Tag Archives: Facebook

Are Fathers The New Minority Group?

Warren_Farrell_leads_a_group_of_men_protesting,_1972

My most popular (well, my most read post) so far is the one entitled Dear Mums, Please Talk to Your Husbands, followed by What’s The Definition of Parenting? Has The Dictionary Has Got It Wrong? in third spot and the relatively new one 11 Sexist Onesies to Offend a New Dad (and 2 That Are Okay) in sixth place.

When I look at categories that I have chosen for all my posts, Active Fathers is on top of the list with Sexism Against Dads in third spot. I have recently discussed with my writer’s group that my humorous posts get very few hits whilst my activist posts seem to get lots.

And to top it off, the posts with the most comments are the same two that are in the most read as mentioned above. I know why this is the case;

Fathers are the new minority group. Let me explain.

Parents Magazine

Last year Parents Magazine (USA) released 12 issues and 25% of them had mothers on them, with none having fathers on them. Traditionally one might think that a Father’s Day special would show a happy father on the cover, but no, not a single issue showcased dads.

Parents 2013 01 January Parents 2013 02 February Parents 2013 03 March
Parents 2013 04 April Parents 2013 05 May Parents 2013 06 June
Parents 2013 07 July Parents 2013 08 August Parents 2013 09 September
Parents 2013 10 October Parents 2013 11 November Parents 2013 12 December

 

On the magazine’s Facebook page I saw this;

parents magazine facebook 12 signs you're a momNow it says parent in the preamble but mom in the title. And the post itself only has mothers’ comments. Of those “12 signs you’re a mom,” most of them if not all are signs that you could be a dad as much as you could be a mum so the title “12 signs you’re a parent” could easily have been used.

Mamamia Parents

The Australian women’s online magazine, media website, blog post aggregator, and gossip central Mamamia set up individual Facebook pages last year to promote different aspects of their website including the tab they call Parenting. Whilst you can hover your mouse over the Parenting section on the menu and see a Fatherhood sub-header, the display of mums only is rampant on this page.

Take a look at the header of the Facebook page. All writers for Mamamia (and Mamamia Parents) and all mothers. Surely there is a dad amongst their writers who could have been represented here. Even if the page is aimed solely at mothers (but then you have to question why the non-gender specific Parents gets used), the absence of fathers promotes the mindset that dads are not really that important a parent to include, and that their absence is okay.

Mamamia Parents mothers only

iVillage Australia

I have been published twice by iVillage Australia and am very active on their website and Facebook page discussions. Possibly I am the only dad who is a regular reader/commenter, and that might be because of the perceived exclusion of dads on websites and Facebook pages like this.

Take a look at their Facebook page’s header. Recognise anyone in that montage? You should. Some of the photos used for the iVillage Australia are the exact same as the ones used in the Mamamia Parents Facebook page’s header. In fact, most of the writers write for both publications seeing they are sister publications (or should that be non-gender specific sibling publications?)

ivillage australia mothers only

I have brought it to the attention of those who post the updates and memes (like these sexist ones) on both the Mamamia Parents page and the iVillage Australia page that if they are supposed to be for parents, then they need to stop with the (how good am I?) mum only memes and start sharing parenting ones that both mums and dads can enjoy.

One of the pages, I can’t remember which (but I will find it) tagged me in a response and apologised and said that they would be more mindful in the future, and more inclusive of fathers. A pro-dad meme was shared later that evening followed by another a day or two later, but it wasn’t long before they started resorting back to addressing mothers only.

Mamamia (main website/Facebook page)

When the news broke about that mother driving her kids into the ocean in Florida back on the 6th March 2014, Mamamia gave a brief discription of the incident as they normally do on their “news in under 5 minutes” post of the day.

pregnant mum mom florida beach

Fathers killing kids often get caught on these pages before all the details are known. Husbands killing wives are there too. Random men killing random women (that’s not intended in the pejorative way) are headlined too.

But as soon as more details are known, there are endless stories about how we need to end this senseless killing by men. And then we are all tarred with the same brush. All of us men. But not this Florida mum. The fact that a mother was trying to kill her kids is swept under the carpet. It is forgotten about.

Constantly talking about violence against women, especially talking about dads killing mums, without promoting all those balanced stories where modern dads are evolving to be just as active in their children’s lives as how mothers traditionally have been is the driving force behind keeping those dads who are not active in the online community of parenting away.

How can we change this? How can we get dads more active online in parenting communities? Well we could start showing them on the covers of parenting magazines. And not just the one issue every five years.

We can include dads in montages used for headers of parenting websites. We can include dads in discussions and conversations. Instead of parenting pages starting a discussion with “can any mums help with this dilemma?” they could ask if any parents can help, or leave out the salutation altogether and simply ask “can you help with this dilemma?”

Then dads will start to help out with solving problems. Dads will be part of the community of parents, and dads can rejoice in the fact that society is taking them seriously with their relationship and their interaction with their children. After all, Dads Are Parents Too.

To find out more about the featured image, click here…

What’s The Definition of Parenting? Has The Dictionary Has Got It Wrong?

mombie
Disclaimer; I don’t normally use profanities in my blog posts, but I am paraphrasing so I felt justified using them. Also, I’m a little riled so I’m ranting in this post. I’m letting you know up front so you can stop reading if you’re easily offended by swear words.

I went to Google and typed in “parenting meaning” and it brought up one of those windows within the result screen where it gives you a dictionary meaning. This is what is reads;

parent
ˈpɛːr(ə)nt/
verb
gerund or present participle: parenting
1. be or act as a mother or father to (someone).
“exhaustion is incompatible with good parenting”
synonyms:bring up, be the parent of, look after, take care of, rear, raise, nurture
“all children are special to those who parent them”
See? See the mistake?
1. be or act as a mother or father to (someone).

That’s too cute. Um, father? Father is parenting? Really Google, is that what you think? Well Google, clearly you don’t have your own Facebook page now, do you? And if you do, you don’t follow parenting pages do you?

I wrote about it earlier in one of my most popular posts “Dear Mums, Please Talk to Your Husbands.” Okay, I know that I keep making it more popular by going on the “attack” on parenting pages where they keep sharing those “anti-dad” and “only mothers can relate to this part of parenting like tiredness, and constantly cleaning up, blah, blah, blah…” memes. I keep posting the link in the faint hope that I will get through to some of the mothers who keep sharing these, and some of the pages that keep sharing these.

Look, maybe it is not my place to be following parenting pages on Facebook. Maybe these are supposed to be secret women’s clubs and I inadvertently pressed like in the hope that I could be part of a community called parents. Maybe I could share in the joys, the heartaches, the jokes, and the tears. Maybe I could follow a page created to promote products for children and as a dad think “golly gee, I DO need to get a wooden marionette for my child, because plastic is SO darn evil and this Lego shit, well, we’ve all seen the memes about standing on Lego and how the flat nubs become razor sharp points once the lights go out.”

No offence to those mumpreneurs who have turned their love of all things crafty into a home business. And no offence particularly to those who are promoting natural products like wooden toys, 100% cotton clothing, and the like. You are doing a fantastic job and I fully support what you are doing which is why I follow your page. I hope that my additional like (and sometime two likes if I follow from my personal pages and my Facebook page for this blog) has helped you keep up the engagement with your audience. I hope that my likes at those non-gender specific parenting memes has also kept up the engagement with your audience. But I can’t share in those ones that are only aimed at mothers.

Look, I’m happy to sit back and think nothing of those “this is why mothers need to drink wine” memes. You can have them. My kids don’t make me need to have an alcoholic drink, but I’m not judging you. That’s your escape. That’s your outlet. This is mine.

But I would like a little more inclusion for us fathers. I wonder if the gender imbalance in the parenting arena is because many fathers feel like they are left out. I wonder if they feel excluded and instead of fighting or merely becoming trolls on your page to be delete or blocked (it has almost happened to me before I have pleaded my case), they simply lay down their guns and surrender (remember that song?) I wonder, if parenting pages, magazines and websites included fathers in more than just a passing comment whether we would see more active fathers, and more engagement to know what dads who are not Dad Bloggers are thinking.

And I think I really need to start calling out those pages. I really don’t want to, but I feel that maybe I have to. I will start by sending the page a private letter, email or message. I will ask them to be more inclusive. Maybe share a positive dad meme or photo or story.

Now I know you could argue that there are plenty of pages for dads that showcase dads in a positive light and share photos, stories and memes that promote active fathers. Facebook pages like Becoming Dad and their subsequent website do a great job of this, and whilst this page and the website are followed by women who can see that dads can be active, these are pages aimed at dads (I guess) rather than parents as a collective (and yet, they don’t exclude mothers). What I am talking about are those who use “parenting” in their name, title, subject line or catchphrase but then proceed to be aimed at mothers only.

mombie

“Fuck we are awesome mothers, dads can’t be half as good as us.”
“Dads don’t do any chores.”
“Dads are fucking lazy”
That’s the crux of many of these memes. I recently saw this Mombie one.
Mombie (n): someone resembling a living person, characterised by a staggering walk and a blank stare. Caused by having 1 or more children. Unlike a zombie in search of brains, the mombie is usually in search of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Someone? That would imply a person who could be female or, wait for it, male. But, no; not dads.

Sadly, many of these pages are created by and run by feminists. I was going to use neo-feminists because the description given for that particular arm of the feminist movement accurately describes these women, but I didn’t. Take that as noted. Now I bring that up because these women are fighting the good fight on behalf of their “sisters” and they are breaking through the glass ceiling in many factors of gender inequality. That’s fantastic. But as I always state when debating or arguing with feminists; if you don’t fight for the rights of men in fields where they are shown prejudice against them, then the equality movement as a whole is missing a huge chunk of its fight.

I’ve already made my peace with a few of the women running some Facebook pages that I have gone on the attack with. That sounds harsh, it’s not really an attack, it’s more of me making them aware that I was offended by one of their memes. I found that it was unduly sexist against dads. I spoke up, we’ve discussed it; sometimes publicly on their page, sometimes privately in Facebook Messenger (a.k.a. Private Message).

I know that as a dad, as a male of our species I am in the minority when it comes to following parenting pages. I know that I might be in the 2% minority (statistic confirmed by a few parenting pages I have asked about their insights) but maybe, as I mentioned earlier, we are only the majority because men don’t feel included. And so with a 98% female audience it stands to reason that these “mums are the best parents” and “dads are shit” memes get shared and liked, and comments are then made that include the old cliché chestnut “too true.” Yes, if a “mums are great” or “dads are crap” meme is shared there will always be one mum that writes the “too true” comment. It’s the equivalent of the “too cute” comment that MUST be written by at least one person under a photo of a new born baby.

So now, it’s time to don my helmet and my chain-mail armour and grab my sword. I am going on a crusade. I want to see if these parenting pages can start to include pro-father memes. I want to see if we can get the 98% to start tagging in their partners and sharing THESE memes on their page to be “liked” by male friends who are dads. I am sure we can do this.

I am lucky in the sense that 35% of my followers are men, but I know that the vast majority of that 35% are my fellow Dad Bloggers. But, if any of my fellow Dad Bloggers or the non-blogging dads who follow (oh, there’s a great esoteric joke that I could go with, but, nah, those who are on my wavelength will have a laugh to themselves, I’m sure) would like to mention in my comments any pages that are so-called parenting pages but actually are more like “mothers only” pages, that would be good. And this is open to any mother who would like to join with me in what I might have enough courage to call a movement one day.

Should I start a Equality For Dads on Facebook campaign? What say you?

What Happened to His Father?

Cadel's First Orientation Day
Cadel's First Orientation Day

Our son’s first orientation day photo

Today was the second day that our eldest son attended orientation for kindergarten. My wife took him to preschool this morning, picked him up at 11am and then took him to his big school so he could do whatever it is they do in the classrooms in preparation for the start of his schooling life next January.

When my wife got home after dropping him back at preschool she came into my office and told me a story that she subsequently added to her Facebook page. This is what she wrote;

“My heart broke a little bit today. At big school a little boy came into the office and said he didn’t have a lunch order in his bag. The teacher asked him what he had for recess and he said tiny teddies but he didn’t like them so the teacher told him to tell his Mum he doesn’t like them to which he replied ‘I don’t have a Mum'”

Further to what she wrote on her status update she told me the next part of the story. The person in the office responded to the child;

“Then you need to tell your carer that you don’t like them…”

Say what? Your carer? If you don’t have a mother then you must only have a carer. Hmmmm. What about his dad? What happened to his father?

Okay, I will admit that before I became a parent myself and when I was doing my traineeship in retail management I might have gone up to a “little lost boy” in our store and asked where his mother was. That was well over 20 years ago I would have asked that. And that was well before I knew anyone with young kids other than my friends families but I wouldn’t have given it a second thought to think about family and parenting and such.

But now, now that I am a father myself, and maybe even well before that when I was older and more mature than my late teen years, I have definitely been conscious of including both mothers and fathers (or parents as I like to call them collectively) when addressing a child about their “guardian.”

But this person works within the school system. Surely there is training to suggest to such workers that kids could come from single parent families where the parent could be either the mother OR the father.

I feel like complaining about this. It got me pretty angry when my wife told me this.

Come on, fathers are parents too…

So do you think it would be unreasonable for me to make a complaint about this? Am I overstepping my boundaries? Or is it just a case of me making a mountain out of a molehill and I should build a bridge and get over it?

Naming Day Speech (or How I Made Myself Cry)

Cadel first bath
Cadel first bath

After about 48 hours in NICU, I was able to give him his first bath. This is a photo from day 3 off memory.

Today is our eldest son’s birthday. Today he turned 5-years-old. That means, for want of another term, I am celebrating my own fifth anniversary of being a parent. Early this morning (about 5:15am) I woke up went through my Facebook photos looking for one of him as close to his birth as possible. Well that is to say, one AFTER he left the incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because no one wants to see a newborn in distress on his birthday.

In the lead up to today, I have been going back and looking at photos from the last five years and being very nostalgic. When I saw this photo I have to admit, although I was tired from a late night baking his birthday cake the night before, I did shed a tear and not because I was tired, but because when it comes to our boys, I am an emotional wreck thinking about their milestones.

I’ll skip the details of this morning with him opening his present and us singing Happy Birthday at breakfast, but I want to mention – even though this is not the topic of this post – that today was his first day at big school; we had a 90 minute orientation at the school he’ll be starting at in 2014. As he walked ahead of me towards the kindergarten class rooms, I was really tearing up. I am very thankful that it was a very hot and sunny day and that my sunglasses weren’t leaving my face.

And that, as my sub-title of this post might suggest, IS the point of this post; well sort of. What I want to present to you is my speech from his naming day which was held exactly three months to the day of his birth. It was a very hot day that day. Extremely hot. And there I was, standing up in front of family and friends, reading a letter I penned to my first born son, and it was only one sentence in and I completely lost it. Luckily our celebrant stepped up and read it with the passion that I had intended. Lucky she was able to look at my grammar, use the punctuation and give pause where pauses were needed, and bring the words to life as I so eagerly wanted to.

So here is my speech to my boy. Our boy. Cadel…

Dear Cadel,

Every man, when looking into the future, thinking about his objectives in life such as careers, journeys, dreams and wishes would naturally place having a family high on his list of things he wants to do.  When breaking it down to the next, level having a son would also be very high on his list.  I know having a baby boy was the icing on the cake for me.

There are those who want to live vicariously through their offspring, sometimes to the detriment of their child.  Sure there are paths that I’d like to see you head down, there are unfulfilled dreams of mine that I hope become your own; will you be a famous rock star flying around the world entertaining the masses?  Will you lace up a pair of boots on the day of the grand final playing in front of a crowd of thousands; be it rugby league, Australian Rules or even soccer?  If you really have to play rugby union so be it, but don’t try to explain those rules to me. 

Whatever it is that you want to achieve just know this; I will always be here to support you.  Whenever you fell you’ve lost your way, I will be here to guide you.

If ever you are feeling less than perfect know this; no one expects you to be perfect, all your mother and I hope is that you be the best Cadel James Milton you can be.  You have a great chance at the moment of being just that; I Googled your full name and there is no one else with such a moniker so you’ve got a good head start on anyone else who follows with your name.

Research tells me that the name Cadel hasn’t been in the top 100 boys’ names let alone the top 1000 names for at least the last century.  But just you wait. One day you might achieve something great; something that makes you stand out above your contemporaries.  One day the name Cadel will be known by more than those who pay attention to the updates about the Tour De France tucked away at the end of the sports bulletin.

According to the naming books it is said that your name is of Welsh origin meaning “battle.”  I expect you will battle it out on the sporting field, you might enter a battle of the bands, you might have to battle the traffic, and to a very lesser extent you might even become a fan of the sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica. 

A direct quote from my favourite website Wikipedia; “Battles are decided by various factors.  The number and quality of men and equipment, the commanders of each army, and the terrain advantages are among the most prominent factors.”

Your life needn’t be a battle but if you do face challenges, you will be a strong commander of your life.  You have your mum and I (and I expect a sibling or two), your grandparents, your aunties and uncles, your cousins, your godparents, and your extended family to help you.  Yes the number and quality of your men (and women) to help you win your battle will be vast and strong.

As for the terrain, although you burst into tears when we put you in the surf on your first trip to the Gold Coast, I am sure that it is the sand that will be your finest battle ground.  As Winston Churchill once remarked “we will fight them on the beaches.”  I think he was talking about beach cricket.

So whatever it is that you want out of life, go for it.  You have my support, you have your mum’s support, and I am sure that you have the moral support of everyone standing here before you today as well as those who are absent but send their love.

For the short term my goal is to wipe the drool from your face as you are too young to notice it.  For the long term my promise to you is to love you unconditionally, my vow is to protect you from harm‘s way, and my dream is to provide you the best things in life.

My wish is for you to return the favour when I’m too old to notice the drool running down my face.

I hadn’t read that for a few years. As I sit here at my desk with everyone else in the house asleep I will once again admit that my own words made me cry.

I look at this speech that I wrote 4-years-and-9-months ago and see the “prophecies” that were fulfilled, but also the things that were unforeseeable errors. I thought about how I looked out with tears in my eyes at his naming day seeing my mother so proud of me, and my mother-in-law equally as proud. And now both are gone. They WERE amongst the “everyone standing here before you today” crowd, and now they’re both in the “absent but send their love” crowd.

I thought of those first 3-and-a-half years of him being the World’s Worst Sleeper™ and the “battles” we faced with that. I thought about the day his mother had to work, but he and I travelled two hours north to Newcastle to watch my brother-in-law play in his Rugby Union grand final (and I didn’t need the rules explained to me).

I thought about how we added that sibling for him, and thought about another but then decided on just the two of them. I thought about how, on his naming day we had his 2-month-old second cousin (daughter of my wife’s cousin), his 3-week-old cousin (my wife’s sister’s baby), and my brother’s eight month pregnant with twins wife there. And now we have three second cousins and another due in January, plus three first cousins on my wife’s side and my brother’s twins on my side of the family. Then there’s my own cousins’ kids who we have been fortunate to see every year thanks to holidays and business trips in Queensland.

All of this makes me feel part of something greater. Something big. No, let me do that again. Something BIG.

And all because five years ago today we had a baby.

And I became a father.

Is All Food Advertised on Television Bad For You?

kids watching television

My wife left her Facebook page open today on my computer. When I sat down to use it what was staring back at me was one of the dumbest memes or motivational pictures I have ever seen (well, actually, I’ve seen a lot more that are worse, but hyperbole sometimes gets the better of me) and it was shared by one of her health care professional contacts. The meme read;

“The key to eating healthy? Avoid any food that has a TV commercial.”

Hmmm. So I guess that means we are avoiding this food…

Or this one…

Or even this one…

So that’s avocados, bananas, and natural oats. All of these make many nutritionist’s Top Ten, Top Seven, or Top Five (will the internet ever be full?) Superfoods lists. Yes, go on, google “avocado superfood”; you’ll see it listed. Then google “banana superfood”; it’s there too. Go on, I dare you. “Oats superfood?” Let’s check the Family Feud board. It’s there (ching, ching you have won $50,000). Yay. Um, no…

WARNING: If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you may not want to view the next two, but these commercials that also appear on television are also foods that are recommended by many health experts, dieticians and nutritionists and they basically make the meme sound like it is not really that well thought out.

I present salmon… yes ANOTHER superfood…

I love this one starring Northern Ireland born, New Zealand raised, made famous in Australia, Hollywood actor Sam Neill. Funny, I always thought he’d end up doing commercial for goat meat. #jurassicparkgoatscenereference

kids watching television

Photo Credit: Photographer’s Choice

Now I know the intention of the creator of this meme was to highlight that television commercials for fast food, sugary cereals and soft drinks are advertising foods that one should not consider if they are on a healthy eating plan, but really, many of the health food experts with websites, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds are promoting their wares to many who are uneducated and those people may get really confused, and next time they see an advertisement for avocado they will question the benefits that this superfood has to offer, as pointed out in MANY television commercials.

And if you are to simply tell your kids “if it is advertised on television, it MUST be bad for you” then how are you going to get them to eat a banana?

Sorry meme maker, you’ve missed the mark on this one. Sadly, misinformation like this is shared every day. For all the good the information age has brought us, there are plenty who are using it to spread the wrong message.

So next time you see one of these motivational memes, stop and think before you share. Okay, these aren’t as bad a urban legends or scams, but still, we can all aim to be a little smarter, don’t you think?

Now excuse me, I’m off to make my body sing (that’s eating a banana, okay?)

Serious Advert Aimed at Viral Marketing or Comedy Skit?

die from mumps

I saw this on YouTube today and shared it on my blog’s Facebook page, but you already knew that seeing you follow me on Facebook. You do follow me don’t you? (If not, click here).

One of my followers wrote a comment “Is that a joke??” Now I don’t know if this was being asked by someone who is pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination (I know I have people on both sides of the argument following me), but it made me think.

I actually watched it on my phone and posted it from there and I hadn’t done the research – how slack of me – but I thought it was both funny and thought provoking and I had wondered myself whether this was done by one of those YouTube comedy channels or whether it was an actual advertisement created by the pro-vaccine movement intended to go viral (pun intended).

die from mumps

The subtitle reads “Do not take vaccines if you have chosen to die from the mumps”

There are lines within the script that are very much those that skeptics use (you know, the anti-religious, anti-airy fairy crap, anti-new age people) and that would tend to lend itself to being comedy, but the way that Generation X people like me and our successors Generation Y tend to enjoy marketing that has an edge and we will share it on social media, then it is possible that this could be the future of advertising.

Sure it takes a swing at religious people “Vaccines are not a prayer, and not a magic” and includes the jocular subtitles such as “Do not take vaccines if you have chosen to die from the mumps” as pointed out by another Facebook follower, but again, marketing in the future will be happy to piss off people who they believe will not want to buy into what they are selling, but it will only make other individuals and organisations who have Facebook pages – Atheists, Skeptics, Pro-Vaccine (in this case) – want to share it, and share it again, and keep on sharing it.

Now I have pretty much confirmed that strangemeal who are the production company behind this are comedians producing comedy content, but it makes me wonder; are they all pro-vaccine themselves, and whether this is a paid advertisement from the “evil pharmaceutical companies” (that’s the anti-vax people’s statement, not mine), do THEY have an agenda – that is to get everyone to vaccinate their children – and are they hoping this goes viral for that very reason?

So what do you think? Just a comedy skit or a real attempt at viral marketing?

 

Why Is Every Mummy/Mommy Blogger an Alcoholic?

apple cider

Tonight is the last night before my wife returns home from her holiday in Singapore. As many of you might remember, last week I made a list of six things I was going to do while she was on her overseas holiday. And I did all of them and more.

Although her overseas trip was only for five nights she actually spent six night away from home choosing to stay at her friend’s house who lives a short taxi ride from the airport as opposed to our hour long drive to get there. I sort of wish she went for longer so that I could prove myself to be a self sufficient single parent – not that I would want to be – but I relished in the “challenge” to take on a young boy and a toddler by myself through all the tantrums and fights that were to be expected.

As much as I miss her, as much as well all miss her, I wish that she was gone for seven nights so that I could have done the whole week’s routine on my own. I know that I couapple ciderld do it. I know that I could get the boys ready for preschool and day-care, make lunches, take them to extra curricular activities outside these schooling organisations, and generally keep the normal routine going like clockwork.

One thing that I didn’t add to that list but I did anyway was have a drink while cooking dinner to transition from my work day Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and today (Monday) and to compliment the fun day I had with the boys all day on Saturday and Sunday. I went out on Wednesday and bought myself a six-pack of cloudy apple cider to be my drink of choice. And I guess that it was fitting that she was gone for only six nights; that’s one drink from the six pack per night. How convenient?

Now I know what many of you are thinking; you shouldn’t be drinking when you’ve got little kids to look after. Au contraire (I think that’s French for “shut up, what would YOU know?”or something like that).

I follow lots and lots of parenting Facebook pages. I follow lots of businesses who sell children’s products and service on Facebook. And I follow lots of bloggers, many of whom are mothers. And one thing that I have noticed; mums who run Facebook pages love sharing drinking memes. Things like “mommy needs a drink,” and “go to bed, mummy needs some wine.” I am sure you’ve seen them, and if not, I’ve included some below.

So basically I figured, if I am going to get through the single parenting like a mum would – and everyone knows that mums are so fantastic, they keep reminding us as shown in these memes (click here) – then I better get some alcohol in me. Now I am not much of a drinker; I only had two light beers on Saturday night at the 40th I was invited to, but I enjoy a glass of red with dinner three nights a week. But red wine is not really alcohol, it is good for your heart they say, so it’s more of an elixir rather than anything else, right?

And while apple cider is hardly the “hard stuff” I felt that I should have something that would make me a better parent, and I’m not one for a “chardy” or “champers” (they’re pronounced shardy and shampers for those not in the know) so a cider it was.

Liquids have definitely played an important part in my life over the last five days, from the extra coffee I’ve been having each morning, to the herbal teas I have been enjoying throughout the day (that’s one showing in the picture that I brewed earlier today). I have also won a few battles with offering the toddler a few extra sips of milk each night and letting the older one have some soy milk to compliment his dinner each night too.

But as of tomorrow night, that’s it. I am back on the wagon; or is that off the wagon? I can never remember which one is which. Tomorrow night starts the dry spell that I will be imposing on myself so that we can prepare to go back to the healthy eating and drinking to take us into this coming summer, and I really want that beach body this year.

So from tomorrow night on, it will be a different sort of six pack that I will have on my mind until the coming long weekend. Did I mention there’s a long weekend coming up? And I promised to bring the carton of beer to the party…

Diet starts the following week… (And I am pretty sure there’s a whole stack of those memes being shared by the mothers too).

So here are those alcoholic mum memes for your enjoyment. Click on them so you can see them better. Tip for mothers; if you don’t get the joke you might need more wine… or less…

6 Things I Will Be Doing While My Wife is on her Overseas Holiday

I AM A DAD meme instagram version

Early tomorrow morning my wife and her best friend fly out of Sydney International Airport bound for a holiday in Singapore with another friend who moved there to live. Tonight my wife was attending a work function in the city before heading over to stay at her friend’s place as she is not too far from the airport. So, for the six nights it is just me and the boys. (“Only six nights?” I hear you ask. Look, I’m not the only one who thinks that if you’re going all that way you might as well go for longer, but for some unknown reason she just decided to go overseas for five nights.)

I AM A DAD meme instagram version

This could easily be “I Am a Parent” but I made this to counterbalance all those mum/mom memes.

So I have decided that seeing that I am in charge for the next six nights, then all the rules will be thrown out the window and this is what we will be doing instead starting tonight.

1. The Dinner Routine

What normally happens is I cook the boys dinner and then start preparing the dinner for my wife and I. Occasionally if I am finishing off some work in my office or if I am stuck in traffic after seeing a customer late in the day my wife will get their dinner under way and I will look after our dinner once I am finished or once I arrive home.

What is going to happen while she is away is, well, pretty much the same thing except that I will have to make sure I can do their dinner at a reasonable time on both Thursday and Friday nights. That should be easy enough.

2. The Bath Routine

Generally, after dinner is finished I take the boys upstairs for a bath. We used to have a pretty even split between my wife and I where I would do four night one week and she’d do three nights that week and vice versa, but now I generally do the baths every night unless there is a reason why I can’t and then she takes over.

What is going to happen while she is away is, well, pretty much the same thing except that I will definitely have to do them every night.

3. The Bedtime Routine

What normally happens is that straight after the bath the boys get dressed in their pyjamas in the older boys room. Then after playing for a little while – we play this game called “The Running and Jumping Game” which involves, running towards Daddy at full speed and jumping on Daddy who tackles each boy as they do it and hurls them onto the bed. The danger level is very low unless they both make their run up at the same time where there’s the chance of fisticuffs rather than anything else that could cause harm during the game itself. Once this game is done, Mummy goes and gets the milk in the sippy cup, we both struggle to get the little one’s teeth brushed, and then it is time for me to put him to bed.

I wrote recently how he is a better sleeper than his brother once he finally gets to sleep, but he takes forever to get to sleep. Sometimes it takes me 90 minutes to get him to sleep which is fine for the most part as I can hang out on my phone catching up on Facebook, Words With Friends and reading my fellow Dad Bloggers blogs. But some nights I would prefer to have him over and done with quicker so that I can go back downstairs to play Lego with his older brother.

Depending on how long it takes to get the little one to sleep, if he falls fast asleep quickly and I can transfer him to his cot successfully then I head downstairs to play Lego. If this is the case as well, at not real set time, but not too late I then take the older one upstairs and get him to brush his teeth and then we go into his room to read a book, and if he has been a real good boy we watch stop motion YouTube videos that amateur Lego and video enthusiasts create and upload. As soon as the two to five minute video is over, it is lights out and straight to sleep. He rally is THAT good a sleeper now.

What is going to happen while she is away is, SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. If tonight is anything to go by, this task which I thought might be the hardest part without having my wife as the back up to put the big one to bed should the little one take forever was actually very simple and very quick. Straight from the bath to the master bedroom. Pyjamas were ready and waiting and seeing it is a very hot night they are in summer pyjamas which made dressing the little one a breeze.

I went downstairs and got the sippy cup of milk while the bigger one went to brush his teeth. The little one skipped brushing his tonight but I will make up for that tomorrow for sure. Then it was three episodes of Peppa Pig and then the television went off and it was “roll over and go to sleep time”for the both of them. Of course, the little one being the rough head that he is jostled for more room but once I separated the two of them by laying between them they both rolled over and were snoring before I could clear all the games I had backlogged on Words With Friends.

I carried the big one to his bed making sure that his night light was on. As her was falling asleep he said in a voice that sounded like he was on his deathbed “Daddy, please make sure my night light is on when you carry me to bed.”It was SOOOOO dramatic. The little one transferred without even opening his eyes for the first time in ages.

4. Packing the Dishwasher and Cleaning the Kitchen.

Normally, after I have put one of both boys to bed I come back downstairs and pack the dishwasher and then clean the kitchen.

Tonight the dishwasher was packed before they had their bath, and it has been set to go off at 10:30pm which means that we use off-peak electricity. The kitchen was also cleaned before the bath. And with no one else here but me to make it a mess again, that won’t happen until morning… for a change.

5. The Morning Routine.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays the boys go to preschool and day-care.  The little one doesn’t go on Fridays any more but will be this week as I can’t have him here with me as I need to get work done. Normally I wake up first with the little one (he’s been sleeping with me in the spare bed nearly every night for the last two weeks while both he and my wife were getting over their colds). Even when he sleeps through the night in his own cot, I am the one who gets up with him at 6am and we go downstairs to make Daddy a coffee.

My wife is often the next to wake up sometime after 7am and then followed by the older boy who can wake up as late as 8am sometimes. This cannot happen this week.

Living the life of a single parent for the next six nights and five days means that I will have to run a very tight ship otherwise I won’t have them fed, washed, dressed, with lunches and bags packed ready to go and then driving them to preschool and day-care in time for me to make it to my appointment on time.

My wife and I work as a team with this. During the morning routine, my wife has the task of unpacking the dishwasher from the night before. Sometimes this happens. Sometimes this half happens. Sometimes things get too hectic and that job waits for later in the day. That is a task I will have to fit in or leave until my lunch break (a benefit of working from home).

6. Playing With the Boys and Keeping Them Entertained.

I have written on many occasions that every Saturday my wife works and that is Daddy and the boys days to hang out.  There will be no changes to that routine.

On Sundays we normally do something as a whole family. This week, Sunday will be Saturday Part 2. So that will be two days of chores until 11am. Two days of going to the park or the shopping centre playground. Two days of morning tea or afternoon tea knocking back some coffee and babycinos as all the cool kids do.

So when it comes down to it, my routine for the week without my wife here won’t be that much different. I won’t have to step up and do things that I don’t normally do. I won’t have to call either sister-in-law and ask for parental advice. And I won’t have to check a list of jobs that my wife has left me.

It makes me wonder though, if a slacker like me can be so active with his kids. If someone who was such a lazy arse teenager like I was can pull this work – life balance off, why are there some many of those “mums are so great and dads are lazy shits or bumbling fools” memes going round the Internet or advertisements still hitting the airwaves?

I don’t get it.

The Life of Dad After Show Podcast

Life of Dad After Show Logo Square

And now for something completely different.

Since becoming a fully fledged, card carrying Dad Blogger I have met some really great dads, local and abroad. I have connected with these gents through Facebook, Twitter and directly through their own blogs. A website that I really admire and love checking out is The Life of Dad. As Ellen might say; watch this…

Now I threw in that Ellen reference as the founder of that website is Tommy Riles who is a comedian and audience warm-up for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as well as being a fellow Dad Blogger. Tommy Riles hosts a pod-cast show called, strangely enough, The Life of Dad Show, along with his co-host Art Eddy.

The Life of Dad After Show Pod-cast. A great show that showcases dad bloggers like me.

Earlier this week, fairly early in the morning I was sitting at my desk in Sydney, Australia having a conversation with a couple of fellow American dad bloggers and host of The Life of Dad After Show Pod-cast, the aforementioned Art Eddy who was in Stanhope, New Jersey and Ryan E. Hamilton who was in Clayton, Delaware. It was evening for these guys and so for them they were presenting their night shows, but with the sun shining through my office window it was just the start of a beautiful spring day, and one where I’d be stuck in my office trying to make a few dollars (or maybe more).

Before I got into my working day I sat down for a great chat with these two lovable fellows talking about my website and the agenda that I bring to dad blogging. It is no secret that I want to see fathers treated as equals when it comes to parenting, and this is one of the topics we discuss.

You can read about and connect with Ryan E. Hamilton on his page on Life of Dad by clicking here. You can also read about and connect with Art Eddy on his page on Life of Dad by clicking here.

But without much further ado, I present to you for your listening pleasure, The Life of Dad After Show Pod-cast featuring their special guest; me.

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