When do you stop? Am I mad!

Now some of you may think I’m stupid, some may understand and the rest couldn’t care less! But here goes…

I’ve recently turned 39 and as i now start the countdown towards the next big birthday i’m contemplating with the notion have i had enough children. Some of you who just read that I envisage eyes bolting out of their head and saying to themselves, “are you crazy?”

And to be fair if it was me looking at my life as someone else I’d probably say the same! But hear me out first.

As some of you may know I have three beautiful children one of them being disabled, all three are such different characters and I probably wouldn’t change them for the world. Over the last six months or so the wife & I have constantly been back & forth on whether to have another. We both said we always wanted to have four children but with various health problems and the constant financial strain I think that the fourth will not blossom even though a good portion of me still yearns for that little one to nurture.

Our youngest was three in June and he is a HANDFUL! He does deter us from having anymore, but when he is in a loving & caring mood it’s those times that we’ll miss when he starts school and I think to myself “we could have one more, couldn’t we ?”

Age for me isn’t an issue like it used to be regarding having children as I got older, I felt once I was past my mid – thirties that was it no more! It’s now upon reflection that I more than we can do it and still bring another life into this world we’ve come this far and managed to challenge and overcome all that the world has thrown at us, so surely we can…DSC_1599

 

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It’s finally upon us!

What’s upon on us I hear you say.? Tomorrow sees the amazing, fantastic news that Dad Channel UK officially launches it’s YouTube channel.

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This channel is the culmination of a diverse group of dads/fathers from all walks of life and breadth of the country with one of us in the USA giving an insight through the social media of vlogging into the everyday of our lives from a dads point of view. I was one of the lucky few to be selected to join this elite team which I’m humbled and honoured to be apart of.

There’ll be highs, lows, plenty of emotions and humour in the mix with some serious issues covered too. My hope is that you’ll find something you can either relate to, help you in some way in the future or you’ll see a snippet in one of the many videos and mention to a friend “hey have you seen this channel on YouTube, take a look!”

So please tell everyone you know it would mean a lot to me, and don’t forget to get liking, commenting and sharing as much as possible across all social media platforms as a little goes a long way.

In the meantime come and check out this group of social butterflies at dadchannel.co.uk 

Love Mondays

So now half-term is over and the two eldest back into their school routine I can get back to mine.

Don’t get me wrong I love my children and spending quality time with them is great whether it be staying in and crafting or going on adventures, but since I’ve become a stay at home dad and I only have the youngest of three still at home I make the most of the time I get to myself, obviously I still have the house to contend with and it’s not so much time to myself but I have a semi routine and come Monday to Friday its pretty much the same.

Knowing on Sunday night that the children are cared for at school Monday through till Friday is a kind of relief I suppose and all I have to do is to pick them up when they finish it’s a nice break so to speak. From 9-3 I can catch up on recorded series on the TV or finish editing that vlog that’s been plaguing me, or just sit back and relax (chance would be a fine thing) but whatever happens I now love Mondays apart from crawling out of bed at stupid o’clock.IMG_1315

My 1st Time with a Pumpkin

So being married to a woman from a woman with dual citizenship of UK/USA and knowing how big a holiday it is in the states, you’d think that pumpkin carving and everything associated with it would be a given around this time of year.

Actually no, we’ve never really celebrated Halloween let alone contemplated such an undertaking of carving pumpkins. Addison wanted to do one so I said do one we will, without a clue. So I watched a few YouTube tutorials and afterwards thought to myself I can do this, in the mean time my sister in-law had decided to have a carving party and make a big deal of it.

So below are some pictures taken before during and after the aforementioned event, all in all I think the adults enjoyed it more than the kids.

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I think they all came out wonderful, see if you can guess some of the famous characters? Happy holidays/Halloween

Who buys shoelaces?

So as many of you with children of school age will know, come the end of August it’s time to start shopping for all the essentials required for the new school year.

My daughter Addison was starting school so it was a very exciting time buying all new things for her. So as you do we had to get the school uniform, the new coat, school bag, reading book bag, wellies etc etc the list was quite extensive. Now six weeks in I’m told by Kara (my wife) that she (Addison) needs new footwear, something a bit more practical now the season has changed more protective for her feet instead of those open dolly shoes she wanted.

Without hesitation I said ok. What happened next came as quite a surprise. My wife came home from work I might add with a pair of reputable and well known shiny boots but with one flaw.

“Where are they from I asked” a little bamboozled, “oh one of the girls at work was selling them and they’re in mint condition they just need new laces!” If I remember rightly I actually took a step back, “need new laces I said why on earth, what happened to the originals.?” I have never ever even heard of anyone having to replace laces before in my life.

In all my working career to date I’ve worn lace up work boots, which have been in every environmental condition you can think of rain, wind and snow not to mention various work sites from muddy bogs of sand and cement to trampsing through landfill sites with decomposing household waste and rotting food around my ankles and still I have never had to replace a lace! (I’m a poet in my spare time)

Even my wife said she couldn’t remember having to buy/replace shoelaces. I don’t know what kara’s work colleagues child had been up to to require new laces and I may never find out but I now have a new first in my life I had to buy some new laces, but not for me I might add!

Here’s a thought what have you never had to buy?

I’m not always sure…

Like it states in the title “I’m not always sure…” about a lot when it comes to my disabled son Grayson, but I take each day as it comes.

I think I find it the hardest when he is ill. They say that as his parent no one knows him better than you which I think 95% of the time is true. It is difficult caring for him and with him not being able to tell you in anyway how he is feeling or what he wants other than in the way he has learnt, can be quite gut wrenching at times.

So when he is ill his disability’s seem so much worse, other than cleaning his nose and dosing him up on everything you can I just have to sit there and suffer so to speak. Watching him struggling to breathe and swallow through his mouth because his nose is so blocked, barely eating at the best of times as it is so when ill next to nothing on the food front.

But even after all this suffering he goes through on a fairly regular basis, he still manages to make me smile even when inside his own head he’s probably screaming “daddy help me”

And all I can do is carry on what I am doing I guess.

I love you Son xxx

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PND – Men suffer too

Recently I took part in an hour long chat on Twitter about men suffering from Post natal depression (PND)

Post natal depression affects 1 in 10 new fathers and more research and education is needed to find out how many develop other mental health issues/problems after their children are born.

Having my wife and then in turn myself go through this process with our daughter I could relate a lot in this discussion. The biggest contributing factor in most cases and stories I’ve heard is that there is not enough people to talk to and next to no education of this matter.

While fathers are still less likely than mothers to experience postnatal depression, there is a growing realisation that it is an important issue for men too. The transition to fatherhood and the early years of raising children are a time when men are at substantially increased risk of psychological distress.

It’s a very positive thing that fathers are much more engaged with child-rearing.
Some men struggle to come to terms with the reality of pregnancy and the need to support their partner through the childbirth process, leading to stress among expectant fathers.
There are parenting implications for fathers who have mental health issues. They are more likely to show low levels of engagement and warmth towards their children.

I myself felt very alone and confined when my wife was suffering PND as I didn’t know what to do for her let alone myself and with still going through a grieving process of having a disabled son too, there was no one to ask or to really talk to it was like a kind of taboo. As much as I hate to admit it I stood up brushed myself off and tried my best to push my feelings aside and got on with taking care of my family as best I knew how.

But here inly the problem, I was going through my own emotional roller coaster constantly where could I seek help, or find some kind of outlet…No I knew of not one resolution.

It is only now I know that in hindsight the best way to tackle these issues is through education where possible and conversation, talk to whoever you can it does help.

Fortunately I came out the other side eventually but I think deep down it has had a serious impact on my relationship with my daughter, now I just hope & pray that in time we will gain back our father daughter bond.

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