Tag: blogger

June Chat with a Dad: Grant of Looking for the Postman

Tell us something about yourself, your blog and your little ones:

Historically, I’ve been involved mostly with the music industry. I worked with bands and artists doing remixes. I also worth with MTV, New Line Cinema, Electronic Arts and toured / DJ’d with countless bands. I still dabble with music, writing original tunes and soundtracks for short film.
In recent years, I started blogging. Initially, it was observations about online competitions. It eventually expanded into a blog on family life, told with tongue firmly in cheek. If you’re looking for advice on how to be a better person while nurturing your family, then I’m probably not the best place to visit. If, however, you are interested in humorous views on things that Dads encounter on a daily basis, you should drop by.

My family blog pieces are inspired by my Mrs, Emma, and our combined total of four kids. Rachel (my step-daughter) is about to turn 18. Jack is 13 and lives with his mum. Jenny & Eve are 4 and 3 and could power a blog by themselves with their antics.

What were their birth stories like?

I’ve written in depth about the births of Jenny, Eve & Jack. (Given that Rachel was born eleven years before I knew Emma, it would have been extremely awkward if I had been there!)

 Jack was born C-section. He went breach at the last possible moment and has been just as contrary for his entire life!

 Jenny went back-to-back and the docs were hanging around with an emergency C-section kit but didn’t get to use it. Emma got two horrible cuts and out she came.

Eve was trouble. Emma’s waters broke after 30 weeks. She was hospitalised because of risk of infection, but managed to hold on for another 5 weeks. Trooper. Eve was 5lb 5oz and wouldn’t eat. She dropped down to 5lbs and went to a specialised ward before she changed her mind and decided to eat after all. She was a long baby. Purple and not an ounce of fat on her.

What you wish about being a dad before becoming one?

I wish I’d been better with money before I had kids. I also wish I had learned about woodworking and suchlike so I could have made things for my kids – cots, beds etc. I didn’t appreciate things like that when I was young. Nevermind. There’s still time to make them things as they grow up!

How do you manage your time between work, blogging and fatherhood?

I try my best to write blog posts when the kids aren’t there. I’ve got to be in a particular mood to write. When I get into the zone, I can write quickly, but that level of concentration just isn’t possible with the kids around, nor is it fair to expect them to be quiet so I can blog!

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

We cook for each other all the time. We do try, on a Saturday, to wait until the kids have gone to bed and then we cook something special. Even better is a date night where we go out for a meal. It’s all about sharing good food with the person you love!

Any favourite anecdotes of your kids?

Jenny’s comments have me in stitches. She just waffles on and comes out with gems. Age 3, when talking about her little sister, she said “Eve is just an egg with shoes on”. When she saw a black and white cow, she described it as a “horse panda”.

What is it about fatherhood you love about?

The best things about fatherhood are the relationships you develop. Watching my kids grow, and sharing that with my wife. Experiencing things through their eyes and watching as they discover new experiences. I spent almost all my time at Disneyland Paris watching my kids, wide-eyed, and loving it.

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

I dislike:
- being woken during the night.
- when the kids finish their dinner and it’s something I like so I can’t have the leftovers.
- arguments & having to put a child on the naughty spot.
- when a child hurts themselves, falls or cries.
- discovering that one of the girls has shoved nappy pants in with the laundry but only after its been through the wash and exploded.
- nits.

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

Yes! I’ve been self-employed and worked from home before. If I could be a combination of a self-employed writer / composed and stay at home dad, then that would suit me perfectly.

Best advice you’ve received about fatherhood?

Not advice, per se, but I do take inspiration from other parents. Everybody remembers their own parents and makes their own judgements on what they remember. So, there’ll be things you want to retain from your own parents and some things you want to do differently.
 Out with that, my role model would be Emma’s father, Ray. He’s so patient with the children, self-less and generous. He just immediately says ‘yes’ whenever anything is asked of him and always says the right thing.

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

 Um, don’t worry about your kid’s behaviour too much. At a young age, everything is a phase.
 Be patient. If something is stressing you out, that’s your reaction to a situation. Since the reaction is yours, you can control it. Take a moment, a deep breath and then re-evaluate. 
Remember that your kids only get one childhood. Do everything to make it the best that you can.

Thank you so much Grant!

If you enjoyed getting to know more about the dad behind the blog Looking for the Postman, do check out his blog for more of his musings.

You can also follow him over at Facebook, twitter, G+ and Youtube

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

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.

February Chat with a Dad: Laurence of Chasing Wilderness

January is finally over.  Sadly, winter isn’t.  Thank goodness February only has 28 days!  Spring will be here soon and hopefully more brighter days which will mean more chances to do outdoor fun and activities for the little ones.

Laurence the dad behind the blog Chasing Wilderness, certainly knows about outdoor adventures in nature.  Come and have a little read:

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones.

My name is Laurence and I live in Bristol with my wife Adele and my two girls Ophelia who is nearly 1 and Talitha who is 3 and a half.

What was your little ones birth stories like?

Gosh. That could be an essay. Two very different births. One hospital. One at home which went much more smoothly and was more how we wanted it. Suffice to say I now know that if your first birth doesn’t go according to plan, there is no reason why the second one can’t.

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

It’s not all about the birth. I was too focused on that and not enough on the rest of my life after that.

How do you balance your time between work and fatherhood?

I recently became freelance with the aim of not having to work all the time to earn the necessary bacon. We’re trying to live on the minimum we need so that I can spend time with the family here and there. Sometimes it’s enforced when the work doesn’t come in, but I try and stay relaxed and enjoy time with the family.

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

We go through spurts of doing this for a few weeks, then it falls by the way side. So the answer is no, but we ought to.

Any favourite anecdotes of your little ones?

I’m not great with anecdotes. The almost one-year-old is going through a huge developmental spurt right now and it’s amazing how relatable she’s becoming. Every morning she shuffles over to the door to wave me goodbye as I leave for work.

What is it about fatherhood you love about?

Discovering new things about these little people I have in my care. Teaching them things. I really want to impart an outdoorsy spirit, love of nature, the land, origins of food, active lifestyle and love seeing them start their journey in this. I love it when the older one wants to re-examince a plant we were looking at even a few weeks back.

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

Not having enough time to do pastimes and sports. I’ve not been surfing in ages, which is criminal.

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

No way. Far too much like hard work.

Best Advice you’ve ever received about Fatherhood?

I can’t really think of any. I guess I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can now. Not work too hard and find time to be with the kids. Everyone always says it goes by too fast, it just always seems to coincide with peak moments in people’s careers. Balancing work ambition and fatherhood ambitions is what I’d like to try and do.

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

Don’t do it! No, do do it! It’s a strange thing… it’s such a roller coaster of good things, amazing cuddles and play fights, laughter and joy at seeing first steps etc, coupled with immense frustration at them not sleeping, crying and pouring salt everywhere in cafes while I’m trying to enjoy a coffee.

Thank you so much Laurence!

To read more about this lovely family’s outdoor fun and adventure, do head over to Chasing Wilderness.  You can also follow him over at twitter here.

Click here, if you’ve missed January’s Chat with a Mum, she also happens to be the wife of February’s Chat with a Dad 🙂