This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with TJ from The DADgum Blog. TJ’s honest, open and beautiful discussion about parenting had me reminiscing about those early months and the first year of A’s life. He reminded me why I blog, what I get out of blogging and how writing about parenting has focused me as a mum. I agree with TJ that while blogging is all consuming, it gives us ideas, wants and needs to be with our family, interact and create memories. On the flip side it does of course have its negatives. Continue Reading to see what TJ has to say on the subject of being an awesome Lego playing Dad.
How many children do you have?
I have two awesome little dudes at home. Bubby is four and dreams of being a truck-driving, fire-fighting, train-operating, helicopter pilot when he grows up to be “this tall.” Boo is eighteen months old and defies all the rules my wife and I worked so hard to implement for his older brother.
Are you a Working Dad, Stay at Home Dad or Work from Home Dad?
I am a full-time daddy, with a full-time job and a part-time blog, which I just started in July of 2016. At The DADgum Blog I share some of the anecdotes and wisdom I’ve gleaned from my first few years of fatherhood.
What are the most challenging aspects of managing your career/blog life and your family?
Parents always want their children to have a better childhood than they. For me the challenge becomes working hard enough to provide the good food, nice clothing and fun stuff I wish I had as a child while still spending enough time hanging out with them being Daddy.
How do you overcome these challenges?
The short time I’ve been blogging has actually helped me balance my time better. Writing—both on my blog and developing my fiction craft—is a great stress reliever, which keeps me and everyone else in the house happier. The interesting thing about blogging I didn’t expect is how much more aware I am of my interactions with my boys. There are a lot of great stories out there that inspire me to keep improving as a dad. Plus, since my blog posts are based on real parenting experiences, I find myself branching out and trying new things with the boys.
What is the best part about being a Dad?
There are so many things everyone would like to change about the world: starvation, corrupt politicians, terrorism, pollution. Unfortunately, only a precious few of us have a loud enough voice to enact any real change. But as a dad I have two walking embodiments of the impact I have had on the world. I’ve helped shape the morals, values, and ideology of two human beings who may one day pass on those same tenets to their own kids. It’s a really incredible feeling to know that my boys will eventually go out and make the world just a little bit better for someone else. Oh, and now I have an excuse to play with Legos and no one can judge me. Win
Do you think it’s easier or harder to be a parent now than when you were being raised?
The advent of technology has made many facets of the parenting game infinitely easier than a generation ago. It would have been great if my parents had, let’s say, a brilliant dad blogger sharing his tips, tricks and hacks to help them along the way. But a lot of things have gotten harder, too. That same blogger now has a platform to ridicule and critique everything you do, meaning your method of parenting can end up under the social media microscope at any time.
What is your biggest fear as a Dad?
My dad wasn’t around much when I was growing up, and when he was it was rarely under the most pleasant of circumstances. That is why I do everything I can to make sure my sons and I have a relationship where they can trust me, laugh with me, play with me and talk with me without ever being afraid of how I will react. That isn’t to say I’m not a strong disciplinarian, but I shudder to think that my kids might ever be scared of me.
What is the one thing you would have done differently as a new Dad?
At the time, I was working in a position that required frequent travel. For four weeks when our first son was barely three months old I would leave home on Sunday and not get back until Friday. It seemed like he grew so much each week when I got home, and I missed a lot of those moments. To make it worse, I couldn’t be there for my wife, who was a first-time mother and had to handle an infant on her own. It was short-lived, but I would really like to have those weeks back.
If you could share one piece of advice to other soon-to-be Dads, what would it be?
Everything you say for the first three months of your new child’s life is spoken through the fog of sleep deprivation. You will fight with your partner, you will say things you don’t mean and there will be a lot of tears unless you go into that first night at home with a solid plan of who is getting up to handle the feedings. Starting around month four things should get better, so hang in there.
What is your favourite way to relax when the kids are all in bed and sound asleep?
Apparently this “relax” you speak of is defined as: to reduce or stop work, especially for the sake of rest or recreation. I’ll let you know if that ever happens to me. But when the kids are in bed, my wife and I read and play video games. I’ve also dabbled in woodworking and am currently working on some fantasy fiction stories.
TJ can be found at his Blog DADgum and on twitter. Why not subscribe and follow him on twitter to see what he and his family are up to! TJ also runs a Question of the Month Series on his blog, don’t forget to check it out!
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