The Urban Daddy: Bringing The Modern Dad To the Blogosphere


#TBT Tuesday to being featured in the Canada Writes series on “great Canadian Blogs” by the CBC.

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/2014/08/bringing-the-modern-dad-to-the-blogosphere.html

By day, Warren Orlans is a mild-mannered tax consultant, shoehorning in time to be a hands-on dad to his three young children and to helm an impressive backyard vegetable garden. But by night (10 p.m. to 2 a.m., to be exact) he morphs into The Urban Daddy, blogging on everything from why a child whose age is less than your shoe size feels the constant need to correct you to the parenting situation that leads you to eat a nibbled, warm banana.
As part of our Canada Blogs series on great Canadian blogs, we chatted with Warren about handling your private blog going public, falling asleep mid-post and why daddy bloggers may be coming out of the woodwork.

When and why did you start The Urban Daddy?
I started The Urban Daddy in 2004, just before my first son was born. I wanted to keep a diary of my wife’s pregnancy, what it was like being a father for the first time, and other related, or non-related, events that caught my attention at that time. The blog was kept private for four years until a colleague caught wind of it and it became very public.
I also started writing The Urban Daddy to work on my grammar and punctuation, which were not strong points for me in school. I have come a LONG way from my earlier posts, and the few who followed me from post #1 through post #1,000 have commented on the huge difference in my writing.
You’re a very hands-on dad. What kinds of reactions do you get from people about this? Do you find there’s still some bias towards dads being so involved in parenting?
I am as hands on as I can be because I love being a dad, and I want to spend more time with my kids than my father was able to. I know life can be very short—my dad passed away at the age of 62, so he was at our wedding but did not get to see any of my children. I do not want my children to not have had the opportunity to know me, to learn from me and to be taught some of the wonderful traits that were passed on to my from my mother: respect, consequences of actions, and that others are entitled to their own opinions and sometimes it’s best to listen, smile and not say anything.
I also see many other dads hanging around their kids’ classes, at least in my community. I see it more and more. I don’t judge those who can or cannot be there—we all have choices to make—and I do not feel that there are people judging me for being there as often as I am. Or maybe I just convince myself that anyone judging me must be thinking how successful I am that I have the free time to participate in my kids’ lives so much.
There are a lot of “mommy” blogs out there, but not so many “daddy” blogs. Why do you think this is?
I usually do not mention my blogging because I long felt that I was a “fraud” by blogging standards, being a “daddy blogger.” Early on I was at a gathering with a bunch of friends (all new dads as well) and one father said, “I think people who blog are narcissistic and do so only to brag about themselves.” From that point on, I kept it to myself.
Nowadays, especially after being featured in The Globe and Mail and Canadian Living, I don’t hide anything. It’s what I like to do no matter what anyone thinks.
I do have mothers coming up to me and asking me if I blog, and the reaction from them is usually one of surprise and support. I get a lot of positive feedback from mothers and from involved dads, who by choice or necessity are more involved than dads who leave for work before their kids wake up and who return home after the kids are in bed.
You tell a lot of personal stories about your wife and family. Where do you draw the line in what you do and don’t write about?
When my blog was hidden, I had no boundaries, until one day a colleague at the government asked a very personal question that they would have only known to ask through my blog. From that point on, I treat each and every post as if it were very public and I think about how my kids would feel as adults reading it. Would they want me talking about embarrassing things, or just telling stories and highlighting milestones?
How does your family feel about your blog?
My family likes the blogging—some more than others—because I relay stories about my children that I’ve sometimes forgotten to tell them. I also do not air dirty laundry on my blog, so there are very few posts where I am venting about my family.
I think they are amazed at the attention The Urban Daddy has been getting over the past few years more than anything. I have never seen myself as a writer, and I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read and comment on posts because there are so many other things they could be doing, but they are reading my ramblings, and I appreciate it.
You have another blog, inTAXicating. What’s the story of this blog?
InTAXicating came to me while I was working in the government and learning about how the Internet would help the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) collect money and educate taxpayers. As I progressed through collections, I was a Resource Officer for five years and that role was very technical, requiring me to understand and interpret the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act.  In order to get the level of understanding of legislation, I started re-writing the text into “English” and posting that on my blog.
So you have a day job, two blogs, and three kids. How exactly do you find time for all of this?
I don’t. Having my own business has made blogging as The Urban Daddy very difficult, and I have almost 200 posts sitting in my draft folder, in need of a good review. Prior to that I would generally blog from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and I would schedule my posts to come out during the course of the week. When my first son was born, I was doing my MBA online and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. was my time to work once everyone went to sleep, so I maintained that time as my time to get posts written.
Now I find I have so much work to do for my business that I spend time working on that instead of the blogging. But it changes, and sometimes I get extra time to bang out a post or two.
I’ve started going back to edit old posts, and I’ve found some where I clearly fell asleep in the middle of typing but posted them anyway. It’s a great reminder of my exhaustion back then.
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?
Do not get discouraged and do not write for others. Write for yourself first and try not to fret when only one or two readers come by your blog in a day, week or month. It takes time to build up a following. Reply to comments, follow other blogs, read them if you have the time and figure out what you want from your blog.
If you want to win awards, get hundreds of thousands of followers and use it to step up to a more prolific role, then stick to a topic or theme and write about it, and it only.
If you want your blog to be a journal to look at as your kids get older or to record things you might need, then write for the love of writing. If more comes of it, just say thank you and continue doing what you love doing.

 

Daily Prompt: Replacement


via Daily Prompt: Replacement

Thoughts swirling through my head around the word “replacement”.  In my life, what could replace me, or what (whom) could I replace?

What about in other aspects of society?  Where could the world benefit from replacement, aside from the office of the President of the United States of America where some recent decision scare the crap out of many, while bringing the “protectionist” US back to a time when they turned away other immigrants who were slaughtered by the Nazi’s.

Instead of having a “Trump” card, or a “Veto”, the US needs a “Replacement” vote which should allow the majority of their citizens to have stupid / racist / sexist decisions replaced by common sense ones.

Just a thought….

 

But about me, as a Dad, husband, and tax services professional – I recently had that conversation with my kids about my wife’s new best friend… Art.  She loves Art, and Art makes her feel good.

Art, you see, is not a person, but is what artists do, and my wife has become one seriously talented artist.  Watching her create is exciting and seeing the final product is awe inspiring, but I digress.  “Art” would be a suitable replacement for me.

My kids, however, wonder if “Art” were to be their next daddy, how “he” would treat them.

I told them since “Art” is not a real person, we could pretend that “Art” was really rich… like Bill Gates rich, and “Art” would buy them whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted… And then if “Art” had a huge family then it could help expand our super-small family.  That would be cool right?

They liked the thought, but felt that getting what they wanted, whenever they wanted would become boring after a while, and they kind of like me as their Dad… Awwww.

So “Art” would replace me as a husband, but not as a Dad, while common sense would replace dumb, racist political decisions.

Replacement might be the word of the day, but it offers the best opportunities for everyone to be happy.  At least I think it does.

Thursday 13 – 13 Things You WILL Be Talking About Today.


It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure to compile such a list, but here are the 13 Things you WILL be talking about today (and tomorrow, etc)

  1. You know you’re a Dad when… Breakfast on my way to a meeting this morning was: a handful of stale pretzels, a handful of peanuts, a Clementine orange and a container of 1-day-old cucumber slices.

  2. Not busy enough on Twitter, US President Donald Trump is stirring up the debate on abortion with his fellow males.  Donald, in less that 140 characters, I want to tell you this, “Stay out of my uterus!”

  3. Scientists – and I love me some science – are going to make tomatoes taste delicious again!  YAY.  For those of you who have been reading The Urban Daddy for a long-time, you will remember that I love gardening and my favourite thing to grow… Tomatoes!  http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/scientists-make-tomatoes-great-again-1.3953185

  4. The “Doomsday clock” has moved to 11:58pm for the first time since like 1954.  This means nothing to me, to be honest, and I didn’t even like the cartoon Doonsbury, so there!

5. GM is cutting 800 Canadian jobs and moving them to Mexico… Damn.  I hope Trump doesn’t hear that.  In retaliation, Canada has agreed to build a wall between Canada and Mexico.  Damn you capitalism!!!

6. I don’t know where you live, but here in Toronto where we need road tolls to keep the 905’ers out (see wall building), we have pot holes the size of, well, Mexico.  One such pot hole cost my wife her front tire and rim.  Damn you Mexico!

  1. Mary Tyler Moore passed away, and after being reacquainted with her show recently I came to realize that her TV feminism was inspiring and much needed.  She will be missed.

  2. The Toronto Maple Leafs do not stink… Am I dead???

9. I read somewhere that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mother had met the Donald (see President Trump earlier) back in the 70’s.  I thought the writer was trying to convince us that Donald Trump was his father, and when I told this to someone, they said, “Trump?  No.  Castro, yes!  They even look alike!!”  What?!?

  1. New expression in The Urban Daddy dictionary; “Playing your trump card”  Means saying whatever it takes to get what you want.  Truth, lies, half-truths… whatever!

  2. Trumpanomics.  Putting America first.  Hopefully Canada second. Could change direction at a moments Tweet and may or may not be accurate or true… Nobody knows…

  3. 2 hours before turning over reigns of the US to Trump, Former President Obama sent $221 million dollars to the Palestinian authority.  It would be a shame if that money was not used to build infrastructure and was used by the “leadership” to acquire weapons, build tunnels or for their pockets.  If you want your own state, start acting like responsible leaders and put your people first!  As for Obama… Not cool!

  4. One week of President Trump and here is what we know:  Torture good, Mexico bad.  Jobs good, jobs from tourists in Islamic countries bad. Woman bad. Free Trade bad. The Apprentice good. Climate change – fake.  Vaccinations – fake.

  5. (It’s my Trump calculations…) Tim Horton’s is opening up in… Gulp… Mexico.  Don’t tell Trump.  He’ll kick the coffee company out of the US.  Or, those in the southern US will need a really long straw to sip those yummy Timmy’s beverages.

The Absolute Best Hockey Instructor on the Planet: Dusan Kralik’s Creative Hockey development


I just signed up my middle and only child who plays hockey for March break hockey camp with the absolute best hockey instructor on the planet, Dusan Kralik, and his Creative Hockey Development program.

My son, you see, is entering his 3rd year in organized hockey, his 4th year skating at all, and all of his improvements have been due to his desire to get better (certainly not to my pushing him) and because Dusan is an amazing human being.

Dusan, has a very lengthy background in hockey, and he would have been a fantastic pro player if it wasn’t for injuries.

Instead of moving past hockey, Dusan moved to Canada from his native Slovakia and wound up playing on my ball-hockey team where we won a whole bunch of championships.  Playing with one healthy hip, Dusan was magical in the arena, and when I finally got to see him on the ice, I was in awe.

He’s incredibly talented, unbelievably gifted, and he’s trained many, many current NHL players whom you might have heard about – Subban, Tavares, the Tanev brothers, just to name a few.  In fact this past April, he trained Conor McDavid prior to the World Cup.

If he can train them, he can train my son.

Dusan is not just an on-ice genius, as he has presented at International Coaching Symposiums, has had many a conversation with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and each summer he travels to Carolina to train the Carolina Hurricanes prospects.

Dusan, is a future GM in the NHL, so it’s best to get him while he’s still training!  Dusan travels worldwide to train – I know he trained the Israeli Hockey team, as well as the men’s and woman’s hockey teams for Seneca College.

His website is under construction, but I strongly recommend you follow him on Facebook, here; https://www.facebook.com/CreativeHockeyDevelopment/

If I’m lucky, he’ll let me assist at the camp as I did last year with some of the coaching (not on ice), or I’ll just look forward to watching the expert work his magic with a bunch of wide-eyed kids.

 

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year, for all of us here at The Urban Daddy!  Okay, so that’s just me, but it sounds better when it’s coming for a bunch of people, right?

You might have noticed a few changes around here if you arrive at the blog via the URL http://www.urbandaddy.wordpress.com.  The theme and cover photo have been changed again and I’m taking this blog back to basics which means more content and less focus on what the heck I’m saying and how it’s being written.

I miss the old days when I would throw up a post and the only reader and only comment would be from my sister who would edit it for me in her comment.  LOL.

You might also have noticed that little “R” inside a circle after “The Urban Daddy” and that is because I have registered the trademark “The Urban Daddy”.  After 1200 posts covering over 12-years, it was only a matter of time, right?

Another new change is the URL.  You can access this blog via http://www.theurbandaddy.ca as well, as I finally had enough time to activate that URL which I’ve owned for the past 5-years.

I hope everyone has a healthy, wealthy and peaceful 2017, and I’d like to end this post with a tidbit of wisdom from my now 7-year-old daughter, who blurted this out on New Years’ Day for some unknown reason;

 

“In order to have money and not be poor when you are older, you need to earn and save money now when you are young!”

 

A fiscal conservative at the core!