I recently reported that I had been on a mission. That mission involved finding electric products to replace the current products we use. This in turn will help reduce our footprint. We were inspired after reading about how the best electric chainsaw was helping to reduce carbon emissions, and we wanted to play our part. As many of you would be aware, my wife and I are both environmentalists so this is something we are both passionate about.

That mission started simple. We tried to work out if electric mower for kids exists. Sadly, my enthusiasm was stronger than the reality. I never invested in a lawn mower in the end. Although I purchased one I found at Walmart, I ended up returning it because I found that it simply wasn’t strong enough. Such a shame.

I found a different case was true for the electric chainsaw. Granted, I’m not tackling large trees or anything larger jobs. I’m simply maintaining my own lawn and trimming branches and bushes as I see fit – a battery powered top electric chainsaw works perfectly for this. It’s a small step towards reducing our emissions and ensuring that the footprint we leave is as small as possible. To be honest, environmentalism is only something we have recently become interested in – and not because we didn’t care before, but because we were ignorant. We didn’t understand the implications our actions can have on the future. This research started when we heard about just how bad BPA is for us. Gross.

Our electric dream for the future!

However, we did find a load of other resources here. If you’re not already keeping up to date with the information on Greenhouse Gas by the EPA then I recommend you do so. There’s a wealth information on this site and advice on how you can reduce your own emissions.

For us it’s one step at a time. We are even thinking of investing our money into an electric car – although not yet. There are huge advances being made in the field of the conservation and we are going to try our best to do our part.

What are you doing to conserve the environment?

Well, today was a scary day. I had my first car accident ever. I have never been involved in a car accident, let alone caused one. I can’t begin to describe how scary this was. Anyway, before I explain what happened, a little background information first…

I woke up this morning with a strange feeling. I tried to convince myself that I was being silly. I took a shower and got dressed and ready to take Isaac to the bus station. I tried to eat breakfast but couldn’t stomach my food. I had a sick feeling in my stomach for some odd reason. I told my wife about this and she dismissed it. She said if something happens she will give me $10. Although appealing this did not put my anxiety at ease.

We got into the car and started heading to the bus stop. On the way we stopped at Walmart as I needed more soda for the weekend (we have family coming over). This was all fine. We got back into the car and continued on to the bus stop, and then it happened.

I had received a call from my wife and reached over to grab my phone. My eyes were off the road for merely a second. Before I knew it, I had hit the back of the car in front.This has never happened before. I could see what was happening and could not stop it. My immediate thought was of Isaac. Was he okay? Was he injured? Turns out he was absolutely fine. A lot better than me actually.

My wife was also concerned. She heard the accident happen which must have been pretty traumatic for her. I explained we were fine and that I will sort it out and speak to her tonight.

The thing I was most concerned about was speaking to the person I had hit. I was obviously in the wrong and did not know what to say. I was very anxious and awkward about the whole situation and wished I could have made it all go away.

Luckily for me, the other driver was very polite. They had been involved in an accident earlier this year which was their fault, so they knew what I was going through. Strangely this made me a little mad as I couldn’t help but wonder how someone could be involved in two accidents so close together. And then I remembered that it was my fault.

We exchanged insurance and license details. It was all pretty straight forward and over within 10 minutes, however I am still shaking even now. I was also nervous about the judgement from other parents. We all know what kids are like and I knew Isaac would have no hesitation in telling his whole class that his daddy ran into the back of another car this morning!

My fears were justified. Within an hour of dropping Isaac off, I received a call from a very concerned teacher telling me she heard that I was involved in an accident and asking if I was okay (I wonder where she heard that from!). I told her it was nothing too serious and thanked her for her concern. I couldn’t help but think of how I was being judged. It’s probably all in my head.

Thankfully the car is drivable. It definitely looks like it has been involved in an accident. The whole trunk is bent and the lights are broken. We only have one car (my wife gets driven to work by a friend) and I had to pick up Isaac that afternoon. I was so worried about being caught by the police and thrown into jail for being a terrible driver and a terrible parent! Luck was on our side and did not get pulled over.

I organized with my insurance company to use a hire car. I feel very thankful that I paid for that. I don’t know what we would have done without one. We would have been lost with no way to get around, and where we live having a car is essential. Heck, it takes me 20 minutes to drop my son off at the bus stop.

When my wife came home we just cuddled for about 15 minutes without saying anything. There was nothing to be said. We were fine and what had happened had happened. We only need to get through it now.

Sorry if I have rambled on. I have so much nervous energy after what happened and needed to get rid of it. I am actually feeling a bit better about the whole situation. I think that writing it out has helped. Or maybe it is the glass of wine I am currently having. I can recommend both for stressful situations.

Now, I’m exhausted. I think we need another father and son trip.

Well the time had finally arrived for my boy to head off to school. Isaac had mastered the 4 lessons before starting school on parenting.com and was ready to master the world! I knew this day was coming and I had been prepared for a while. I packed a full lunch which I had never done before. I was a bit worried because I know parents can be so judgemental about what other parents feed their kids, so maybe I included peanut butter cups out of spite.

The reality hit me when the bus pulled up and he hopped on. He was just so small compared to the bus and the other kids. I felt tears coming to my eyes but smiled and pretended to be as excited as he was. Isaac was as cool as cool can be. He did not seem phased at all that this was the first time he would spend without anyone he knew!

I waited for him when he got back at the bus stop. This is actually a new experience for me as I had never waited for kids at a bus stop before. It was like a circus. The school bus drop off is located a bit far from where we live and parents gather around it. Looking for a parking spot was a nightmare. I was stressing that I wouldn’t get there in time which terrified me. I did not want Isaac waiting around for his useless father!

On the way home, I must say I had never seen a boy so excited – at least not since the father and son trip we took. He had so much to tell me about his first day. It actually did sound exciting (why didn’t we have iPads when I was in school???). This continued into the night.

I have since spoken to the teacher and Isaac seems to have created quite a name for himself. He is always first to answer questions in class and quick to make friends. He sounds like the complete opposite of me. Looks like we have a lot to look forward to. At least the hardest part is over!

Okay, so it is time that I reveal the truth. I hate being a daddy!

Just kidding. I actually love it and it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. The love you feel for a child can not be compared to anything. But with love comes conflict, and that is undeniable. Lets be frank, there are some things that just aren’t that great about being a parent.

When I wrote misconceptions about being a stay at home dad I received loads of emails with people who felt the same. Although I would not trade being a parent for anything in the world, here is a list of 3 things I love and 3 things I don’t love about being a parent!

Things I Love About Being A Daddy

1. I love hugs

I don’t know about other parents, but when Isaac hugs me, everything is right in the world. No matter what kind of day I am having, those hugs can bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.

It is even better when they happen spontaneously. Sometimes, out of no where, I see him running towards me with arms wide open just wanting to show me he loves me. There really is nothing better in the world than that feeling.

2. I love introducing him to new things

When I see Isaac’s face when he see’s something new, I feel like I am rediscovering it myself. I saw this recently when we took a trip together.

Kids allow you to life through different eyes for a while, and can give you a different perspective on almost anything.

3. I love watching him grow

Although I continue to threaten him with the freezer, I love to see how Isaac is growing and changing through the years. At the age of four, he now gives a very different answer to questions he would before.

He is also looking more and more like my own father, and that is something that is quite amazing.

Things I Don’t Love About Being A Daddy

1. I hate not sleeping in

I miss sleep ins. I miss days where I did not have to wake up. Where I could stay in bed and no one would care if I even showered (even though it was quite depressing back then).

Now, I get waken up 6 am every morning to be reminded that I have to get someones breakfast. Thanks Isaac.

2. I hate mess

It is not Isaac’s fault that I am OCD about cleaning. I blame my mother. She could not sit still without noticing a fingerprint on the window, and unfortunately this seems to have rubbed off onto me.

It is hard to be a perfectionist with a child.

3. I hate my missing collectors coins

Although Isaac swears that I must have left them at the golf club (how???), my collectors coins have been missing for some time and I can’t help but think there is a little man that knows something more than he lets on.

 

With all this, there really is nothing better for me than being a father.

I am a stay at home Dad. With that role comes some pretty common (and annoying) misconceptions that I am ready to end once and for all. Every family is different, but these are the common misconceptions that I encounter day to day.

I watch sport all day

Yes, I have been known to watch sport. And yes, I have been known to watch it all day. But not anymore.

Like any stay at home Mom, I have responsibilities as a parent now and if anyone thinks a parents work ever ends then they must not have children themselves. These days I would be very lucky if I even had time to turn the TV on let alone watch it all day.

I must be looking for job

In fact, I am not, and I get quite embarrassed having to explain this one to people because it seems as though they feel bad for me.

Isaac’s Mom would rather be at home

I guess the problem here is the preconception that all mums are the same. My wife absolutely loves her job and that is why she has kept it. I was partial to my own job and wanted my wife to be happy doing whatever she was doing.

This has made me being a stay at home dad a perfect decision for us. Although during my my wife’s first pregnancy, she may want to stay home next time.

Mothers bond better with their child

This is one that I take to heart and I do not think is fair. Although mothers have a different bond to their children, I do not think it is fair to say that they bond better.

We are not strangers to our children and a child is better with a loving parent.

 

Although I am able to brush many of these comments off and see the humor in them, I think it is important to remember that some of these views can be quite damaging to our children.

I think there is more acceptance now than when I first became a stay at home dad, and people are realizing that as long as a child has a loving and happy home, that should be all that matters. If the way to provide that is for the Dad to stay home, then this should be accepted.

Like many stay at home dads, I always need to have a project to keep me busy. This is one of the great things about living on a large block of land. We have plenty of space, and so I always have ideas about what I can do next. I was recently inspired by NASA growing vegetables in space, and so right now, I am planning on building a small atrium to grow some organic vegetables.

There is one thing that always hold me back from even stepping outside, and that is my lawn. With a lot of land comes a lot of grass, and if I were to ever spend my time mowing the entire lawn, it would take a lifetime. Sometimes when I go outside, all I can see is work.

This is why I am desperate to get Isaac involving in helping. Isaac is far to young to use the an electric mower in my opinion, which is a shame because I recently purchased the best electric mower I could find for my lawn. We don’t have a huge lawn here so luckily I didn’t need to spend too much money to find something that met our specifications.

Unlike the best chainsaw, which there is no way I would allow Isaac to use, an electric mower is relatively safe with supervision and so I have started to allow him to have a turn pushing the mower with me behind it. I was quite worried about this at the start but it turned out to be a great thing to do to introduce him to mowers.

After seeing how much he enjoyed it, I purchased him this toy lawn mower from Walmart. He is having a great time pretending to be Dad, and I don’t even think he realizes that the mower does not cut grass!

I want Isaac to help maintain the property when he grows up, and I think it is a great way for him to learn about responsibility. I would love some advice on here about any safe electric mowers for kids and how old you think your child should be when they start using it themselves? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

It has been a long time since I had played a round of golf, so I was quite nervous turning up to my local golf club again. It felt like I had not been there in years, and then I realized it had been 2 years since I had stepped foot there! Life really does change when you become a parent.

At the age of 4 I suppose Isaac is still a bit young to play golf, but I was too excited to wait any longer. Luckily Isaac shares his Dad’s enthusiasm no matter where we are, such as when we went quad bike riding, and so he was excited and ready to go.

When we entered the club it was exactly as I remembered it. I was taken back immediately to the last time I was there. My brother George and I had played a game of golf when he came down with his wife to stay with us. Before that, we were regular players. I remember we always planned a trip to the Hawaiian golf courses. I am still waiting for that to happen.

Bill, the owner, was as welcoming as ever and it was so great to see him again. He wanted to know everything about what I had been up to in the last few years, and as usual when I told him I was a stay a home Dad now, I felt a bit of the misconceptions of stay at home Dad’s were there. However, these were lighthearted and I know him and that he would never mean any harm.

It was just as interesting to learn about what he had been up to. He and his wife had purchased a large property two hours away from the golf course. That meant a two hour commute there and back each day for Bill. This reminded me of the promises I made when Isaac was born! I am so glad that is not me.

Bill was just as enthusiastic to show us all the new things about the club. They had purchased some new GPS rangefinders that they read about at Golf Range Finders Pro. Isaac loved to play with these gadgets, although I had never seen them before. Bill said they wanted the best GPS rangefinder for their course. They looked expensive so I encourage him not touch. I did not want to foot the bill for that!

The course was exactly the same as I remembered it, and it really did feel like stepping back in time. I hired some clubs because I had sold mine a year back as I just was not using them. My swing was a little (okay, very) wobbly at first but I quickly got back into it. I remembered exactly why I love golf.

Naturally Isaac wanted a turn as soon as I took a swing, and it took him 4 times to hit the ball correctly. I think he might need to read up on some tips. The only problem is that he can’t read yet.

Playing golf was something I really missed doing since becoming a parent, but today made me realize that I do not have to miss out on doing the things that I love. Now that Isaac is almost at an age where he can learn to play too, I see golf becoming a part of my life again and a great way for us to bond.

It is an exciting time for me now that Isaac is almost five years old. The last few months have been especially busy. We have had so much to organize for Isaac including his schooling which has been an absolute nightmare. I have been reading a lot about choosing a school. Who knew it would be so tough to find a great school to send your kid to. We did find a great school though and I think he will really enjoy his time there.

Before he begins his schooling I wanted to do something special with him. It has been a while since we both bonded as father and son. I mean, we do get a lot of time together, but with family coming and going as they always have it is difficult to find some quality bonding time. That is when my wife suggested that we take a trip over to my brothers up north for the weekend.

My brother lives up in Montana and is lucky enough to own land of several acres. He takes advantage of this by owning some of the coolest toys that you could buy. I love taking the quad bike for a ride whenever I go there and do not find a chance any other time. But with land comes a lot of work. This often stops me from visiting because whenever I go, there is always something to do!

So it was decided that Isaac and I would spend a long weekend with my brother. It was great to see Isaac so excited about something so simple, and it is hard not to get excited yourself. A kids enthusiasm is contagious! I also did some reading on other things to do in Montana.

We left early Friday morning to take advantage of the time we had together. We stopped over at a roadhouse to get a quick breakfast and then made our way for the next three hours. I can see what people mean when they say kids are annoying to drive with. Maybe time just feels differently to kids, but I don’t see how asking “are we there yet” every five minutes could make the trip any quicker!

When we did get there it was excellent to see George. He has two sons of his own and it had been a while since Isaac had seen them, so it was interesting to see how he interacts with children differently now.

As I predicted, as soon as we got there we were told how much work there was to be done. The whole area needed clearing as George was putting in a new fence. I was shocked by how much had been done since last time though. He did not seem to remember how it looked. Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly what things looked like before when you have been involved in the entire process.

I still wanted to spend some quality time with Isaac. Isaac had never ridden (or even seen) a quad bike in his life so you can imagine the surprise on his face when he saw it. It was like one of his toys coming to life, and he thought it was like magic the way it moved.

I was a bit worried about having him so young on the quad but my worries were unfounded (as they often are). It was very safe as we only went at a low speed and on flat ground. I even got to the point where I was confident enough to let him take control of the quad bike.

That night George’s wife cooked a beautiful dinner and we all ate it outside under the stars around a fire. It was pretty cold but the warm fire and dinner made it feel perfect. It reminded me of times when I was a young, and I realized that I need to see George more often.

The next day was all work. It was great to see Isaac working hard and he was enthusiastic towards everything. I hope that attitude sticks especially when he gets to school. He is a lot more confident than I was at his age and I hope that serves him well at school.

We left George on Sunday morning and stopped back at the same roadhouse on the way back. The same lady served us and it was quite funny to update her about where we had been. Isaac did most of the talking and was so excited to tell her all about the quad bike and how he drove it himself. At the risk of being seen as a bad parent I quickly said that he did not ride it by himself.

When we got home I heard the same story told to him Mom in almost exactly the same words. I was pretty exhausted. Being alert driving the whole time and taking care of a child definitely wares you out, but it, and it was a wonderful way to bond with Isaac and catch up with my brother again.

In May of 2012, we welcomed a very special person into our lives. Our son Isaac was born and our lives became richer because of him.

My wife Gabriella and I married in June 2010, and made no secret of the fact that we wanted a family. There was no urgency for this to happen, but we both knew we wanted it to happen, and so we never officially tried for a baby. We just decided that when it is right, it will happen.

And it did. We found out in August of 2011 that Gabriella was pregnant, and the whole family was thrilled. This was to be the third grandchild for our parents, and already having two grandsons.

Gabriella had a rough pregnancy and was actually sick for most of the nine months. Do not believe people when they say “morning sickness”. It was just sickness. Constantly. I hope what a friend said about the first child being the worst is true because I would hate for her to go through this again, although I have heard the opposite from others! If it happens again we might try some of these tips.

Isaac was born right on his due date, and luckily the birth was complication free. We had all the support of our family and friends and could not have been luckier during this time.

Before Isaac was born, we had two names in mind – Jeff for a boy and Jane for a girl. We did not have a scan of the sex of the baby when Gabriella was pregnant, so we had no idea what to expect and were prepared for either.

Once we saw Isaac, we knew both names would not do. We actually waited a week until we named him Isaac, in the meantime referring to him as Bubs. That name still sticks.

As we did not know Isaac would be a boy, we had bought relatively neutral clothes, although there was a pink suit or two. I for one had no problem dressing Isaac in pink, and I found it was funny that people thought he was a girl based only on the color he was wearing. This really had me think about our preconceptions of colors and gender and has fascinated me since.

I have learned so much myself and life from becoming a parent, and I want to share that with the world. I hope we can use this space to enlighten and share our journeys with each other and I look forward to hearing from you all.