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A Beautiful Accident



When the worst thing that could happen turned out to be a blessing…

Have you ever experienced a moment that turned not only your life on its head but your whole families too? Maybe there are more to come but mine came 8 years ago, just a routine day, same old shit, but then came the call that changed everything. My Dad had been involved in an accident at work, by all rights he should have died on the spot but thanks to so called luck, the heroic air ambulance and incredible care he received throughout his many months in the burns unit at the hospital he managed to pull through. My daughter was born three weeks after the accident, this was a time in my life where becoming a Dad for the first time gave me an incredible feeling of joy and pride and I wasn’t able to share it with the man who had done such an amazing job bringing me up. He didn’t even know his first grandchild was even born. It was an emotional moment for everyone when they first laid eyes on each other for the first time through the window at the hospital, months after Indie was born and it was a while after this my Dad actually got to hold his little girl for the first time.

In all honesty I couldn’t tell you how hard the recovery was for not only my Dad but my step mum Lynn and my sister Lauryn, I’m ashamed to say I buried my head in the sand a little, I wish I could turn the clock back and offered more support but that’s pointless to ponder over that now.



Strangely out of this crisis came something very unexpected, the family came together. Not in a physical sense but we were there for each other for the first time, all of us. A collective thinking that life is precious, and that we shouldn’t be wasting our time on this earth bickering over things that actually really don’t matter. I’m so proud of my parents, not that I tell them enough but everything I am today I owe to them, I love that my mum goes to dinner with my dad and step mum, they holiday, they socialize. Ok some of you folk reading this may think this is totally crazy but it works for us. The lessons learned from this means I have an amazing relationship with Indies mum.

It’s a shame it took something like this to bring us together as a family but there isn’t a day I’m not thankful in a strange way that this happened. I know my Dad will think differently and I know there’s not a single day where his life isn’t still affected by what happened those years ago, I know he’s a positive bloke (that’s code for miserable ha ha) but however hard it still is he’s still here to look out for us and he would have never even met any of his beautiful grand kids if he had not pulled through. 



I guess I’m using this blog to say how proud I am of all of my family as I’m pretty useless at doing it in person. But most importantly I want to thank my Dad Steve for everything he’s done for me and then whole family. Happy Fathers day to you Stevie and I promise to never stop standing on tip toes in pictures with you to make you look shorter, never to stop ringing you at the last minute for help when its needed and never to stop thanking you for being the most incredible role model I could ask for. Every fathers day that comes around it reminds me how lucky I am to have my Dad in my life, so take this opportunity to make sure your parents feel valued and loved because take it from me, we never know what’s around the corner for us all. 

Love you Dad xx


Written by Dean Edwards @deanedwardschef 

To view Dan's article on living with vitiligo, on the Daily Express website click here. 

All photos credit to Dean Edwards. 




Where is the instruction manual? 




In my blog introduction I stated that:“By no means do I think I’ve done everything as a parent perfectly, God we all make mistakes but sometimes I wish I had been given advice that might have swayed some of the decisions I have made along the way.”  

To this my Dad added “well Dean the advice was always there its just you chose to ignore it”. I had never really thought of it like that, on reflection the advice and answers to the majority of our problems is usually right in front of us but we choose to follow our own paths. When it comes to parenting, I was told just before my daughter Indiana was born that “there is no rule book when it comes to parenting, everything you think you know you will go right out the window and you will make it up as you go along” I thought this sounded crazy at the time but looking back I realise this pretty much sums up parenting.

When Indie was born, her mum Lou and I looked at each other like “what the f**k do we do now?” it was that terrifying moment where we both realised that even though we had attended every class, every antenatal, we didn’t have the slightest clue what we were supposed to do next. I was looking for guidance from Lou and I’m sure she was thinking the same. Once our little chick was home it was about two weeks before we were even organised enough to leave the house. We would get her ready, get ourselves ready and pack literally everything we owned baby wise, just in case! So of course by the time we were ready it was too late and we would end up not bothering. I guess at this point the natural instincts kick in and you start to go with the flow, and that to me feels like the only way.



I had part written this blog but was inspired to finish it by something that happened earlier today. An innocuous visit to the hairdressers started off in quite normal fashion and ended up with a situation I’d rather not have found myself in. Indie was left to her own devices and is normally let loose with the hairdressing practising heads, busy brushing away and having a great time while I had some more grey hairs dyed in. I must have taken my eyes off her for 5 minutes only to be met with the model looking like it had been in a fight with a lawnmower. Somehow she had found some scissors and decided to start her career in hairdressing earlier than expected! Initially I was shocked but the owners (great friends of ours by the way) found the funny side, we walked out with our tails between our legs and Indie clutching the head as it was no longer any good to them. I was cross with her but it didn’t get much further than that. I dropped her at her mums not long after and after I had explained what had happened – Indie and I both got the biggest bollocking ever. I suppose it was only then it dawned on me that even though they had laughed it off and let us off lightly in the hairdressers, Indie should have known much better and I absolutely should have reacted differently.

I do find it very hard to be the disciplinarian, and I’m ashamed to say I do tend to leave that role to Indies Mum. When I don’t have her all of the time, I want her time with me to be amazing, I don’t want to spend my time on her case but this is something I’m going to have to change and change fast as it’s not fair on Lou to be the bad guy. In regards to parenting, I’m always learning and today I had a lesson that will change my mindset. Both parents need to pull together when matters like this are concerned so I’ll take my scolding like a man and move on from it. Always learning every day and I guess that will never stop.

I think my advice to any new or expecting parents is to not beat yourself up, there really is no manual to raise a kid by, every single kid is different. Your own parents can also play a big part so do not be afraid to ask for help, its bloody daunting bringing a new life into the world. I guess the point to this post is that the help and advice is out there, whether you choose to ignore that advice is up to you but never be afraid to ask.

Written by Dean Edwards @deanedwardschef

For more information about Dean click here




MOTHER: THE FUTURE DAD

By Blag Dad (@blag_dad)


I think it’s fair to say that I’ve always been a mummy’s boy. So when I lost my mum a part of my world faded forever… Sadly, we found out that she had just days to live on the afternoon of our 20 week pregnancy scan.


Now, this post isn’t supposed to be about the death of my mother. On the contrary, it’s to celebrate and honour the influence my mum has had on me and how her legacy lives on through my parenting.

I don’t want my son to miss out on her love but the sad reality is he won’t have a choice… However, I like to think that it was my mother’s groundwork that has created the Dad I am today. The more I look, the more I realise that it manifests itself throughout my life. My wife helps too, on birthdays she sets out a birthday table with a candle, cards, presents, tea and breakfast. This is exactly what my mum did for us all and it feels really special.

So how has this impacted on my parenting style?  I find that I am playing the role of mother a lot when we visit Grandad, I try to bring the chat and warmth that she always exuded. Always redressing the balance, pointing out the birds in the garden and showing him family pictures.

Perhaps I have become a more considered father as a result of the loss of her. I focus on creating sweet childhood memories for our boy as these are all I have left myself. I’m keen to represent my mum as she can’t do so in person, so trips to M&S for a coffee (her favourite) and even the weekly shop with the toddler in tow feels like a nod to her.

Finally, I often find that during those dark hours, if I dig deep enough, I can work out what my mum would have done. It helps so much. It may be the worst ever consolation prize…but I’ll take it!


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Travelling with a bump!
Travelling is something that brought me and my wife together. From the day we first met and started talking about our adventures on our first date, to the plans we are making for the future, travelling is a passion we both live for. With our fingers and toes crossed, we hope the baby has the same love. In anticipation we have a few trips sorted for the summer but in true fashion, we are bored of the cold so we are off to Morocco for a few days of sun soon.

We booked our most recent escapade months ago, adamant that the baby wouldn’t stop us getting about. To be fair, so far the baby has travelled in the womb to Spain and Austria quite happily so we are hoping we are on to a good thing! Anyway, we booked Morocco as a kind of pre-baby trip before we baton down the hatches and wait out the arrival.
Lots of people have been shocked that we are going away. I don’t really get that though. They keep saying –“Wow you’re brave!” Am I missing something? Yes we have a baby on the way, but since when did that stop you from travelling? I started to question our decision, but I still can’t work out what people think the problem is. I have learnt a bit about travelling with a bump though.
Most insurers suggest you don’t travel without additional cover in the final 12 weeks of pregnancy without consulting your GP – check. In addition, packing the pregnancy notes can’t hurt – check. Finally, making sure you’re familiar with local traditions regarding pregnancy isn’t a bad shout. It avoids any awkwardness when you are approached – check. We have had some pretty mad trips together, but I have never felt so prepared as we are for this one!

The baby is going to be a right jetsetter hopefully, not the worst start so far! Maybe I’m being naïve and going to Africa with a pregnant wife is going to be a nightmare…I think it’s all about your outlook though. Things are only an issue if you let them be! Will keep you all updated…

Man Flu





It has finally got to that time of year where I contract my annual cold. Now, this isn’t a little cough – oh no. To me it’s the Black Death. The world is ending and I need to tell every single person I see just how bad my condition is. My man flu is worse than anything in the world. Ever. If I’m being honest, I can’t really harp on too much this year as my wife is growing a child inside her, so anything that happens to me in comparison is pretty minimalist. That said, this year I’m suffering more than ever!
As my nose blocks and cough starts, I normally reach for our well stocked medicine cabinet. A plethora of Lemsips, Vitamin C tablets, decongestants and throat sweets normally makes my man flu (almost) bearable. Alas, not this year. In my zombie like state I dragged myself all the way to the cupboard, only to find that we don’t have half of the usual surplus! As it turns out, you can’t take half of the cold and flu stuff during pregnancy – well of course you can – but it is recommended you shouldn’t.
At this point, I’m faced with a moral dilemma: Option 1) go to the shop and buy loads of stuff and fight my cold in comfort, coupled with the light fragrance of lemon OR Option 2) I do the right thing and battle (I emphasise the verb ‘battle’ here) armed only with compassion and good will for my wife’s feelings… It’s a hard one. I wouldn’t normally consider only using flu medicine in secret, that’s weird, but it’s like the drinking thing – I just feel bad. Also, unlike ever before, I don’t want nursing. I’m petrified I will give it to the wife – the last thing I want is for her to be ill!
The missus had a pretty bad cold not so long back and she had to battle it out. I kind of feel like I should do the same too. Bless her, she offered to get me some Lemsips and stuff (and she didn’t even do the “you better not say yes face”) but I declined. Upon reflection, I’m not sure I want any. I know a lot of things you read are hearsay, but if one of the ingredients in Lemsip could cause mutations to a child in the womb, what the hell am I doing sinking them like Jägerbombs?! This having a baby stuff has really opened my eyes to product labelling. Lemsip is just one of the long list of things that I have noticed may not be suitable for pregnant women (another biggie being Pizza Express salad dressing – nightmare).

Being a man, I will fight this flu. I will brave it out and go to work. I will make sure that everyone knows my plight and my struggle…but I won’t be taking any Lemsips, because deep down, I know it’s not fair.

The positives to your missus not drinking.


Adjusting to pregnancy has been pretty interesting for both me and the missus. My life hasn’t changed hugely from day to day, but hers obviously has loads. We aren’t massive drinkers, but not being allowed to drink has left a weird hole in our time - I guess drinking is just one of those things you take for granted. Don’t get me wrong, I can still drink but I feel a bit differently about it. Recently, we have been doing loads of different stuff instead…and I like it. 
Sunday breakfast
Surfacing before midday on a Sunday isn’t something either of us did after a heavy one on the jungle juice. Since my wife has been pregnant, we have so much more time at the weekends. We aren’t groggy anymore and we have more cash, so we go for mega Sunday breakfasts. It doesn’t sound as wild as a heavy one out, but it more than makes up for it. We have discovered some amazing places that we didn’t know existed and as sad as it sounds, it’s because we don’t drink as much. Beautiful breakfast – big plus.
Trying different things
I literally love a pint. Like any time. Life should be gravy at the moment as I always have a designated driver… but instead of drinking more, I’m finding because my wife is way more adventurous with drinks, I get bevvy envy so I don’t instantly opt for a pint. There is only so much Diet Coke a person can face so as the missus diversifies her drinks more so do I. I’m trying fresh juices and having milkshakes etc. I’m not dropping the beers, oh no, no, no; but this pregnancy thing has really opened my eyes to the huge array of drinks in the world other than beer.
Walking
If you asked us if we were outdoorsy, we would say kind of. We live in town but both of our sets of parents live out in the sticks and we were brought up in the country. Before the pregnancy we tried to get out a bit, but we didn’t feel bad if we just lazed around at the weekend, especially if a drink was involved. Now we make a real effort to go to the beach or the forest or even just across some fields for a walk. I think the idea of exercising to help the baby and getting fresh air and stuff is one of the subliminal drivers. We used to walk with the aim of getting somewhere and having a drink – that’s now been replaced with food (obviously) but the whole having a drink thing isn’t missed really.
So before we knew about having a baby, I was buzzing about pregnancy because I was excited about being able to drink as many beers as I wanted and always having a lift home (if I behaved). The reality is so different though. Now it’s here, I don’t really want to drink that much and I have found that as a by-product, life is way more interesting. Maybe I sound old but there is so much more to life than drinking…I have said it before (normally after a heavy one) but I actually mean it now. 

By Andy from The Honest Dad

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