What to do when a child has lied

Taking a stand against your children’s lies!

I found this meme on Google+ and I would definitely hate to be in that kid’s shoes!

I like it.

Raising kids

Taking a stand against your children lying

Let me know if you have any good pointer on how to deal with lying.

Shopping with kids

Normally, we try to avoid doing food shopping with kids at all costs. It’s a predictable routine:

“I need lollies!”

“I need the toilet”

“Can I have this?”

“You never buy me anything!”

“Miss 2 got something yesterday!”

“Are we done yet?”

“I don’t want vegetables for dinner!”

Today started off a little different. We picked Miss 2 up from 3 year old kindy and headed to Coles to get some food shopping done. She was tired which lead me into a false sense of security. “She won’t be an issue” I told myself and in the beginning when she wanted to sit in the trolley, I thought I was on to a winner.

Then this happened.

shopping with kids edited

Add a new item to the trolley, she’d lay on it. Using the toilet paper as a solid bed base, she actually looked quite comfortable.

When asked “do you want to get out and walk now?” “Not yet. 2 minutes okay?”. That the favourite response this month.

But then we met up with a family member who is in Canberra for work at the moment and decided to get a coffee. All well and good until “I need the toilet”. Okay, trip number one. 5 minutes later, “I need the toilet!”. Again? Okay let’s go.

You know what they say about three’s

“I need the toilet!”. No you don’t but by that stage she was off and running down the hall to the parent room. I think it was the fact that she got to press the green button to open the door because her bladder sure as hell isn’t that small.

Moral of the story.

No matter how good you think your shopping experience will be with kids, it will never be as good as being by yourself! I’ll be avoiding shopping with kids from this day forth. (Also check my reviews on best kids outdoor playhouse).

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

Source of image is http://unsplash.s3.amazonaws.com/batch%2010/camera-man.jpg

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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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.

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?

Tips: Fitting in after working away from family

Working away from family

Working away from family

Working away from family is incredibly tough. I’ve spent lots of time away in the past, here’s how I fit back in. [image source: Royal Australian Navy]

 I’ve spent a large portion of the last 5 years of my working life away from home. From 1 day to 5 months, it doesn’t get easier working away from family despite what you might think.5 months away from home is a long time to be working away from family. Fortunately enough this was before the birth of my last two children. Miss 7 was around then but her mother and I had just starting dating. Never the less, spending time away from home is tough and I personally feel it gets tougher as your kids grow up.

I believe this is the case because they start to get involved in new activities other than cry and wiggle around on the floor. I was lucky enough growing up that my Dad was able to make it to most of my school carnivals, football games and swim meets. I always knew I could look to the bleachers and see him there. But here I am, spending months on months away from home and then coming home and struggling to fit back into the family’s routines.

Routine is good, routine is safe and it makes the time fly (at least for me it does). Remove yourself from your family’s routine for a few months and suddenly fitting in becomes harder than ever. They have the morning routine before school, routines for after school activities and even bath time. Finding out where you can fit back in can be difficult but here are a few tips that I use to get back into the rhythm of my family’s day to day life;

  1. Get involved. You are not going to get back into their lives standing on the sidelines whinging about how you aren’t involved. ‘Get amongst it son’ and help out. After school runs to the dance class or footy training is a great place to start and you get an extra few minutes in the car to talk about how your child’s day has been.
  2. Stay in touch with what is changing back home. It’s hard being away but talking about what is happening at home, routines etc, helps you get your head around it early. Meaning you can jump straight in and give that helping hand to your partner. Get a head start and ask your partner what their routine is like for this day and that day and you’ll be laughing.
  3. Create new routines (within reason). Don’t come along and decide that you are going to take the family for a walk at 5 o’clock at night when that is normally feeding time in the family zoo. Talk with your partner about how you want to get involved “I wouldn’t mind taking Bobby to the park and kicking the footy around this afternoon”.

You will probably have to go back to work at some stage so don’t start making up grand plans when you are going to head back to the grind stone. It is however, essential to dive head first into it all and acclimatise back to normal life.

I’ve said it before, talking about these situations will only benefit you in the long run. Being open about what you are feeling with your partner will not only help them understand what you are going through but will help you gauge what he/she wants from you.

So what are you waiting for? Take the bull by the horns and find ways to get back into your family’s routines.

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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MH370 and explaining real world problems

For kids, life must be so black and white.

[Photo by flickr user Moritz Petersen]

You’re either good or bad. Naughty or nice.This morning, when I was getting ready for work, I had the TV on and watching the news. Miss 7 decided to get up and join me, a common morning ritual. As I was pouring the milk into my nutri-grain, the MH370 story came on.

They showed a clearly distraught woman being carried away by security. Miss 7 asks “what’s wrong with that lady Daddy?”. Now I normally would have gone with, “she’s sad darling” I had a feeling that explanation wouldn’t have cut the mustard.

“Well baby, a plane went missing and no one knows where it is and that lady must have had family on it”. The puzzled look I received in return spoke for itself. “The police think that a bad man turned the plane around and made it crash darling” to which I received “why?” “well, that is what they are trying to figure out”.

I’ve never really tried to explain a real world problem to her before, other than the old “he/she was a bad person and that is why the police take them to jail”. But there was something in the tone of her voice that told me she wouldn’t have accepted the standard answer.

Back to my original point. Life is so black and white for our kids. When is it a good time to start explaining real world problems to them? I guess there would be a lot of people who object to telling their kids the truth about the world and I agree to some circumstances.

When the ad break comes on the TV and the news is about the Daniel Morcom case in Queensland, I mute the TV. No kid needs to hear about the murder of other kids but for something like the MH370 story, I’ll let them listen in.

Is that wrong of me to do? I spoke recently on the Life of Dad After Show about letting kids be kids so is them listening to the news complicating their lives or is it just feeding their curiosity?

I don’t have the answer, maybe you do? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts on explaining real world problems to your children.

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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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.

A woman never farts

But my 2 year old drops it like it’s hot

Raising kids, daughter,

Women don’t fart, or do they?

Talk about flatulence, this girl knows how to roll with the best of us.

I don’t know what does it, maybe it’s her diet. Maybe she thinks it funny. Wait, I know she thinks it funny because she laughs every time she drops one out.

Although she drops farts that would rival my Grandfather, she is particular good with using her manners. Every time she passes wind she says with her cute little husky voice “cuse me”. You can’t help but dismiss the disgusting smell wafting skyward and smile and congratulate her on using such good manners.

Are manners a thing of the past? I know that I teach my daughters that manners are a must. Sure, there are times that we can muck around and have a bit of fun but in public we must be on our best behaviour and use our manners. It is important to me that they be respectful to others and treat other how they want to be treated. To me, it’s common courtesy to use your manners. Hell even if I don’t like someone I will try and be polite, sometimes annoyingly so.

Do your kids have any “funny” habits? Let me know in the comment section below. While your here, be sure to subscribe to receive my ebook when it launches. You can sign up here.

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’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.

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[Part One] Buying the perfect family car

This is a two part series, the first of which I will have a look at factors affecting purchasing a car for your family and the second will examine several options that fit the bill.

A picture of a family buying a new car

Buying a new family car is a big task. Lots of different factors to consider. [source: dreamstime.com]

In Australia, there are currently 6 million families with school aged children. Families need to get to places therefore, they need a car. At the moment, we are a two car family however Christine’s car has been riddled with problems and it’s worth two fifths of stuff all, so there isn’t any reason to fix it.

As some people would put it, I drive a woman’s car.  I bought my Ford from John Hughes in Perth, (second hand, which would normally mean it would be a horrible experience) however, it was actually an amazing buying experience. Not only was the buying experience awesome, but so is the Focus. It is small and with three growing girls, it won’t be long before we need a larger car.

Picture this.

You decide to not once, not twice, but three times drive across the country in a car that is made for midgets. Not only is it tiny and when you have 5 people in it, it’s insanely tight and the close proximity of three girls who love to have a whinge (more than the English cricket team), it well…  it drives you up the wall.

So why not sell “Fanny Focus” and buy a bigger car? Good point, except I still owe money on it and we are not in the position to borrow money for a car just yet. Why doesn’t Christine drive it then? Well good citizen, she is as stubborn as a rock and refuses to learn how to drive a manual. Many an argument has been had over this topic. She always wins.

Okay, so what makes a perfect family car then James?

Well first off, it needs to be practical. Practical enough that I can take a sleeping bag and sleep in it if the kids drive me up the wall, or if I’m in the doghouse! I’ve never wanted a family van before, until recently when we hired a Kia Grand Carnival. We had 5 adults and three kids in it and we still had enough room to kick the footy. It’s huge! Drives like a bus but it sat beautifully on the road and was comfortable.

So we’ve got practical as the first requirement. Next in my list of requirements is, budget friendly. Like a lot of families, we are a one income family so we can’t afford to spend $90,000 on a Land Cruiser. I’m not talking just budget friendly in the price tag, but in fuel consumption and service costs as well. Last thing we need is to have a beautiful new car and no money to fill the bugger up!

Practical, budget friendly are the first two requirements in my list and for the third I am going to say, future proof. By future proof I mean that if you choose to/accidentally have more kids in the future, there is room or if you are playing car pool, you can fit other brats in the car. Also, if your kids are getting close to that age where you’ll have the lovely experience of teaching them how to drive, you want a car that is going to be good for them to learn in.

– Practical,

– Budget friendly, and

– Future proof.

As a family man, safety is top priority. So when looking for a suitable family car, a good safety rating is a must. Here in Australia, we use the ANCAP (Australiasian New Car Assessment Program) ratingwhich is determined by an independent vehicle safety advocate. Boldly on their website, ANCAP states “ANCAP recommends 5 star rated vehicles. Accept nothing less”. So I’m going to add the ANCAP safety rating as one of my requirements because when it comes to those little devils, you can never be too safe.

– Practical,

– Budget friendly,

– Future proof, and,

– 5 star ANCAP safety rating.

With these four requirements I am going to begin my search! But before I do, these are a few nice ‘must haves’ in my opinion.

– Cruise control,

– Tow ball,

– Bluetooth, and,

– A proper spare tyre not a space saver.

Now, I also asked my Twitter followers the following question to see if they had similar views when buying a car as me.

 

A couple of my wonderful followers took some time out to answer the question, some seriously and some not so much. Amongst their answers were, bullet proof panels (never know when you’ll find yourself in the hood having a shoot out), boot size (for stuffing bodies in from said shoot out), how easy it is to get the kids in/out and how easy it is getting a double pram in and out (won’t need this when you’re in a shoot out). All relevant answers in my opinion, especially the bullet proof panels! You never know what’ll happen in the future or in the hood.

Everyone is going to have their own requirements when buying a car and that is dependent on their family situation. Obviously a single bloke like Justin Bieber could drive a lambo, hopefully whilst not hyped up on cough syrup.Where as a the Brady bunch would probably need a 12 seater bus. So don’t take my requirements as gospel, adjust them as you see fit to your family’s situation.

But come back next week, where I’ll examine a few cars that I think will fit the bill (for my family) and tick all my boxes . In the mean time, I’d love it if you would sign up to join the Raising3daughters.com family where you’ll receive emails from me each week detailing my top posts and in the future, I’ll work to bring you exclusive content and giveaways.

You can sign up here!

What is something you look for when buying a new car? Let me know in the comments below!

Please, let me poo in private!

Just once, in my own home please kids, let me poo in private.

[image source: http://i.imgur.com/xYSzi.jpg]

I thought I had snuck away for 10 minutes of silence. I closed the bedroom door quietly so that I wouldn’t make my chasers aware of my location. I slid the bathroom door shut as I thought to myself “yes, I’ve made it!”. I settled in, retrieved my handy mobile phone for a session of Angry Birds – Star wars 2. But the silence was soon broken. I heard the door creak open in the bedroom, so I quickly turned the noise off my phone.“Maybe they didn’t hear me” I thought.

I was wrong.

Next was the bathroom sliding door, and from behind it came Miss 2, “Daddy, I want some milk”. Followed by Miss 7, “Daddy, are you doing a poo?”. Damn it, I just wanted 10 minutes peace and quiet to go about my business!

Part of me expected the baby to come crawling in. Or the cat. He doesn’t like to miss out on any action.

It’s a known fact that once you have kids, privacy goes out the window. Little did I know four years ago that I’d be sitting on the throne with a two year old having a full blown conversation with me.

But how can we parents find the privacy we so desire? Lock the door?

I did that once, those little fingers are amazing at picking locks.

Here in our household we share taking time out. I like to run, so each day for about an hour I leave the house and just run. It gets me away from the grind of being a parent and let’s me unwind. My wife, likes to go out for coffee, alone.

It’s not that we don’t love our kids, it’s that we as humans sometimes need some respite from constantly chasing after a 9 month old and making sure she hasn’t got dog biscuits in her mouth, or trying to toilet train the 2 year old.

[image source: http://redtricom.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/who-needs-vacation.jpg?w=413&h=288]

We all need space, some people more than others.I want to hear your tips and tricks for having some alone time. Do you go to the gym to get away from it all? Let me know in the comments below.

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?

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.

A Letter to my Future Wife – Why we don’t need more children

Dear Christine,

 

I would like to take this opportunity to address your recent blog post regarding the possibility of having a fourth child.

 

First let me state that I love you and the girls incredibly but this has to stop. Let me start by addressing a few points that I think should change your mind.

 

1.     My blog is called “raising3daughters” not “raising4children”. Now I say children because if it so happened that we had a fourth child, it would have to be a boy. No God would be that cruel and make me the father to four daughters.

 

2.     At our last ultrasound with Miss 0.5, the sonographer told us the odds of having a boy, 17%!!. If you wonder why I don’t want to have another girl, please refer to my next point.

 

3.    In your recent post, you talk about the average cost of weddings being $45,000. Now, if we assume that the economy continues to grow at 3%, in 25 years that would equal approximately $79,000. Now if we multiply that number by 4, $316,000!!!! However if we stick with the 3 we have now, it brings the price down to approximately $237,000. Bearable I guess, better keep working on that passive income stream!

 

4.    This is a direct quote from your latest post, “I HATE being pregnant”. Do I need to say more? I won’t mention the complaining!

 

5.    I DO NOT want to drive a Honda Odyssey. As much as our best friend would love to see us buy one, I have no intention of buying a family wagon.

 

6.    Four school lunches to pack, four uniforms to wash, four pairs of school shoes to buy and four teenage girls to deal with while I deploy.

 

7.    Think of your sanity! Between, Jake and the Neverland pirates, Pepper Pig, In the night garden and Dora the Explorer we struggle to keep our sanity now. Imagine having to go around the bouy and do it all again with another child!

 

8.    I’ll make this my final point because I don’t think I need to say more. If we were to have another child, imagine the lack of space left for us in our bed on those early Sunday mornings, it’s already cramped in that cheap king sized bunk beds!

 

Now surely you’ve seen some logic in my arguments and we can put this discussion to rest.

 

I love you.

 

Your future husband.