Is it harder than you expected?

uphill battle

It is a wise father that knows his own child. – William Shakespeare

How many of you out there think being a dad is the best thing that’s ever happened?  I do.  I love it! But it’s not all gravy, is it?  When you were young, did you have this fantastic notion, like me, that being a dad would consist of the following:

  1. Playing hockey/football/basketball every waking moment.
  2. Teaching your kids every possible thing you know, them sitting attentively, taking in every single word you spoke.
  3. Taking them to every sporting event imaginable.  Taking them on a tour of every stadium (insert your sport here) to watch every team play a game.
  4. Always laughing, always playing, never ever having to be the disciplinarian – leave that stuff up to mom!

Well, if that’s your life now – Man, I hate you.  No, actually, good for you!  Someday maybe I’ll get there too.

My reality of fatherhood doesn’t play out exactly like that ideal dream I once had.  I play a bit of football with my kids, I teach them a few things when they’ll listen, we’ve never been to any stadiums (yet) and we manage to laugh and play quite a bit.  I do this all while being the disciplinarian in the house (I’ll explain that further some other time)! My reality is that I make a lot of mistakes as a dad, I don’t have infinite amount of time to spend with them, and I don’t have money galore to take them everywhere they want or buy them everything they ask for (not a bad thing). My reality is that being a father is a lot harder than I ever could have imagined.

But I wouldn’t change it for the world…although I do strive to make things better.

I wonder how all of you out there feel about this.  Is being a father what you expected?  What are those things you always wanted to do with your kids, but you haven’t been able to do yet? I’m making a big list of things to do with my kids (and letting them be part of it too). I’ll share them with you some day – and how I’m making a plan to get them done. Making this plan is important as it will allow these three things:

  1. Writing it down and making a plan bring it closer to reality.
  2. Getting them involved ensures that the things that I want are aligned with the things that they want.  We’re going to have a lifelong partnership of working together – not battling against each other.
  3. I want to do as much as I can with my kids because I want to truly know them before they wander off in this world and make their way without me.

I hope, like me, you are embracing the tough times, and making things better every day! Ciao for now.

In the beginning

The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything. -Theodore Roosevelt

Welcome Welcome to my blog.  This is my first proper attempt to write a blog.  I’ve toyed with the idea many times, I had a small go at it a few months back, but it was a bad attempt and I wasn’t ready to put a true effort in to putting it together.  That’s changed now!  Like anything that needs to be done properly, I’ve sat down and thought about why I want to do this, what is it I’m going to do, and made a plan to get this done.  Is this your experience behind your first attempt at blogging?

Who I am (Briefly)? I don’t think I’m an average dad, at least not in the place I live.  You know what? I probably still am the average dad, but thinking that I’m a bit different makes me feel a bit special.  I live in the UK, but I’m Canadian.  I’m 38 and still going to college with kids (some half my age).  I’ve served in the military, built scaffolds in large industrial plants, served food and beer around the world, travelled extensively, and now I’m an accountant.  A wild end I know, but it pays the bills.

This is what I look like.

A young Rudyard Kipling and me!
A young Rudyard Kipling and me!

That’s me and my son.  He’s in disguise because I’m not sure if I want to reveal his identity just yet.  I’m not sure if it’s fair on him, or even safe to do so.  Since this is going to be in the world of the internet, and any one can see it, I think I’ll be cautious at first.  I suppose that a few of you have may have the same concerns.  I’d like to know what you think about that.  Am I being stupid or is this a sensible thing to do?

Oh ya, I have a daughter as well, but there’s not a chance in hell that I’m ready to put a picture of her up yet.  I’m a bit protective.  She’s in school now, and I’ve had to hold myself back a few times from “having a quiet word” with her so called boyfriends…just to set some ground rules.  I’m sure there’s going to be a few posts on protective-fatherness, but those will come in time.

Oh ya, oh ya.  I’m also going to be a dad again.  That’s gonna make three!  There’s going to be 8 years between my daughter and her future brother/sister.  This gives that child a massive advantage because they’ll benefit from all the things I’ve realised makes a better dad.

What this blog is going to be about?

This blog is going to be about my experiences so far as a dad.  I’m going to write about what I’ve done, what I’ve seen, the good things that happen, and probably about the mistakes I’ve made.  As the title suggests, I’m a bit of a thrifty guy.  I don’t make much money, and I’m careful with what I have.  I’ll share things I think is important for parents to know about when it comes to their finances.

I’m going to ask a lot of questions.

I don’t just want to spew out my experiences in a one way mind dump.  I want to hear about what other people think.  I’m really interested in how others raise their children, what works for them, and what worries them in this crazy world we live in.

To be quite honest, there isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not terrified that I’m not properly preparing my kids for the future.   I  imagine this is a common experience and most of you out there feel the same!

I almost forgot in my bit about myself.  I’m a bit of a food and fitness freak.  I eat in weird ways and I like to work out.  I’m probably going to post about that as well because I think it’s important to be being a man and a father….but I’ll get to that some other time.

Here’s my parting thought for the day!

The next time one of your kids wants to tell you something do this!

  1. Stop what you are doing.
  2. Get on their level.
  3. Listen intently.
  4. Hear what they are saying.
  5. Don’t touch your phone/computer, don’t be multitasking, don’t do anything but listen.
  6. That’s it…

Ciao