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Nick with his wife, Cristin and their two boys Max (left) and Oliver (right). (Courtesy of Nick)

Nick with his wife, Cristin and their two boys Max (left) and Oliver (right). (Courtesy of Nick)

From five dads to another: Top parenting tips from these daddy bloggers Add to ...

Chris with his two kids. (Courtesy of Chris)

Chris, canadiandad.com

Best daddy moment:

“I think it’s the second last thing I wrote about on the site and it’s a video of him doing it after 30 minutes of him trying it. So it was a really cool moment as a dad. It was kind of one of those moments like I taught him something. I taught him how to do that and he did it, and he’s excited about it. He ran up to me and he hugged me and said, 'You’re the best bike teacher ever, and he was so excited.' Like I didn’t do anything, I didn’t do anything different than any father has ever done. But when he said it, it made me feel like the best bike teacher ever.”

Things Chris looks forward to:

“I’m looking forward to my daughter’s dance recital on Friday. She’s four years old, and it’s her first one. I know I’m going to cry. So I’m excited for that moment. You know graduations and sporting, when they score their first goal in a sport. I’m excited for all those things. I’m excited for everything parenting has to throw my way whether it is good or bad. I love watching my kids fail and fall. I love watching my son fall off his bike because now he gets up and says, ‘well you said I was going to fall down sometimes,’ instead of crying. He’s accepted that this is going to happen sometimes and he dusts himself off and keeps going. That’s a big moment for a kid.”

Challenge for Chris:

“It’s the time thing. Whether I work two jobs or not—when you work a full time job you come home and you’re tired. My wife is a stay at home mom, she’s with the kids all day—that’s a lot of work, so she’s tired. So I think it’s finding the extra gear after the 4-5 o’clock hour to get through to bed time. Sometimes it can be tough. It’s as rewarding an experience as you let it be. And for me, I can’t imagine—I can’t think back to the life I had before having kids.”

Chris’ advice:

My best advice for dads would be to just be present. It’s easy to get caught up in your daily life and your hobbies and all that but once you have kids, you’ll find that the more present you are—you know just doing the little things like wrestling or playing outside—the more you do that, the more you start to realize how awesome it is to be a father and how rewarding it is to grow with your kids. I think it’s really important to schedule your work time and your play time, and you have to leave a little room in there for the spontaneity of kids. My son just learned to ride his bike without his training wheels, so every day he comes up to me and says excitedly, ‘Dad, can we go for a bike ride?’ I can’t say no because he just learned. When you see the pride twinkle going on in their eye, it’s almost impossible to say no.”

Warren with his children. (Courtesy of Warren)

Warren, urbandaddy.wordpress.com

Best daddy moment:

“There’s so many of them, I have three kids. One that comes to mind is—I had kept my blog private for about 6 years because I was working with the government at the time and I didn’t want anyone to know. We were at a function at my son’s school and I introduced myself to the teacher for the first time and my son blurted out really loudly, ‘You can call him the urban daddy.’ And from that point on everyone kind of knew. He said it to the entire class. He was 6 at the time. I didn’t know that he knew that I blogged.”

What’s important to Warren:

“For me it’s everything. I want to be here 100% of the time when the kids need me. I make their breakfasts and get their lunches ready for school. If possible I’m here for pickup. Attend all their events, volunteer around the classroom, take them to programs, and kind of enjoy them until they don’t want to be around me anymore. My dad worked a lot and I remember wanting to play catch with him a lot and he would go out throw the ball—if I could get him out. After a couple of throws his shoulder hurt. So I felt like any time with him doing anything I wanted to do, was so infrequent. My dad since passed away, but I don’t want my kids to ever get to that point in their life where they think dad never did anything with us. He never played ball, when we wanted to play ball. He never took us to the park when we wanted to go to the park. I’d rather them say, he was really annoying and he was everywhere than say that I wasn’t around for those things.”

What Warren looks forward to:

“I’m very fortunate my wife is a high school teacher, she always said if I get the through their young years, she would take over the teenage years so I’m looking forward to the kids getting a little bit older, so that she can continue to help guide them to being kind responsible human beings.”

Warren’s advice:

“My advice is two-fold. First it would be you’ll never sleep again, and it’s fine. You should accept it and be okay with it. Absolutely, if your child asks you to do something, think twice before you say ‘no I’m tired’ or ‘I don’t feel like doing that’ or ‘don’t want to do that’ because children need to bond in whatever way. We’ll find activities we can do which will allow us to rest. Like if my son wants to throw a ball around for example and if I’m really tired and had a long day at work I’ll say to him would you like to play chess instead and usually it’s something in his range of interest. Teach them to be good people with no prejudices and kind to everyone. It’s a lifestyle, being healthy in your mind and in your body, living it.”

Jason with his two boys. (Courtesy of Jason)

Jason, dadofsteel.ca

Best daddy moment:

“My best daddy moment would be the birth of my first son because everything changes. Now your focus is on your kids and not yourself. It’s a very emotional moment. I don’t think there’s anything I can describe it as, other than obviously getting married to my wife. It’s just an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and excitement, mixed with all kinds of other emotions. It’s pretty fantastic.”

What Jason looks forward to:

“I look forward to the end of the day so I can spend time with my kids, and the weekends. I live for the weekends because honestly, that’s the most important thing to me, spending time with my kids.

My favorite is just to hang out in the backyard and throw the ball around. I just throw the ball and they chase it, we’ll take turns doing that. We’ll get into tickle fights. It’s fun. They’re four and three right now. They’re really young. You know just relaxing with them, hanging out in the backyard, playing in the playground with them, and joining them in it, rather than just watching them, and actually being involved. There’s a lot of gratification in that one.”

Jason's advice:

“I think you really have to make time for your kids and your family. You have to intentionally make a decision to make time and do things with your family. You have to take time to schedule things you’re going to do. Go out. Go on a trip. Go to the park. Just make an intentional decision to spend time with your family and make sure it’s quality time. Not just sitting around watching them, but you’re involved and actually engaged. That way they know that you care and they’re loved.”

Dad’s are important because:

“It plays a big part in a child’s identity when they get older. I just feel that it solidifies the child emotionally. There’s a lot of wisdom that fathers can give their children. So fathers are really important or just as important as mothers are, but they just provide a different perspective on different areas. They make a person a whole person.”

Todd with his wife, Kelly and children, from left to right: Molly, Emma, Todd, Cassidy, Benjamin, and Madison. (Courtesy of Todd)

Todd, iusedtohavehair.com

Best daddy moment:

I think my best daddy moment might have been when I was recently remarried back in August. I got to stand up and all my kids—it’s a blended family, my stepdaughters and my three kids were there. It was a moment—after [saying] my speech and thanking everyone for coming—I was able to kind of one at a time go through all five children, and tell them in front of everybody, all my friends and family, how much they meant to me. I think I’ve grown into the role of father I don’t think I was prepared to be a father when I first became one so it’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I feel comfortable saying that I’m a pretty good dad.”

What Todd looks forward to:

“The big thing I look forward to is having adult relationships with my children. My oldest is 15, even though she acts like a 15-year-old, it’s nice to sometimes be able to sit there and talk with her about her life and about what’s going on. I’ve always wanted to be like that with all my children, just be able to sit down and talk because I didn’t do a lot of talking with my own dad growing up. I want to make sure that I get to cultivate those relationships so I’m looking forward to them. I’m not in a rush for them to get older but I’m looking forward to them growing up and maturing so we can have those adult relationships and discussions, talks.”

Todd’s advice:

“Patience. Patience, patience, patience. It’s not easy, you are never 100% right, so you got to be patient with the children, be patient with yourself and just try to do the best you can. So the only advice I can give is if you keep at it, it’s going to be completely worth it at the end of the day. When all is said and done, your hard work will not go unnoticed. I don’t think you can adequately describe the happiness with when a child hugs you for no reason, but that comes at the end of the day after all the hard work. That to me is the reward, I’ve got some great kids, I’ve got some great step kids and it makes for a very happy life.”

How Todd balances work and family:

“I’m fortunate enough to work ‘regular hours’, 9-5, Monday to Friday. There are times when I have to work late nights, like last night I was in the office until about 10:45. But what I try to do, is something we’re doing tonight actually we’re just sitting around as a family, talking, laughing, and watching some TV. Another night might be playing board games around the table. But always trying to take one or two nights a week, to just have family time and not do any running around and not do anything else, and concentrate on us; and making sure we’re all catching up with each other, and laughing. You always need to laugh.”

Nick with his wife, Cristin and their two boys Max (left) and Oliver (right). (Courtesy of Nick)

Nick, www.canadad.net

Best daddy moment:

“The ones that stand out are obviously the two times I became a dad. No matter what side you’re on, it’s a traumatic experience but the reward at the end is so great. From that perspective it’s ridiculously challenging. From that place forward, it’s actually kind of funny because it’s almost like a reset button to your life. I honestly don’t remember what my life was like before the boys came along.”

What Nick looks forward to:

“When you pick them up from daycare, it’s so great because they both come charging at you and give you a hug. I get excited on my walk to daycare to experience that hug and they’re in different rooms, so I get to experience that hug twice. That’s always great. On a day-to-day basis, I look forward to that. But as I see them grow from the blog and see how far they’ve come, I look forward to how they’re going to grow even more. So I look forward to them playing sport, or going to high school or university and like all the challenges that’ll come with that.

Nick’s advice:

“My best advice for dads would be that nobody is perfect, nobody gets it right and don’t be too hard on yourself. I mean one of the things I’ve found through the blog is it has been sort of an outlet to not take myself too seriously and to find the humour in what can feel like the most trying times. It can be hilarious how this tantrum which is over absolutely nothing, like it’s about wanting an extra cookie or wanting to put their shoes on left foot over their right foot first, can become so all encompassing, not just for them, but for you. They calibrate their pitch and their tone to make sure it grates on you. It’s always at the worst possible moment when you have important things—you’re late for work, you need to put gas in the car, there’s always like a million things going on. Sometimes it just seems like the end of the world, but if you can always just remember that it’s not. I always find that helpful and it’s tough in the moment, but that why I find that if you can laugh at yourself and just remember to focus on what’s really happening then you’ll always get through it.”

Nick’s challenge:

“For me, I think the most challenging is keeping life organized. We get the house clean, within 10 minutes it’s kind of disaster again. Keeping up with the day-to-day, with the demands they place on you, but also the joy you get out of them. Like I sacrifice a lot of things, like doing chores to sit down and play with them. Like tonight, we were playing with the boys and they both ran off to do something else, and my wife and I, we kept playing with our sons’ toys. I think we’re finally getting to that place. When they’re little, it can be really difficult carving out time for your relationship, and I think we’re finding a place where it’s great. I think it’s key to have a good babysitter, and if you can get a backup as well do that.”

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