Saturday, 6 September 2014

Dad Stuff: A Schmaltzy Advert

I don't know if it's the time of my life that I'm in or how I've been feeling leading up to Father's Day but I've become a bit of a sucker for cheesey, schmaltzy stuff like this:

To counteract the corporate advertising I've been sucked into, check out this awesome video of a Dad who dressed up every day to wave goodbye to his son as he caught the bus. Classic:

Friday, 5 September 2014

Dad Stuff: Kids Movies

I often think about the media we expose our children to and what it's teaching them. We don't have a TV aerial but we do watch a lot of DVDs. This incredible TEDx talk by Colin Stokes gave me a lot to think of in terms of strong female leads. It may just make you rethink your childrens media intake or hopefully it lets you know you're on the right track. Either way, check it out below:

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Dad Stuff: BatDad

Being a Dad can be fun and it doesn't have to be serious all the time. For some reason BatDad makes me laugh. The main reason is because the children seem so nonplussed and it's just another day with a crazy Dad for them. Pretty sure my own children feel the same way about me.

Enjoy BatDad:

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Dad Stuff: Dark Side Of The Moon

I heard this the other day and it absolutely stopped me in my tracks. Well, it made me stop peddling my bike home from work and wipe some pesky dust out of both of my eyes (hate it when that happens).

Chris Staples totally sums up parenthood in this incredibly sweet song from his 'American Soft' album. This is for all the Dads out there

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Dad Stuff: Skin

Tom Gould, an incredibly talented guy from New Zealand shot this short film posted below. It's fascinating to read about people from different backgrounds and lifestyles. What's even more interesting to me is that people can be so different, yet the profound changes that come with parenthood are the same no matter who you are.

Check out 'Skin' by Tom Gould:

Monday, 1 September 2014

Episode Thirty Four: Be Human

Hey team, long time no see!

I haven't written for a while because I've had a crazy Winter. We've had stomach bugs, the flu, floods, rats in the ceiling, glue ear and everything in between. All in all, I've been living a very human life and this is what I want to talk to you about.

 A few months back I wrote about how my plan was to go from a 'How To' blog to a documentation of what I've been doing with my children. I was hoping to inspire you along the way. Unfortunately over the last few months it's felt like I've just been keeping my head above water. My baby girl hasn't been sleeping at night and either my wife and I end up sleeping in her bed or she with us. My youngest boy needs his second lot of grommets, has just started school and can't hear a thing. My oldest boy is struggling at school and not getting the support he needs. My wife and I are exhausted and so we haven't done many amazing things with our children. I barely have time to jump on the trampoline after work or play Lego before dinner. That's about the extent of what I've done with them. It's not that I've been neglecting them, I just haven't done anything Instagrammable, blog-worthy or pinnable. What I'm really trying to say to you, is that I've just been human. I'm no superhero. I'm no Father of the Year. I'm just a busy Dad trying to do the best he can. Sometimes that's all we can do. And guess what? That's OK.

What I've been trying to practise in between the book reading and the swing-pushing with my children is being real around them. I've talked to them about my feelings, my struggles, my guilt and my worries. Not to scare them or to upset them, but to show them that I'm human. I always tell people that my own relationship with my Dad started off with me thinking he was Superman, growing up to be a teenager and realising he was just a human, the becoming a parent myself and finding he was super human. I think there is danger in portraying ourselves as infallible and indestructible to our children.

I like to think that I'm raising healthy children by painting a realistic picture about what it means to be a Dad - and a large part of that puzzle is just being a human trying to find your way. I often tell my oldest son that I don't exactly know what I'm doing. I tell him that he reaches the milestones first and thus he is the testing ground for my parenting. Sometimes I will make a decision or discipline him and a day later come back and change my mind or apologise. I explain to him that I'm learning as I go along and I make mistakes. It's important to me that he knows that I'm in control of his parenting and that no matter what: all my decisions and actions come from a place of love and growth. But it's also important for me to show him that I'm just a guy who had kids. Nothing more, nothing less.

I think that sometimes we put up a facade when we're dealing with our children that gives them a false sense of who we are. This can extend to the people in our lives: our work colleagues, our wives, our family. Sometimes it can really ease the stress and the expectations that we put on ourselves (or rid the expectations we think people hold of us) by showing the people around us that we're just human and there's nothing wrong with that.

Have fun!