What's better than a blog run since 2004 by a Canadian Daddy blogger? A blog run by a Canadian Daddy blogger AND a Canadian Twin Mommy blogger. While we're not related, between both of our families we're raising 5 'Mini-Mes' ranging in age from 5 to 12. Like you, we're trying to find the balance between work & family while enjoying all the bits in between (and attempting to keep some semblance of sanity…..ya right!)
We have made some significant changes at The Urban Daddy because change is good! Besides, what is better than a Daddy blogger? A Daddy blogger AND a Mommy blogger!
Joining The Urban Daddy will be The Urban Twin Mommy, who brings the experience and expertise of parenting twins (one boy and one girl – both, coincidentally, are 5-years-old!)!
Here is The Urban Twin Mommy;
“Thanks for welcoming me to the world of The Urban Daddy! While I’m not a daddy, I’m definitely not your typical mommy.
Aside from being a mom of the most delicious, obnoxious, beautiful, pain-in-the-ass twins (who everyone fondly refer to as The Bears), my friends will tell you that I’m likely the most honest, no bullshit mom you’ve met. Here are a few mantras I live by:
My kids can be assholes, so can yours.
Not all babies are cute! My son was born beautiful, my daughter looked like my husband on a chicken body (luckily, she’s grown into herself and is stunning, in my unbiased opinion).
I love my husband, he loves me and we try not to maim or kill each-other while trying to raise two little humans.
I don’t lie to my kids. I explain the reality in a way their almost 5-year-old brains can comprehend. Or I tell them to ask Daddy.
Hubby can be an asshole. I can be a bigger asshole.
Postpartum depression f@#$ing sucks. I had it. I talk about it. I’ll keep talking about it until the world understands what it is and how it can affect moms.
I swear like a sailor. I don’t apologize for it. Apparently, it’s a sign of intelligence… who knew?!
I often walk the line between ‘Super Awesome Fun’ Mom and ‘Psycho, we better call a grandparent’ Mom
Well, that’s a enough about me for the time being… I can’t give away all the intrigue, now can I?!
I’m looking forward to adding some great, regular content here, and fixing all of the spelling and grammer mistakes in all the older 1250 posts!! (Learn to spell check, Warren!)
The Urban Twin Mommy
Follow me on Twitter @UrbanTwinMommy. You’ll also find me sometimes @realurbandaddy, with each tweet signed off MB for Mama Bear.
I’ll also pop over to TheUrbanDaddy on Facebook to bring some more oomph to that page. :)”
All things we want our children to have, when they’re older, so they are able to lead fulfilling lives and, to be honest, so we don’t have to do everything for them. But when is it the right time?
How about now!
A week before school started for my children – ages ranging from 9 to 4 – I started modeling the morning routine, while my wife and I continued to follow the exact same evening and bedtime routine she set in place when we had one child and he was still drooling and in diapers. That consistency has clearly displayed our expectations of the children and it makes the time we have with them after school more organized and enjoyable.
(Nothing screams routine than the summer when for one week the kids had no programs, no camp, and were going crazy looking for things to do. “I’m bored” was a common expression of frustration from the kids many times during each and every day.)
With all that being said, here is the schedule I presented to the children on Labour Day, and we worked through today, their first day of school. I’m sure there will be some tweaking done, but I can say that this morning’s routine was the smoothest it has been in a long time – for them and for me!
Children’s Schedule for the 2014 / 2015 School Year.
Before you come downstairs in the morning, please:
• Make Your Bed
• Get Dressed
• Clean Room / Tidy the floor
• Say good morning to your father and to each other
• Drink a glass / cup of water
• Have a piece of fruit
• Help with, or make your own, breakfast
• Eat it
When You Have Finished Breakfast:
• Rinse off your dishes
• Place them in the dishwasher, or
• Wash them, dry them and put them away
• Make sure your place is clean (no food on your chair or the floor)
Help with Lunches:
• Make sure your lunch box is out, and put in it;
• Apples sauce with a spoon
• Fill your water bottle
Go Upstairs To Your Bathroom:
• Wash your face
• Brush your hair
• Wait for Daddy to help you brush your teeth
*Hug and Kiss Mummy
• Sunscreen on / Snowpants on
• Make sure your glasses are in your bag
• Place your lunch and water bottle in your bag
8am – LEAVING the house to walk to school.
Home from school:
• Wash your hands
• Bring your lunch box to the kitchen and empty it
• Put dishes in dishwasher
• Put lunchbox on the counter
• Empty your water bottle
• Put water bottle on the counter
• Play / read / relax / enjoy.
• NO electronics during the week
• NO TV during the week
• Come to the kitchen to see what you can do to help with dinner
• Set the kitchen table – plates, cutlery, glasses, napkins, water, and the mats in the middle of the table
• Practice piano
• Spirit of Math
• Regular homework
• When You Are Finished, Ask to be Excused
• Thank Mummy for making you another amazing dinner
• After dinner take your plate, cutlery and glass to the counter. Put your napkin in the recycling under the sink
• Rinse plate and cutlery and place in the dishwasher
• Place glass in the dishwasher
• Put everything in your bag for tomorrow and place it at the front door.
• If you are having a snack, make sure you clean up properly afterwards
• Put your dirty clothes into your hamper
• Brush your teeth
• Hugs and Kisses
• NO coming out of bed! Get a good night’s sleep for another amazing day tomorrow.
Good night and sleep tight!
We love you!
The kids love the schedule, although my boys prefer a much simpler routine based on the current WWE Champion Brock Lesner;
The other night I fell asleep on the couch. Again. Not surprising either, since it’s tax season, I’m super-busy up late working away (not complaining!) and with a steady flow of children who want to see/talk to/sleep with mummy, I wouldn’t be sleeping anyways.
At some point in the night – I think between 1am and 4am – I dozed off, with the TV on, and my laptop still on my lap when one of my children came downstairs, grabbed my iPhone, logged in using my password, snapped a picture of me and then sent it to my sister via text or BBM.
Of course, the next day they all denied it.
I would never have known had my sister not sent me the picture back.
TVO has created a quick and simple kids and parents temperament quiz at TVOParents.com that you might be interested in.
When temperaments clash between a parent and child, conflicts can arise. The TVOParents Temperament Quiz was developed in partnership with Sick Kids Infant Mental Health Promotion, and it allows parents to directly compare their temperaments to that of their kids, in order to see where they are similar, different, and where potential points of conflict may be, and offer strategies on how to mitigate those conflicts.
I found the quiz very illuminating in understanding my three children.
The quiz consists of nine questions based on the main characteristics that make up temperament, and an intriguing and fun bonus question. When the answers are submitted the quiz provides an instant overview for each question and tips to minimize conflict and maximize a healthy, supportive relationship.
I’d also like to offer links to short videos from TVOParents.com on temperament and why it’s important for parents to understand their child’s temperament. I was going to include the links to these articles, however when I went to the TVOParents website, I was blown away at the resources they have on pretty much every topic conceivable – I got lost reading, watching and learning – so I forgot the links. Now you can go get lost in this fantastic parent-resource too.
The videos are;
Temperament Expert Greg Lubimiv
Temperament Expert Diane Philipp
How Temperament Affects Learning
How to Handle Clashing Temperaments
Please check these out, take the quiz, and be bold enough to post your comments or thoughts online here at The Urban Daddy!
I feel like I am preaching to the choir when I start a post on a blog aimed primarily at parents which has the title; “Can I Please Get Some Sleep!” As mommies and daddies you know that when you decide to have children one of the most important things you have to come to grips with is the fact that sleeping in, and 8-9 hours of solid sleep are a thing of the past. It’s just no longer a part of your life, much in the same way combing my hair became a thing of the past when it all started to fall out. You have to accept it, give it up and then move on, otherwise you will find yourself a constant ball of angst and stress.
Even though we have long since accepted the fact that sleeping a full-night’s is no longer an option for you, the past couple of weeks at The Urban Daddy household have been like no other…
Let me explain what is happening here.
First off, our kids have always had a very structured day, so their evening begins with dinner, followed by kitchen clean up, bath/shower time, a snack, book (us or them reading) and then lights out by their set bedtime. Boo, at just over 3-years-old is the first off to bed. Her bed time is 7pm. Ever since our summer vacation she has decided that bed-time routine begins with her falling to sleep in our bed, laying on mummy, in “Mummies bed” as she likes to call it. She also needs to have pee’d, brushed her teeth, and have at least her favourite stuffed animal of the day snuggled against her before she dozes off.
Once Boo is asleep, I carry her to her room and hope that she stays asleep during the walk. It’s a temporary move, however.
Boo is now at that age where we need to teach her to tell time so she will not get out of her bed before 7am (like her brothers), so right now she meanders over to our room at all hours of the night, blankies tucked under he arms and she climbs into our bed and snuggles up on top of my wife / her mummy.
Problem is, one awaken, my wife cannot get back to sleep. I’m not so unlucky, and all I need is 10 seconds and I am back out cold. So of course, Boo comes in, wakes up my wife, who 1 minute to see if I wake up too (which I do not), then kicks me to take our daughter back to her room, which I’m happy to do.
But parents, you know that once a child arrives in your room, they do not want to go back to sleep in their bed, so Boo then goes through her routine of stall tactics; “I have to pee”, “I want you to sleep with me”, I’m thirsty”, “I’m hungry”… Once all that is taken care of, I convince her that I am going to lay with her until she’s asleep, and once she’s back asleep I slide back to my bed, or sometimes I just fall back to sleep there beside her and hope that she hasn’t jumped back out of bed and into our room.
The problem continues because I’m trying to not fall asleep in her room – I want to break her of the habit of coming it and waking us up because she knows she either sleeps in our bed or she gets me to stay with her. It’s tiring.
So it figures then that once we start to break the pattern we get a night like the one I’m about to describe, which happened last week.
Early last week, Boo arrived in our room – an hour and a half after her bedtime – and hoped into bed. We were watching TV together so I got up to tidy up the house and let Boo and her mummy lay down to sleep. Before I left, however, Boo asked me for water. “I’m thirsty”, she said.
I gave her water and she guzzled some back, then she started to cough / choke, so we both turned to look at her.
“I almost threw up!” she said.
Third child, I’m thinking in my head, “No, you were just choking on the water. You’re okay now, go to sleep, I reassured her.”
“No, I’m going to vomit!” she follows with, now opening her mouth to show me that she threw up in her mouth and did not appreciate the acidic taste.
“It’s okay, just got to sleep, please” I replied.
“No, I’m going to vomit” she repeated to me. “I’m going to the toilet.”
Up she popped out of the bed, and then she tore off into our bathroom.
“Turn on the light!” she blurted as she zoomed into the bathroom. I looked at my wife and we nodded in agreement that I should at least go turn on the lights for her.
So of course, upon turning on the lights, she proceeds to vomit into the toilet… Twice.
Oops, I thought.
“I vomited in the toilet”, she pointed out to her previously unconvinced father.
“Yes you did. How do you feel now?” I asked her.
And this episode was just the beginning, which saw us change our bed twice, including the duvet and it’s cover off to the laundry room with her blankies, her bed sheet, her under-pad and about 10 towels.
Now, Six-year-old Stewie is a completely different story… This kid looks like he is going to pass out exhausted by 7pm, and he gets right into bed and reads or draws, but he sleeps SO soundly. He gets up at the creak of the floor or the sound of thunder and races into our room and snuggles in to bed with us. He’s getting so big that he can’t sneak in any more, we have to make room for him.
We now tell him when it may rain at night and he always asks if he can come sleep with us if there is thunder. We always say yes.
Then there is Linus.
He’s a great sleeper. We had Stewie at home and Linus slept through the birth.
So what would be the perfect gift for my wife??? A night at a hotel. Imagine… Food, WiFi, TV and a soft, comfy bed without distraction… I’m shuddering just thinking about it… For me. 🙂