Diary of Dad: Why did you want kids?

So, why did you want kids?

It’s a question that I’m sure every parent has been asked once or twice at some point in their lives. If it wasn’t someone else asking them, I’m sure parents have asked this question of themselves at one point or another.

For me, the answer to this question has always been the same. It certainly isn’t the strongest answer, but it’s all I had for a very long time…

“I don’t know… I have always wanted kids… a family… I love being a dad!”

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Like I said, it isn’t exactly the strongest answer to the question. But what I now realise, is that I just didn’t really know how to put into words the reason for wanting kids.

For Fathers Day earlier this year, I got a book called ‘The New Manhood by Steve Biddulph’. A book that has been called ‘the most influential book on men’s lives’.

In a chapter titled Men and Women, Steve Biddulph talks a lot about values in a relationship. He talks about the fact that couples don’t have to be compatible with everything, but they do have to be compatible in values because those set the direction of your whole life.

He goes on to ask 3 questions in what he calls a “semi-serious” values quiz, including this question about having kids…

Couples should have children because:

  1. It moves you beyond your own importance and into a place of giving and caring that brings lifelong satisfaction and joy;
  2. Ah, well, that’s just what you do;
  3. They are so cute!

While it’s quite obvious that the “semi-serious” tag is true, there is one answer that isn’t so “semi-serious”. And when I first read it, it was like everything that I was trying to say whenever anyone asked me the kids question fell into place.

It moves you beyond your own importance and into a place of giving and caring that brings lifelong satisfaction and joy!

What I always struggled to say, Steve Biddulph managed to summarise in a simple and elegant two-line sentence.

It was almost as though once I read these words, my journey through fatherhood finally became clear. While I knew deep down that I wanted to be a dad and enjoyed the prestigious role, most of the time (terrible two’s anyone), it was as though I had finally found my purpose as a dad.

Every parent, whether you’re a father or a mother, has good times and bad. Ups and downs. I can honestly say that there are certainly many times through this journey of being a father that challenge me to my very core. Times that have even made me question whether I am actually cut out to be a dad.

But armed with the knowledge that fatherhood, or being a parent in general, is supposed to move you beyond your own importance has been the kick in the pants that I needed.

I can honestly say that there have absolutely been times where I have been completely selfish as a parent. When I’ve just wanted to be left alone. When I just wanted to play video games instead of “playing” parent. When I’ve been staring at my phone instead of paying attention to what my kids are doing. When I struggled with being responsible for someone other than myself. When I selfishly thought about time before kids and how easier it was.

But now, with this renewed outlook, I am thrilled about how my perspective on being a father will change. How my actions as a father will change. To not only Jesse and Jasper but to Baby Barton #3, when he or she decides to say hello to the world next year.

I am feeling… inspired… by the lifelong satisfaction and joy that being a father is going to bring me. That is of course, as long as I do my job right…

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Diary of Dad: The First Chapter

We’re pregnant…

That’s right. Baby Barton number 3 is on its way!

You may have even seen our pregnancy announcement. The four of us, sitting together looking into the distance… curiously pondering about what lies ahead and how our lives might change when the new bundle of joy will grace us with his or her presence.

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And speaking of pondering, it seems as though I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. I’ve been thinking about many things in my life. About my work. About my physical health. My mental health. My relationships, family, friends. About what I enjoy doing (what do I enjoy doing?). My direction in life. My purpose.

But the one thing that has occupied a lot of my thoughts is our pregnancy, and soon to be third bundle of joy.

What impact will a third child have on our lives? Will we have a third boy or will we have a girl? Do we really have to go through the process of choosing names we like again?

Our blog (Not So Secret Life Of Us) has served as an outlet for us to pour our thoughts out on (digital) paper constructively and thoughtfully. For us to share our lives as a family of two, three and then four in the hope that others would not only get enjoyment out of our words but also realise that they weren’t alone in the world.

I have always enjoyed writing. I excelled at English in school. Thoroughly enjoying the process around creative writing and storytelling. But not only that, I find writing from the heart and mind therapeutic. It serves as a release. A way to get the thoughts clouding ones mind out onto paper so that you can rejuvenate the mind.

It has been a long time between drinks on this blog. As in, before the pregnancy announcement, the last time I posted anything it was Winter (June to be exact).

But I kind of think I want to start writing again. I think I want to start sharing some of my thoughts as I go through this journey of discovering who I am, what I want to be, what I want to do and, as I eventually become a dad to three kids.

We could call this somewhat of a journey of self-discovery… of sorts.

So I would like to announce that I have decided to start this new chapter of writing under a new series for our Not So Secret Life Of Us blog, called Diary of Dad (or DOD for short). I even created a dodgy logo for myself!

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My hope for this series is that it will act as a diary of sorts. A place for me to write my thoughts. Share my feelings and experiences. Document my journey. As I continue to grow into the role of Dad, and as I continue to discover who I am (remember when I spoke about purpose earlier).

The Diary of Dad is a place for me to write for myself. But at the same time, this is a journey that I am wanting to share with you. Because even if only one person gets something out of these words and the future words yet to be written, I can confidently say that this experiment is a success.

And while I sit here continuously staring at an endless list of baby names trying to figure out what I like (there are some awful names out there just quietly), I can honestly say that I am genuinely excited about writing for our blog again.

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Birthday boys…

Both Jesse and Jasper had birthdays over the past couple of months. So did Renee and I, but I think we get outranked on the importance scale lately…

And this year, Grandma and Papa decided they that instead of buying something for the boys, they would give them some money to spend at the shops themselves.

Well, can someone say Kmart shopping spree?!

The boys thought this was the best idea ever. And so today, we finally toddled off to Kmart so the boys could spend their birthday money on whatever they wanted.

Well, wouldn’t you know it… but apparently $50 each goes a long way when you’re shopping in Kmart.

And as you can see, the boys were pretty chuffed with their Kmart hauls!

Good job boys… and happy birthday!

Introducing the new baby!

Firstly, yes it’s been a while in between posts. We haven’t forgotten about our blog or our YouTube channel, we’ve just been busy with… well… you know… life!

But I’m back (at least for the moment), and not only that, i’m back with some very exciting news for you all!!!

And that news is… I would officially like to introduce the new baby in our household to everyone. Please say hello too…

Baby Massy!!!

Baby Massy is a Masport SureCut mower with a Briggs & Stratton 4-Stroke 550E series 140cc OHV motor. He has a 4 blade cutting system, grass catcher and mulcher. And he is everything I’ve ever dreamed of!

This right here, is definitely a proud dad moment. Isn’t he just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?!

Now that you’ve met him, please excuse me as I now need to take him out for a walk! 😉

I love my Massy!

Weathering the shitstorm

I saw a post on Facebook today from a desperate Mum of a one year old daughter who was seeking relationship advice. She said that she was thinking of leaving her partner because they were going through some struggles and she was worried she didn’t love him anymore. It made me feel really sad and I didn’t even know the woman! It was just an anonymous post on a Mums group page.

I really felt for her and sad that she was considering giving up. Marriage (or any long term relationship) can be challenging but those first few years of parenthood are just a major shitstorm. Beautiful, yes. But a shitstorm nonetheless.

Almost every Mum I have spoken to about this say they have experienced a time of struggle in their relationship after having a child. And if you’ve had more than one child in a short period of time it is an even bigger, smellier shitstorm. And sadly it seems many couples make the difficult decision to call it quits rather than weather the storm.

We have not been immune to the struggle. I mean, when you throw hormones, very (very) little sleep, small people needing your attention 24/7, a fair bit less action in the bedroom and a shit tonne of laundry and dishes piled up things are bound to get a little….strained.

Now, they say that the key to any lasting relationship is communication. I just finished reading a great book by Alan Loy McGinnis called The Friendship Factor and in it he talks a lot about the ultimate friendship; a marriage. The author writes that many of us have a tendency to stop talking to the ones we love the longer we have known them. Makes sense, right?! He goes on to write about an experiment that measured the amount of conversation that occurs between the average married couple over the course of a week. The end result….17 minutes! SEVENTEEN MINUTES. Geez, the average male takes longer than that to take a dump!

This scares the life out of me. Especially since some day not too long from now the kids will be grown and we’ll be back to just us. Forever.

It’s definitely not always easy to keep the communication flowing especially during those difficult times. Though we should be able to be completely honest and transparent with our spouse it is often the hardest because we care for them so much and fear what might happen if we are. But the stories we tell ourselves and the resentment that builds up because, well, he should just know what’s wrong without me having to spell-it-out are always worse than just talking about it.

So in saying all of that, whether you are knee-deep in shitstorm or if you have managed to pop out the other side, I’d love to hear what you and your partner do to keep the conversation flowing (and not just about how many times little Johnny pooped today or what takeout to get for dinner). How do you make time for each other and what kinds of things do you do to keep your marriage pilot light lit?

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Are we officially old

Panda Bear | SLUMBERJACK | Cub Sport

Two People | G Flip | Malibu Ken

Do you recognise any of these names? Because if you don’t, you might just be coming to the realisation that you’re not just deep into adulthood, but that you very well might possibly be considered to be… ugh… old!

Let’s analyse this for a sec…

I thought I was up with the times in this modern world of ours. I know how to work an iPhone with no home button, I play Fortnite probably more often than the average 14 year old and I too have been victim of the black hole that is YouTube from time to time.

One of the series I’ve watched over the years on YouTube, is ‘Fine Brothers Entertainment’ with their ‘React’ series. I found it amusing watching videos from this series like ‘Adults react to modern music’ often finding myself laughing when these adults were played modern popular music and not have any clue what the song was or who the artist was.

Well, if you hadn’t guessed it already, those names at the top of this post… they’re all recording artists who have brought out new music (according to Apple Music that is (not a sponsor btw)).

I have always enjoyed flicking through the new and popular music charts in Apple Music, as I like to see if there’s anything new coming out that I might enjoy. But in doing this, I have increasingly become more and more aware of a growing trend.

And that is, that I have no f***ing clue who any of these people are!

I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel really f***ing old!

I’m sure there’s a bunch of teenagers out there laughing their pimple-faced arses off at this, all the while muttering under their breath… “haha, you old man”.

And let’s add insult to injury while we’re on this subject hey… because this is really going to put the icing on the cake. Not only do I have absolutely no clue who any of these artists are, I am also finding that all this new music sounds EXACTLY THE GODDAMN SAME!

Why is it that new music these days is all electro bullshit or incoherent mumble rap where you can’t even understand a single word they’re saying.

Please god take me back to the good old days of where musicians had actual talent, wrote their own music and lyrics, and knew how to play instrument (oh God, shut up Kaine, you sound like a Grandad).

Take me back to artists like Queen and Michael Jackson, where it was unmistakable who you were listening too. Take me back to bands like Korn, Fear Factory and Machine Head who paved the way for nu-metal in the late 90s and early 00s. Actually, I’d even rather listen to a boy band from the 90’s than today’s drivel. Backstreet Boys anyone??

Take me back to good music, by good musicians! Because if I hear one more mumble rap song about… well I have no idea what they rap about because it’s impossible to understand that mumble shit, I think I’m going to go f***ing postal!

So if you’re like me… if you long for the days of good music… if you hate mumble rap… and if you have no idea who half of these new artists are… then raise your hands proudly. You are, officially old!

Welcome to the club.