Tag Archives: parenting

Dad’s Bank Holiday Parenting Diary!


It is every Father’s dream. My first bank holiday weekend alone with my two kids Amy and Stephen (4 and 5 respectively). Their mother was away visiting the folks (hahaha, the poor soul) and I was free to have a fun time with my two favourite little angels (the girl at least). I was so excited that I decided to document the entire bank holiday weekend in a diary. This was going to be fun.


Day 1: Friday
It is Friday late afternoon and my wife has just left for her weekend away with the folks. I have been really looking forward to this. I’ve planned many shenanigans, fun games, fancy food (by kids standards) and maybe even a scary movie if they are good 😉 . All bets are off now that mother goose is out of the pen. Let us begin!


The incessant crying of both kids for their mother has finally seemed to subside, as they resign themselves to the fact that the larger, taller, hairier child has somehow been put in charge. I personally think Stephen, my 5 year old, is annoyed that me, and not him, was given the spot of supreme leader. Maybe if you’d stop wetting the
bed a little earlier you’d have stood a better chance Stephen. I’m pretty tired from all the crying and consoling of the kids, so after I put them to bed I may get an early night myself, and then tomorrow the fun shall proceed!


Day 2: Saturday
The children grow stronger and more self aware by the hour. The scared children of yesterday have adapted quickly to the new regime, perhaps too well. First it’s breakfast time and then an entire day of amusing adventures.


The tables appear to have turned. The kid’s did not want to partake in my designated activities and instead went rogue. This necessitated a much hated bath time, which couldn’t have been more difficult had it not being two kids, but a pack of ravenous labradors.


Later again
Here I am in the evening, my plan to watch a scary movie has been replaced with a many hour marathon of those damned two dimensional cartoon pigs. (It’s 2020, get some CGI for the love of God.) The little girl, my 4 year old Amy, is now the one to watch. I don’t know how, but through some sort of child/female voodoo she has managed to organise the entire scenario to her personal taste. She may not be able to string together a completely coherent sentence, or tie her shoes, but she has an innate ability to manipulate her surroundings to suit her whims.


Day 3: Sunday
This is supposed to be Day 3 but the children rudely refuse to stick with my preplanned writing schedule, so it will have to go in here instead.

After a surprisingly tiring day, I put the kids to bed and continued to watch Pepper the Pig (It kinda grows on you after a while. It’s a soothing repetitive story that reminds me of late night TV shopping.)

After a while I decided to switch to an activity a little more…grown up. With the kids safely asleep I began my favorite late night ritual, with no kids or wife to judge me. Or so I thought.

I was mid…activity…at the peak of pleasure when Stephen walked in and caught me..devouring an entire bag of gummy bears. The big ones. Stephen looked horrified, and quite frankly betrayed. For years I had been telling him how sweets were a special treat, once a week, and even then only a small handful.

5 years down the drain. But damn it, I’m a grown ass man. I can eat a whole bag of gummy bears if I want, you’re not my real dad!


The house is a mess, the kids are hyper, and my brain is fried. I had always wanted to be one of those fun dads who has a cool video on facebook of all the crazy things I did with my kids while the Mom was away, but I’m just too tired. Yeah sure, lots of things have happened, but none in a way that could be planned, choreographed and filmed, at least not in a way to form a good succinct facebook video. Luckily the real supreme ruler will be back tomorrow to relieve me of my duties and I may return to the role of lovable Jester.


Day 4: Monday
Their mother is here. I’m going back to bed now. Next time I get to take the weekend off. 😁

*just for fun!!

How I Became an Incredibly Fantastic Expert Parent!


I’m not one to toot my horn, but I am a fantastic parent. Really top notch. From discipline, to play time, to homework, and chores I have it down to a T. With my level of incredible success of course comes with it the inevitable questions. How do you do it? How do you manage to master the world of parenthood and the little hellraisers
that inhabit it?

Well sit down little ones, and I will let you in on 5 tips that made me an expert parent…..


The amount of time I, and presumably most of you, spend trying to keep children away from danger is astounding. Somehow kids seem to turn everyday items like a pen into a nose swab, a plastic bag into a vacuum chamber, and a bookcase into a structurally inept leaning tower of pisa. It is truly exhausting. But, in the immortal words of Jim Carrey’s the Riddler “NO! Don’t kill him. If you kill him, he won’t learn nothin.” (You may have to replace the word “kill” with “save” for this to make sense.)

Everytime you save your child you are denying them an important lesson. I realised that I will not always be there to save them. So…just let it happen. It’s the only way they’ll learn. Trust me, nothing says “Don’t stick your fingers in the electrical socket” like an electrical socket giving your kid an afro that a 70’s disco would be proud of.


Don’t waste your time “learning by doing”. There is no better way to gain knowledge than reading helpful tips online. You want to stay away from books (Who has the time to delve into a 1,000 page novel when you have little tykes running around?

Anyways, kids can’t be that complicated) and instead read through sites like wikihow, buzzfeed, and even reddit to attain their terrific, unrestricted, opinions on parenting. So put your kids to bed, or put them in front of the TV, surf the web and know that if you cram enough theory into your brain you will have the complete knowledge necessary to deal with any parenting situation.

For every single scenario there is a life hack, theory or formula to tell you what to do. And if there isn’t? Well then you just haven’t read enough.


Joanne Power Photography


Why would you tell a child when to go to bed? They know when they’re tired. Ever try to get them to eat vegetables? Why not let them decide, they know what they like.

Who are we to say what they should and should not eat, or should and should not do.

Sure they might eat an entire bag of gummy bears and stay up all night barfing, but if that’s the way they want to live their lives, then let them.


Kids can say mean and horrible things. “You’re mean, I hate you, you’re a terrible parent”. It is important to not let them away with this kind of transgression. The best thing to do is to respond in kind.

Argue with them, share witty comebacks, and know that the longer it goes the better. They will eventually fall asleep quicker than you
and then you can bask in your glory of your victory.

Kids, you see, are very fickle creatures. They may say they hate you and other very mean things, but it’s all only in the moment. Throw them a lollipop the next day and all is forgiven. An adult, on the other hand, can keep a grudge. Use this to your advantage and keep the child in line.


They may look like tiny fully fledged humans, but they have neither the intelligence nor dexterity of a fully sized adult, or a similarly sized dwarf. They are easily swayed.

Once you treat them as the subhuman inferiors they really are, things tend to fall right into place.

That boys and girls is how I became an expert parent. I mean, sure, we won’t know the actual results of my theories until they have grown, assuming of course they survive that long.

It could backfire…I suppose…but I can’t change now, I’m in too

Perhaps the best bit of advice I can give is to spend some time with your children, listen to them, talk to other parents with a proven track record, and above all else stop reading parenting listicles on the internet. They’re almost never any good!! 😁


*just for fun!!

8 Tips to Make Life Easier with a New Baby

Tips to Make Life Easier with a New Baby? Do they exist? We know from experience that everyone is different. Every baby is different. What works for some may not work for others. So take this advice for what it’s worth and do what is comfortable for you and your baby.

  1. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

If someone says to you, “If there’s anything I can do, just let me know” then they have literally asked for it. Let them help. Get into the habit of taking people at their word and accept their offers of assistance. If they meant it, they will be glad to give you a hand. If they didn’t then they will learn a valuable lesson about offering! Things that seem impossible to you, like just nipping to the shop for some essentials, are not a huge hassle for someone coming to visit. Equally, when someone visits and wants to hold your new-born, take the opportunity to get something done. Chat while you fold laundry or even better, escape for a half-hour snooze while they gaze adoringly at the little one. Chances are, they won’t even notice.

  1. Be Realistic

You really don’t have to have the ironing done. Your home doesn’t have to look like a show-house. Clothes can have some baby sick on them. Your hair doesn’t have to be straightened or curled or even washed every day. When things threaten to overwhelm you, cut things down so that the priorities are covered – baby is healthy and happy, you are healthy and happy and there is enough clean laundry and food to keep you clothed and fed. Everything else is a bonus.

On the days when you manage to get lots done, celebrate it but don’t use it as a stick to beat yourself with when you have a day when nothing constructive gets done. Every day comes with new challenges.  Just because you look around you at the end of it and the house looks the same or you get to midnight and realise you still haven’t had your shower, remember the things you did get done, even if the only thing you can think of is the fact that you kept both yourself and the baby alive. Some days, that is enough.

  1. Life Hack

If there is an easier way to do things, then take that shortcut! Make things simpler wherever you can. This might mean doing things differently for a while. Making a few sacrifices in order to keep your sanity just makes sense. Stop doing unnecessary chores. Organise your nappy changing area for maximum efficiency. Keep a stash of essential baby clothes in the living room to save running upstairs for things Shop online. Download baby apps that tell you when you last fed or changed. Find shortcuts and then use them!

  1. Buy in Bulk.

Buy in bulk – especially when it comes to baby essentials. Those giant packs of nappies and boxes of baby wipes? Those aren’t just for people with triplets and those who live miles from the nearest shop; once you actually get them through the checkout and wrestle them into the boot of the car; they are actually incredibly handy and often better value than buying multiple small packs.

Even better, as long as you meet the minimum charge for delivery, place a supermarket order for delivery that consists of everything you will need for a month or two; nappies, wipes, nappy cream, toiletries, cotton wool, cotton buds, colic drops, chocolate and nice soft drinks for middle of the night feeds. Knowing you have an impressive stash of bum cream, a stack of nappies that the local day-care nursery would be proud of and enough wet wipes to last until baby is 18 feels really great.

  1. Sleep When They Do

I know from experience that this is clearly not always possible, but it’s worth trying.

It’s one of those things that people say and you don’t really pay any attention to but honestly, this is the one crucial piece of advice that new parents should follow. If you sleep, you can handle everything else. If you don’t sleep, you might get the dishwasher loaded but you will find it harder to remember things, harder to enjoy things, harder to cope with the unexpected.

The early days pass so quickly; when baby goes down for a nap, curl up on the sofa or go to bed for a while. You might not sleep your best sleep and it might not last long, but making a deposit in your sleep bank prepares you for life in a way that nothing else can quite match.

  1. Eat Easy

Don’t forget to eat, and make cooking and eating as easy as possible. If you cook, make enough for double portions and freeze it for another day. Batch cooking is an easy and effective way to have homemade meals without the fuss and you will be so glad that you stowed away a healthy dinner when you have had a long, draining day. The best way to eat is to keep it simple – buy a selection of salads from a local deli and nibble throughout the day, have your groceries delivered, ask your family or friends to bring you food instead of flowers and endless bay clothes. Search out healthy option takeaways and allow yourself the occasional not-so-healthy takeaway. Food should not be stressful; during the new-born phase, you simply need to eat regularly, so don’t sweat the details.

  1. Warmth and Security

Ok, this is an actual baby-care tip but a lot of it will apply to tired, anxious parents as well. We all want to feel warm and secure. Swaddling your baby (special swaddling blankets are available and always ask for advice from your health visitor or midwife on swaddling) can make them feel the security and warmth they enjoyed before birth.

If you have one of those little ones that is happy and gorgeous when held but turns into a screaming, wriggling nightmare as soon as you put them down, then using a swaddling blanket, baby sleeping bag (if your baby is big enough – always check the labels) or warming up the Moses basket, cradle or cot before putting them down, can all make a huge difference.

A warm water bottle placed into the cot and removed just before you put baby down can save you hours of frustration. On a side note, lack of sleep, hormone changes and stress can all make you feel chilly – wrap yourself up too and enjoy some comfort.

  1. Say “NO”

“I’m tired, my baby is unsettled, my house is a mess, I need a shower and I need to eat… my friend wants to visit… how do I say no?” This is a question that plagues many parents of new-born babies in those early days (and sometimes they’re 3 and you’re still trying to fob off visitors). The answer is devastatingly simple. Say… no. You don’t have to explain yourself.

No-one is entitled to visit you or spend time with your baby unless it suits you. You will soon find that your list of friends, family and acquaintances divides itself up into 3 groups – those you actually reach out to and call to come and help when everything is a total mess, those you don’t mind seeing you when you aren’t at your best (but you clear the pile of laundry off the sofa for them and wash your hair before they arrive) and those you need a few hours (or days) to prepare for.

That’s ok, unless they migrate into one of the other two groups, they are going to have to wait. Don’t feel guilty. Your baby, your home; your rules.