WTF?

I probably think it and drop it more than I should! Some days it seems to be my mantra! I am not sure how many of you reading will relate to this, but I am sure at least a few. It has definitely become a staple in my life and it seems to ease whatever I have going on. I use it when I’m happy, sad, frustrated, mad I use it all the time for any emotion. Over the last week I have thought about what makes me think “what the fuck?”.

  • I hear “daaaaad” a few to many times in one day, my thought “WTF now?”.
  • Driving down the road and two cars doing less than the speed limit driving side by side taking both lanes, my thought “WTF get out of the way!”.
  • Sitting there feeling a little down on myself, my thought “WTF snap out if!”
  • Teaching my kids to drive… Trust there are plenty of times I thought “WTF?” and just kept my mouth shut! lol
  • I see one of those really stupid memes… laugh out loud and think “WTF?”
  • I hear crying a few to many times in a day and instead of running I saunter over thinking “WTF now?”.

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  • In the supermarket buying groceries and that one person that like to park their cart on one side of the aisle and stand right next to it looking for whatever on the other side taking up the whole isle, my thought “WTF seriously?”
  • Ask one of the kids to help put the dishes in the dishwasher (seriously it’s s dishwasher, I am not asking them to hand wash everything) and all I hear is moaning about it, my thought “WTF seriously? You haven’t been asked to do anything and now you moan about helping for 10 minutes?”.
  • Those moments when you need 5 minutes of peace and quiet to collect yourself as it’s been a shit day and that’s the exact moment when everyone starts talking to you, my thought “WTF seriously?” and is usually accompanied by a neck roll and I continue with the conversations.
  • Wake up in the morning and see that I have lost 10 followers on Instagram, my thought “WTF?” (that ones for the bloggers I know they feel my pain LOL).

That is just a few of the things that make me think “what the fuck?” I don’t want to give out the whole list because then what surprise would I have for you next? How do you use “WTF?”?

I’m adding a new parenting type….

We have all heard the different parenting types like helicopter parenting or attachment parenting or narcissistic parenting, you know there’s about 10 or 12 types of parents. Well today I am going to add one more! I call it FFS Parenting (For fuck sake’s parenting). We have all thought it at one time or another, maybe even vocalized it under our breath or vocalized it really loud in desperation!

You know what I’m talking about…

  • Muuuuuum have you seen my jeans? You know my favourite ones!
  • Daaaaaaad can you drive me to the mall?
  • Muuuuuum where did you put my (whatever)? Like it’s your fault they didn’t put it away themselves lol
  • Muuuuuum when’s dinner?
  • Daaaaaaad have you seen (whatever)?

When you have heard your second name (mum,dad) for the hundredth time as you sip your already cold coffee and most likely thinking FFS! I know I have done it on more than one occasion over my 17 years of being a dad.

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So how would I describe the FFS parent? It’s the reality of parenting, hearing your second name in a looooooooong drawn out (what feels like at times) condescending tone like your supposed to know and do everything perfect the first time! Your supposed  to always love searching for the things they can’t find because YOU didn’t put it in the right spot the first time and now you must pay for it undertone as they finish the sentence.

The FFS parent (for fuck sake’s parent) knows that feeling you get when you hear your second name being called and your head drops towards the floor and in your mind the words “for fuck sakes what now?” cruise through your mind like a rocket ship taking off and you put that smile on your face and say “yes? what are you looking for?

 

True story of teen parenting! (contains profanity)

Last week as I was driving Ryley to summer school, myself I was still in a bit of a morning daze, music turned up a bit not really paying attention to much as I was a bit lost in my own thoughts at that moment. Ryley pipes up “I wonder how I can make money off it?” A bit bewildered I ask “What?” he says “The Pokemon meet up in Stanley Park” and of course I just say “Oh ok… I have no idea?”.

A minute or two later he pipes up “Maybe I can sell pop?”… Well what I heard in my daze and confusion was “Maybe I can sell pot?”… Now depending on my mood at the moment I could go either way with what I thought he said! I could go off or I could be calm. One thing I have learned as a dad to teens is blowing up doesn’t help the situation and tends to only aggravate it more. so at that moment I chose to stay calm.

Now if you really want to know my thoughts at that moment they were something like this… “What the fuck did he just say?” “What the hell is he thinking?” “Doesn’t he realize he can fuck up everything he’s worked so hard for with University coming in a year?”! true thoughts unedited (good thing I kept that rant down deep).

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So instead of going on a rant I calmly started to ask questions (I’ve found it best if I bring them to realization by making them think about all the angles… Teen parenting 101). So I asked ” What about the police?” Ryley looks at me in complete confusion and answers “So they ask me to leave?” as he said that my honest thought was “What the hell?” so I asked again “Yeah the police… What happens if you get caught?” he looks at me and says to me “I’m underage what are they going to do?”.

Now if you can imagine I was literally wide eyed and paying attention at this point and said to Ryley “just because your 17 does not mean they won’t arrest you and charge you!” he looks at me with the most bizarre look and asks me “Why they would charge me for selling pop?” and ask he asked that a moment of clarity and understanding of what he was talking about washed over me. I started to laugh and said to him “I thought you said pot not pop and you scared the shit out of me!” he laughed and said we were having two very different conversations then dad, I would never sell pot!”. I then turned to Ryley before he was about to get out and said “That sounds like a good idea!” Meanwhile inside I thought “I have good kids!”

So my lesson I learned from this… If I think I misunderstood what was being said ask to hear it again and pay better attention when they talk!

MDP’s beard care series – Beard oil

Welcome to the first series of personal care products, tips and tricks I use. I decided I need to branch out a bit and wanted to share my personal grooming products, tips and tricks with anyone who interested in it.

I chose my beard to start with as it does take some good maintenance time each week to maintain a healthy, soft beard. I actually only grew my beard out 3 years ago and since then I have been a little OCD about maintaining a nice, soft well trimmed beard on me for the most part.

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Now as anyone who has read my blog knows that I don’t give just anybody a shout out, but this time I will as I am starting a new series and I loooooove their products.

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I have tried many beard conditioners and oils that never seemed to quite work as well as I had hoped. Recently I discovered Man Cave Ideas and their beard oils and I have now found a beard oil that works for me. The one I have now is called Wildwood and I love it! This woodsy oil works great not only on my beard, but my skin as well. I apply a few drops to the palm of my hand and massage in to my beard and skin where I have just trimmed and let it go to work. If you have a beard I would highly recommend you try Man Cave Ideas and their products. I know I will be trying more for sure!

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3 questions to stop asking women

There are three questions that I never ask a woman and the reasons are simple. The questions though when asking them can be far more complex than anything and can cause more grief than we realize. There can be a lot of emotion attached to each of these questions and that’s why I do not ask.

When are you going to get pregnant? Seems like a simple question to ask, but have you ever stopped to think this can be a completely emotion loaded question? Firstly what if they do not want children? I can’t imagine having to say that however many times they are asked in a lifetime if they don’t and the things they must say in private after being asked and getting tired of being asked. That being said what if they are having trouble conceiving a baby? What do they say? They don’t want to air their issues with everyone who asks and go through a whole spiel about not being able to at this point. Also there’s the hurt they may be feeling at that moment.

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Are you pregnant? If a woman wants you to know she’s pregnant she will tell you. So why shouldn’t you ask? the obvious risk that she just gained some extra weight and you just offended her. Maybe she would like to be pregnant but isn’t. Maybe she is pregnant, but isn’t ready to talk about it because of previous miscarriages or other traumatic loss. Maybe she is pregnant, but she still isn’t ready to talk about it. Maybe she just doesn’t want to talk about it with you Or maybe she’s not pregnant and she never wants to be pregnant.

When are you going to have another baby? What if they do not want another baby? What if they can’t have another baby? What if they have one and that was their plan all along? Asking this question even though it seems innocent enough could lead to many emotions that you had not thought of.

Any of these questions seem innocuous enough and seem like a great point of conversation with a mum, but myself I realized a long time ago that there may be other things going on that no one knows about. Asking these questions could bring up emotions in them and all they can do is smile and give you a basic answer and move on. It’s best to wait and eventually they will tell you about any of these questions that are so frequently asked or they may never. In the end if they want you to know they will tell you.

 

Quality time with your child doesn’t have to cost anything!

Spending quality time with your child doesn’t have to cost you anything other than your time! I have been a dad for 17 years now and still have a good deep relationship with all three of my children. We spend a lot of time together going for walks, watching movies, to the beach or whatever adventure we want to do. We are blessed to be living in an area with lots of forested areas, parks and live minutes from the ocean. This has allowed us to go out away from distractions and spend time talking and laughing.

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What does “quality time”mean?

It will mean different things to different people, but the the best way for me to describe it will be for you to find activities or things to do that you all enjoy. It can be pulling out a board game, going for a walk to the park, in depth conversations, or reading a story. Whatever it means to you, it’s essential that you make it a priority for yourself and your relationship with your child.

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Why is “quality time” so important for me!

Spending some quality time with my kids is an everyday day thing! I have made it that way, whether we talk about the day (which most days that’s our time together) that way I know what’s happening in their lives and what’s important to them. I love my three endlessly and would do anything I can for them. Having this time together or even one on one is an essential for me to keep a strong relationship with each of them.

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At the end of the day your child needs you and needs your time, but time well spent. Not the type where you seem to be paying attention to them, but the real look them in the eyes type time where they know you are present and paying attention. If we do not take this time as parents what are we teaching our children for when they have our grandchildren? Spending good quality time with them is free all we have to do is be in the moment, talk, laugh, joke or have a deep conversation. It’s amazing the things you will learn about your child taking the time with them and they will be better for it!

For more information or help contact:  Family and Childcare Trust

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Smartphones, teens and school…

Being the dad of two teens in high school and of course like most parents I have given them smartphones. I have come to realize that smartphones have truly taken away from the education system and made it that much harder for teachers to do the job they intended to do when they became teachers.

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I personally cannot imagine how a teacher must feel with a class sat in front of them and maybe it’s just one or two or 30 kids examining their crotches for countless minutes each class as they text, snapchat, Instagram, group chat, tweet, or post a Facebook status (who do they think they are? bloggers?). More importantly as a teacher I would be more concerned if they were taking photos of me and what are they saying about me in those photos?

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In a world so connected it has become an extension to kids today to stay connected, but at what toll has this taken on our children’s education? What are the kids missing if they spend even 10 minutes a class on their phones? How much better their grades would be if they did not have that smartphone distracting them? Although some will argue that smartphones can be educational I do agree, but in a controlled environment where the teacher has control of the situation!

There are parents that argue (I’ve heard this first hand) that the phones let them stay in touch with their children more easily. I do agree with that, but there is no reason for me to be calling or messaging them during classes. If I need my child that badly I can contact the office and have them call me. That’s one of the reasons schools have a main number and someone to answer the phones. The child does not need to have their phone on them in class.

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My personal thought is that each classroom should have a table with a space labeled with the child’s name where when they enter class they place their phone face down with the volume turned off and it stays there till end of class unless otherwise instructed by the teacher. This would have to become a part of school policy and any parent that is worried that something will happen to the phone then they know that maybe they should not send it with their child.

We send our children to school to learn and they certainly do not need more distraction than they already have!

 

 

Never give up… Even when you really want too!

I’ve just read and watched a post and video of a young girl named Kim Wilborn who comes from the south side of Chicago in a low income area and her struggle with excelling in school because the school she was attending the teachers themselves had low expectations of their students. She is now thriving in a positive school atmosphere and is holding A’s in her courses.

It got me to thinking of the struggles had with Ryley my eldest this last year in school. He has had a less than stellar year in school. He’s struggled with every aspect of school and his life this year and a lot of the struggle was self brought as he comes of age.

I believe at 17 he’s a late bloomer, This last year he has been struggling with his own demons inside as well as trying to fight for his independence and find his spot where he is comfortable in this world. For a long time thought I was fortunate that I wasn’t having to deal with let’s call it “teenage angst”, no girlfriends, no drama, no headaches. no worries from him.

Then sometime around the end of summer last year things started to change in him and I could see that he was starting to try and find himself now that I look back. The school year started on a rather “blah” note for him. He was not motivated when he came home from school to do any homework, review or studying. He would spend hours a day watching YouTube and in chats for street wear groups on  Reddit and FaceBook.

I wasn’t worried to much at the start and would send gentle reminders in the first few weeks of school asking him if he had homework and what he had learned in school today and he would blank me! I let it go saying to myself it’s the start of the school year maybe he just needs some time to get back in to the groove of school?

As time went on I noticed a pattern and he seemed to be caring less and less, as I started to ask more questions and try to talk with him more about school and how things were going he would get so upset right away and would wind himself up in a few seconds, so conversations would soon turn in to arguments even though that was not my original intention when I would try and find out how school was going.

When the first report came out he panicked and the “poor me” drama unfolded and he said he would buckle down and do better. After talking to him and letting him try and gain his footing it had looked like he had kept his promise as he would come home have a snack and take half an hour to decompress and would study, do homework or review his work from that day.

It did not take long for his old habits though to rear their ugly head again and we were back to where we were before the first report came out. I tried every approach I could think of letting him know along the way that he is a smart young man and he can do whatever he sets his mind too. I know this because I have seen him and he can retain anything that holds his interest and have an intelligent conversation about anything he wants too.

His what I secretly call his “cop out” is that he can understand what he’s taught in class and can do the work in that class, but as soon as he walks home he cannot remember what he learned that day. He is his own worst enemy when it comes to adversity because he talks himself out of learning when I know very well if he wants something he is the type that won’t stop till he gets it.

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Recently he had the opportunity to spend a week at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where he had a private mentor in Architecture John Bass all to himself for those 5 days and he came back from his experience refreshed and renewed to improve his grades and his school habits.

Upon his return home we did have a conversation about school and when I put things in to perspective for him about how much time he has left in school before he wants to attend university (10 months more) he looked at me in a bit of shock and horror like he just woke up. Since that day of his return his study habits and work habits have improved dramatically and I know that he can do this and I tell him often I am proud of him.

What I have learned from this as a parent is no matter how bad things get, how much they fight you, how much they discuss with you, even if they can’t stand the sight of you, one day they will come out of their fog and see what you were saying all along and they will see you stood with them and you were encouraging them the whole time to be the very best they could. #becausetheycan

It’s possible mums do love their children more!

Since writing “Why a mothers love is different” there were some comments made that left me thinking and asking myself “can a mum love more than a dad?”. After three and a half months of thinking and tossing thoughts around in my head and really trying to put myself in the shoes of a mother (as they say “until you walk a mile in their shoes”) here are the thoughts I came up with.

Now this might and most likely will piss a few people off, but I am going to own my thoughts and put them out there. This is a little scary because I have worked hard at my little blog and recently decided that I need to write about things I am passionate about!

As men we feel the need to win at everything, to be the best at everything and when someone challenges us we fight till we can’t anymore, but this is one we do not have the the capacity or knowledge to say that we love our children as much as mums.

There’s a reason why almost everyone I know has said at one point or another that “marriage changes after having kids!”. It certainly does and it’s more than likely not because of men, it’s because of women and the changes they go through during and after pregnancy and I am not saying that in a bad way.

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After walking a mile in their shoes the best I can (I can only use my imagination obviously) pregnancy is a defining and life changing. They wear pregnancy not just those 9 little months, but forever! I would imagine the hormone changes alone that happen during pregnancy are not just temporary and prepare them for the lifetime ahead of raising children.

With the hormone changes comes mental changes and that’s why they will protect their children like a lioness even if it takes them way out of their comfort zone. Even if it’s with us the dads. If they feel that we are being unfair or are wrong they will defend their child to the end.

Their physical body changes as they look in to the mirror every day and have reminders of their children even when they are not around. The stretch marks, the belly that won’t ever quite be the same, the c-section scar some mums have or the few pounds that won’t seem to go.

A mum is completely invested in her children from the moment she knows she’s pregnant. She changes and continues to change and grow with her child, she is ever evolving and ferocious in raising and protecting her child.

These are just a few things that I have thought and imagined about what it’s like to become a mum and I would say that yes we do love our children every bit as much as their mum, but she still has a deeper more intimate connection with her children than we can ever fathom. How can they not? So how can we take away from their experience and their feelings and say for 100% certainty that they cannot love their children more than a dad?

When I said we don’t have the capacity or knowledge to say we love our children as much as mums we truly do not! We will never ever know that feeling of pregnancy, body changes, hormone changes, giving birth and mental changes that a mum goes through with each child. Women are incredible and what they go through to bring new life in to this world as their world changes so dramatically.

How to be a good parent!

I was asked recently what makes me qualified to write a parent blog and what makes me a better parent than others? I was a little shocked, but my reply was simple… I am a parent so that makes me qualified in some sort of way and I am not a better parent than anyone else, I just do the best I can day in and day out and write about it from time to time.
This question got me thinking though and what does a good parent do? Well as I see it a good parent simply wakes up in the morning and does the best they can each day. Some days are better than other days and depending on your mood and the events of the day it can be a great day or it can be a disaster or anywhere in between!
Recently since I was asked this question I have been thinking of how I have done things in the past and what worked and what didn’t (trust me there are plenty of times I could have done things different to have had a better outcome)! In the end all that came to mind is I did the best I could with each situation at that moment.
Sometimes it seems to me that parents are expected to have complete control of their emotions 100% of the time, but the reality is we are human and we feel, sometimes we feel great, other times we feel like shit and that transfers to how we parent. So my advice to you on how to be a good parent…

  1. Wake up everyday and do your best! Simply by doing your best you will make each day easier on you and your children. Remember you are already an amazing parent!
  2. learn from your parenting fails! We all have them and have committed them once or a thousand times, but keep trying.
  3. When things become to much and overwhelming take 5 and breathe (easier said than done most times, that’s what the bathroom is for HAHAHA)!
  4. Each child is different and needs a different approach when dealing with them (I have learned this the hard way)!
  5. Most of all have fun with parenting as you will never regret those moments of shear happiness and there are far more of those than shit times. You are a good parent no matter what as your  children love you and look up to you!

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