Diary of Dad: Going back to work

Today is the start of my second week back at work (or at my job to be more precise) after almost two months of leave.

That’s right… after almost two months off, I have returned to full time work.

I guess you could say that it all started back in late October, when a series of unfortunate events left me with 2 protruding disks in my neck, a compressed nerve and some of the worst pain I’ve ever had to deal with.

This kicked off an extended period of leave that was ultimately to help me recover, both physically and mentally, from the neck injury I had sustained. However, it also kicked off my first experience of being a ‘full-time stay at home dad’.

Leaving for work this morning, on my first day back after being at home with my kids for the last couple of months was honestly one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever had to do.

My boys had become so accustomed to having me home, that they didn’t understand why I had to go back to work. And throughout all last week, it was barely 9am before they were asking when I was coming home.

And as I kiss them each morning before I leave for a long day ahead at the office, I find myself wishing that I could still stay at home with them.

However, being back at work is where I am meant to be right now. To keep a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and clothes on you backs.

And while I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I have been given as a job, I am finding that I am thinking more and more about the time I was able to spend at home with my family.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing stay at home dad to my boys! And hopefully, one day, I get to experience that again.

Diary of Dad: Do I shout at my kids too much?

I get frustrated and angry at my kids a lot.

Sometimes it’s even the tiniest and most insignificant thing that can set me off. Like one of them stepping on the back of my shoe while we’re walking through the shops or down the street.

And it’s during these moments of frustration and anger that the thought of how “better” and “easier” it would be without kids sometimes crosses my mind.

It’s a selfish thought. A thought that I never vocalise.

Why do I get so worked up so easily? I don’t even think I know the answer to that question. But it’s something that I have come to realise that I need to work on.

I am starting to learn that a father, to his partner and children, is a powerful presence. And that can be powerful for good or bad.

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It is very easy to forget that from a child’s perspective, a father is a physical threat if he is not committedly gentle, respectful of personal space and avoids completely the use of loudness or an overbearing manner.

Because of my tendency to get frustrated and angry easily, avoiding the use of loudness or an overbearing manner is something that I feel I have failed at throughout my journey through fatherhood.

It is an almost impossible task to try and completely avoid the use of loudness. Every single parent out there will know that shouting is something we all do on impulse, and occasionally, it’s needed to get a child to take notice.

But what I’m beginning to understand, is the impact that shouting from a father has on a child. I’ve seen the eyes of my own children sometimes widen with a twinkle of fear when I have reverted to shouting or loudness as a parenting technique. And in those moments, it’s not satisfaction I feel, it’s sadness.

Sadness that for a moment it was almost as though my own child was scared of me because of how loud and booming my voice was.

A world-renowned family therapist and author mentions that if you must shout at your child, do so with your eyes open. See the child. As soon as your child shows, by a widening of the eyes the slightest flicker that they are getting the message, then ease off. Make your voice quieter. Ask if they understand what you are telling them. If they will change. And then let it go.

That is of course, if you must shout at all.

I know that I get easily frustrated. And I know that I revert to shouting and loudness a little to quickly to get my message across.

What I also know, is that I don’t want to live in a home where my children feel like daddy is always angry and is always shouting at them.

This is something I’ve been getting wrong. This is something I need to change.

So I am going to work damn hard on changing myself. Changing me. Because through all the frustrating times and thoughts of how much “better” I think things would be without kids in those moments, I also know that I wouldn’t change having kids for the sun, the moon or the earth.

Things are perfect. And I need to remember that.

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.