Posted in Thursday Thirteen, urbandaddyblog

Thursday Thirteen: The Urban Daddy Answers His Mail. 13 of them.


Something a little new today.

My Thursday Thirteen this week is going to cover the 13 most commonly asked emails that I have received at realurbandaddy@gmail.com.  I do get a LOT of email and if I had the time, I would love to be able to reply to all of it, and it does take me some time to reply, but I have some left over messages all along the same theme, which I am going to answer here.

Sit tight, get your pen and paper ready – or a Dictaphone if  you have one or even know what it is – and let’s get ready to learn how to reply to tough, challenging emails.  Urban Daddy style.

Thursday Thirteen Autumn

13. Why don’t you blog so much anymore?

Great and most common question.  I do blog as much as before, however, now that I have my own business, a lot of my posts are headed there.  The rest of the post for The Urban Daddy are sitting in my drafts folder.  There is something like 113 of them in there.

Another problem is that as my readership increases I feel some responsibility to actually make sense in my posts.  Gone are the days of 10 readers per day and me writing posts at 1am.  Now I write, edit, review, fact-check, edit then save to drafts.

I’m going to write more… I promise.

You can also find some of my thoughts when I’m too lazy to blog them over at my Facebook page; www.facebook.com/TheUrbanDaddy or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/realurbandaddy.  I’m on Tumblr, Google Plus, Pinterest… Everywhere, but those are the main 3.  Please “like” me and add me where possible.  I always add back.

12. Are you affiliated with that big Urban Daddy website in the US?

Nope.  They did ask me, however, to kindly hand over my social media sites which are in the name “Urban Daddy”.  I politely declined since I was blogging as Urban Daddy before they came to be.  So I asked them kindly to hand over ownership of all their social media sites to me.  I never heard back, lol, but soon thereafter all the URLs which were close to mine were scooped up.

Point taken.

I also get a LOT of pitches and product-testing requests but I politely turn them down if they are not something I would not use, or if they are not going to directly benefit you guys – my readership – but I love to get them from local (Canadian) companies because it’s easy for me to toss something onto my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheUrbanDaddy) if you have not gone there, go there now and like me.  Please.

11. Why do blog about coffee?

Ohhh.  I love coffee.  But I’m more than just a medium roast kind of guy.  I like adventure, and something different so I’m big into the flavours.  I actually used to test the new flavours at Java Joe’s near my office – a treat for me – which is where I fell in love with Blueberry coffee.  Blueberry coffee, if you didn’t know is huge on the East coast of Canada and in the US, but for some reason has not hit the mainstream here in TO as of yet.

Blueberry is way better than, for example, Raspberry Chocolate coffee, and light-years better than Irish Cream or boring Vanilla Hazelnut.

So now where can you buy this coffee you ask…

Well since you all cannot come over to my house, you will be thrilled to learn that there is an amazing Canadian company called Java Works Coffee(http://www.javaworkscoffee.ca/) , out of Mississauga, Ontario, and they sell coffee and teas to restaurants, offices and – yay – customers through their factory outlet.  So on Friday I dropped in to this store and was blown away with the selection, the staff and the smell when you first walk into the door.  WOW.

I left with some teas and 1lb bags of the following coffees;

  • Blueberry Bliss
  • French Toast
  • Cinnamon Apple Spice
  • Mint Chocolate Chip

After testing them all I can say that each one is better than the next.

10. Do you really like Wrestling?

Yes.  Like it a lot.  And yes, I know it is fake.  I’ve been watching this male soap opera since I was a boy (which is a really long time ago!)  If you gotta problem with that, come see my and I’ll put you in a headlock, then powerbomb you.  🙂

9. The best Daddy blogs usually are written by Stay at Home Dads (SAHD). Why?

Funny.  I’ve always felt that the SAHM (Stay at home Mom) blogs are the best, and clearly the Dads are right up there now because they are there with the kids and doing the things that many of us do on a daily basis.  I have always said that I felt no one wants to read a blog about kids from a parent who works full-time unless they are able to spend enough time with the kids, or capture a moment, which will make good print.  I just wish I had more time to read these great blogs…

8. Would you consider yourself a parent expert? Why or why not?

I would and only because I have 3 children and after changing many diapers, and being there for feedings, changings, programs, school, school events, I can honestly say that I sacrificed my career to spend time with my kids and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

7. Where in the world are you?

I’m everywhere!  LOL.  No really.  I’m in Toronto, Ontario. Canada.  A very large, beautiful city in the best country in the world.

6. How Conservative are your views?

Fiscally conservative – Very.

A lot of my other views tend to learn more towards the centre from the left side.  So I feel people should work for their money, and if they use that money to buy things for themselves, others do not have the right to steal from them, however if people are unable to work – really unable to work, that they should be a social network to allow them to live above the poverty line and be able to contribute to society in whatever ways they can,

5. I see you post a lot about IVF. Is it because you used it?

Actually no.  We were fortunate enough to not need IVF, however from a moral and financial perspective, I feel that governments should fund IVF treatments for those families who want it.  The savings to our tax system would be huge and it’s a really nice thing for governments to do while trying to figure out why infertility is on the rise.

4.  What are some other great blogs you can recommend?

I have actually been meaning to prepare a Friday blog post called the “Friday Follow Five” and use that to go to a favourite blog I follow, then read the first post, and use either the comments on that post or the blogroll on the side to go to another blog, then do the same until I have read and summarized 5 posts and provided details in the post.  In the meantime, please visit the blogs in my blogroll.  They’re amazing.

3.  How long have you been blogging and how long will it take me to get readers?

Well, I’ve been blogging since 2004 and to be honest, make sure you do it for love and not for getting famous because it takes a LOT of TLC to get a blog off the ground.  Essentially, you need to not use my blog as the model, because you need to post frequently, read and comment on other blogs often, build relationships with your readers, and write things others want to read.  Having a pretty blog, and nice title, and the proper length articles is also important…

Good luck!

2.  Your posts are too long.  Some are really off-topic.  Why do you do that?

LOL.  I get this a lot.

They are not off-topic for people who come here randomly looking for specific topics.  I do, however, agree that I am long-winded and I try to fix it, but I just can’t.  I talk this way too.  I have to build up the back-story before I get to the point.

Knowing that I blog under the title “The Urban Daddy” as a Dad in urban-Toronto, would you believe that my most popular post ever has to do with the Secret Menu at Starbucks, followed closely by my evaluation of the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program.

So as I approach 1000 posts, I can honestly say that I get a LOT of views from the Philippines after Canada and the US.  I would NEVER have expected that back on 2004 when I had 10 views a week.

1.  Why are you still blogging?

I don’t really know.  I think I would feel lost without it and when I look back and see my earlier posts I am amazed at some of the things I have gone through since I had kids.  More importantly, and the real reason to keep it going is because as my kids get older (my oldest is 8-years-old) and they start to ask questions or look for stories about when they were young, I know I can pull up a post and let them read the details.  It’s always a good laugh.

Posted in family, Life

Why Do I Blog? Why Do You Blog?


I often wonder why it is that I blog.  I wonder, during the day, if I’m wasting my time with this whole blog thing, and at night, I wonder the same thing, as I’m typing up my posts for the week. Is anyone going to read them? and if someone does, why, and in the end does it really matter? 

I’ve said this before, that I don’t write posts for others… usually… although I have been known to in the past – I won’t make that mistake again.

I try to write my posts with the view that this online journal is going to help me remember key points in my family’s life as we move from day-to-day, kid-by-kid, and event-to-event.  It’s nice to be able to look back and see what we did, for example, for my 1st child’s 2nd birthday, and use that in preparation for my middle child’s 2nd birthday, and still have that online when it comes time for my daughter’s second birthday.

I used to post about events that happened to me at my old job – but that turned out to be a colossal error of judgement as it revealed WAY too much about me and my family and opened up my life for judgement and criticism from those who knew that I blogged.

Going forward I share events and stories with like-minded individuals and use my blog as a forum to talk about me, the father of 3 kids, the husband, the manager, volunteer and human being.

I was content doing this for the people who came to my blog with regularity and maintaining a respectable number of daily readers.

All of this changed last Wednesday – for those of you who read my comments, you would already know – when I was reached out to from a local TV station regarding my interest in participating in a talk show on blogging as a Daddy-blogger.

Initially, I was dead set against the idea but after talking to some friends in the media, I met with the executive producer of this show and we chatted about what it is that I do and why. 

During this 15-20 minute chat, we talked about how I got started blogging, what my challenges are as  a Dad and why I like to blog stuff.  I answered the questions as best as I could and the more we talked the more it came back to me why it is that I do this in the end of the day. 

It’s because I love being a Dad! 

I started because my wife blogged and I loved reading her posts.  She is such a great writer (I miss her posts) and I wanted to have my take on family events too – we see things so differently.  Eventually, I added other topics to my blog, like work, the TTC, municipal events – like the condition of the streets – volunteer activities and my search for a new job.

I found my blog became the repository for everything that happened to me during the day – good and bad – and if you look back at some of my oldest posts, they have little rhyme or reason, as I used this blog for a dumping ground of my emotions. 

Doing that allowed me time to grow emotionally, and as a writer as I would go back and read comments and those comments helped me realize whether I was writing something interesting of something crappy.  The more I wrote my posts to those readers the less I became myself, but the more I wanted comments.  I wanted to be noticed.  I think deep down inside I wanted what some other bloggers I knew about had, like Cheaty Monkey and Redneck Mummy, I wanted to be able to write a post worthy of 30 comments or 200 hits… I wanted to be known.

Then somewhere along the line I realized that being the Dad of 3 kids, with a new job which I love(d), I had been blogging for over 4 years and with little in the way of hits or comments I just enjoyed using this forum to talk about what it’s like being an involved father. 

I was fortunate to have been in a position to have taken off 9 months to be with my first son, 4 months with my second, and yes, one day with my third, but on the weekends, they are mine and in the evenings I take care of their bedtime routine and I would not pass that up for anything in the world.

Sure I find there are times during the day when I wonder why I’m working (obvious reasons – to pay bills) because I just want to be home with my kids.  Yes, we do programs in the evenings and on the weekends, and sure every now and then I am able to walk them to school, be the class parent, or take them for a walk to run errands… I want them to be as involved as possible so when they get older they won’t be afraid to ask for what they want or settle for a job they do not like because they are too hesitant to make a move.

And while I do not have the burden of having to make the big decisions – schools, meals, camps, lunches, or stuff like that as my wife does all of that too much success, I am involved in the conversation regarding these decisions as much as I can.  My wife and I attended 5 or six schools before we chose the one my oldest goes to know and I went with my wife to speak to the principal of the new school that my middle child attends.  We visited camps, arranged sports events and we plan vacations that would be fun for everyone.  I like to be in control but where I cannot, I know my wife will have already done the legwork and spoken to people and will come to me when we’re close so we can seal the deal together and be comfortable that it is the right decision for us and our kids.

I try not to miss parent teacher interviews, I look at homework and often find myself asking my kids how their day was and what they did.  I worry about how they are socializing with their classmates, and between each other.  I worry about how they are to their teachers and try to get them to treat their nanny with the most respect possible.  I worry about how they are going to cope as they grow older. 

My oldest boy is so much like me that I want to watch his development and remind him that to be successful in school and in life he needs to be a little less goofy and a little more serious.  I remember about 6 months ago when he told me that he didn’t know; “When is the right time to be serious and when it’s okay to be goofy”.  I try to teach him.  My middle boy, on the other hand is all my wife and I want him to be a little less intense and a little more outgoing so that he can use his natural smarts to be the best he can be.

So getting back to why it is that I blog… I told this TV station about why I love being a Dad and why I didn’t really want to be on TV because I’m not the worlds’ most articulate guy all the time and at times I wonder if any of these posts even make sense on the screen after I type my garbled mess.  But the more I talked about myself and my enjoyment of fatherhood, I realized I could do this, and if they decided after meeting me that they wanted to give me a shot and have me on, I would do it.  Not for the potential for more hits, or more comments, but hit the opportunity to pass along to anyone that wants to listen why it’s great being a parent and to share some of the things we have encountered as a family and how we moved past them.

Trust me… If it’s going to happen, I’ll let you know…

… Maybe.  🙂