Category Archives: Active Fathers

5 Reasons Why Father’s Day Means Getting Ready For Summer

father's day in spring

This time next week it will be the first day of Spring with that season starting on the first day of September. On the first Sunday in September in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papau New Guinea we will celebrate Father’s Day. For me, both spring and Father’s Day are seen as preludes to Summer.

Earlier this year I wrote a piece called The 5 Reasons Why Mother’s Day and Father’s Day International Dates Need To Be Aligned which I published on Sunday 15th June which was Father’s Day in most countries around the world (well 76 of them) and obviously it wasn’t here. Australia as well as those other three countries that share Father’s Day with us all celebrate Mother’s Day with the bulk of the world (well as part of 82 countries that celebrate on that day). As I said in my earlier post, I really want Father’s Day to be on the same day all around the world.

If we did change the date of Father’s Day to be aligned to most of the world it would be Australia & Co changing to that third Sunday in June which means we’d be having it in Winter. And I know that I might not ever see the dates align for all those reasons that I gave, so I am going to have to be an optimist here and look at the positives.  So here are five reasons why I like celebrating Father’s Day in Spring;

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The Most Important Thing To Teach Your Children

graffiti

Last Sunday we went out for lunch to celebrate my brother’s birthday. In addition to me, my wife and two boys there was my brother and his wife plus his twin son and daughter, our dad and my brother’s parents-in-law.

During lunch we were talking about kids (as we do) and as I occasionally like to do, I asked our eldest who is three months short of turning six questions about when he’s older. On this occasion I asked him how many kids he was going to have when he is a grown up…

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The One Thing All Modern Families Need

Volvo XC60

I met my wife back in August 2007. Of course back then she wasn’t my wife. That would have been weird if we were married before we met, and somewhat impractical as well. We were dating for only two weeks when my boss at the time came to me with the news that the company wasn’t offering company cars with our remuneration packages any more, rather they were offering car allowances suggesting that should look at getting our own novated (personal) leases if the cars were mostly used for work. The best thing about this arrangement was that instead of the company choosing the car that I had to drive, I could choose my own.

In August 2007 I was 33 years old and having been in an on-again off-again relationship that lasted over 12 years that didn’t result in starting a family (including over five of those years being married), I was hoping that my new relationship would turn out to be the one that did produce a family.

So it was, with that directive from my company to go forth and find a new car that I put this question to my girlfriend of only two weeks;

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I Admit That I Cheated, But It Was Worth It

cheating pixabay

For some reason, 2014 has been a year where there have been an abundance of stories about the reasons why women cheat. Whether it’s on those post-internet-explosion news aggregator sites such as The Huffington Post, Mamamia or iVillage sites, or the mainstream print media come internet savvy news outlets, if you go to Google and type in “reasons why women cheat” you will find heaps of stories all from this year.

Many of these media outlets used survey results from some of England and Australia’s top online extra-marital relationship sites who conducted these surveys to find out exactly why their clients are cheating. Not surprisingly, amongst the list of reasons why women cheat is that they feel under-appreciated, neglected or ignored, especially when made to feel more like a housekeeper or nanny than a wife or girlfriend.

And although it’s not like that in my own household, I can understand with all those memes being shared like the ones I mentioned in my most popular post Dear Mums, Please Talk to Your Husbands that there is still many households where the mothers feel under-appreciated for all the jobs they do that go unnoticed. In my own household I do most of the laundry (sorting out, putting it on, hanging it out, bringing it in) although the folding and putting away part is a joint effort. I do many of the roles involved with raising the kids. And something that has been my job since I first moved in with my wife (then girlfriend) is the cooking.

In the evening our house can be busier than Time Square during peak hour. Most nights my wife assists our eldest with his homework while she multi-tasks as she takes calls from her patients confirming appointments or checking on or placing orders for products they need; all whilst trying to entertain our youngest. Sometimes she is in her upstairs office doing research when I finish cooking the dinner and am serving it out, and although I call out to her she often ignores me or keeps telling me she’ll be there soon. It frustrates me that I have “slaved over a hot stove” and yet my family is not waiting at the table to eat the fruits (or vegetables and meat) of my labour.

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Two Things That A Dad Can Get Right

parents-choice-diapers-coupons1

Yesterday we decided to go to our local shopping centre with two goals in mind. The first goal was to get a haircut for our eldest son. The second was to get a new car seat for our youngest son who has outgrown the one he uses in my car which was the original baby to toddler seat we bought for the first born.

We arrived at the shops around midday and our first stop was at the hairdresser to see if they could fit our son in. Unfortunately they had a wait of 90 minutes and my wife told them that we’d put his name down but we’d go and see if we could get it done sooner. The place that she put his name down was at a women’s hairdressing salon where she has been before, and where I used to go before I started growing my hair long again. Both the boys have had their hair cut there before. As we turned away from that salon, I noticed a “new” men’s hairdresser. I say “new” because it is actually a relocation after the owners were kicked out of another centre.

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Why Does Our Son Want Mummy and Daddy To Get Divorced?

Divorced Dads

Our first born son told me last night that he wants Mummy and Daddy to split up and live in separate houses. I was taken aback by this. His reason for this shocked me. Later in the night once both our sons were asleep I told my wife the story.

Last night we had our very first parent and teacher interview. They are so much different from “back in my day” when my mum and dad went on their own to meet with my teacher to discuss my progress. Off memory, they were once a year. Now I believe many schools have them twice a year. The most important change that I see however is that they are now three-way conferences; teacher, parent/s and child.

Our son’s teacher displays progress charts on the walls of the classroom. These have the smiling faces of each child showing their progress and levels achieved over disciplines such as mathematics (recognition of numbers, ability to count to 50, or 100, or higher, simple addition, etc.) as well as English (knowledge of sight words, level of ability in reading, etc).

A few times throughout the year parents have been invited into the classroom to check out these progress charts and our son has ranked in the top group in four of the five disciplines in mathematics, and in the second group for one, whilst he has been in the top groups for most of the word related disciplines as well. When the teacher relayed this to us last night, it did not come as a surprise to me.

When she told us that his writing was the thing we most needed to work on, well, having seen his hand writing and spelling, that also did not surprise me. What did surprise me however were the events that happened next.

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Why This Morning Was A Leap Forward For Stay At Home Dads In This Country

house husbands

This morning was a pretty big deal for stay at home dads. If you were watching either or both of the top rating breakfast shows in Australia, Today (a.k.a The Today Show) on Channel 9 or Sunrise on Channel 7 you would have seen interviews with stay at home dads.

The first interview was with an American dad, Mike Cavender from Daddy Fishkins whose Apology to Stay-At-Home-Mums went viral last week on all of those regular professional reblogging and news aggregator websites around the world including here in Australia, hence his interview on Australian television.

The second interview was with Australia’s own Clint Greagen from Reservoir Dad who according to an article by the UK’s Daily Mail earlier this year is “Australia’s most successful ‘daddy blogger’.” Although Clint is from the “rival” city of Melbourne, he has been welcomed by us friendly Sydneysiders today as he launches his new book Reservior Dad (yes, his book title and blog title match), in a few book-stores in Sydney and appears on two national television shows, both which are filmed in studios in this fair city.

What’s the big deal you ask? Oh, stay with me…

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Do You Want To Write A Dad Blog?

Do you want to write a dad blog

Do you want to write a dad blog?
Write a blog about your kids?
And maybe write about the things you do
Like cleaning up the poop and finding a clean bib?

I know it’s kind of crazy
That a dad might care
Enough to write these things down
Do you want to write a dad blog?
It doesn’t have to be a dad blog…

When it comes to parenting blogs, those written by mothers outweigh fathers by a ratio of lots more to not as many (source: trust me, I know these things). When I joined my writer’s group on Facebook called Dad Bloggers there were a little over 300 in the group. Almost 12 months after joining we are a few short of 800 and the group is still growing.

The thing that I like about this group of writers is that whilst we are all chest beating alpha males (not true but) men all the same, with opinions of our own, and arguments about whether Star Wars is better than, well, life itself, we can basically agree on one thing and one thing alone; we all want to be great dads and we want to encourage each other to be great dads and we want to have a dragnet effect over all fathers, bloggers and non-bloggers alike and promote being a great dad as an important part of a man’s life ***and breath***.

Well, one who is a dad that is. But it’s more than that.

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The Mummy Blogger Wars Have Just Jumped Genders

Have you read the newspaper today? Well not the paper newspaper, the online version. Who reads the paper version still except for those who have it delivered to their hotel room, or those who have visited a tourist attraction sponsored by a newspaper where they’re giving them out for free. Anyway, I digress…

At about 4am Sydney time this morning after watching Australia in the FIFA World Cup I had trouble getting back to sleep so I jumped on Facebook where I saw a story shared by one of my fellow Dad Bloggers. It was the story about that Mommy Blogger in the US who has been charged with poisoning her son using salt to overload his sodium levels so she could blog about it and achieve clicks via sympathetic measures.

Last night before the State of Origin (yes it was a big nine hours for Australian sport last night), I was tipped off about a, let’s call it “shit fight” happening between two of Australia’s biggest Mummy Bloggers by one of my loyal followers and readers; This evening as I checked out the online news I saw that the fight moved from off of social media and has hit the traditional media outlets. Yes those Mommy (US)/Mummy (AUS) Bloggers are making international news headlines, and some for all the wrong reasons.

Katrina Springer who blogs under The Organised Housewife was surprised to find out that another parenting site had bought some domain names similar to hers and had them redirected to their own website so that they could pick up readers who had entered the wrong URL or simply typed “Organised Housewife” into Google without prefixing it with the word “The.”

Of course the owner of the (I hesitate to call it this but) rival website produced an apology video and the offending similar domain names are now redirected not to the rival site, but to random Wikipedia pages. I’m not going to mention the other site because as of today they are ranked as the 132,486th most popular website in the world and are run as a big business enterprise whereas The Organised Housewife which is currently ranked as the 198,441st most popular site is still run by an individual mum who blogs.

It’s funny, but the most popular Dad Blogger in Australia currently is Clint Gregan who writes under the title of Reservoir Dad is currently ranked as the 620,587th most popular website in the world and yet I don’t believe that he’s gunning to knock those Mum Bloggers of their perch by joining in on this. In fact, it would seem that he, like many other great bloggers who are also fathers (yes Oren Miller, I’m talking about you), Clint is part of a conglomerate website called Aussie Dad Bloggers which is made up of 20 bloggers who write about being fathers, each having their own website but sharing through this site.

To cut to the chase; Dad Bloggers do not compete, they join forces, much like Voltron and tackle this world of parenting blogging together. Well, that WAS until now. Let me explain…

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Is It Acceptable To Say A Man Is ‘Having’ A Baby?

Arnold Schwarzenegger pregnant

On Mamamia’s Facebook page a story about a celebrity baby was promoted with this sting;

This one’s for the AFL fans. Which team captain has just announced he’s having a baby?

And a debate ensued with comments like this;

Sorry, I can’t help but say it but HE is not having a baby. The correct headline for the article should be “Which AFL captain has just announced that he and his partner are expecting a child” Not the current one.

So I thought I would enter the debate myself and added this; Read more

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