out of the bunk beds (1st floor of course) because apparantely a cat nap is all our youngest daughter needs tonight, plus who can resist a sleep in?

I get her up, 10 minutes and she’ll be ready to go back to sleep.

2:07 am

I put her down, tantrum. Bugger.

2:30 am

Why don’t I write a sarcastic blog post about the top 10 things I love about being a parent?

1. As a parent, I can play games with my kids at 2 am.

2. No matter how hungover I am, my kids love me enough to wake me up at 6 am.

3. If my kids shit their pants, I am privileged enough to clean it up.

4. Even if the best football game in the world is on TV, I don’t get to watch it. Instead, I watch Peppa Pig.

5. I no longer have to take a dump alone.

6. When I buy an ice cream, I no longer get to eat it all by myself, I get to share it. With three other people, who have already eaten their ice creams.

7. I can no longer spend any more time than it takes to eat a meal at any restaurant or pub. Upon completion of said meal, we get to leave, ASAP.

8. I know every word of the following movies:

– Despicable Me 2,

– Despicable Me,

– Finding Nemo,

– Frozen,

– Smurfs 2,

– Smurfs 1,

– The Lion King, and

– Tangled.

9. I get to buy a loaf of bread and 3 litres of milk at least 4 times a week, and last but certainly not least,

10. I no longer have any time or money to spend on a hobby such as golf. Instead, I blog about how much I love my kids at 2:30 am.

So there is 10 reasons why I love being a parent. What’s yours? Leave a comment below!

Our family tradition of watching movies together sees Frozen knocked off as number one

I’ve got mixed emotions. I can’t decide whether it’s a sad day or a happy one.

Frozen has been knocked off it’s throne as number watched movie. It’s replacement is:

We had a movie night on Saturday night, it was great. We threw a mattress on the floor, the kids brought out their blankets and we put on a movie that wasn’t Frozen! To say I was happy that Frozen wasn’t going to be on the TV would be an understatement. Popcorn was allocated, pop rocks distributed evenly and juice boxes were opened.

We all enjoyed it as we lay there and watched a stripe less Zebra on his quest for stripes. I think the kids enjoyed having Mum home at night for a change, normally a Saturday night is a work night for Christine. But that’s hospitality right?

These are the moments that count and they won’t last forever. We are lucky that at the moment, Miss 7 and Miss 2 like the same movies (most of the time) which means we can still have nights like last night. I don’t imagine it will last for too much longer as Miss 7 might want to start swapping animated movies for movies that fall in the Tween category (god help me if I have to watch Zac Efron tell me that we are all in this together).

No Zac, we’re not in this together.

I wrote a while ago about Family Traditions. This is one tradition that we love and man, we do it well.  I just wish my kids would stop fighting over who is going to be the bloody Zebra!

What are some of your most treasured family traditions? Christmas dinner, thanksgiving or maybe a simple Sunday roast with the family. Let me know in the comments below.

Living away from your family

Living away from your family is tough

Source: Flickr user juliaarielle

It’s been a long four weeks, but I’ve got through it and managed to see my girls. I talk about how living away from your family can bring up all sorts of emotions and how I dealt with mine.

In case you just came across my blog, I’ve been away from society on a work course for the last four weeks. During this time, I’ve had limited contact with my family, a phone call once a week and an email here and there. I’m not going to lie, it’s been tough.

Now I’ve spent alot of time away from home in the past for work, sometimes up to 6 months at a time. But something was different this time, I found it incredibly harder. Maybe this was because I had promised Miss 7 earlier in the year that I’d be home for her birthday for the first time in about 4 years. Not only was she upset but I too was incredibly emotional and considered pulling the pin on this course but I stayed the course.

I kept reminding myself why I was there. I was there to provide a better life for my family and to better my career. But it wasn’t easy, it was far from it. Dealing with those types of emotions is something that I haven’t dealt with for a long time and I was unsure on how to get through it.

I turned to the Chaplain for some advice, “How can I get through this?”. He suggested I countdown the days left until I see them on paper so I could physically see how long was remaining. I also wrote about my feelings and how much I missed my family. I didn’t have a computer so I used this thing called a notebook?? But it helped. I didn’t want to talk to my class mates about these emotions, I’d just met them and didn’t want to share my personal issues with them just yet.

Emotions are difficult things for us humans to deal with, especially us “manly men”. But it is important, I feel, to deal with them rather than let them build up. I think if I had let mine build up I would have imploded, left this course and potentially ruined my career that I have worked incredibly hard on for the past 5 years.

Have you been in a similar situation and struggled? Join the conservation below and let me know how you’ve got through it.

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

>> Also check my friend’s blog: Best stroller & carseat combo reviews

Mashup Saturday

image source: mixes and mashups soundcloud profile

It’s Federal election day here in Australia but that is the last thing I am thinking about.

I’m on a search, for new music for the gym. I refer to soundcloud for some inspiration. After spending a while searching for some great new mashup tunes for the gym, I came across these little gems!

 

 

Let me know what you think!

Parenting Fail

I did something horrible.

Parents accidentally hurting their kids is a nightmare.

Bored? Play with your kids! [source: loldailyfun.com]

As parents, we never imagine hurting our children. The other day, I did it. I hurt our youngest daughter, Miss 1.

Miss 1 has been teething of late, poor girl. Between smacking her head on the coffee table whilst trying to walk and having a large amount of teeth coming through, she can’t seem to catch a break. When I was putting her in the high chair for dinner, she was wriggling, I pinched her with the clip (Also check the best foldable table for picnic and coffee).

Parenting Fail.

I don’t like hearing my daughters in pain on the best of days, let alone because I caused it!

In my opinion, having seen two children go through it, teething is up there on the pain scale. Some days it seems there is nothing that you can do that provides them relief. Enter Nurofen, which is exceptionally good for those teething symptoms, especially when a fever is present. No Nurofen? I’ve used a pack of frozen peas for relief before, that’s how much I hate seeing them in pain.

It must be hell (like watching the Young and the Restless) for our kids when their teeth are coming through. Let alone when their mean Daddy pinches them with a high chair clip.

I’m sorry.

I see it as sort of a right of passage for new parents. Obviously we do not intentionally hurt our kids, but there are times when it just happens and then we spend the next 30 minutes wondering why anyone let us leave the hospital with a human being.

I wonder all the time, “How did someone ever trust me to be a parent?”

Even though I have a 7, 2 and almost 1 year old, I still look for practical parenting tips on a regular basis. Not only does that give me inspiration for this blog, but makes me feel less like an idiot.

But the good thing, or the bad thing depending on which way you look at it, is that parents, mother-in-laws, grandparents and everyone else who has ever had kids, seem to have a never ending supply of advice when it comes to parenting.

Perks of parenting, eh?

While you are here, why not join the Raising3daughters family? I’ll send you a weekly update of posts and when I run a competition, you’ll be the first to know about it. 

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).

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?

I’m excited by…

Poo!

No, I’m not some sort of sick, perverted idiot! I am excited because Miss 2 is finally starting to get the toilet training idea so much so we’ve hit the dizzy heights of number 2’s!

The whole toilet training thing was getting me down and I was frustrated that she wouldn’t get it. But just as quickly as she was conceived, click, she had it. It was almost like she enjoyed watching her mother and I get frustrated with constantly cleaning up piss on our white carpet (seriously who has white carpet in a rental!).

I’ve never toilet trained a child before. It baffles me that something most of us take for granted, (well most of the time unless you drunk) could be difficult to master but I guess for a child everything is new.

When we first started trying to toilet train, I kept looking at Christine like she was bonkers. “Miss 2, do you need the toilet?” 15 minutes later, “Miss 2, do you need the toilet?”. It sounded like a broken record but apparently it worked and she got it, finally.

But back to my original topic, why am I so excited about sh*t? Because if she’s doing number 2’s that means that there is limited number of days remaining that I need to fork out $29.99 each week for a disposable poo catcher!

Seriously, I need to start making nappies or become a wedding photographer, two of the biggest rip offs in the history of man kind.

Want to join the Raising3daughter.com family? Just pop your email address in this little box below you pretty thing!

I need Daddy

“I need Daddy!”

Three sweet little words that make my heart skip a beat. I love hearing them. Especially at bed time, when she is sleepy and all cute.

I used to spend so much time away from home, my relationship with my daughters were strong back then but no where as strong as they currently are. When we found out that Christine was having our second daughter, and our third daughter, naturally I began researching about raising girls. I had read that my influence in my daughters life will help shape her self-esteem, self-image, her confidence and her opinions of men.

I hope she dislikes all of you who seek to date her.

Apparently, the relationship we have with our daughters shapes their self-esteem, self image, confidence and opinions of men. I hope she is disgusted by them!

According to an article on the Australian, “A man’s best and worst traits will be represented in his daughter’s taste in men”. Well I’m up the creek without a paddle, mainly because I am perfect, just ask my mother-in-law.

In the same article, Annie Gurton, a counselling psychologist, claims that “women whose fathers have told them that they love them, that they are beautiful and wonderful, will have stronger, more robust self-esteem”.

I tell my girls that I love them and that they are beautiful, but when they fart like a miner, I tell them they stink! Does that mean I have ruined them?

It’s no mystery that men have been trying to understand women for many decades. Hell, I can never remember what Christine likes from Subway! When she orders something that doesn’t ring a bell, I need to stop in at woolies for a piss test to make sure number 4 isn’t on the way. If all this information is true, maybe we need to understand ourselves before we can understand our daughters. Again, I’m up the creek without a paddle because I’m a bloody basket case.

“What’s wrong? Are you pregnant or something?”

This was the question that I asked right before I found out I was going to be a Dad for the first time.

Christine and I had been dating since January, right before I deployed for 6 Months. I’d known her since December 2009 and in June 2010, she was pregnant. Holy crap what the hell is going on!

I was at work when I got a text, “hey do you mind coming over tonight I want to talk to you”. Now where I come from that means one of two things, I am going to break up with you or I’m pregnant. Fortunately (at the time I thought unfortunately) it was the latter and Christine was 5 weeks pregnant. I think I’d been back in country for 6 weeks so do the math!

A few minutes pass and I can’t handle it, I give her a call. “What’s up” I ask, “nothing, I just want to see you” I get back. This goes on for a couple of minutes until I ask the question that will change my life forever “What’s wrong? Are you pregnant or something?” “Yes” I hear from down the phone.

WHAT THE F**K!

This wasn’t meant to happen to me! I’m not ready for kids! Do I have to marry her now? What the hell am I going to do!

Just a few things running through my head after that phone call and I’m sure if you’ve ever been in that situation you would have had similar thoughts.

So I left work. “Boss, I’m taking the rest of the day off” (Luckily we had nothing on and I had a good boss, thanks Jon!) Driving to see Christine, more thoughts. What are we doing? We can’t have kids together. I should mention, at the time Christine had a beautiful 4 year old Tahnee who I now consider my own and I am looking to legally adopt her in the coming year.

I called my mum, “Christine is pregnant” I shouted down the phone in a panicked voice. “Oh James, don’t worry, you’ll make an excellent dad”. Thanks for the encouragement mum but I’m not sure I can be a dad, I can’t even organise my own life let alone another person’s. I was 22 when all this was going on mind you.

What do you want to do?

There was no doubt in Christine’s mind. She was having the baby. I think because I am so good looking it was too good an opportunity to pass up. She’ll argue otherwise.

Being a complete newbie at kids and pregnant women, we discussed what was next and left the bigger picture stuff to another time when emotions and thoughts weren’t running circles in our heads.

Needless to say, we proceeded along the pregnancy pathway. Months and months passed, Christine’s belly grew bigger and bigger. My nerves grew bigger and bigger.

We found a place and moved in together. This wasn’t too hard for me, as living on a ship with 15 men in a room the size of a bathroom for months and months. Tahnee (Christine’s daughter) was all a bit lost I think. Suddenly she was moving into a strange house with a man her mother had been dating for 8 months, although 6 of those he wasn’t around and she was pregnant. Needless to say, Tahnee was excited to have a little sister.

26th March 2011

It was a Saturday. Christine was 3 weeks out from her due date. Her back pain was excruciating. Her knees were collapsing and I was scared. Last thing I needed was her falling and hurting herself. I should mention, I was deploying for 4 months in 7 weeks. Admittedly it was to Hawaii but I was leaving my now Fiancée for 4 months with a new born.

I rang the hospital, “look she needs to have this baby now! She’s collapsing all over the place. Enough is enough!” I politely shouted down the phone to the midwife. “I’ll ring the doctor and see what he says and call you back”.

Longest 5 minutes of my life!

“Present to the hospital at 0800 tomorrow”

Activate, Overdrive.

That’s what it felt like. Right what are we doing with Tahnee? Is the car seat in the car? Is your bag packed?

Then I remembered. Crap! I am on my promotion course tomorrow and I can’t miss it. Please be a quick, uncomplicated labour! That night, I tossed and turned and tossed and turned some more. I was ready, well I thought so.

Newborn baby.

Mikayla Grace Tew

The next afternoon, Mikayla Grace Tew was born, 2.8kg heavy or for you non-metric types, 6lb 2oz.

My first, biological daughter. I held her, listened to her cry and the midwife asked “Would you like to feed her?” “How do I do that?” I asked being 100% serious. The midwife chuckled and told me it was simple.

As you can see in the photo, I was scared as hell.

Nothing you do will prepare you for the first time you hold your own child

I thought that I could read books, blogs and watch videos. But I’ll say it again. Nothing will prepare you for that first time you lay eyes on your child.

They are fragile, beautiful (even with cone shaped heads), vulnerable and looking for food. Go with the flow. I know in my situation I was scared as hell but it’s all about going with it. Sure, having a bit of background knowledge probably helped, but every situation will be different because if we were all the same, life would be boring.

Biggest lesson

Do a bit of research, but don’t expect it to be all peachy. Mikayla came out not breathing. We were lucky but a lot of people aren’t and my heart goes out to all of you. But as the saying goes, prior preparation prevents piss poor performance.

Also, listen. Listening is the best way to learn. If you don’t know, ask. The only stupid questions are the ones that aren’t asked.

Most importantly. Keep a level head. Nothing worse than falling apart in front of your partner/wife who is literally falling apart in front of you.

Have you got any tips or opinions to share?

Let me know in the comments below.

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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. (Also check my friend’s reviews on best foldable picnic table, which can be used for dinner, picnic and coffee for big family). 

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.

We’re doomed

As the title suggests, we’re doomed. No not everyone, just everyone in my house.

Why?

Taking some of her first steps towards independence!

Taking some of her first steps towards independence!

Our youngest daughter officially took her first steps yesterday. I thought I had learnt with Miss 2, don’t push them to be fast learners, you’ll only regret it, I told myself. So I took a back seat and didn’t encourage her that much. But like any competitive parent, I want her to be the best and the fastest. It will be my downfall I swear!

But yesterday she did it, all by herself, a couple of steps.

What I am not looking forward to is the following;

– Opening kitchen cupboards and pulling everything out,

– Throwing a tantrum at the shops because she is now an independent girl and needs to walk every where,

– Running away from me at the shops after said tantrum,

– Scaring me at parks and other public places by running towards dangerous situations (e.g. behind swings), and,

– Climbing out of her cot and running around her room, periodically banging on the door keeping her two sisters awake.

Having just said all that, I am really excited that she is beginning the next stage of her development. I would just prefer it if she chooses to sit still, not run away and not test my patience in any of the scenarios I mentioned before.

Did you push your kids to walk as soon as possible? Did you regret it? Leave a comment below! 

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Changing careers

Changing careers can be difficult but can also be very rewarding

[source: www.business2community.com]

Finding a new job can be hard for some people. A while ago, I tried to change careers but I found it impossible to land a decent paying job that would support my family. Unfortunately, the ramblings of a little Australian Dad Blogger doesn’t make enough money to fill my car let alone support a family of 5!

Jobs in Australia  have been hard to come by in some particular fields. In my case, I didn’t have enough experience for an employer to hire me. I wanted to jump across the desk and tap them on the forehead, “how am I going to get experience if you don’t give me a chance mate!!”. Instead, I walked out, demoralised and wondering what I should do next.

Career changes are hard. It can be demoralising if your applications are constantly rejected but it can also be a very exciting time. One thing I found when I was considering a career change, I was scared. I had spent a decent amount of time in the military and that was all I knew.

“What if I get fired? How am I going to look after my family?”

Christine was just about to stop work and have our third daughter. I was scared that we would be stuck not able to pay rent, feed the kids and have to live in our cars. I had the comfort of a fortnightly pay check, a roof over our head and food on the table (also check the reviews on best folding table for picnic, meal and coffee). 

As a father and a husband, I feel it is my responsibility to look after my family and this added to the internal confusion that I was having. Should I go, should I stay, it was a battle in my head that was driving me insane.

What did I do?

I stayed. It wasn’t the right time for me to leave the military. I do have big dreams, some involve my current employment, others don’t. However, the experience has taught me a lot about looking for a new career. For example, in my search I discovered that 83% of jobs are never advertised online! I guess this is why everyone always says “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

Are you thinking about a career change? Have you recently changed careers? Let me know about it in the comments below.

Twerking – What the hell

Before you read my post watch Miley Cyrus’ new music video and then read on

I get it. She wants to break free of her ‘Disney’ image from the Hannah Montana show but is this really an appropriate way to do it?

Celebrities will always try and be controversial because that is what sells. People talking about them increases their visibility which is in the end what they are looking for. What I disagree with, is the approach that Miley has taken to try and craft her new image.

How many girls out there grew up with Hannah Montana and probably look to her as a role model? Now she’s ‘Twerking‘ all over the place, what kind of role model does that? Surely knowing that you are a role model to so many girls around the world should bring with it some moral obligation.

I am not saying that she needs to go to church every Sunday, but there is a line, one which I believe she has crossed. I am just glad my girls don’t have a clue who she is.

How much is enough? Do you think public figures have an obligation to be good role models for our kids? Leave a comment below.

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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

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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’m gonna buy the Skyward Summit, an outdoor playhouse for kids, which has shape of mountain. You can check review about it at here!

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 sticky date… with ice cream

Every parent’s worst nightmare, a child covered in a sticky substance, no baby wipes and out in public. I partly have to take the blame for this one, I never taught her how to eat ice cream from the cone…

It's slowly dripping...

It’s slowly dripping…

“Do we get her a cone?” I said to Christine as we both exchanged troubled looks. We both knew neither of us brought any portable cleaning products and we still had to get some things from the shops.

We are currently on holidays in Whyalla, South Australia, where the outback meets the sea. Wendy’s gets a pretty big work out from what I have seen and for a good reason, it’s hot. But as you all know, ice cream melts when it’s hot, especially in a hands of a two year old.

Why haven’t I taught you to eat an ice cream out of the cone?!

I guess it was partly fear, of this happening. The image of a sticky mess unable to effectively clean it all up and the stained clothes, oh not the clothes!

She started with biting the bottom of the cone off.  Again, troubled looks were exchanged between Christine and I. I am playing the scenario through my head, where is the toilet, did I grab enough napkins from Wendy’s?

Surprisingly, the ice cream did not drip from the bottom, just everywhere else. Her hands were covered and it was slowly dripping down the sides.

Emergency evasive action!

Emergency action needed to be taken

Emergency action needed to be taken

“Get some more napkins!”. Christine jumped from her seat and fetched some more, I tried my best to mop up the drips from the cone. I managed to get rid of all the excess ice cream just as Christine arrived with a re-supply of napkins. “Put them on her lap”, good idea I thought.

The end was near. The rainbow ice cream had been devoured and we were in the safety of the cone zone. But what about the sticky fingers you ask?

Well surprisingly, my little angel (devil) managed to keep a relatively tight schedule on finger licking which minimised the stickiness.

Well played Miss 2, well played indeed.

I guess, I didn’t need to teach her how to eat ice cream from a cone after all. Everyday I am fascinated by how much she actually knows compared to what I think she knows. Both her and sisters continue to wrap me around their fingers and everyday, I love them just that little bit more, except at 3 am. Nobody loves waking up at 3 am…

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