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Tag: fatherhood

DIY? More like HSE

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

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

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

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

Leaking showers in Sydney? No worries call Megasealed.

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

Stains on carpet in Canberra? Call the carpet cleaners.

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

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

Anyway, how does one become good at DIY?

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

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

Until then, give me HSE any day.

(This post was sponsored by Megasealed.)

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.

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.

Starting a blog – Why I started writing about being a dad

Why don’t you start a blog about being a dad

Was the suggestion from my partner who had been blogging about her experiences as a mother to 3 daughters. I’d been struggling to find content for my first blog where I was writing about social media and content marketing. It is a highly competitive field and I am by no means an expert, so starting a daddy blog was a great step for me to better my blogging skills and meet new people online.

If you’re new in blogging, you should use this theme – Enfold WordPress Theme – The best theme I know. I also use it when start the first blog!

I originally started this blog to just better my writing skills, meet new people and as a hobby but since then I have developed an idea of where I want to lead this blog. From talking about changing crappy nappies and dealing with tantrums, I want to use this blog to help encourage other dads around the world to share their stories of parenthood. Not just the good times of being a dad but also the sh*t times and to let others know that they are not alone on struggle street.

Most of my friends that I have grown up with are yet to venture down the path of parenthood, so naturally I felt like the odd one out when talking about parenting or being a dad. Starting this blog has provided me the gateway to discuss my trials and tribulations that is being a dad and reading others stories along the way has certainly helped.

I’m not trying to say that my way of parenting is better than anyone else’s or vice versa but merely looking for an outlet of my frustration as well as my triumphs as a parent. I enjoy expressing my views and I equally enjoy reading others opinions on similar issues that we face as parents. That is why I feel that any fathers who are some what inclined, should start their own dad blog.

It provides an outlet for your creativity to flow, for your inner writer to express feelings that you probably couldn’t normally. You don’t have to make your blog public like this one but by writing it can help you express your thoughts in a way that you probably haven’t previously. Sharing experiences and learning from others is what it is all about and I encourage you to share your story.

That is why I blog and it is why I will continue to blog about parenthood. I recently asked a new friend, Johnathan Ervine from Dad’s the way I like it why he blogged about fatherhood. He was kind enough to write an entire post on it and it’s a brilliant piece of writing. Johnathan like me was simply looking to get involved in the dad blogging community and contribute to the conversation and by all accounts he has benefited from it to no end.

I want to hear from you, why you blog or why you don’t blog. If you need help starting a blog, ask! There are a number of great dad bloggers out there who are willing to lend a hand and I am more than happy to help anyone out.

Like this post? Let me know on Twitter.

10 July 2013

When talking about feeding Daughter 3 today with Daughter 1

Daughter 1 “Babies sometimes suck on girls pimples”.

After a short period of intense laughter my wife and I sat her down to explain what exactly breast feeding is and why babies do in fact breast feed. I think she understood otherwise it will be an awkward time when she first breaks out with pimples…

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.

“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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