A week apart

So the other week, my wife and son went to Scotland for four days to go and see my sister in law and her baby son. They did this last year and I will not lie but this time was a lot harder to deal with. Last year I spent the first night going to the pub with a old work friends and getting completely wasted on jack daniels and tequila. Probably wasn’t the best idea when I had work the next day. The day after I met one of my buddy’s for a beer after work and went home. Day three I had work to stay late for so by the time I got home it was late anyway.

This year was not like that at all. I had a job interview on Tuesday (so I thought) so on Monday I had to go and find a barber near to my work to get my hair cut. I ended up getting home at a decent time after this and decided to try and catch up on a new show I was watching. On Tuesday I thought I had my interview so I left work early to go to the place and it turned out after half hour of waiting I had the wrong day. On the Wednesday I actually had the interview, but by this point the week was really starting to take its toll on me, between worrying about the interview, work (because we were short staffed) and missing my wife and son. I hardly slept at all. During the interview the guy I met had asked if I could come up again the following day to actually see the site I would be working at, as you do I agreed but let him know that my family were returning from Scotland that day so I wouldn’t be able to make a long thing of it. So when Thursday came once again I didn’t sleep well and I was rushed off my feet at work, by the time I got to my meeting I had a massive headache. My potential new boss understood this and we went to see the site. After our visit we went back to another site where we sat down and discussed the job. This is where I found out I was being offered the position. The whole week I had been trying to sort out my career with my main support not around, which was really quite a challenge.

After that I went home to wait for my family to get home. I laid on our bed and decided to watch a documentary on Netflix. By the time the had gotten on the train at the airport I was already falling asleep, this was at 19:30. Once I replied to the text message I feel back to sleep. Only to wake up when they got to our local station.

Last year I actually met them at the station, this year I did not even have the energy to meet them at the end of the road.

I opened the door and when Theo saw me, he ran down the road to give me a cuddle. This was something I desperately needed. As everyone was settling down, Theo sat on my lap for half an hour telling me about the airplane and Scotland before he went to bed. Once he was in bed, my wife had to wash her hair and sort herself out for work the next day. I pretty much zoned out on the bed and fell asleep. I then woke up to give her a kiss as she got into bed and that was it I slept all night (which I hadn’t done all week).

As I mentioned earlier, last year was easier. I think the main reason behind this is that I was making a life changing decision without my wife’s input. Normally I seek my wife’s input in even the smallest things I do. Not seeing my son for days only for 20 minutes at most on FaceTime. We never really spend time apart like that. With them being back for a week it’s brought us closer, I also think the bank holiday weekend helped as well, where both me and my wife didn’t have to work for most of it so we actually got two whole days together as a family.

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Why do I blog?

I was having a conversation a few weeks ago and Memoirs of a Mad Dad came up. The person I was speaking to asked me "why do you blog?". I gave them a short answer which I cannot remember for the life of me. However since then I have been thinking about why I do this, what drives me to do this.
The answer to that question is not the short answer I gave to my colleague. It is that blogging has been an amazing outlet when I've been at my lowest. Even though I haven't spoken about what issues I may have been battling over this time, I feel like blogging about what I love most has taking me out of these battles I may have had.
I have always wanted to do something that helps people develop themselves. At work I always try to develop my staff and get them to progress in their careers. But I found that wasn't enough, blogging has been a very good tool to help me do this outside of work. I'm not saying I know all the facts about parenting or I'm the perfect father (far from it) but giving people the advice and tools to make themselves better parents, or even less stressed parents because they've tried something they would never have thought of.
As some of you may know I am eventually planning to publish what material I have on here (if I build enough material) into a book, the hobbit, lord of the rings and Harry Potter are all books about an adventure. I felt like I wanted to document my adventure of being a parent. Originally I never thought about publishing however it's becoming more of an appealing idea as time goes on and I create more material.
Since blogging I have found that there is actually a community out there of parent bloggers, I won't lie before I started this I was completely unaware this was a thing. I want to thank everyone who has supported the page and made me feel a part of this amazing community.
There you have it, that's the reason I blog. So let this post help you look into yourself and maybe influence you to write about why you blog. Feel free to message me, I love hearing people's stories and if you do a related post, share it with me as I'd love to read it.

Blog Update

I felt it was right to let you all know that Memoirs of a Mad Dad will now be a solo project by myself.I have spoken to Paul and he has other commitments in his life he needs to focus on. This won’t be last last we all hear from Paul as we have come to an agreement that he can feature as a guest blogger at anytime. 

Me and Paul have been friends for a long time, so if anyone wishes to contact him or ask him anything feel free to drop a message and I can pass it on.

-Jeff

A Letter From Daddy

Dear son,
You’ll probably never read this, or if you do it’ll be a long time from now and life will have changed for all of us dramatically. There are a few things I wanted to get off my chest but you just won’t understand yet.
When me and your mum found out we were having you we were over the moon, I won’t lie to you you I was terrified. It was when we found out you were going to be a boy, the real fear started to come in. It wasn’t worrying about being a parent, it wasn’t about not knowing what to do. It was about you being proud of me. At the time I worked one shift a week in the bar and me and your mums university but I knew that wasn’t enough. My company lost the contract and a new company came in and they offered me a full time position right away. At the time I felt like I was just a catering assistant and it wasn’t enough, I was embarrassed to put my job title on your birth certificate as I felt I was at the bottom of the table. Nearly 4 years later and I’ve realised, those thoughts were silly. I’ve reached a point in my career that back then I wanted my current job on your birth certificate. But my career doesn’t matter as much as I thought it did. I look back at the last 4 years and see that you have always looked at me as I was your hero. You may have your bad days where you want your own space (no I don’t listen) but I remember you are our son, we like our own space at times. Now I think the happiest thing about your birth certificate is that I am your father. 

I want you to know that when I’m busy at work and I won’t see you for days at a time, or I’ve worked so hard over the week and we have lazy weekends because daddy is exhausted. I cherish those moments as much as the time we are going to the cinema, getting food or even on an adventure. Making those memories with you and your mummy is what keeps me going and drives me through those tough weeks. One instant of this was the other week when it was hot, your door was open, I was getting ready for work at 5am and you woke up and gave me the biggest smile ever. That moment made my day and even my whole week.

I’m sorry if you’re upset and I don’t understand why, or I ever make you upset. Seeing you upset breaks my heart. That’s probably why I treat you every weekend, because I love making you smile and seeing pure happiness flow through your veins.

The thing I want to say the most is that I will always be proud of you, no matter what you do. I will always be there for you until my last breath. I want us to have a relationship like me and my dad never had and even when you’re grown up I will still love our cuddles. If I started my career all over again, it wouldn’t matter to me because I’d have you and your mummy. I may act like my job is really important but I want you to know, no matter how many promotions, pay rises, awards I get none of that will compare to the accomplishment of seeing you grow up and develop and knowing that is partially down to me. 

I love you son 

Dad x

A day in the life of Dad part 1

This post is sort of getting to let people know a bit more about me. So below I’m going to type a diary of my day in a time dairy form. The reason this is part 1 is because in the next coming weeks I will also be doing one about my weekend or as I called them “dad days”.

So let’s start with a typical Thursday for me.

5:20 – alarm goes off however I do let it snooze and I get out of bed bang on 5:25. Between now and 5:34 I quickly get dressed have a quick wash and run out of the door. (9 minutes is pretty impressive). My train is at 5:49 so I need to be quick.

5:40 – I get to the station and buy myself a tea or coffee (who really thought I would function without a drink haha) I walk up the platform and wait for my train to arrive. 

6:55 – After 2 trains and 2 tubes I have made it to work, ready to collect the keys and put the coffee machine and porridge on, I’m a catering manager by the way. Once these are on I go to my desk and grab my toothbrush, toothpaste, hair gel and aftershave and get myself preened for my working day.

08:00 – the coffee shop opens, I have a member of staff with me so I will tend to prep food or make coffees in the morning while she will serve customers.

10:00 – other member of staff comes into work, this is where the fun starts. I will go and check emails and do orders depending on what needs to come in. Give my boss a call to catch up and see what he may need from me I will pretty much do this for the rest of that day unless my team call me for help or I need to cover lunch breaks.

14:00 – I had an engineer come in to fix the oven at work as it’s been broken for a few months. After 2 hours he fixed one issue however not everything.

17:30 – after dealing with the engineer and helping my staff close down, it was busy so I couldn’t do any of my own work (tomorrow is going to be a busy day) I can finally go home. As I hand the keys in and leave the building, I give the wife a call to see how she is and let her know I’ve just left. I go to the station which is right next to the building I work in and generally get on any train that takes me into central London.

19:15 – I arrive home, Theo is still awake but is watching tv so doesn’t bother to say hello, so I cuddle him anyway and annoy him as all dads would do.

19:30 – while I’m eating my dinner my wife puts Theo to bed, I just about finish and go up to listen to the bed time story, it’s a tradition for me to sit outside his room listening to the story.

So for the rest of the evening me and my wife will tend to watch some tv, play some Xbox maybe even put on a film. 

22:30 – we both go to the bathroom, use the toilet and brush our teeth. We then go into Theo’s room to check on him, after this we go to sleep.

So that’s a regular day in the life of dad. I hope I didn’t bore you too much but you also have a little insight into the life of a Mad Dad (well my working life).

Keep your eye out for part 2

-Jeff

Baby Names

One thing I’ve noticed from pregnancies, not just ours but other peoples, is the first thing people want to know is the gender or name of the baby. We announced that Theo was a boy as soon as we found out. However even after his birth i didn’t let any of my wife’s family know his name until my wife announced it. She did tell me after that i could’ve told everyone, however i didn’t feel right telling people before she had the chance.

Many people name their children after people they know such as family members or friends. Others name them because of the names meanings. We decided on Theo’s name because of none of these reasons. The meaning of Theodore is ‘Gift Of God’. We are not religious people in the slightest, so that wasn’t the reason and we haven’t ever known a Theo (apart from me making jokes that he was named after the Arsenal player Theo Walcott). We chose is name because we wanted a strong name and the only name that felt right was Theodore. Originally we were going to shorten it to Ted or Teddy, however when he was born and we saw him, we both agreed that he was a Theo not a Ted.

Recently there have been reports of certain names going ‘extinct’. Up until last year the name Gary was nearly extinct as nobody had been named Gary since 1992. Other names that are becoming less popular are;

  • Clive
  • Debra
  • Sharon
  • Geoffrey
  • Alison

A lot of people get their children’s names from a baby name book, I remember always having one on my shelf when I was a child. This is was one my dad got my mum for mothers day when she was pregnant with me. I remember always looking through the book for names for my teddy bears. I think I threw it away during one of my teenage clear outs. I actually regretted this when my wife was pregnant with Theo, but we have the internet now so it wasn’t too much of a bother.

The discussion for this post is ‘what did you name your children and why?’

-Jeff

Shared Interests

While I’m watching Theo grow up I can a lot of myself in him, not just the good looks but the things he’s interested in. I am going to discuss a few of these below and compare between Theo and myself as a child with the same interests.Firstly is his love of Star Wars, this was completely nothing to do with me. The heavy marketing of “The Force Awakens” is what developed his love of Star Wars. He would see it everywhere and want to know what it was. So he got into Lego Star Wars from YouTube and started to learn who all the characters were, he has even seen every Star Wars film and has them all on dvd (these are my dvds but he has them hostage). When I was a child I loved Star Wars. I remember in primary school we would pretend to be different Jedi and use sticks as lightsabers, I even had a monopoly of the original saga (which I lost/ruined and is now worth over £100).

Next we have power rangers, Theo watches power rangers Dino charge on POP everyday and developed a love for power rangers. He has a majority of the main toys and now has a red ranger costume. As a child I wish I had one of those. I was his age when the original mighty morphin power rangers were about. I had a goldfish named after the red ranger (which my cat killed within the first week), I had a morpher and two of the morphing figures where you press a button and their heads change from having a helmet or no helmet. My biggest memory of the power rangers is spending a week at my nans house and her friend lent us 5 video tapes, each one had a different ranger on the cover. The other week I took Theo to see the new power rangers movie at the cinema, I will not lie I did get quite overwhelmed with emotions due to the nostalgia and that I was experiencing this with my boy.

Theo loves batman, superman and Spider-Man, as an avid comic book fan this makes my heart melt. Most of the time I will be looking at comic related things on my phone and Theo will come over and ask about it and say things like “oooh batman” and point at the screen. For Christmas I got him a batman costume which it took him months to want to wear. Then a month ago he randomly asked to wear it and wouldn’t take it off for days.

The point I’m getting at with all this isn’t that I’ve moulded my son into a smaller version of me or pushed my interests on him, he’s become interested in them all by himself and it’s a very warm feeling being able to be the child you once were with your son/daughter. 

If there are any interests you share with your child please let us know, we are always happy to hear about other parents adventures with their children.
-Jeff