Posted in Canada, Community, events, family, health, Life, Parenting, school, sleep, The Urban Daddy

How to Blog During a Pandemic


This blog post will provide some key tips to help you maintain your blog during the pandemic.

The key to doing this involves learning a very important skill; how to repeat posts on a daily basis so you don’t end up filling your draft folder with hundreds and hundreds of posts which you started but never completed.

Take this template, and add your twist to the end.

Blog post #…

Today, I woke up.

Today, I stayed home. Actually, we all stayed home. Today marked the _______ day, that we all stayed home.

Today, we (Insert an activity from the list below);

Browsed social media

Read

Got kids onto their zoom classes

Worked from home / my bed / my dining room table / my home office

Tried to work

Exercised / Tried to Exercise

Browsed Tik Tok (and learned…)

Ordered something online / a package came today which contained…

Optional: Left the house

Not optional: Wore a mask!

Went to sleep

The highlight of my day was…

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

More Questions Children Ask About the Way We Do Things


Building on the previous questions – the post a few days before this one – that children (my children) have asked about the way we do things, and why.

  1. How is the US possibly considering taking away women’s rights to do what they want with their own bodies? If the US is REALLY pro-life, then they would ban guns, and murder, and violence, because who says the life of an unborn baby matters more than the life of a child or adult who are killed for the colour of their skin, their sex or their ethnicity?
  2. If police here in Toronto really wanted to crack down on cars that speed, don’t follow street rules, and have tinted windows, they should make a law. (We have the conversation about the fact there are laws). In that case, if they break the law, they shouldn’t be allowed to drive. They should be forced to make the changes to their cars. In the mean time, they should have to take public transit. And they should have to pay a fine. That money should go into educating drivers what will happen if they break the laws. If they drink and drive and hurt someone or kill someone, they no longer get to drive. If they damage someone’s property, they should have to pay for it. There needs to be accountability.
  3. The funniest of these very serious conversations came while discussing limits on screen time. We have always limited screen time, and sites kids can and cannot visit. When parents, my kids say, they will not restrict screen time. They will instead, have serious conversations with their children about when they can access screens and for how long.

When asked what they would do to ensure that school work was completed?

Take away the access until it was done?

Nope.

They would “discuss” the importance of making sure school work is a priority.

How about if they work still isn’t done?

Take away access?

Again, no, it would make much more sense to have a conversation with the children to let them know that school work comes first and electronics second.

So I asked… What if they lie to you about having work done, or don’t contribute to the house chores? Don’t help with meal prep? Don’t set or clean off the table? Don’t take their laundry downstairs, or don’t take their wet towels off their beautiful hardwood floors?

Without missing a beat, they said; “They will”.

Puzzled, I asked, “so all I needed to do was have a serious conversation with you guys about responsibility, but give you free and unlimited access to electronics and you would be help out more around the house?”

“Absolutely!”, was their response…

“But”… was their next word… “You guys are terrible parents so we likely would have just been on our devices all day!”

I sat there blinking my eyes at them.

“Parenting is really not that hard, you just have to know how to do it properly.”

At which point I stopped the car (we were home) and pointed to the outside, and said, “OUT!”

… and they disappeared with devices in hand, never to be seen or heard from again, or at least until I yelled, “dinner!”.

Posted in Canada, Community, family, Food, health, Life, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Have I Mentioned How Much I Love Skip the Dishes?


The pandemic has changed the way I do things, and one of best things to come out of self-isolation (besides the weight-loss) has been an introduction to Skip the Dishes. I’ve been using this app quite a lot, and I really like it…

I’ve tried the other apps, and they’re good too, but I find with the Skip app, that some things are just easier to navigate, and they make ordering food really easy. Idiot proof, if you prefer, which suits this idiot just fine.

Just the other day, for example, it gave me the heads up that there were a few new restaurants which might be of interest to me, and as a result, we tried a place called the Rosedale Pantry.

There were many items to choose from at this restaurant – some vegetarian, some dairy free, some gluten free, but just mainly good looking food which sounded like it would be delicious. We ordered just about one of everything (Chicken Shawarma with Tahini, Grilled Salmon, Miami ribs, Caprese Quinoa, Dan Dan Broccoli, Kale Caesar salad, Kale and Beet salad, Middle Eastern salad, Roasted Sweet potatoes, Tahini Cauliflower, Tokyo Slaw, Mac & Cheese, and Wild Mushrooms – I wasn’t kidding when I said we tried almost one of everything) and within minutes, we could see that our driver was on the way to pick up the food.

We love watching the driver on the Skip app, as you get to see the car move through the city from their starting location to the restaurant, and then from restaurant to your home.

The food itself was really delicious, very fresh, very flavourful, and the portions were much larger than I anticipated they would be. Would absolutely order from there again, especially if you were having a post-COVID party and wanted to have salads and dishes of different foods for people to eat. Strongly recommend that!

The other cool feature of the Skip app that I have only had to use a couple of times, was when there was a missing dish, or error in the food. The customer service from these guys is spot on. They are polite, quick, and responsive. There is no waiting for weeks to have an issue resolved.

So it’s due to those reasons and likely a few more, why I choose to use Skip the Dishes when ordering food.

Also, if you’re in the Greater Toronto Area, make sure to check out the Rosedale Pantry.

Which food delivery apps do you prefer? What would you say is their best feature, and worst feature?

Posted in Canada, Community, family, health, Life, Parenting, Recommends, school, Toronto

Where is the CoronaVirus Common Sense? Cover up with great local masks!


To all my American friends… You have a choice. You have the same choice that we had in Canada and the same choice that our friends around the world had. Use some common sense, or run the risk of getting COVID-19.

It’s not a difficult choice to make, as far as I can see, it’s about your health, the health of your family, friends, neighbours and strangers. It’s not a hoax, it’s not a scam, and the virus doesn’t care who is running your country.

COVID in Canada doesn’t want Biden over Trump, and protecting yourself from getting sick is a smart idea, not a breach of your constitutional rights.

Enough with the posturing, and let’s get to reality.

I wear a mask. I was apprehensive at first, but less so after seeing how common they are in Asia – where we have traveled as a family, over the past 2 summers. People in Asia wear masks because they don’t want to pass along germs to others. Possibly they have weak immune systems, or maybe they just care about others, and don’t want to be the reason for someone else getting sick.

I wear a mask when I’m in close enough proximity to anyone who isn’t wearing one. These same people who don’t wear one clearly don’t care about their health, and they’re certainly not concerned about mine. They don’t care if they pass along the virus to me, and if I get sick, then I can’t see my kids, and well, that would just suck.

That is why I protect myself… and you.

In fact, I’ve been lucky to find a company that makes masks that fit me, feel good to wear, and don’t pull my ears forward so I look even more like Dumbo.

Two Friends with a Hook, was founded by high-school friends of my sister, and they’ve been producing and selling masks for the better part of 5 months. What started as a way to keep Canadians safe, has turned into a business, because the masks they make are easy to wear, look good and wash well.

Between my sister, my family and myself, we must have bought at least 20 masks thus far, and I’ve used them, and abused them, and they keep coming back for more. I’ve exercised wearing them – long walks, runs, or taken them into busy stores, and have had zero issues. When I’m not wearing the mask, like when I’m outdoors by myself, I can let the mask safely hang around my neck.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve tried plenty of masks, and these are by far the best. If you’re going to have to wear a mask, why not choose a comfortable one, a Canadian one, and keep everyone safe from your germs until we can kick CoronaVirus to the curb.

 

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, Life, Parenting, school, The Urban Daddy, urbandaddyblog

Tips for Balancing Remote Work and Parenting During Covid


Tips for Balancing Remote Work and Parenting During COVID-19

Written by: Sheyla Scaffo, People Experience Associate & Executive Business Administrator at Bunny Studio

Parents navigating their working from home while taking care of their children is the new norm. As school picks back up and with the uncertainty of what a day at school will look like (home, at school, 50/50, etc.), figuring out how to balance their schedule and a full-time job sometimes feels totally unmanageable.

Most parents have had experience working remotely in one-off, unplanned situations. However, working at home day in and day out for the foreseeable future while also caring for (and in some cases, teaching) kids at home proves to be a major struggle without careful planning where needed and flexibility when possible.

Here are some tips to create better routines and habits that can help parents maintain a healthy work-life integration:

1. When possible, keep things flexible
This is often easier said than done. However, when you do have the ability, consider getting creative with your work schedule to base your hours around your kids’ schedules. Giving yourself the flexibility to work differently during this time is crucial to maintaining work-life balance. 

This can work in a variety of ways. For example, if you’re an early morning person or a night owl, or you are used to commuting a long way, consider working on projects during these times when kids are usually sleeping. Of course, there will always be vital tasks and meetings that require collaboration with your colleagues during regular work hours, but finding ways to give yourself time for small breaks during the day will help you and your kids stay on track.            
 
2. Establish a kid-free zone
There will be times when you need to hunker down and complete work items free from distractions, which is why it is important to establish an area of the house where you can separate yourself from your family. 
 
Not only is it important for this space to be free from other people, but it also needs to be free from other distractions such as dirty laundry and other messes. Keeping the area clean and organized will keep you from wanting to disengage from work to complete other tasks.

3. Clearly communicate with your family
If you have a partner who is also working from home and sharing kid duties with you, it is crucial to communicate the times you can and cannot help out during the day. Setting these expectations will allow for a much smoother daily routine.

It is also important to communicate with your children if they are old enough. Set expectations for when there will be breaks in your day that you can check-in, whether it be a quick snack break, lunch, or even hourly check-ins. 

4. Utilize special toys and screen time during work hours
Set aside designated toys and other gadgets, as well as movies or TV shows, to be used when you need to focus-in during the day. This will give your kids something to look forward to and will allow for some distraction-free work time.
 
5. Don’t overwork
During this time, it can be easy to feel like we need to push ourselves to work extra hours, but the reality is that taking the time to unplug and reset each day is critical to success as a parent and an employee.
 
With schools and offices closed, parents are likely finding themselves faced with a to-do list that has only grown. Although many of us have now had a few months to settle into fully-remote work, that does not mean keeping up with distance-learning while figuring out the best way to accomplish your work has gotten any easier. Designing a schedule that fits your needs is easier said than done, but following the above tips should help ensure you are on the right track.

Should you find yourself out of work during this time, consider that there are other work options out there, such as freelance and contract work, that may help you meet your scheduling and finance needs. Freelancing is also a great source of supplemental income for people while they look for new full-time employment. Just make sure you choose the right platform to help you get the right kind of projects, such as Bunny Studio