Things I didn’t see myself saying as a parent

As a child you would hear your parents say things to you that didn’t make much sense like “If you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about”

Or having to correct you about the most random things you would do as a child like.

As a parent there a few things I have had to say to my children that made me just shake my head and wonder if that actually happened.

I would like to share with you my top things I didn’t expect I would have to say to my children.

Get you finger out your bum!

Freddie is now at that age where he is forever holding his willy or scratching his bum, the kid is obsessed.

we think sometimes it’s because he need a wee but no he just likes holding it.

One day his hands were down his trousers and I’m thinking he is scratching him bum again like he does but I notice he’s doing a lot more than that so I shout get your finger out your bum, which then involves the next step of me chasing him around to clean his hands and him thinking hilarious.

Keep it up and I’ll ground you so you have to go outside.

Now I know what your thinking, well if we ground our kids we take their phones, laptop, TV or there no allowed to go out.

Well not Ellie!

We can’t get her to leave the house, if we take her phone, she will watch TV or even worse read a book!

If we ground her to stay in she will snuggle on the sofa under a blanket and watch a film so the treat of going out doors and playing with her brother is enough to get her to buck her ideas up.

Stop wiggling your bum! 

This is to my 2-year-old who discovers she loves to wiggle her bum.

When we say to her Bethie stop wiggling your bum she looks at us and shouts…

”It’s wiggle time!”

Which just makes her do it more.

No homework on the 6 week holidays!

Yes we really did have to say this to Harry on the 6 week holiday.

Not only did we have to tell him to cut back on his homework and extra homework but also his teachers had to tell him to tone it down.

After he try’s to do some and we tell him no you would have sworn his life was over, what such mean parents we are.

No there is no A or U in shoe

This would make sense is it was my four-year old but sadly it wasn’t.

It was our very smart very clever daughter Ellie who turned to us and asked the question straight-faced waiting for an answer.

Of course she was met with laughter and once she realised what she had said she was left very red face and even now at 13 she hasn’t lived it down and will be brought up on her wedding day or any special events.

I’m sure some of you can relate with these things your children have said but I would love to hear yours.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

Being a stay at home dad

I never saw myself as being a daddy nor did I want to.

I didn’t have the worst upbringing in the world but I lacked the paternal instinct where I wanted children so from an early age I was positive I was never having children of my own.

I am the eldest in my family and I saw 3 of my siblings having children before me which just reinforced my decision.

I had a good job, a nice home, spare money and time to myself to do whatever I wanted to do with out responsibility.

Then I met Cheryl who had 3 children the youngest being 2 at the time, it didn’t faze me like I thought it would have had done but I really liked her so threw myself into the new situation.

I had never looked after children before, sure I’ve looked after my nieces and nephews before but that was different because I could give them back to my brother and sister.

After a short while I quickly discovered how awesome these children where and what it was like to have children around all the time and being given the chance to share my time with such amazing people.

I was still working at the time then coming to the family with Cheryl being the stay a home mom and it wasn’t long until we were expecting Freddie and I was going to be a daddy myself at the age of 30.

It was already decided that I was going to be a stay at home dad when we had Freddie so I could experience what it was like having a baby of my own and learning how to look after it and build a bond and wow did it hit me fast. 

I didn’t know how to change nappies, feed them or put them to bed this was all new to me but with the help of Cheryl every step of the way I learnt pretty fast and fell in love with being a daddy even more.

Bethie came along a few years after and I had 5 children to look after and was absolutely loving it.

The biggest achievement in my life was becoming a daddy even to this day and I’m sure it will be on my last day.

At the moment I can’t go back to work through no fault of my own due to Mental Health but until I can I’m going to continue to be the best parent I can.

It’s a full-time job by its self, it’s a 24 hour job that doesn’t have breaks.

Your on call every minute of the day, you take them to school, tidy the house, do the shopping, cooking, keeping them entertained, helping them when they are sick and its then its bed time.

But the rewards outweigh the work, I’m seeing my eldest achieve awards, go to university days and on his way to change the world.

My eldest daughter top of her year growing into a woman, so smart, funny and always thinks on both sides before basing any opinions.

My second eldest child having the best parents consultation ever!

Where the teacher tells us she is just amazing, everything is happy and rainbows to her and I hope she keeps it that way.

My youngest boy starting big boy school and loving it, working hard and making friends.

My baby girl starting nursery and learning so fast along with how beautiful she is the world is her oyster.

When people ask what I do as a job I’m a blogger on the side.

My real job is being a stay at home parent!

Being a stay at home dad
Being a stay at home dad

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

Halloween is it as important as any other holiday?

Halloween the time to dress up as vampires, monsters or even go as your favourite to go treat or treating for sweets.

Halloween parties or even midnight ghost hunts looking for the unknown.

So what is Halloween?

Halloween is believed to have Pagan roots, it’s the time of year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints and martyrs.

We widely celebrate this day by dressing up as scary things and having parties with fun games and music.

Going door to door trick or treating for sweets in exchange of dressing up in a costume.

Now I can go into the darker side of Halloween with its history and rituals but since im a daddy blogger I shall keep it light.

The children break up for the holidays around Halloween time which I have no problem with but I do have a few questions.

Firstly we have Easter, a time where we exchange gifts, give Easter cards and of course the chocolate eggs.

We know the reason why we have Easter, so much so that it is taught in our schools even as early as nursery but I’ve never once received a Halloween card, a Halloween gift or even been taught why we are celebrating it every year on the same day.

In fact its the first time ive actually researched it, it’s not taught at schools because there is so many beliefs on why we celebrate it depending on your culture.

Secondly I spend my life telling my younger children that when they go out not to talk to strangers, that if a stranger approaches you with sweets you must not take them!

You run away and get help but on the 31st of October im going to take to random houses around the street knock on their door and they will give you sweets.

It’s ok to get sweets from a stranger if your dressed as a Power Ranger.

These are the questions I ask but you know what just like everyone else my kids will be dressed up tomorrow night and I will take them trick or treating anyway because thats whats we do, its fun and I wouldn’t want them missing out.

That and the sweets..

Daddy Giraffe x

 

*Picture taken from google images*

Things to prepare you for parenthood

You’ve had your fun and its announced you’re going to have a baby, you’re going to be a parent and if its your first time you may not be expecting what comes next from babies to toddlers to teens so here are some things you will need to know for parenthood.

Poo is a big part of your life now!

That’s right a lot of your time now will be spent around poo.

From the ever-changing colour poo from when they are first-born to where you look in their nappy and turn to your partner going errm is it meant to be yellow??

To, it must be ending right because they are starting to wear big boy pants until you hear the words from the bathroom “can you wipe my bum please”

That’s right you’ve basically become a slave to this tiny little human where you’re having to wipe their arse and be thankful.

Another thing about children and poo is it can happen anywhere!!!

For example I’m bathing my kids as normal, they are happily playing with their toys and without warning the water turns brown and it’s now a race of time to get them out the bath before they use it as a boat or even worse hand it to me.

You will need the patience of a saint.

You get that one beautiful picture of your child sleeping where you show everyone how amazing they are and just perfect.

What it actually took to get that picture was an entire day of your child, crying or screaming, snotting, running away once you bring the nappy out for bum change and inability to make a decision on what they want to watch.

Your child could be having the worst day in the world but it could be a number of reasons why, you just have to breath and get on knowing its bedtime soon and when it is and their asleep, you’re looking at them I guarantee the day won’t of mattered because the love you have for this monster is much stronger.

Being a parent is a full-time job.

A lot of people think if you’re a stay at home mom or a stay at home dad that your day consists of just watching TV, drinking coffee and wasting time avoiding any responsibility.

Where as you have the hardest job of all you’re a parent.

Not only are you a parent you’re a chef, a house cleaner, a chauffeur, a nurse and an entertainer.

When you’re a stay at home parent the TV isn’t yours, you don’t get a look in, when there is cartoons and songs on the TV and even if you could have the TV you wouldn’t have time to  watch it because there is mountains of washing to do, kids to feed, house to tidy and of course prepping for the evening dinner.

If you’re lucky enough to escape for a coffee and a snack for 5 mins I promise you that it ends up not being yours in the end and that you will be found wherever you go in the house.

They get braver as they get older and will push the boundaries.

They are angels and you’re teaching them their name and right from wrong, please and thank you but there comes a time when they say no.

They know their own minds and if they don’t want to something they wont do it, now this could be anything from eating breakfast up to going to bed.

There are two things you need to remember in these situations in my experience..

  • Remember that you’re in control what you say goes so don’t budge, if you’ve said no you must have said it for a reason and them going back on that just to give you a peaceful life is showing that they get what they want if they scream, shout and play it out for as long as they can.
  • DONT LAUGH! Or at least don’t show them that your laughing or you lose, there will be situations where they are kicking off or they say something to you that’s rude and unexpected, yes it maybe funny but they have to know it was wrong.

For example Freddie came up to me and asked for some sweets and I had said no so he called me a Bum Ass!

Now as amusing as I found this I had to tell him off but I did laugh when he left that he even thought of calling me a bum ass.

Just Enjoy it.

Things are going to test you, test your patience and even make you question yourself as a parent.

But these are the things you will miss when they are all grown up and they don’t want to cuddle you more, or sit on your lap, play games or just a simple goodnight daddy because its simply not cool anymore.

Your babies are grown and no doubt they will have babies someday too, so just enjoy watching your little ones grow and take as many photos as you can, get in these cuddle’s and share the funny moments because they grow so fast.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October Blog Tag

I’ve been tagged in the October Blog Tag by Gee Gardener  this is where you find out a little bit about myself and I shall nominate others to do the same.

I have no idea what the answers are going to be myself yet so this could be fun.

Name?

Gareth

Whats your favourite colour?

Yellow because its bright.

What did you do today?

Looked after the kiddies and ate far more food than I should have, resulting in me moaning I’ve eaten too much and im full but yet thinking about breakfast tomorrow. Oh and blogging I did a bit of blogging too.

Where are you currently?

Sat in the living room watching The Chase and getting the answers wrong in style.

Whats in your star sign? 

Just googled it and it says im a great leader, please don’t follow me this would never end well in any situation.

Cake or Ice Cream?

Ice cream if I had to choose but im not a big sweet person.

Frozen or Moana?

Frozen ive never seen Moana, I feel im missing out.

A night in or night out?

A night in, im very much a creature of comfort. I enjoy my own surroundings and I don’t like being around people too much they make me nervous so I much prefer a takeaway and a film.

Home cooked meal or take away?

I do a love a take away but I much prefer a home cooked meal, nothing quite beats homemade lasagna Nom nom nom.

 Does Pineapple belong on pizza?

Why would you even ask me that? Why don’t you just ask me if id like to be kicked in the balls? Er no!

Books or Films?

They say you can’t beat a good book but they obviously haven’t seen Die Hard.

Autumn or Spring

Autumn I like the fact all the leaves are on the ground and im a child who likes to walk and kick through them.

Flowers or Chocolates?

Flowers are nice to look at I agree but there a ball ache to have to keep alive, its bad enough trying to look after 5 children without trying to remember to water flowers.

Full fat or diet coke?

All tastes the same.

Phone or Laptop?

Phone is easier to take to the toilet to play that extra level of your game.

What is your favourite TV series?

I’ve not long a go recently discovered Orange is the new Black which is a combination of lesbians, prison and its funny.

What is your favourite thing to do in October.

Celebrate my birthday, which is the 26th, all cards are welcome.

What is your current food to crave?

Cheese it’s always cheese.

Do you have any piercings or tattoos?

No piercing but a silly like man I had done when I was young on my shoulder. I do regret it now im older.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Introvert.

Whats your favourite Halloween film of all time?

Hocus Pocus.

Name your top 3 favourtire bands or artists?

Eminem, Foo Fighters and Coldplay.

Have you got any plans for Halloween?

Yes I am reviewing Jungleland and their Halloween Party.

Do you have any fears?

Spiders the horrible little bastards!! I dont like clowns  either so my worst fear would probably be a spider dressed as a clown.

Do you believe in life after love?

How can I not, Cher made a strong argument.

Do you have any children? (Or pets you treat as your babies)

I  have 5 children, ages 14,13,9,4& 2 

What do you want for the future?

Happiness.

Be honest why did you start blogging?

I wanted to open up about my Mental Health and use this as a kind of therapy, if I help others along the way then thats a bonus.

Whats your biggest achievement to date?

Hands down it would be having children and just seeing them grow, learn and love.

What are your ambitions on your blog?

I really dont know to be honest, it was originally somewhere to place my thoughts and feelings and I wasn’t expecting people to actually read it so im open to wherever it goes.

If there is one thing you would change about your blog what would it be?

That it was more popular. I think because I tackle mental health its not everyone’s cup of tea to read.

Have you reached any of your goals for your blog this year?

I got into the top 200 parenting bloggers in the UK (I placed 185th out of 200 but still I was in there)

Where do you want to be in 10 years time?

Settled, married hopefully and in a position where my Mental Health is stable enough for me to work and just be normal.

What is your dream holiday?

I cabin in the woods or countryside away from the world.

If you had an entire day to yourself what would you do with it?

I would just have me time, sleep, eat and take care of myself.

Time to start tagging…

 

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming together slowly but surely

Recently I have had a few targets and things I wanted to achieve or at least do well in and after sitting down now for a while and thinking about it I see that it’s coming together slowly but surely.

Blogging

I first got into this to put my thoughts out there to the world on what it was like to have Mental Health while trying to raise a family.

Truth be told it started out ok the ideas came flying out but then it starts to dry up and you have writers block on what people would actually want to read.

But over a year of writing and persistence im finally starting to get somewhere and within the year…

  • My views went up including people following me on social media
  • I’ve had lots of requests for reviews including children’s books, toys, drinks and trips out.
  • Inspired people to open up and not only talk about the own Mental Health but write their own blog about it.
  • Being named in the top 200 Parenting Bloggers in the UK (It was number 185 but still that counts right?)
Blog Award
Blog Award

 

Mental Health

This actually isn’t to bad at the moment despite being messed around with the MH Team for over a year with cancelled appointments, false promises and lack of care.

Lucky for me a have good caring people around me that will catch me when I fall, hopefully I wont fall anytime soon and im not in the state of not knowing if I was coming or going.

I’m taking my medication on time and when I should be which seems to be doing the trick we just have to see how it goes I don’t want to be heading back in hospital any time soon.

Mental Health
Mental Health

 

Family

I can’t complain about anything!

The kids are doing fantastic in and out of school, the little ones are setting inside there new schools and the big ones are getting good grades.

Things are going well between me and Cheryl, we are getting on and moving forward its been a long process but we have learned to talk and I’ve kinda learned to listen.

Big family events are coming up soon such as Halloween and of course Christmas as im very much looking forward to these and the excitement.

Family
Family

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

Daddy and son lunch day

Today was the day Freddie was looking forward to in a while, it was the day where daddy came to his big boy school for lunch.

For lunch that day happened to be pizza which is always a bonus since the daddy daughter lunch I had with Annabelle was a horrible tasting Sunday dinner.

Pizza
Pizza

Cheryl had to help her dad out this morning so I was in charge of making sure the kiddies got to school on time, no problem right how hard can that be?

Until half way to school Freddie and Annabelle was playing a game where if you touch a lamppost you get points, now bear in mind this is my son so it wasn’t going to be as easy as that.

He runs full speed to tag this lamppost but forgot to put his arms out to stop his so BANG!, he hits the post face first causing a massive mark covering his eye so now I have to say you wont believe this but Freddie ran into a lamppost on the way here, luckily for me this teacher saw the funny side.

The time comes and im waiting at the school ready to go in and I can see how excited he is as he sees me through the glass, he takes my hand and guides me into the dinner hall for Daddy and Son lunch.

It is possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen watching him in the dinner Que waiting for his lunch and waiting for his turn.

Its Freddie’s turn and he orders Pizza, pasta and beans and tells the first dinner lady ” My names Freddie Hopkins” to which she responds ” I know Freddie you tell me every day darling”.

We get to the end to pay and Freddie looks at the lady and say ” This is my daddy his name is Gareth Hopkins”

The lady smiles as I pay and the big boy finds us somewhere to sit, Freddie ate his Pizza, my pizza, his pasta and ice cream to then tell me he thinks he’s full now.

He shows me how he cleans up after his meal and now I know he can do it with no problem the little rascal, he then takes my hand and shows me to the door to go home gives me a kiss and wanders off to his classroom.

I stand there for a moment and watch him walk away thinking where did my little baby boy go?

I really enjoyed Daddy and Son lunch and can’t wait for Freddie’s first parents evening, this could be interesting.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a closer look

What a crazy year it has been so far and it’s not even over yet but will bound to be busy with the up and coming months ahead and as im thinking about the journey ive been on ive started taking a closer look and certain things pop up which I was blind too.

If you read my blog you will know a have been diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder which not only took its toll on me but my entire family with Cheryl taking the full force of it and handling it the best she could without turning to anyone as I kept my illness a secret.

Throughout the hardest times in our relationship and the battle with appointments I was to busy dwelling within myself and hating the rest of the world to see this woman, the mother of my children the person who stood not moving throughout it all was standing right in front of me.

We broke up I couldn’t take the arguing or what I though was arguing and despite the protests I walked away for what I thought was the right reasons and stuck to my decision then it struck me I was sectioned.

Despite the way she was treated and all the tears and heartbreak this woman went through she took me by the hand and helped me though it all, drove 2 hours a day to visit me when I was so alone in this world just to show me that someone cared but again I didn’t see this.

Again filled with low self pity and focusing on the fact that I was right and this was the right thing to do I pushed her away, said horrible things and wasn’t there in her own time of need with her health which to this day I will always carry with me, nobody should feel like they are alone despite what the reasons are.

Arguments and tears followed by more tears is how it goes and then I get the news that I get the news I may have something seriously wrong with me when test results come back abnormal but again like the rock she is she took my hand and told me it would be ok.

Talking to me and helping me throughout the whole ordeal she was selfless and a much much better person than ill ever be.

So after thinking and taking a hard look at things, the one thing in all this is Cheryl who is my guardian angel, my rock to this very day, without her god knows where I would be or even if i would be here at all.

But I couldn’t even return the favour, but I vow to make the change and show her that she does count in this life, she is loved, she is cared for and if it takes me a life time I will repay her and show her these things.

Theres not many people in this world you connect with or say that you love, throughout your good and bad times but this is someone I can say I love with all my heart and that it hurts my soul to think I caused them an ounce of pain.

The past doesn’t matter its the future and how you make it right that counts.

Dont believe in angels or good people….ladies and gentlemen I give you Cheryl!

 

 

 

 

 

Superstitions do we even know were doing them?

Ever since I was small I was told about certain thing do do and not to do if I was to avoid bad luck like breaking a mirror would give you 7 years bad luck, which got me thinking what other superstitions do people have and do throughout the day and are they even aware they are doing it.

So I asked a few of bloggers what superstitions do they go by and do they believe in bad luck or even do their best to try and avoid it.

Some of the answers I had heard of before and some are completely new to me so feel free to read and tell me what you think.

“I salute magpies and I remember when I was younger if there were 3 drains together you would step on the first one , spit on the second and jump over it to the third because it was bad luck otherwise (gross now I look back!) ” http://mummyof5miracles.com/

“I refuse to walk under ladders at any cost. I hate it so much!” https://mygirlsandmesite.com/

“My husband is Italian. In Italy they believe an open umbrella inside the house brings bad luck so it’s strictly no drying umbrella open in the house after rain and no playing with it for the kids in our house! ( I think it’s crazy but hey ho)” https://www.cosmomum.co.uk/

“My grandma always used to say touch wood and find a piece of wood to touch when she was talking about her luck or avoiding something bad happening – I’ve carried on the tradition.” http://www.welshmum.co.uk/

“My auntie always said throw salt over both shoulders if you spill it, in case the devil jumped shoulders. I do always say hello to Mr Magpie.” https://www.nelliepompoms.co.uk/

“If I drop a knife on the floor I have to leave it and get someone else to pick it up.” https://rachelbustin.com/

“I try to avoid walking over 3 drains in a row. If I do, I have to jump up and down 3 times. It’s something my brother told me when we were kids and I still do it!” https://www.householdmoneysaving.com/

“Everything! No walking under ladders, no shoes on the table, say hi to the magpie ‘where’s your wife and children’ ‘see a penny pick it up'” http://www.wildmamawildtribe.com/

“My sister in law will only leave a house through the door she entered it by! I don’t share her superstition but still feel wrong if I don’t abide by this!” https://raisingbadgers.com/

“I won’t walk over groups of three manholes covers – I blame an old girlfriend for that one who was very superstitious” http://www.ideas4dads.com/

“I’m not superstitious I think if you walk under a ladder and it falls on you that’s just karma for walking under it 😂😂” https://www.mummaandhermonsters.com/

“I always put my socks on before trousers it sounds bizarre but when I don’t it just all seems wrong and I wonder if this is just not meant to be! I also lock and unlock car a couple of times as feel otherwise I’m almost asking it to be broken into! It’s like telling the car lock lock lock!! I only ever use the same colour matching pegs on clothes on the line they just have to match if they don’t it’s like asking birds to poo on them!” https://www.justaveragejen.com/

“Never sleep in front of a mirror! I always turn any mirrors away or cover them if they are overlooking my bed.” http://everafterwithkids.com/

I never knew there was so many superstitions but after reading these Im still convinced that im not superstitious in the slightest.

Let me know if any if these ring a bell or now that you have read these you have developed new superstitions (if so im sorry).

Daddy Giraffe x

 

*This image was taken off google images*

Single Parenting the truth

You hear a lot of it now days at thats single parents, now this could be a single parent acting alone bringing up their children alone or two separate parents raising there children the best they can from two separate locations.

I didn’t see myself being a single parent, although I do not live with my children I see them nearly everyday and make sure that they have everything that it needed.

Although the children have the best of both worlds and the love of both parents it isn’t always the case and a lot of people dont actually know what its like being a single parent.

I asked 2 single parents there thoughts on what it is like and asked the pros and cons and the responses was interesting…

“Being a single parent is difficult , especially when it’s something that you didn’t choose yourself and all you wanted was for your children to be a part of a loving family. When you are forced to be a single parent it can be very difficult to adjust with the constant questions from the children asking why their daddy isn’t there and even in my case completely blaming me for the situation, even giving nasty comments and not knowing how to make it better for them. One of the toughest things is once the children are in bed and you’re sat on your own without anyone to share your day with. If you’re poorly you have no choice but to drag yourself out of bed to get up with the little ones and there’s no time to rest and nobody around to help to make you feel better. Parenting can be tough sometimes and some days you just need someone to put their arms round you and tell you that you’re doing ok because you constantly question if you’re even a good parent and if being by yourself is enough for them. Whilst it’s a difficult thing to go through and adjust to I would walk to the ends of the earth to make sure my children are happy”

The second person…

“Tbh it is easier but very difficult positive I have no one to argue with of how I bring up my kids, my kids are happier we can do what we want kids are getting my full attention so they are happier negative I have to do all night shift and day shift I’m tired kids are missing there dad I’m the only one to deal with tantrums it’s not like I can pass them onto anyone”

I think you have to do the best in the worst situation you didn’t see yourself in, in my case your parental instincts kick in and you adapt to the situation to try and keep some normality in the their lives.

To all you single parents out there who are struggling on your own with your children and feel like your not doing so well, you are doing a great job keep doing what your doing and it will get easier.

Make memorys because believe me when your children are older they will remember who was there for them and the best times in their lives.

Daddy Giraffe x