Dear Dads poem – For my soulmate

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Dear Dads poem – For my soulmate

 

Everyone has that special someone,
A soul that matches yours
A heart that beats to the same old drum
For which you mind adores

I found mine in a land of red dust
That the sun has scorched and burnt dry
I wasn’t even looking the day you showed up
For me love had since passed by

We’ve been through a lot the two of us
The challenges we have had to endure
But I wouldn’t want to live it with anyone else
For this I am 100% sure

What started as a smile thrown across the room
Has grown to so much more
We’ve built our world together here
The “HOME” mat says so on our front door

A home that’s full of smiles and laughter
Tears and tantrums too
You can’t have the good without the bad
Though the good always shines through

I look at this pic as we walk together
Along that path that day
You look at me with all the love in the world
It’s right here our hearts will stay

So as we move through life, this world we’ve built
I have only one thing to say
I’m thankful today for all we have
And the smile you threw on that first day…..

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Dear Dads, what is your pain tolerance? 

What is your pain threshold? Can handle a splinter? A 12hr sunburn? A broken finger? A broken arm? Stitches? We are all built differently, with different perceptions of pain. But, my poor daughter has her pain threshold scale ass about. Let me roll it out for you…… 4 months ago whilst loading the girls into the car, Miss 4 found herself in the wrong spot and and walked straight into the car door. I heard the bang, it was right beside me. It was the rear door on our 4WD and she wandered into the bottom corner of it, it literally put a small hole in the top of her head. Miss 4 stopped for a second, in shock, looking at me, slowly realising what she had done. I grabbed her as she started to cry, and not the I just stubbed my toe cry, it was a deep I can tell your in a lot of pain cry. I scoop her up and look for where she hit her head. Then I see it, a small hole in her head, it hasn’t started bleeding yet and I’m not even sure what I am looking at. Then the blood comes. It flows out the top of her head. By this stage my wife has already strapped in Miss 3 as we were heading to the shops. I call her and she comes around the car, she sees the blood coming from BB’s head and I can suddenly see the whites of her eyes.  

She stops for a second and I ask her to get me a rag. She bolts inside and collects a tea towel. I ask her to hold the rag on Miss 4’s head as I strap her in. My wife jumps in between our two girls, I gun the engine and we hit the road. I have some of her blood on my hand as I steer the car towards the hospital. I talk to both my wife and Miss 4 to help keep everyone calm. My wife does an amazing job keeping Miss 4 calm. We get to the hospital and my poor Miss 4 has blood all down the side of her head and some on her clothes. We head into the emergency dept and are lucky enough to see a nurse straight away. I carry Miss 4 into the room and ask if she is ok. She nods her head. The nurse has a look at her head and says it is a little deep, but they will probably be able to get away with glue. When we see the Dr he says the same thing. As the Dr applies the glue it dawns on me that apart from the initial crying from Miss 4, she has bearly made a peep the whole time……. Even once we get her home she is fine and really doesn’t see what all the big deal was about. 

Fast forward to today, Miss 4 got a tiny graze on her foot. She refused to get in the bath. She refused to let us put another bandaid on it and the tantrum that ensued was epic. When Miss 4 did get in the bath it was as if someone was trying to cut off her foot. I was amazed, she had punched a hole in her head and bearly shed a tear. Gets a graze on her foot and she’s asking for life saving surgery. I don’t understand it. I’m not even sure Miss 4 understands it. All I know is that trip to the hospital was terrible…. But it was somewhat easier than trying to get Miss 4 into a simple bath. As a Dear Dad I hate seeing my girls in pain, but it’s almost impossible to judge their pain tolerances. 

Dear Dads, At 3 and 4 you don’t really care if people judge you…… 


Recently we made an outing to a large shopping centre a few towns over. It was an all day event and an opportunity for the whole family to get out and about and spoil ourselves a little. As we had our girls with us and a stop at the main toy store was a must. We have tried walking past it before, I imagine it would be easier to over throw the government than to take a toddler past a toy store and not go in. So in we went. The girls had been good lately, doing their chores, working on their counting Alphabets and writing their names and as a treat we decided to let them buy themselves something, anything they wanted to the value of $25. This doesn’t happen often and you can imagine the level of excitement that was going on, if it was related to the American threat level I would say we were at DEFCON 4, or in the Dear Dads grading system they were – Just about to wee themselves with excitement. For future reference DEFCON 1 is – Ignore mum while she speaks to me, all the way to DEFCON 8 – Screaming so loud with excitement we burst someone’s ear drum. 
So there we were in the toy shop walking the isles letting the girls decide what they want. We went through about 10 items back and forth till they finally made a decision. Peace treaties between waring countries have been decided quicker. Finally everyone settles on princess dresses, the exact item they ran straight too as we entered the store. We make our way to the cash register under repeating statements of “I’m Anna from Frozen”, well I’m “Reputzil” (Rapunzel). The wife and I getting a giggle out of the pronunciation. Once out of the store it starts – Daddy can I wear my costume? Please? Please? This goes on for 5 mins. Each time I say no. My wife heads off into bras and things to by me something nice (see what I did there?) and I sit on a bench out front with the girls. It starts again – Daddy please? Can I wear my costume? Initially I said no because I didn’t want them to ruin them, but it dawned on me whilst sitting there that that’s kind of the point isn’t it? Also somewhere deep in my subconscious I didn’t want people looking. Why? No idea, maybe it’s engrained in us to not want to stand out in a crowd, to not be different, to not be judged. Screw that! I want my girls to grow up being loud and proud doing what ever and wearing what ever they want. 
I rip open the bag and pull out both costumes, within minutes I have 2 beautiful “Frozen” princesses standing in front of me. Admiring themselves in the reflection in the shop front window. My wife reapears and makes a big deal of how beautiful they look. We pack up the bench which now looks like a lounge room floor on Christmas Day. I grab Miss 4 by the hand who is in a full length purple princess dress coupled with a tiara and glittery wand, the wife closely in tow with Miss 3 who is looking similar but in pink, and we make our way to the next shop. As we walk I am looking at the people coming towards me. Every single person who sees us, their face breaks out in a smile. No one frowns at my two little princess, no one says take that off you look silly. My two little girls are happy as a clam and by default and looking so god damn cute are making other people smile too. 
We do a full lap of the shops and I am blown away by just how many people my two beautiful daughters dressed up as Disney princesses make smile. Miss 4 and Miss 3 are not exactly being quiet about it either, they proceed to tell me, my wife, the shop owners, and anyone else who will listen that their wand is magic but they can’t do wishes yet as they don’t know how. My own fears and subconscious doubts have been smashed to pieces. My daughters have once again shown me that my perception of society is far from the reality. While it was still a mission to get them around the shops in their costumes as they caught on things and would sometimes trip, it warmed my heart. I forgot about people possibly judging them, judging me, I ended up not caring if people looked at us because that’s kind of the idea right? You don’t wear a costume to lock yourself in a closet. 
So next time your child wants to dress up, my advice is go for it! Hell if I can find a cool enough Iron man costume I’m going to dress up too!! 

What goes through a guys mind at “that time of the month”….

As 3 yr olds: Mums crying again, all I did was say “I love you” 
As 10yr olds: Mum has lost her shit again, sitting in the shower, eating ice cream and hogging the blanket on the couch. 
As 14yr old: I think a chick cut herself at school today, don’t know how she managed to get it on her pants.
As a 21yr old: Girlfriend is watching soapies and eating all the chocolate in the house. Doesn’t want to be touched. Cold showers it is. 
As a 35yr old: The wife has lost the plot, sobbing in the shower, crying at the dodgy Tv adds with kittens, yelling at the neighbours dog, I’m spending a few nights in the spare room. 
As a 50yr old: Wife has been acting crazy for 6 straight months, better keep the head down and chores done, what ever is going on I hope it ends soon. 
As a 65yr old: Haven’t seen the wife flip her lid in ages, hope the old girl is ok…. 
Honestly, woman get the raw end of the stick. We joke, but guys if that time of the month sneaks up on you and you get caught out? Do what many have done before you…. Have an emergency bottle of wine ready to go, throw chocolate and retreat. 

Some times you need the reality check of a 3yr old……

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Recently work has been tough. It’s not the end of the world, these things happen, take the good with the bad, you win some you lose some, I literally could go on with cliche’s all night long but you get the drift. I have second guessed myself a few times in the last week wondering if it’s all worth it. Today I was having one of my what if moments and I caught myself looking at my youngest miss 3. She was standing leaning back against the trampoline staring off into the slowly setting sun. I watched her for a good 5 mins. Her eyes searching the sky, looking over the fence at the horizon slowly turning orange from the spectacular sunset that was playing out before us both. The innocence on her face was mesmerising. For what could very well have been eternity I was lost in her gaze, the facial expression of a human being who has yet to truly understand what pressure was, what a deadline was, what a no win situation meant.

As I watched her I tried to think what could possibly be running through her mind. Our daughter is driven and will not spend more than a few minutes doing something if it does not interest her. What was it in this sunset that had captivated her attention? Was it the colours? Was it the light falling like a orange/pink blanket across the sky? Was it the sounds of the birds enjoying the last light of another day? What held her there, captivated? Was was her mind not burdened by the pressures of life thinking about? Somewhere before the darkness of the evening enveloped us both it came to me like being hit by a bolt of lightening…… It didn’t matter what she was thinking, it was inconsequential what was going through her mind, it was irrelevant what had captivated her attention.

Why? Because for 5 mins my wild eyed daughter had found something that calmed her little emotion filled mind. She had found a place that smoothed her storming oceans, she had discovered something that captivated and soothed her all in an instant. Her world for 5 mins was tranquil and peaceful. The true beauty of childhood was shining through, the innocence of life discovering life was playing out before my very eyes, and just like that my 3 weeks of stress, anxieties and tension was gone in an instant. I was watching my daughter truly experience her first sunset. I was watching her innocence shine through but her adulthood come one step closer at the same time. My mind for the first time in 3 weeks was calm, my storming ocean soothed, my train of thought completely and utterly derailed all through the power of a 3yr old.

In an instant it showed me that none of it matters yet all of it does. Without it we would not be here to enjoy this moment but with all the burdens of parenthood it gave me the perspective to truly enjoy and appreciate this moment. As the sun slowly disappeared for the day and the light around us continued its cosmic display my daughter travelled back from where ever she had gone. She slowly looked around seeing me for the first time since I came outside and ran over to me giving me a big hug. I held on to her for a minute and she squeezed me tight, as if she knew we had just shared something special that no money in the world could buy. I let her go and she ran inside to play with her sister. I looked out over the horizon one last time as the light started to slip away, thanking the cosmic gods for giving me this moment now etched in time and my mind, never to be forgotten.

Giving me some perspective on current events in my life and helping me realise that sometimes you just need to watch your daughter watch the sun go down.

A Dear Dads journey through Post Natal Depression…..

At the bird enclosure

It has been just over 2 years since I last saw the signs of PND in my wife. It ruled her world and by default ruled mine. It almost got the better of us. I remember the day my youngest and my wife came home from the hospital, it was such a joyous occasion. There was no parties or extended family around it was just the four of us. It was such a nice day, and after my wife being in hospital 2 weeks post labour it was nice to feel like a complete family again. We settled back into our old routine with the exception of the adjustments we made for our new born. I was content, things were panning out just as we had planned or so I thought. It didn’t happen immediately, but slowly over the next month something else showed up.

I couldn’t put my finger on it right away, but I couldn’t get anything right. I wasn’t holding our new born right, I wasn’t stacking the dish washer right, I was working to much, I was starting to withdraw from the world and I wasn’t communicating enough with my wife. In her eyes I was doing everything wrong….It was like a dark heavy sheet being pulled over my world, things that used to be fun became a chore, hanging out at home which always made me feel warm and secure started to feel cold and foreign. The world that I knew was slowly slipping through my fingers. I was watching it play out on the big screen like in the movies. I could see it going on around me but didn’t know how to call out for help. I was lost in a world of breastfeeding, nappy changes, work and sleep. I didn’t go out any more, I stopped seeing friends, I basically became a robot with the old me inside screaming, banging against the tough exterior, crying out for someone to free me. My best friend wasn’t around to help……. She was gone. The one person who always was there for me to help me ride out the stressful days and celebrate the good times. I wasn’t sure what day she left, as it happened slowly over a few weeks. In body she was still there, herself a robot just going through the motions, following the programming of a thousand years of evolution. I remember watching her one day, it was a nice sunny day outside, myself and BB was in good spirits but my wife was just a shell, no emotion, happiness or sadness, anger or laughter…. Nothing. As I said my best friend was gone and I was alone.

I was for the first time in a long time truly alone. There were people I could call, but I didn’t want too.. How could I explain the catastrophic destruction of my world, I couldn’t work it out in my own head let alone explain it to anyone else. So I just continued on, part of a marriage but in my own cold world.

It took a long time for me to realise that the dark heavy cloak that had blanketed my world that I tried so hard to lift, was not my doing, it wasn’t even my wife’s doing, it was Post Natal Depression. I wouldn’t face the music that something had stolen my wife’s personality and replaced it with a brick wall, it wasn’t till I thought of walking away that I had a moment of clarity that showed me that I needed to shred my cloak of darkness if my wife was to ever stand a chance. I googled what PND was as I thought it only happens to “other people”. I read all about it, what caused it, how it was treated. I decided one day when we were out for one of our long drives to confront the sad shell that sat beside me. My poor wife who was already feeling terrible without knowing why had her world come crashing around her. She was also in denial and her best friend was now attacking her about being miserable all the time. We drove for a long time, we talked as the miles came and went. At times it was heated, at times it was cold, at times it was silent. But in that conversation I saw it….

A small glimmer, a tiny ray of light bursting through the darkness. I saw my best friend, it was only for a second but I knew she was in there. I started to cry, all was not lost. The love of my life was still there, I just didn’t know how to get her out. We drove till the sun came down and darkness enveloped the car. We were both exhausted, mentally emotionally and physically. The roads lead us home and for the first time in months we sat on the couch, holding each other’s hand in the soft light of the lounge room just talking. We both admitted we had let something beat us. Something we had never seen before, something that we had never expected. It was PND, but we both had it. My wife the sufferer and myself by default. I explained what I had read and mention that I was not keen on the drug treatment, but would do what ever it took to get my best friend back. My wife agreed she didn’t want drugs. She wanted to beat it mentally. We read that exercise was a good way to combat it and both decided to make the effort to walk everyday.

It wasn’t easy and for a while after our chat I didn’t see my best friend outside of our walks. When we walked we talked, the depressing cloak was gone for 45 mins and we were free, and each time the cloak came back it was a little less heavy. My wife found a personal trainer who turned her world around. It was amazing to watch her beautiful light break through the cold hard shell that had so quickly covered her amazing soul. I also found myself returning to my happy self. My own insecurities dropping off me like water in a rain storm. I supported my wife while she powered through her personal discovery, exercising her depression away. She focused on what made her happy and I did what I could to get the roadblocks out of the way. One day without realising it I found my best friend walking beside me. She was back. My world had returned to normal. Together we made it. Her smile shone through and was the brightest light in my world. Looking back it was a crap journey, not something I would wish on anyone.

While PND is such a hard thing to get past and tragically some don’t make it, I like to now think we both beat it. We both helped each other at our low point and today are stronger for it. My best friend is here right by my side, helping me be the best dad I can be.

When my daughter was first born 4yrs ago I didn’t feel a bond……

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I was beside myself with excitement, couldn’t wait to be a dad with all the good and bad that goes with it, but I remember looking down at the little wrinkly bundle of skin thinking “how the hell am I going to bond with you”? I was being the dutiful husband and careful newborn dad, but was internally tearing myself apart because I didn’t know how to communicate with my child. My wife seemed to naturally know what to say and do. The breastfeeding, whilst painful and slow on the up take to start with allowed her to spend precious moments with my daughter and just through millions of years of evolution build a unspoken bond between the two.

In the beginning I had no idea what to do and found myself getting frustrated with the lack of cooperation from my 2 week old. Ridiculous I know, but you can’t help how you feel. I remember with Brooke being only 3 weeks old going for a drive one day to clear my thoughts. I found myself at the beach looking out over the ocean still wondering just how was I going to be a good dad. It was there that it hit me like a Mack Truck. To be a good dad I needed to help Jo more than my daughter. My wife was my daughters life support system. I thought to myself if I gave my all to my wife during these early days it would allow her to focus on keeping Brooke alive and I could do the rest. We had some serious complications with Brooke that I have written about before. Keeping my wife calm comfortable and not stressed was the easiest way forward for us. It would allow mum and Bub to feed and further bond peacefully, which in turn allowed Brooke to grow.

As the weeks passed and Brooke still started to gain weight and feed, we both started to feel more comfortable around each other. She started to fall asleep on me and I learnt how to talk to her so my voice didn’t scare the crap out of her. The single greatest moment for me in those first few months was when she started taking a bottle. It allowed me to get up and spend hours in the quiet of the night feeding, burping and rocking my little girl back to sleep. I would talk to her about work, cars, friends, family and stuff going on in the world. As time passed we grew closer and closer till it was easier for me to place her on my chest so she would fall asleep than anyone else rocking her for an hour.

I look at photos now of those first few weeks. I can still see the fear in my eyes. I can see the uncertainty in my smile. But something I notice more now than ever before is the way Brooke looks at me in all the photos. She came out loving me, my touch, my voice that she listened to for nine months on her womb journey. She was comfortable with me from day one. She just needed me to get past myself to see how great of a dad to her I could be. Nowadays talking to her is a lot easier, whilst I don’t get to spend the late nights and wee early morning hours telling her about the world, we chat regularly about things that interest her or capture her imagination. We don’t go a day with out a hug and she knows I’m always here for her. My journey with Jade was equally as tough due to breastfeeding for longer and her brace. But I had the knowledge from Brooke that it would all be ok if I held her when I could and rock her to sleep when she hated the world. I now I have two little best friends that rock my world.

I don’t have it all figured out. As I have said a hundred times before we are all winging it. But being a dad to my girls is a special job that only I am qualified for. A job I have earned through hard work and patience. A job that I would give it all away to put first.

When did being a Dear Dad who disciplines his children become bad?

When did being a dad who disciplines his children become bad? Why am I made to feel like I am too harsh just because I set strong values for my girls????

I was told by a friend recently that I should let my youngest express her self even when she is angry. It’s not cool to chastise her in public…..

I had to stop him. I asked him why was it more important to look cool than to teach my youngest values about socially acceptable behaviour? He said letting kids express themselves was the latest thing even if they lash out. Helps build their creative minds and self development. This can’t be right. When did it become ok to give in to a screaming toddler? When did it become socially and morally wrong to chastise children in public if they were acting up? All I can say is Juvi must be full of very creative kids who are just misunderstood……..

A few weeks ago when out camping a small group of young adolescents were messing around in the caravan park toilets, they were throwing bars of soap at each other and nearly hit a few older patrons. I asked them to stop and they ignored me, I then yelled at them and they told me to “piss off”! I grabbed my rolled up towel and made a bee line for them, they scampered…. Why did it have to end in a threat of violence for them to stop? I’ll tell you why…

Because my mates progressive parenting isn’t working. Kids that get ignored or not corrected all through life and never told off for acting out are growing up not knowing that life has consequences. Little Johny robbed an old man and put him in hospital? People ask how does it get to that?? Easy, the first time he acted out at home no one stopped him, no one made him stop for a second and think about the consequences of his actions, parents are more interested in how Johny is feeling. Confused…. Johny is feeling confused… I’m not saying beat the living crap out of little Johny, violence is not the answer.

However the people in his life who should be guiding his behaviour aren’t. They are leaving it up to schools and the police… And pardon my French but this is just bullshit. It’s is not the cops job to chase your kids around at night and bring them home. It’s yours. There are 3 teenagers that live nearby, I can see that they are raised in a house where you’re held accountable for your actions good and bad. They are well adjusted, socially functioning teenagers. They understand what is socially acceptable and what isn’t. Do they get in trouble? Yes of course, but it’s for small things like not taking out the trash and staying up too late. They also get rewarded for putting in an effort, not just participation awards… Jesus, and again, when did that become a thing??????

Now I can already hear the progressive parenting types saying “getting in trouble for not taking out the trash?” That’s crazy! Don’t be so harsh it’s only the trash….
NO!!! No it isn’t. It’s called boundaries. How long do you think they will stay employed if they don’t follow basic direction? Come and go as they please? About 5 mins….. As an employer I see it a lot these days. Everyone parents differently, nothing wrong with that, but cops/teachers/bosses are not responsible for your child’s behaviour in public. You are. Should you cuddle your children? Yes absolutely! As much as possible but when our two act up they are disciplined, no question. However, 5 mins later we give them a hug and explain what they did wrong so they know next time it’s wrong. Will they do it again? Of course!! Our two have both gone to their room twice this week for hitting each other. But afterwards we explain what they did wrong. They still do it but are slowly getting better.

This post is not to tell you how to raise your children. No one can do that. They are your child and you have the joy of showing them their way in the world. If you put the effort in their lives will be better for it. But remember they are your responsibility, not societies. If they fall pick them up, if they act out, push them back in line, if they do well praise them till the cows come home.

You won’t get it right 100% of the time, but you will get it wrong 100% of the time if you do nothing.

Is it ok to lock my whining toddler in the shed?

I know I know, just the mere fact that I have said it out loud will have the Department of Child Services knocking on my door any minute. But god damn I’m not the only one who has thought this today surely? All the parents reading this, you have to be nodding your head. Those that aren’t I’d stop reading now, I’m only going to offend you more further down the page cause it gets worse….. For everyone else… It’s that sound…. That whine, the whine that is usually a word like no, or please, or just a random sound they made up. A sound that just so happens to be the exact pitch that pushes you to the limit of going bat shit crazy. Where instead of flying off the handle and rearranging the lounge room so the TV is now broken in the front yard, the mums go into the bedroom lock the door and cry and the dads lock themselves in the shed and start hammering something broken and solid with their trusty hammers. I wanted to do both today as that sound just got the better of me. Oxford dictionary explains the sound as a whine: A long high pitched complaining cry… That’s a pretty good explanation. They just forgot to add that toddlers insert words/whole sentences into it.

I am a patient dad usually, I have my little things that I won’t accept and I’ll jump on the girls if they cross the line but the one thing I cannot handle is the whine. The string a whole sentence together in one long sound….. “Idontwanttohavedinneeeeerrrr” “whycantigooutsiiiiiiiiidddeee” “pleeeasssseeeehhhhhhhhhhhh” you get the drift. It’s never ending, relentless, and down right bloody annoying. Even my wife hit her limit today, I was expecting to come home to the girls tied to the mail box with a “free to a good home” sign hanging around their necks.

Our miss 4 was in a particularly whingey mood, had been since yesterday. I could see by the time I got home that my wife had used up all her deep breathes and exhaustive sighs and was now at the stage of saying “for fuck sake” under her breath before answering every one of the droning sound whingey questions coming out of miss 4’s mouth. I offered the “lets lock them in the shed” solution and was met with a don’t tempt me look back from the wife. Yep we were at defcon 4…. Remove all sharp objects, throw chocolate and back away quietly. Unfortunately our daughters are not smart enough to read the signs yet and ploughed ahead with the whining despite getting the “I’m going to burn this fucking house down if you don’t stop whining” look from my wife.

Despite the above we love our girls, we really do. But sometimes we all just need a break. This parenting gig is hard and my baby came out of the packaging with no manual so we’ve been winging it for the last 4 years. They will grow out of it, maybe not for a while yet but I’m told it does eventually stop, that or the questions get less repetitive and more interesting as they get older. Can’t wait for that day….

So if your wandering past my house and you hear a toddler whinging and loud banging coming from the shed….. Don’t think the worst….. I’m in the shed, smashing to pieces something I’ll no doubt need next week while hiding from my “long high pitched complaining cry” questioning toddler…

Home is where your family is…….

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This does depend on your family and how you fit. I know people who live 2 blocks from their family and never talk, I live 4000kms away from my parents and I wish every day they were closer. It also comes down to what makes up your family. The TV perfect family these days (think everybody loves Raymond or happy days) is a thing of the past. There is so many iterations of what a family could look like these days it makes for an eclectic time when they get together on special occasions.

Regardless of what this family looks like, it’s make up is important for the children that are part of it. This is where the age old saying “it takes a parent to conceive a child but a village to raise it” comes into play. Even with step parents and foster children and second cousins and half brothers and sisters, the family network is needed to help build and define the behaviours of our children. I know many would disagree and that’s ok, but I see it in my girls. We don’t have any family near us, and my girls often speak of when grandma and grandpa comes to stay, and the time Uncle Phil came to visit. They know they are family and seemed to pay more attention when they were given instruction by them. Because it was only for a week we could see the effects really stood out. The effects would have been a lot more subtle if we lived close and saw our family more often.

I still believe there are things that each family member wether it’s Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Uncle or cousin can teach your child. Each one has a different part to play and without that family around the parents have to fill the gaps. This becomes more and more apparent as my girls get older. When my first daughter was born my wife and I wanted to do it all on our own. It was our child and we wanted to raise her. We took advice from everyone but were determined to parent our way. As my daughters grow and are now 4 and 3, I am realising more and more how important the family network is to there maturity and growth. How my brother and his family along with my parents and my wife’s family all have an impact on my girls social education teaching them things that I don’t know or are just not possible to pass on.

I used to think that only I could teach my daughters everything they needed to know to grow up in this world, but as time goes by I can see more and more that family what ever the make up happens to be, can teach my daughters far more diversity than my wife and I alone can. As a son myself, I’m am getting older and possibly wiser but I also miss that family network. I want to lean on my parents a little more than I do now and then. I know they wish they could shoulder me too when times get tough. I have gone off and seen the world, been to war, built an amazing career, met the love of my life and started a beautiful family.

But I think it’s time to come home………