Category: Little Chats

February Chat with a Dad: Jason of One Good Dad

I don’t recall how long I’ve been following Jason, but it’s been awhile now.  Blogs like his is one of the reasons why I haven’t given up doing Chats with Mums and Dads.  It’s great to discover new ones, especially one this good and definitely worth sharing  One Good Dad to the whole of blogosphere, if not the world.  Read and find out why: 

Right off the bat, let me state I am answering these questions on extremely little sleep. My wife is preparing for trial right now (she’s an attorney), which means she has long hours at work, during which I take care of everything at home. Along with the tiredness, I have a bad cold and a shoulder injury. One more thing, to my own fault, I went to a Muse concert last night, which has added to my exhausted state. So I might nod off, babble incoherently, or break out into Uprising. Anyway, let’s get into the questions:

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones:

I moved to New York City along with my wife 14 years ago with a huge dream in mind – to be an actor in NYC. My wife also was enrolled in law school. Because I needed a flexible schedule for auditioning, I picked up one retail job after another. After 2 years of living in the Big Apple, my wife gave me some news that changed our world. We were going to be parents. Our son was born between her second and third year of law school and I jumped all in into the world of Fatherhood. The only thing was, I was clueless about kids. I had never been around babies and kids. In fact, I abhorred boogers, snot, and the other bodily functions that accompany children. A new dream of becoming a great dad grew in my heart, and as my wife’s stomach grew, I impatiently awaited his arrival. Once he arrived, my old world disappeared and a new, wide-open one began. When my wife graduated law school, we decided that since she had the more promising career, I would stay home with the kids. We have added 3 more kids to our family since number one arrived and I love this role I play every day.

My blog initially was meant to be an acting and playwriting marketing tool, which is why I chose the URL, TheJasonGreene.com. Every time I wrote though, only stories about being a stay-at-home dad poured onto the screen. After about a year of blogging, I added the URL, OneGoodDad.com, with the tag line, “One of Many.” My blog originally covered my life, but it has grown to include travel, social issues, and whatever else is keeping me from getting a good night’s rest. As if I needed more reasons.

What were your little ones birth stories like?

Like I said, we have 4 kids and each birth was a different story. For number one, I couldn’t believe I was a part of this huge, historical moment. At least it felt that way to me. Other babies’ cries filled the hallways and sounds of mothers yelling echoed from one room to the next, but my mind relayed to me that our little family was the only one to go through such a momentous occasion. We were prepared for labor and delivery, but I was not ready to see my wife in so much pain. Watching my son come into the world wasn’t a problem for me. Witnessing my wife painfully become a mother was. And she did it three more times!

Kids 3 and 4 shared similar birthing stories. Number 3 however made me feel like I was a pro at the delivery scene. At one point I even joked to the doctor, “I’ve got this.” Also, my jokes during all 4 labors were not always welcome.

My second child had a different birth story. My daughter arrived prematurely and her lungs weren’t strong enough for her to breathe on her own. She stayed in the NICU for 8 days, while my wife slept on a cot in the hospital and pumped because she couldn’t breast feed with all the tubes and wires that flowed into and out of our baby’s body. It was also hard for me to run back and forth from the house to the hospital while taking care of the little one at home. It was a tough time, but she made it through. All of us did.

What you wish you knew about being a Dad before becoming one?

Learning in the moment helped me to become a better parent, so I’m glad I understood so little about parenting. I wouldn’t change what I did and didn’t know before holding my child for the first time. I was certain my sleeping patterns would suck, so I wasn’t shocked about walking through life with blood shot eyes.

How do you balance your time between work and fatherhood?

Since I’m a stay-at-home dad and a dad blogger, my kids are my job. But at the same time, I do need time for myself to write or simply take a break. We have great neighbors who help me and are available to watch my kids almost any time I need time off. And my kids love them like family, so that makes things easier. We started homeschooling last year, so I’m still trying to figure the balance out. Finding time to write blog posts and sponsored content is increasingly difficult. I’ll need to get back to you on this question after mastering time. It’s doubtful that’ll happen.

How do you manage child-free time with your wife?  Do you have date-nights?

It’s funny, because child-free time with my wife is sporadic. We’ll go through months where we go out monthly, then for whatever reason, our date nights are spent watching Jessica Jones on Netflix after the kids are asleep. My oldest son is at an age where he can babysit the other two kids for a short period of time with help from our neighbors. That short period of time is enough for my wife and I to grab a bite to eat or a beer at the local bar. My wife and I realized we are happier when date nights are regularly scheduled.

Any favourite anecdotes of your little ones?

My three older kids and I went into Manhattan one morning to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On the way home, my daughter looked by a tree and found a $20 bill. She picked it up and we looked to see if anyone was searching for dropped cash. Nobody claimed it so she pocketed the money. As we climbed down the stairs to the subway, my daughter daydreamed about all the things she would buy with the money. She brought up buying a doll, or candy, or putting it towards money she earned to buy something even bigger. While on the subway, a man with a deformed arm walked through the door. He cried out that he had no money and no home and needed money to buy something to eat. Without hesitation, my daughter reached into her pocket and handed the man the $20. The man thanked her for her sweetness and walked away, as tears of pride welled up inside my own eyes. My daughter looked up at me and said, “I did nothing for that money and he did nothing for his arm.” At that moment not only did a burst of love explode from my heart, but I realized that I’m doing okay at this parenting thing.

What is it about fatherhood you love about?

I love being a dad. It is the reason I was placed on this earth. I have the possibility to make the world a better place by raising great kids. And I can help change the face of manhood. I love my kids and to be around them as much as I do is a privilege. To watch them grow from diapers to iPads is really cool. I get to be a first-hand witness in watching someone grow up and leap from one stage to the next.

Photo credit here (same with featured image).

If there were anything about fatherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

The biggest problem in my daily life is the lack of privacy. I can’t tell you when the last time was I had an uninterrupted bathroom break. Within seconds of walking to the toilet, an impatient knock occurs or small fingers slide under the door. On occasion, I can even see an eye peering through the keyhole. I am so conditioned to locking the bathroom door that I even lock the door when I am staying in a hotel alone.

If you were given a chance to be a stay-at-home-dad would you take it?

I have been a stay-at-home dad for over 10 years now and I’ve seen a huge leap in society’s belief that fathers are as capable parents as mothers. You see less and less commercials portraying the bumbling dad stereotype. The increase in the number of stay-at-home dads had a hand in changing the image. I’m proud to be a part of this new face of manhood.

I used to hate the looks I would receive at a party when meeting someone and mentioning I was an at-home dad. Sometimes the looks would be one of sympathy, and other times they would discredit my status of manliness. I don’t care about the looks anymore. The most important thing to me is how I’m doing as a dad and a husband.

Best advice you’ve ever received about Fatherhood?

I have a quote from Jim Higley from BobbleheadDad.com. While at a Dad 2.o Summit, he said, “Be the parent that your kids need you to be.” I changed “parent” to “dad.” Each kid is different and requires a different way of parenting. There are plenty of great parenting books out there, but the best way to learn how to be a parent is to jump right in. Learn by watching and raising your children. Each one of my kids needs a different way of parenting. So, like Jim said, I try to be the dad they need me to be.

If you could give yourself advice before become a dad, what would it be?

If I were going to jump in a time machine and give advice to myself about becoming a dad, I would actually focus more of my advice on being a husband. I liked learning to be a dad on the fly and it helped me become a better father. The advice I would give myself would be to go out with my wife more before the kids come. To enjoy one another’s company more and share more memories. Once children come into the picture, the dynamics of the marriage change. Much of the discussion between my wife and I center around our children. In the years leading up to the birth of our children, I wish had we focused on strengthening our bond together and less on ourselves.

Facebook: One Good Dad
Twitter: @TheJasonGreene
Instagram: @TheJasonGreene
Pinterest: One Good Dad

Thank you so much Jason!

Do head over to One Good Dad for more of his heartwarming stories of fatherhood.

And if you’ve missed last month’s Chat with a mum, click here to read.

And there’s even more of them here.

December Chat with a Dad: Ben of Goodbye Pert Breasts

Ben Wakeling, Dad and author behind the popular blog Goodbye Pert Breasts: Diary of a Newborn Dad to which he turned into a bestselling book of the same title not to mention the many books he penned after as well.  Yes, I too wonder where he gets the time to write all those in spite having three kids and a regular job!  Pure genius that’s what!  Read on to find out how he does it all.

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones.

I’m a dad of three – two boys and a girl who already has me wrapped around her little finger! I’m 31, which is perhaps on the younger age range for most dads with three children; I was changing nappies and wiping sick off my arm with a handful of wet wipes whilst most other people my age were out clubbing! But I’m going by the life begins at 40 rule, and if I get to 40 and life doesn’t begin there’s going to be trouble.

Seriously, though, it was always our intention to have children young. When the children are old enough to be a bit more independent we wanted to still be young and agile enough to have a life of our own. We might just have to take some Tena pads with us wherever we’re going!

My two boys are Isaac (8) and Noah (5). They’re like chalk and cheese: Isaac is intelligent, loves history and is a complete nerd. Noah isn’t the sharpest knife in the box but has so much energy and charisma he’ll always land on his feet whatever he does. Jemima is just 3 but she already knows how to get me to do whatever she wants! She’s hilarious and is such a daddy’s girl.

What were your little ones birth stories like?

They were all pretty straightforward, but that’s just coming from me – I didn’t do any of the work! I was a bit useless during the first birth: I felt a bit helpless and at one point broke a Digestive into quarters and put them on the pillow next to my wife’s face so she could just turn her head and eat a bit when she wanted. She told me afterwards it was the dumbest, most irritating thing I’ve ever done.

Thankfully there were no scare stories. Isaac and Noah were both delivered using just a TENS machine as pain relief. By the time Jemima came around my wife had decided that she wanted to take everything the NHS had to offer, so she had an epidural. Apparently, it was brilliant!

What you wish you knew about being a Dad before becoming one?

That it would turn you completely soft. I’ve never been a particularly manly man, but before having kids I’d rarely cry. Now, though, I start blubbing at those charity adverts with the sad donkeys.

How do you balance your time between work and fatherhood?

I have a standard 9-5 day job, so it’s fairly easy to split my time. I do have to work most evenings, but I’ll wait until the kids have gone to bed. If I do have to work overtime I’ll make sure I get into the office early instead of staying late – I hate getting home after the kids have gone to sleep, and they’ve not seen me all day.

How do you manage child-free time with your wife? Do you have date-nights?

Now my children are a little older we’re finding that we have a bit more time to ourselves – they are happy to stay overnight at their grandparents’, and so whilst we don’t take the mick we do try and have a few evenings a month to ourselves. But often there’s no need to make grand gestures to have date nights; it’s not all about candlelit dinners and romantic meals. A date night can be as simple as watching a good film with a bottle of wine in those few minutes when all three children are asleep!

Any favourite anecdotes of your little ones?

It’s weird – my kids make me laugh every day but it’s difficult to bring a particular story to mind! There was one time when Noah tried to take himself to the toilet to do a poo but ended up making a huge mess – I even found a couple of turds in the bath!

Perhaps not the most endearing story…but like I say, all of the kids do or say daft and hilarious things every day. They’re exhausting, but there’s never a dull moment!

What is it about fatherhood you love about?

Watching the kids grow up has been amazing, and now they’re all old enough for us to have little conversations. They ask some weird and wonderful questions (how much water does an ant need to take a bath in?), and it’s fun to try and figure out the answer. When they laugh, I laugh, no matter how bad a day I’ve had. There’s not many people who can do that.

If there were anything about fatherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

The lack of freedom is something which took a lot of adjusting to. I can handle the lack of sleep, and we’re scraping by with the financial squeeze that children bring, but now and again the inability to do something as straightforward as nip to the pub on a nice evening can become quite frustrating. Instead I just drink at home – once the children are asleep, of course!

If you were given the chance to be a stay-at-home-Dad would you take it?

No. It sounds awful, but as much as I love being a dad, I’m not cut out for full-time parenting. I love my children; but they can be exhausting and stressful, and I just don’t have the patience to keep up with them. Some Sunday evenings after a loud, raucous weekend I find myself longing for the peace and quiet of my office! I think there’s a lot of pressure on parents to pretend like they live in some kind of blissful existence where their wonderful children are a constant blessing, but it’s often just not the case.

Best Advice you’ve ever received about Fatherhood?

Don’t be afraid to give yourself a bit of time every now and then. Parenting is an all-consuming, often exhausting task, and being immersed in the parenting business 24/7 can end up having negative effects, I think: you become stressed, frustrated, and as a result your parenting suffers. So, even if it’s just a case of walking the long way home if you have to nip out to the shops just so you have an extra few minutes to enjoy a bit of quiet, that’s okay – whether you’re a mum or a dad.

If you can give yourself advice before becoming a Dad, what would it be?

It sounds cliché, but I’d tell them to take a step back every now and then and take it all in. It seems like yesterday that I was holding my eldest for the first time. He’s 8 now, and I don’t know where the time has gone!

Thank you so much Ben!

And if you’ve missed last month’s chat with a mum, click here to have a read.

And here for a catch-up on past Chats with Mums and Dads.

November Chat with a Mum: Kriss of Wild About Here

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year.  It’s almost as if time crept up behind us so fast and went boo in the night, just like the way little T and her friends did last night as they went trick or treating around our little village.

It’s the 1st of November and I’m happy to share our last 2015 Chat with a Mum with you lovely folks,  and as they say, I’ve saved the best for last.  Kriss’, the lovely woman, mother, wife, photographer and former journalist, is the writer behind the beautiful blog “Wild About Here”.  She’s one of the few bloggers I really, really admire and probably aspire to be like.  Let her words and photographs speak for itself:

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones (age & sex)

I’m a mum and a mom of twins Luce and Theo, photographer and blogger. They actually do call me both Mummy and Mommy, not just because we’re dual nationals, but after two years living in the Hamptons in New York State. They’ll be celebrating their 8th birthday this month.

Now our home is in a rural valley in Sussex surrounded by woods. It’s like being in the middle of a nature reserve! It’s ideal for me too as Wild About Here focuses on learning about nature, photography, outdoors adventures, books and slow seasonal living. It used to be called Over There to Here when we lived in the Hamptons.

Basically I went from war zones to play zones after having Luce and Theo. Previously I was head of the Middle East and Asia as well as global news planning editor (all at the same time!) for AP television news. My years as a journalist involved escapades such as driving around with gun men in Somalia, having coffee with a head of Hezbollah in Beirut after a night out dancing, spending a day on a blockbuster film set or interviewing a huge variety of people from A list celebrities, people in the street to heads of state. I thought you might like to know Dean that I had an exclusive one on one interview with former President Cory Aquino! (Cory Aquino was the first female President in the whole of Asia.  She became our leader from 1986-1992, after winning over President Marcos which ended his long-cruel dictatorship.) 

What were your children’s birth stories like?

My belly was so huge with twins that I started scaring people in the supermarket by the time I was six months pregnant! My twins were born a month early because I was showing signs of pre-eclampsia.

The London hospital theatre was like a party room as there were about a dozen present for the caesarean birth as the twins were officially considered premature: my obstetrician, the anaesthetist and his assistant, two neonatal doctors, two teams of midwives and my husband. It took over an hour and eight attempts before the spinal jabs worked. Unbelievably I was very calm despite this! I only started crying, that is with happiness, when Luce and Theo were delivered. They were beautiful and perfect and healthy and weighed almost 6 pounds each. If they were almost 12 pounds in total (5.3 kg) a month early, just imagine if they had made full term!

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

The beautiful feeling of unconditional love.

The nightmare of packing so much stuff for two babies whether just to go on a shopping trip or a weekend away.

How do you manage your “me” time?

Is there such a thing as ‘me’ time? Maybe when they go off to university… On their first day at nursery I cried. Now I smile when a school term begins.

Actually I focus on my photography, seasonal projects, blogging and social media during the day. I’m lucky as my husband and I enjoy working or reading in the sitting room together in the evenings. We do also try to make sure we have some fun nights out as well!

Do you have any favorite anecdote of your little ones?

Of course, life with little ones is filled with amusing anecdotes. Recently they announced that they planned to marry each other so they didn’t have to worry about asking someone else. I had to diplomatically explain that wouldn’t be a good idea!

What is it about motherhood you absolutely love about?

I regularly go on long walks with just Luce and Theo. One moment they’re making a racket and climbing trees, then the next moment they’ve quietly sidled up to me and I feel them each reaching for my hand as we continue our walk. Oh these moments are pure joy for me as a mother!

On the one hand, if there were anything about motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

How stressful mornings are leaving in time for school!

What’s a typical day like for you and your little ones?

The mornings begin peacefully with a big sit down breakfast then the chaos begins. After I’ve dropped them off at school, I’m off somewhere taking photographs or working at my desk at home. I keep one afternoon free after school, otherwise I’m a chauffeur taking them to some activity such as Beavers, karate, riding, ballet and so on. During school nights Luce and Theo are not allowed to watch television. As a result their imagination goes wild and without prompting they make up ‘stories’ to play together or devise some incredible craft or building project. I have to admit it’s impossible to ever get them to go to sleep early.

Best advice you’ve ever received about motherhood/parenthood?

Ask your mother for advice when you need it.

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one,
what would it be?

Don’t get so stressed in the mornings. But also don’t worry – you’re not the only parent freaking out about getting your kids to school on time!

How do you manage your time, blogging/work wise and time with your
little ones and other activities as well?

It’s a moveable feast. I have to adapt to the time available. I’m currently working on a time consuming photography commission so I don’t have as much time to spend on my blog.

Thank you so much Kriss!

If you haven’t discovered her blog yet, you’re certainly missing out on something.

Click here if you’ve missed out on last month’s chat with a dad.

And there’s also plenty of time to catch up with the other chats as well.

October Chat with a Dad: Richard of Living in the Langhe

I’ve been following Richard’s renovating stories of an old farmhouse in the relatively unknown, yet beautiful area of Italy called the Langhe, for over a year now on his blog aptly called Living in the Langhe.

Today, the house and all the rooms are beautifully done and finished.  But before we mention more about the house, let’s find out that other if not, more important part of his life right now… What its like to be a dad.

Tell us something about yourself and your little one.

I’m a renovating, writing, photographing father of a 20-month-old Italian called Bee. My wife and I moved from Bristol to Barolo, in north-west Italy, about three years ago and not long after that our little bundle of energy was born. Despite strictly being just a quarter Italian, she is by far the most Italian of all of us; she can destroy a plate of pasta in seconds, is already a hugely irresponsible driver (she crashes her wheelie toys into everything) and she is forever waving her hands around while shouting incomprehensibly. We speak English to her but everyone else speaks to her in Italian, which seems to have resulted in her speaking a kind of Japanese-Italian hybrid language.

What was your little one’s birth story like?

It was an exciting time… I probably wouldn’t have had much of an idea what was going on had it been happening in the UK, but in Italy I was completely lost and of no use at all. My lasting memory of the whole experience is standing in the delivery room filling out form after form while my wife lay on the other side of the room screaming. You’ve got to love Italian bureaucracy!

What you wish you knew about being a Dad before becoming one?

I wish I’d known quite how many forms I’d have to fill in. Seriously, at one-day old, does she really need a tax number?

How do you balance your time between work and fatherhood?

I don’t have to balance work and fatherhood in a traditional sense as we’re living a slightly strange life right now. We’ve just finished renovating a large farmhouse in the vineyards and we’re now starting to rent it out as a holiday villa. There were times during the renovation where I hardly saw her, but I always knew that it was only for a short time as we were working to a deadline, trying to get it ready for this summer. Also, if I really wanted to, I could just down tools, walk next door and hang out with her. That said, it was great sometimes to be able to say I was really busy and sneak away to leave my wife dealing with the fallout of some huge disaster like the entire banana being finished.

These days, I’m still working on the house a bit and also starting on marketing. I’m always at home though, which means I get to spend as much time with her as I want.

How do you manage child-free time with your wife? Do you have date-nights?

Living away from family in a country where babysitters don’t really exist (they do exist but they don’t work evenings, weekends or any other times when you might actually need them), date nights are tricky. They usually consist of takeaway pizza and a film while Bee sleeps upstairs. That said, I was never that good at dates pre-Bee either so maybe she just provides me with a great excuse to be lazy.

Any favourite anecdotes of your little one?

We have a dog, Otto. He and Bee have something of a love-hate relationship… she loves him to bits, she’s forever chasing him around trying to cuddle and kiss him. He hates her. Unless of course, she’s holding food, in which case the love is briefly reciprocated, at least until he manages to make of with her food. Her love isn’t limited to Otto though, whenever she see’s another dog in the street, she shouts “puppy!” (which sounds a lot like the Italian for ‘daddy’) and sprints towards it, arms out wide, ready for a cuddle. We get some very strange looks.

If there is anything about fatherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

I used to really dread the birthday parties, mainly because I struggle to make small-talk in Italian. Lately though I’ve started to love them… there’s always a few nice bottles of local wine on the go, usually some pizza too, and I’ve discovered that a large proportion of Italian men just want to know as much as possible about English football.

If you were given the chance to be a stay-at-home-Dad would you take it?

I’ve done the stay-at-home-dad thing and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I would have hated not being around to see Bee growing, watch her take her first steps, hear her first words and clean her up when she triumphantly smeared poo all over her face like war paint. Obviously, it’s not possible for everyone, but we decided early on that if we were going to have a child that was how we were going to do it, and I’m so glad we did.

Best Advice you’ve ever received about Fatherhood?

I’m pretty sure someone once told me not to move country, renovate a house and have a child all at the same time.

If you can give yourself advice before becoming a Dad, what would it be?

Don’t move country, renovate a house and have a child all at the same time.

Thank you so much Richard!

So if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in this part of North-West Italy, look no more.  You’ve just found your place!  This 5 bedroom farmhouse sits among the vines of Barolo and can easily house 10-12 people.  Perfect for large families!  It has its own private pool and of course your very own  view of excellent Italian scenery.

You can also find them over at AirBnB.

If you’ve missed last month’s Chat with a Mum, have a read here.

Or you can also click here to catch up with the other chats with past Mums and Dads as well.

September Chat with a Mum: Fiona of Free Range Chick

I’ve mentioned this before, but will repeat it again.  One of the reasons why I love blogging is that you get to know other bloggers whom you know that if they lived in the same neighbourhood as you do, chances are, you’ll end up as friends!  And Fiona who blogs over at Free Range Chick is one of them.  She’s lovely!

If you are like me who enjoys genuine and heartfelt writing you’ll enjoy her blog as much as I do. This interview  will say it all:

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones (age & sex)

Hello! I’m Fiona Chick of blog Free Range Chick, which a lot of people refer to as ‘The Only Free Range Chick’ because of my confusing URL. I couldn’t have ‘freerangechick.com’, as someone else has it, so I’ve improvised!

I’m in my mid-30s and am from SW London. I live in my in-laws’ house with my electrician husband Ian and two sons, Finley aged 3 (4 in November) and Fraser, 2 years and 3 months.
I’m a qualified nurse, but no longer practice, instead choosing to look after my children at home. Someday I may return.

What were your children’s birth stories like?

Pretty amazing. After an excellent pregnancy, we tried for a home birth for Finley. Unfortunately we had to head into hospital after it became apparent that there was meconium in my waters. He was born at 8lb in the labour ward with little drama – all pretty straightforward and everyone was happy and healthy (apart from Ian, who had the actual flu at the time).

Fraser’s birth was incredible, and I’ve written about it a few times, on my own blog and as a guest blogger.

My pregnancy with Fraser was harder than Finley’s. Both of my boys were big for my 5’1 frame, and it must have taken its toll on me carrying Fraser, with loads of aches and pains and a rather painful pelvis.

Going into labour was a relief. We headed for the hospital and were aiming for a water birth. After kipping overnight at the hospital, by the morning I was ready to give birth. We headed for the pool and after a couple of hours of hard-slog with contractions, Fraser was born straight into the water. I fished him out with my own two hands and it was just amazing.

I had a natural third stage too, which meant that I delivered his placenta without inducing drugs. And as an icing on the cake, I needed no stitched after I birthed his 9lb body! Water birth is absolutely incredible.

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

I read a blog post recently by awesome blogger (and my real-life mate) Renee of Mummy Tries about how first-time motherhood is wasted on first-time mums. Most of what Renee wrote resonated with me – how you just don’t treasure that precious time with your first baby as much as you could, because it is such a whirlwind, such a disruption to your previously easy life.

But it isn’t until you do it again – you have that second (third, fourth etc) child that you realise how blooming easy (sorry!) it was having that mere one baby to look after. Doing anything with more than one is suddenly a huge handful, and on those rare times you get to take just one of them out, you realise that those months (in my case) of having just one child should have been treasured way more.

I guess that is the only thing. Because really, nothing anyone says or you read truly prepares you for parenthood. You learn it each day on the job, and no matter how many times anyone would have told me about the ins and outs, it wouldn’t have made a difference to the real-life, raw experience of it.

How do you manage your “me” time?

My ‘what’ time?!

Up until fairly recently, I have felt that I didn’t own any ‘me’ time. My kids are 18-months different in age, so when Finley was still a baby, I had another baby. My husband works full-time, doing horribly long hours, so most of the parenthood duties fall on me. My kids are still little, and time with them up until recent months, has been pretty intensive.

I didn’t prioritise taking time out for myself, or attach much value to it. ‘Me’ time started when I started writing my blog, but that wasn’t giving me ‘real’ time. As therapeutic and enjoyable as I found writing, it didn’t give me the buzz of real-life interactions with my friends.

We hit a bad patch of sleeping (or should I say, the children did), late last year going into early this year. Each and every night I spent camping out on a cot-bed mattress in their room, because Fraser would wake up crying and would only be soothed by my presence. If we’d been living in our own space (not with my in-laws), we may have managed the situation differently.

But for those months, I felt trapped at home, unable to go out to socialise, knowing that if the kids woke up, Ian would be in trouble without me.

Happily, I’ve started to regain a great social life. Ian and I take it in turns to go out, seeing our friends and letting our hair down. It has done me the world of good. There is a huge value to be attached to a healthy social life, and it is so easy to forget that when you’re in the throes of new parenthood. The kids are at an age where it easier for me to leave them with Ian, and they’re both happy with that.

I feel that my mental health has improved since I’ve started seeing my friends socially and long may it continue! So in a nutshell, my ‘me’ time is when I get to cut loose and see my friends. Ian is really supportive of me going out, as I think he realises that I’m a better person when I get to go out, as opposed to a little bit angry and resentful the entire time!

Do you have any favorite anecdote of your little ones?

Too many. Each day they both say or do something absolutely hilarious/clever/entertaining/sweet that touches me. One of my favourite ones at the moment is Fraser’s name for me. For some reason, he calls me ‘Gorgeous’. If he sees photos of me, he says, ‘that’s Gorgeous’. Or if he’s with someone else, he’ll say, ‘want to go to Gorgeous’, before running in my direction.

I think my most favourite observations of the kids conversations are when I listen to their conversations with each other. I hear them over the monitor in their bedroom when they wake up, and hear ‘hilarious’ things like Fraser declaring, ‘I want to do a poop’, (he isn’t potty-trained yet). Or Finley starts coughing and Fraser comments, ‘that’s a cough’.

What is it about motherhood you absolutely love about?

I love the love. I love all of that uninhibited, absolutely genuine affection and love that they give you, because you are their world and you’re all that they look up to and look for.

On the one hand, if there were anything about motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

Genuinely nothing. I wanted, more than anything to be a mother after Ian and I got together. I take the rough with the smooth and although there are some less pleasant parts of being a mother, without those unpleasant things, motherhood wouldn’t truly be motherhood.

What’s a typical day like for you and your little ones?

We get up somewhere between 6am and 7am. The boys sit down together at their little red table to have their breakfast – cereal. Then I encourage them to go and play with their toys. We live with my in-laws’, so it sometimes really hard to get them to play independently, because they frequently go and find one of their grandparents to ‘perform’ to if I’m busy tidying up after breakfast. We’ll frequently head out in the morning, either to go the park, or the shops to get lunch bits.

Some days I’ll see a friend for a pay date, and once every couple of weeks, we’ll have a full-on all-day trip out where we’re not home all day.

To be honest, our days are a touch tricky at the moment. I’m anal about their sleeping patterns. If they nod off in the day, it spells a total disaster a bedtime. I try not go too far from home in the car at the moment, because I am usually dealing with both of them falling asleep in the car, and completely unarousable if we travel any distance.

In addition to this, Finley is at an age where he can walk around well and take an interest in things. Fraser just wants to run away when he’s let out of his buggy, so Finley’s fun is usually prevented because we have to tailor our outings around keeping Fraser safe.

I spend the days making sure they’re adequately entertained, but ensuring that they stay awake at all costs. I do not want them awake at 9pm.

It is annoying, because the sleeping issues and the running away issues stops me from doing nice things with them in the day. All being well, we’re hoping to be in our own house by the end of the year, so our lifestyle and routine will be a lot different in our own space.

Best advice you’ve ever received about motherhood/parenthood?

Not to beat myself up about stuff that is essentially not a big deal. And if you pay attention to parenting sites and social media, you’d be forgiven for believing that there is a lot of stuff out there to beat yourself up about!
If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?

I would definitely refer back to most of what Renee said in her blog post about first-time mums. And to not have spent the first few months of Finley’s life beating myself up about a lot of stuff!

How do you manage your time or blogging between work and your little ones?

I am home full-time with the kids, so there is very little time during the day that I can afford to blogging. At one point, I was doing a lot of blogging in the evenings after the kids had gone to sleep, but Ian was beginning to get a bit sick of the sight of me attached to my laptop.

I also found myself dedicating a lot of time to my social media efforts, more time than I was actually writing posts, which was frankly bonkers.

So now, I’ll blog on the weekends when Ian is home. I’ll blog while the kids are watching the TV, or I’ll blog some evenings.

I’ll usually wait until an idea hits me, and then I’ll just bang it out. Some of my best blog posts have been ones that I’ve written really quickly and spontaneously. I used to treat my blog posts like my degree essays. They would take ages to write, and in my head they would be more hard work than they needed to be.

Now, I’ll try and make them shorter where possible, write totally from the heart and they usually flow out really easily.

I love writing – I’ve always been a writer – but I’ve had to cut down on blogging recently in order to strike a balance in my life. I have no intention of turning my blog into a big-bucks site, so there is no need for me to plug away at it as if my life depended on it. For me, it sucks the joy out of blogging itself.

That said, my lack of activity has shown in my latest Tots100 ranking, where I fell 400 places in one month! That’s fine though. It isn’t a reflection of my writing ability or content – it just means I haven’t read and commented on a lot of others’ blog in the last few weeks. One day I will have more time to do more of the things I want to do, but until then, I shall focus on enjoying family-life before the kids are banished to full-time education for 20-odd years!

Thank you so much Fiona and your beautiful family!

Do head over to the Free Range blog right now for more “clucking good” stories about everything to do with parenting.

 And click here if you’ve missed last month’s Chat with a Dad.

August Chat with a Dad: Julian of Northern Dad

Although off blogging and really enjoying my offline moments while on holiday this doesn’t mean that I’m going to forego or (God Forbid) skip this month’s chat with a dad!  Not at all, especially when I’m excited to introduce, Julian of Northern Dad… that is, of course, introduce him to those who haven’t yet come across his outstanding blog.  Julian is a recent find of mine, and one who is fast becoming one of my favourite dad bloggers.

It comes as no surprise that our August Chat with a Dad, also happens to be the winner of the Best Writer Category in the Brilliance in Blogging (BiB UK) Awards 2015.  Read on to find more about him:

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones.

I’m a dinosaur from the eighties, (poor eyesight – big feet) stomping around Yorkshire with my wife and two kids. My son is 12, and my daughter is 6 years-old.

My son is at that awkward stage, bobbing around in the murky waters somewhere between man and boy. He’s just started talking like a rapper; the kind of hardcore rapper who likes Coco Pops for supper.

What were your little ones birth stories like?

When my wife was pregnant with our first child, our son Brodie, she developed an intense craving for chocolate oranges, which she used to eat nearly whole. I could almost hear them rolling down into her stomach. I think my son thought he was being incubated inside a pool table. It was totally different with my daughter, during her pregnancy my wife became addicted to Scotch eggs.

What do you wish you knew about being a Dad before becoming one?

The price of chocolate oranges and Scotch eggs.

How do you balance your time between work and fatherhood?

I’m a freelance copywriter, working from home, so during the school holidays I am around to look after the kids. When I say ‘around’ I mean hiding in the toilet, waiting for the holidays to end.

How do you manage child-free time with your wife? Do you have date-nights?

I was always rubbishing at dating. When I first asked my future wife out on a date, I found out that she was really into cooking and meals out, so I took her to play badminton.

Now, whenever we have a free night, I always tell her that I have booked a restaurant meal, and then take her to play badminton; she hates it. Faced with free-time with me, she always tries to go with the kids.

Any favourite anecdotes of your little ones?

I was driving, and my son was in the back with his friend. They were both about seven years-old, and were discussing who they thought was the richest person on the planet. It went like this:

My son: Who do you think the richest man in the world is?

His mate: Alan Sugar. Who do you think it is?

My son: I think it’s the guy who invented houses; they’re everywhere.

What is it about fatherhood you love?

The uniform.

If there were anything about fatherhood you dislike, what would it be?

Nothing, I love being a dad. Being a parent gives you the opportunity to experience a completely different kind of life; love it.

If you were given the chance to be a stay-at-home-Dad would you take it?

In my experience, the first five years are really intense, and I think it’s hard for one parent to take on all that responsibility.

My wife and I chopped and changed careers so that we could take it in turns, which gave us both an opportunity to be there at the magic moments, and the not-so-magic moments. It was tough financially, but we are both glad we did it. Well, I think we are both glad, I’ll ask my wife when she gets back from trying to ram her badminton racket in the bin.

Best Advice you’ve ever received about Fatherhood?

Never pick your kids up from school in a pair of skin-tight cycling shorts.

If you can give yourself advice before becoming a Dad, what would it be?

Don’t listen to people who tell you never to wear skin-tight cycling shorts, they’re just jealous.

Thank you so much Julian!

Hope over to his blog right now for more brilliant writing!

And if you’ve missed last month’s Chat with a mum, click here to read.

July Chat with a Mum: Carie of Space for the Butterflies

I adore Carie’s blog Space for the Buttefiles and I have serious envy over the beautiful things she can make.  I think she has magic hands! 🙂

Carie makes the most beautiful quilts for her children and  I swear she’s also a knitting goddess.  When I grow-up (as if I’m not! 😉  I want to be like her.  And I honestly think she should’ve won in the BiB Awards for the Crafts Category.  As if that’s not enough, she also takes beautiful photographs.

I know I’m gushing, so before I end up embarrassing myself any further, do come and meet her lovely family:

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones (age & sex)

I’m Carie and I’m Mum to Kitty age 4, Elma who’s 2 and our little Pip Squeak has just turned 10 months.

What were your children’s birth stories like?

Wildly different! Kitty was born at 42 weeks 1 day after an induction on top of early labour. My whole labour start to finish was about 48 hours and at one stage I was utterly convinced that I was going to be in labour for the rest of forever!

Elma on the other hand was just a smidgen quicker; I turned up on the labour ward having done a good few hours at home only to be told I was only 4 cm, “but you’re a second time mum, we’ll just keep you in for an hour to see if things pick up” That was about 4.15, at about 5 o’clock my waters broke with a force that knocked my breath away and Elma was born at 5.11 having narrowly avoided being born in the bathroom of the assessment ward.

And Pip was different again, my waters broke before labour had started and as there was a smidgen of meconium and I was showing no signs of going into labour any time soon I was induced again, but it was a lot easier – and shorter – than the first time.

My birth plan with Kitty said that I’d really like to use the birthing pool for labour and possibly delivery – three children later and the nearest I’ve got is being in the room next to it!

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

Quite how fierce a mother’s love is for her children. I look at my three and the rush of feeling that I have for them is overwhelming. My family is my whole world.

How do you manage your “me” time?

I don’t sleep! With three little ones there isn’t much time for me time in our everyday until they’ve gone to sleep and I’m terrible for staying up later than I should just to have that mental space. I’m sometimes tired but mostly happier if my day has ended with a bit of creativity.

Do you have any favorite anecdote of your little ones?

Oh this is so hard to choose. I think one of my favourites of all time I’ve actually only seen on video; my husband took Kitty and Elma to the Natural History Museum when I was at BritMums last year and we were a bit worried that she’d be frightened by the animatronic dinosaurs because as a rule Kitty hates puppets and things of that ilk. But instead I have a clip of a tiny little girl striding up to an enormous T-Rex and shouting “Talk to me dinosaur! Talk to me!”

What is it about motherhood you absolutely love about?

It’s true unconditional love, in both directions. That feeling when you realise that you are the one person in the world that your baby wants, that no one else will do,and that only you can bring them comfort and happiness; that’s a pretty powerful feeling.

On the one hand, if there’s anything about motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

Honestly, it sounds silly, but accidents/nappysplosions on the sofa. I sort it out serene and calm on the surface but inside my head is saying “Nooooooooooo!”

What’s a typical day like for you and your little ones?

At the moment I’m on maternity leave so I’m home full time with all three. Kitty goes to preschool two days a week but other than we have a little rhythm of the week at home; getting the housework done, reading stories, going shopping, having lunch, and then most afternoons we head up to the park or play out in the back garden. I’m a huge fan of spending as much time as possible outside, especially in the summer, and the side effect is that the house stays quite tidy too!

Best advice you’ve ever received about motherhood/parenthood?

Never take all of the credit or all of the blame.

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?

If everyone is fractious you need to get outside or sing, or both. It works a treat and it took me a while to work it out!

How do you manage your time, blogging/workwise and time with your little ones and other activities as well?

I don’t generally blog during the day. I might nip in and out if I’m reading my phone while trying to get Pip to take a rare nap not in the sling but we try to be as screen free as possible with the children and that generally means leading by example. So blogging and reading blogs all happens in the evening. Occasionally I’ll knit or plan some sewing during the day but mostly the days are about the house and the children and the evenings are about spending time with my husband and pursing our hobbies. And see above comment about not enough sleep – I have definitely not got this figured out!

Thank you so much Carie!

If you haven’t taken a peek at her blog yet, do so now 🙂

And if you’ve missed last month’s chat with a dad, you can head over now and have a read.

June Chat with a Dad: Darren of One Dad 3 Girls

If you are a British blogger or at least familiar with parent British bloggers, Darren of One Dad 3 Girls needs no introduction at all. Aside from the fact that he hosts the lovely #MySundayPhoto linky, he has won and has been a finalist in so many British Blogging awards that I’ve actually lost count!  So if you’re wondering what all the fuss is all about, read on and head over to his blog after:

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones.

Hi, my name is Darren and I have two beautiful daughters. My eldest is 7 and her name is Aly, and Mia is 4 years old and about to start Primary School in September.

What were your little ones birth stories like?

Both of the births were different. Aly was a long drawn out affair where we were at the hospital for 36 hours before she was born. Mia on the other hand was super quick, so quick in fact that we almost had it in the hospital car park.

What you wish you knew about being a Dad before becoming one?

Honestly I don’t think there was anything I wish I knew. No one goes into parenthood totally prepared and that’s part of the joys of it.

How do you balance your time between work and fatherhood?

I’m very lucky with my work life and have a great job that means I’m home at 5pm ever weekday and have all weekends off. This is something I have always tried to do so that we enjoy time together.

How do you manage childfree time with your wife? Do you have date-nights?

Honestly we hardly have any free time. We have the odd day out here and there but it’s only about once a week. We’d rather spend the time with our children.

Any favourite anecdotes of your little ones?

Everyday seems to be an anecdote with my two. It’s so beautiful and nice to see them playing together and you’ll often hear them playing schools together and pretending to be the teachers with their cuddly toys.

What is it about fatherhood you love about?

I enjoy how each day is different. They are always coming out with new things that they’ve learnt during the day. Plus they are always so happy to see you, each and ever ytime.

If there is anything about fatherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

In the beginning it was probably the feeding during the nights or the nappies but it’s those times when you really bond with your children so I wouldn’t change them or anything about fatherhood.

If you were given the chance to be a stay-at-home-Dad would you take it?

If I could afford it then possibly yes. The age my girls are now it would be a pretty lonely time as the house would be empty all day long.

Best Advice you’ve ever received about Fatherhood?

Before they were born I read a few books and social media wasn’t really around but someone told me to take photos as before you know it they’ve grown up.

If you can give yourself advice before becoming a Dad, what would it be? Just to simply enjoy every moment as they don’t stay little for long.

Thank you so much Darren!

Do head over to One Dad and 3 Girls

Click here to connect with him over at Twitter.

And if you’ve missed last month’s chat with a mum, do come and have a read too.

May Chat with a Mum: Lindsay of Solo Mama

It’s the first of May and time for another lovely chat with a mum.

Long before meeting my husband, my fellow single-friends and I used to talk a lot about how we could all be single mothers by choice and that all we needed to do was find sperm donors.  It was all talk, none of us followed-through, though two of us did end up mothers, but did it the traditional way.  Our featured mother for this month’s Chat with a Mum, did it all on her own.

I am in awe of women who parent on their own whether it’s by choice or because of circumstances.  Let’s hear more from this solo mama and how she did it:

Tell us something about yourself and your little one.

I am a lesbian single mom by choice to my daughter, Evelyn, who just turned 2 in February. We live in Toronto, Canada. I work as a Communications Specialist (fancy term for writer!) at a University, and Evelyn spends her weekdays at preschool. Together, we enjoy reading books, colouring, throwing dance parties in our livingroom, playing outside and eating macaroni & cheese.

What was your child’s birth story like?

Having planned a homebirth, Evelyn was born in the bedroom in our former home, here in Toronto. We were surrounded by my midwives, best friend and mom when Evelyn joined us at 1:11 am. Her birth was truly the most incredible moment of my life, and if I could, I’d go back and live it again and again, to re-experience that rush of love and pure bliss.

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

There is so much I can wish I had known, but honestly, pre-motherhood, I probably wouldn’t have believed it or listened. I had so many notions of what I thought motherhood was, what it would be like, what it should feel like. And most of those ideas were just plain wrong! I thought I knew how all-encompassing maternal love was, but what I thought it wasn’t hadn’t even scratched the surface of what it truly is.

If I could know one thing about motherhood before embarking on it, I wish someone had told me that sleep issues can extend well beyond infancy. My toddler still wakes up in the middle of the night. I had no idea this could happen – I honestly thought children slept. How naïve!

How do you manage your “me-time”?

Poorly – haha. As a single mom, my “me time” is quite rare. I walk to and from work (20 minutes each way), so that is a guaranteed “me” time each day. When I feel desperate for a break, I’ll hire a babysitter to come play with Evelyn while I go out and run errands/write in a coffee shop/walk around the city. I find myself continually wishing I had more time for myself, while also knowing the time during which Evelyn is this little and needs me so intensely is going to fly by, and some day, I’ll long for just one more moment that we’re living now. When Evelyn goes to bed for the night, I knit & write – my two cheap therapies!

Do you have a favourite anecdote of your little one?

I have so many stories about Evelyn, and here I am drawing a blank now that I’m being asked! Life with a child is always providing opportunities for laughter, even through the exhaustion. Now that Evelyn is starting to speak a little more, she cracks me up on a daily basis, mostly because the way she pronounces things is so funny. I remember for the longest time, I was having a hard time figuring out what she meant when she was asking for a “cock”. Turns out, she was talking about socks!

The thing I love the most about Evelyn is her sensitivity – she is so in tune with the way I and others around her are feeling. She often approaches people if they’re sad and strokes their cheek saying, “‘kay?” Heart melting.

What is it about motherhood you absolutely love about?

It sounds so cliché, but here it is: the love. The love a mother feels for her child is unrivaled, and it’s incredible. Just when I think I can’t love her more, I do.

I also really love rediscovering the world through my daughter’s eyes. Life really slows down when you go at a toddler’s pace, and that is sometimes frustrating. But when I really take a moment to see things the way she does, life feels more exciting somehow, I can see and appreciate the beauty in the little things.

If there is anything about motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

The lack of sleep! Also, the lack of freedom. I sometimes daydream about what it would be like to have an entire day to myself. I’d lay in my bed until I felt like getting up (past 7 am!), go have a leisurely brunch, lay in the park and read a book, maybe go out for a drink or two with friends. I miss my freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want.

What’s a typical day like for you and your little one?

Weekdays and weekends vary. Weekdays, we’re up by 6 am and out the door for daycare and work by 7:30. I work 8-4, and pick Evelyn up from preschool/daycare by 4:30. Come out, have dinner, and play outside until it’s time to come in for bed around 7 pm.

Our weekends are full of adventures and never predictable. Evelyn played soccer for a while, she’s in gymnastics. We visit the multitude of parks in our neighbourhood, visit the farm in the city, have play dates – lots of fun things!

Best advice you’ve ever received about Motherhood?

Listen to your intuition. The best advice anyone gave me wasn’t a piece of “wisdom” that worked for them. It was them telling me – reminding me – that I know best. My intuition will never steer me wrong, and when I listen to it in life & motherhood, I never regret it.

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?

Build that village – it really does take a village to raise a child. Build your village. Cultivate it. Make friends with other moms, or moms to be. These are your people, even if they aren’t right now – they are going to become your people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I struggle a lot with asking for assistance from friends and family. If I could go back to new mom me, I’d tell her to reach out and say “Hey – I need help,” more often.

How do you manage your time between work and your little one?

Work never, ever comes home with me. Work time is work time, and family time is family time. Work will never be important enough to cut into my precious family time. 40 hours of my week is plenty enough. Balancing a full-time job with motherhood and managing everyone on my own as a single mom is absolutely exhausting. But it has shown me just how strong I am, and I’m damn proud of myself, if I do say so myself!

Thank you so much Lindsay!

Now head over to her blog for more of this lovely solo Mama and her beautiful darling daughter.

Click here to read if you’ve missed last month’s Chat with a Dad.

April Chat with a Dad: Scott of Snoozing on the Sofa

It may be April Fool’s today, but there’s definitely nothing foolish about self-published author, Scott Nagele and Dad behind the blog  Snoozing on the Sofa.  If you haven’t discovered his blog yet, this is a good introduction, think of it as snippets, the kind of writing to expect and if you’re one of his many followers, you might just get to know him a little bit more though this month’s Chat with a Dad.

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones.

I got into this baby-making biz late. I was over 40 when my first son was born. Now, I have three sons, and I’m still over 40, only slightly more so. If you want to start a family at such an advanced age, you should find a mate half your age. Just kidding, my wife is not half my age (anymore).

My boys are six, almost three, and almost one. They show no regard for my old age and climb up and down me as if I were a teenager. Since they regularly stomp on parts of me that make me squeal a prepubescent high note, you can understand their confusion.

What were your little ones birth stories like?

I’ve blogged about them all, but to summarize: the first one almost put me in the hospital. True, we were already in the hospital, but there was no bed for me. There should have been, as seeing my wife get hooked up for the epidural made my legs awfully wobbly.

The second time, most of the frightening stuff happened before we even got to the hospital, including my wife attempting to exit the car in the midst of a busy intersection because she needed fresh air, RIGHT NOW!

By the third one, we were finally learning how to do this thing. Nobody swooned and nobody became a menace to oncoming traffic, so it goes down as our best effort.

What you wish you knew about being a Dad before becoming one?

The tips are horrible. I have become the head waiter for the family, not only serving meals, but also fetching juice from the fridge, rushing for a napkin before it’s too late, replacing all the utensils that have been dropped on the floor, bringing a snack, bringing a different snack for the kid who didn’t get to pick the first one, cleaning away dirty dishes before the baby pulls them down, and a host of other errand-boy tasks. Occasionally, my generous customers will treat me to a thank you. But I’m always welcome to pick at a cold dinner in between assignments.

How do you balance your time between work and fatherhood?

That’s easy. I don’t. I work a full time job. My wife has a part time job where she picks up floating shifts. Day care for two, sometimes three, children costs more than her job is worth. So when she gets a shift, I stay home with the kids. I use vacation time or make it up evenings and weekends, so I’m either at work or with my kids most of the time. Both get plenty of me, so I don’t bother about balance.

How do you manage childfree time with your wife? Do you have date-nights?

That’s funny. Since our first child was born, I think I’ve had exactly two childfree moments with my wife, and they both resulted in other kids, so we try and stay away from that now.

We don’t have regular date nights. We have no relatives near us, so most babysitting costs us. We usually just take the boys to the restaurant with us and let the nice people at the next table help us babysit. It’s cheaper for us and gives our new acquaintances a more fulfilling dining experience.

Any favourite anecdotes of your little ones?

Of course, but I’ve already blogged the best of them. The little items that have escaped mention on the blog are things like a few years ago when my oldest wanted to go to the movies to see Diarrhea of a Wimpy Kid.

What is it about fatherhood you love?

There are so many things, but one of my favorites is the sound of my boys’ laughter. I love it when I make them laugh and I love it when they make each other laugh. It’s also great when they make me laugh. They have some pretty good jokes for young pups.

They have some bad jokes too, and sometimes it’s difficult not to laugh at these as well. I do my best to resist this temptation because one of a father’s primary duties is to dissuade his children from the path that leads to third-rate humor.

If there is anything about fatherhood you dislike, what would it be?

The thing that annoys me most is probably not having time to tackle routine tasks in anything like a prompt manner. It’s hard to mow the lawn when you are alone with a two-year-old and an infant. My wife and I both have to be home for this kind of work to get done, and then we have to compete for time to do our work. Imagine: a competition to see who gets to do chores! Forget about date nights; I need a babysitter so I can shovel the sidewalk.

I also don’t like having to hide all of my best sweets until after the kids are asleep. I’m too old to be eating cupcakes at all hours of the night.

If you were given the chance to be a stay-at-home-Dad would you take it?

I already do this part time, and that’s plenty. Maybe when the baby is a little older I’d be more willing, but merely keeping track of the whereabouts of an active crawler for eight hours straight saps all my strength. Plus, there aren’t many daytime sports on TV during the week.

When they are all old enough to be away at school all day, I would definitely reconsider my answer.

Best Advice you’ve ever received about Fatherhood?

“Let them eat cake!” Okay, so she wasn’t necessarily talking about parenthood specifically, but it’s still useful fathering advice on many different levels.

If you can give yourself advice before becoming a Dad, what would it be?

If you’re going to nap on the couch, lie on your stomach or wear a cup.

OR

Don’t waste more than 10 seconds searching for a pair of matching baby socks.

Thank you so much Scott!

Now if you’ve liked what you’ve read here, head over to Snoozing on the sofa for more of Scott’s ramblings on fatherhood.

He also has another blog where he talks more about his work as a writer and other non-parenthood related topics.

And of course, click here if you’ve missed last month’s chat with a mum.