Digital Dad: Whip Yourself Back Into Shape!

So before ‘Baby Burpalot’ came on the scene 9 months ago I had established somewhat of a daily fitness regime albeit only after the other two kids had gone to bed and I had let my fajitas digest.

Nowadays however, as much as I try to curtail my sugar consumption, I find myself running out of time in the evenings; what with coming home from work, feeding the kids, changing the kids, playing with the kids, reading to the kids, chasing the kids who have now hidden on me, finding the kids, invariably nursing Thing 2 (who probably ran into a wall), brushing their teeth, wiping their butts noses, wrestling them into bed, prepping for the five further rounds of wrestling them back into bed and finally cleaning up the house.

Oh parenting, it’s such a blast…

I’ve contemplated the get-up and go early morning jog but honestly the kids would probably latch onto my ankles before I even left the house. They’re great like that; “Ha what’s daddy doing trying to get out for a jog? Oh, silly daddy. Let’s hit him in the privates with a Nerf Blaster and jump on his back when he’s bent over. Once we’re on his back, let’s elbow him in the ribs…he loves that”.

Ok, so I’m embellishing slightly but only slightly. I do walk around the house with a Nerf gun holstered to my leg purely for self-defense.

Anyway, I know I’m not the only parent to struggle and juggle with their time and if you are one of these people then keep reading because I’ve come up with some very effective home fitness techniques to whip you back into shape.

1. The Cavity Kid
This is a very simple one. If you have a spare cavity block or two lying around the house, don’t let them go to waste. Place your child on one of the blocks and run around the garden with it. It’s great for the glutes and enhancing your shoulder definition.

If your little one moans about it being sore on their little legs just place a few paper towels underneath them. Likewise, glue is very handy if they keep slipping off!

2. The Sugar Rush
Give your child lots of sweets before they go to bed. You’ll spend the next couple of hours chasing them back into bed. It’s fantastic cardio especially if your kids sleep upstairs. Your calves and thighs will be toned in no time.

3. The Numb-bell
This is an easy one, although you’ll need the right type of nappy for it to be effective. As the name suggests, place a 10lb dumbbell in your child’s nappy and rock them to sleep in your arm.

Regardless of whether they sleep or not, you’ll thank me for the long lasting effects it’ll have on your numbing arms. I’m still struggling to type this after last night’s session.

4. The Insomnia
If you want to increase your stamina, simply lie awake worrying about all the things that could happen to your kids over the course of their lives. The list will be endless and If you want to add some extra stress, turn off the baby monitor and lie there wondering if they are OK.

Exercise With Kids

5. The Horseback
If you’re good at multi-tasking then this one is for you. Lie flat down on your stomach and let your kid(s) straddle your back. Slowly raise your body up and down using only your hands, always being careful not to drop your child.

If you have long hair sometimes your child might like to pull at it. Also if you’re hungry you could put a plate of food on the floor and eat off it using only your mouth.

6. The PopCake
You’ll need a large bag of popcorn and some rice cakes for this one.

  • Step 1: Get the kids all riled up about watching a movie and eating delicious popcorn.
  • Step 2: Give them said popcorn along with some nice delicate rice cakes.
  • Step 3. Tell them that they can eat them on the carpet, the couch or anywhere in the house for that matter.
  • Step 4. Hoover frantically for the next hour.

Repeat daily for effective bicep and tricep definition.

7. The Moan
Complain to your wife/girlfriend, who has just had a baby, that you feel fat, overweight and tired. Prepare to run, very, very fast.

8. The Flatpack
It doesn’t matter what it is but buy something that needs to be assembled and then Invite your children into the room while you unpack it and attempt to put it together. You’ll break into a great sweat while you chase after them for the screws, the tools or the now ripped instructions.

I spent nine hours on Saturday putting half a bunk bed together. NINE HOURS, and I’m only halfway done. I kid you not.

9. The Relaxer
This is a close relative to ‘The Moan’ above.

While your partner is working to the bone cleaning up after everybody, simply sit back on the couch and kick up your heels. I won’t tell you what happens next but you’ll definitely break a sweat…if not a leg.

10. The Dodger
This one is fantastic for enhancing your coordination. If you find your partner slaving over a delicious home cooked meal, simply complain about the mess they have made. Believe me, you’ll be dodging flying cups, plates, tins, cutlery, you name it.

As I said, it’s great for your coordination.

Best of luck with them.


Ps. The above ‘exercises’ are meant as a joke and in no way adhere to any health and safety standards….just in case you get the urge to try them! #LegalSmegal

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Digital Dad: A Tip Of The Cap To Single Parents

The phone rang and like a bat out of hell she was gone.  As I watched the smoking tires fade into the distance I turned around and looked at my kids. One had two straws up his nose, one was munching on his foot and the other was picking out a now wet toilet roll that had fallen into the bowl…It was going to be a long, long weekend.

My gorgeous darling wife was heading abroad for four days with her friends and had been planning this well deserved trip for quite some time.

I was genuinely happy and excited for her but two weeks ago my safety net was pulled from underneath me when I found out that my parents and my in-laws wouldn’t be around for the weekend either. I was up nappy creek without a wipe, so to speak.

Like a bat out of hell she was gone.

We have three boys under six – five, three and 10 months – and although I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with them (aka parenting) on my own for a couple of days/nights before, this was going to be a different challenge. I won’t lie. I wasn’t looking forward to it.

And I know it’s parenting, I’m not disputing that or trying to wriggle away from any responsibilities but it’s tough for anyone to mind three kids without a break for a prolonged period of time.

Single parents, I salute you.

Dad Feeding Child

The prospect of feeding, changing, cleaning, cooking, playing, entertaining, nursing and ultimately refereeing for four full days probably isn’t something that anyone would look forward to. But hey, as I said that’s parenting for you.

I’ve had it relatively easy up until now, especially the past 10 months while my wife has been on maternity leave. Work has been my escape, my break if you will, from the monotony of day to day parenting so I haven’t had to do the ‘take for granted’ chores of cooking, cleaning, laundry et all.

I was up nappy creek without a wipe

Anyway, I embraced the weekend with all the gusto I had. Between a junior infant’s sports day, swimming lessons (Tip: don’t forget to remove the blue overshoes before you go shopping), GAA nursery, a pet shop visit and some pre-camping accessory shopping for this coming weekend’s ‘Camp Friends’ reunion we had enough to keep us busy.

The jewel in the crown, however, was the trampoline I bought which I was hoping would keep them occupied for most of the weekend…thankfully it did.

And it was the trampoline; or rather the assembling of same that highlighted just how important it is to spend quality time with your kids. After putting them up to bed on Friday night I proceeded to assemble said trampoline only for Thing 1, our five-year-old, to come back downstairs because ‘he wasn’t tired’.

He volunteered to help me ‘read’ the instructions and for the next two hours, I did a one hour job.

Realising after some time that he wasn’t really helping me or that I didn’t need his help he got upset and it was in that moment I realised that for him this was a ‘I’ll show daddy what a big boy I am’ bonding moment.

I was too distracted with reaching the end goal to cop it, but thankfully I had enough smarts to get him to help me put the final spring on the trampoline so that he could finish the job.

It ended well and I made a big thing of him staying up late and helping me. He was proud of himself.

I also promised myself to never let anything distract me from those fleeting bonding moments again.

They are precious and by god kids grow up so quickly.

Dad and Baby

It was being on my own with them that I got to appreciate just how lovely my kids are. They adapted to my style of parenting. I let them wear odd socks because that’s ok. I let Thing 2 pour milk into his dinner – on the proviso that he eats/drinks it all – because he’s quirky like that.

I let them sleep in their t-shirt and shorts because they didn’t want to waste time getting dressed in the morning…trampolining was more important.

Granted this wouldn’t be the norm if I was a stay at home dad.

My methods would change and evolve but even still, I realised after just four days that a stay at home parent is not the life for me.

It’s not that it’s a hard job per say, and it’s not easy either, it’s just relentless.

Even the small things like hanging pictures, changing bulbs, mowing the lawn, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, tidying up, become big tasks over time. It’s just nonstop.

I had the cushion and comfort of knowing that my wife would be coming home but if I didn’t I’m not sure how I’d feel. I have a new found appreciation and respect for my wife and stay at home parents but more importantly for single parents who do this day in day out while also trying to hold down a job. After looking after everybody else, it’s the lack of that precious ‘you time’ that really stood out for me. If that’s you, I salute you.

Multitask Mum

As I said at the start of this piece, my wife deserves a mini holiday with the girls. I’ll deserve it too when my time comes. All parents deserve it. Everybody needs a break whether it’s on their own, with friends or as a couple. Life is short. It’s to be enjoyed not suffered and certainly, that’s how we as a family live it.

That said, I was dreading the weekend. Some of my mates were in the same boat so being the nerds that we are we set up a ‘Single Dads’ WhatsApp group and exchanged war stories.

One of the lads even pretended that he’d allowed his kids to stay up and watch the Champions League Final even though we all know that he’d simply failed to get them down to bed that night.

Anyway being a glutton for punishment I decided to invite the lads and their kids over for a ‘Trampoline BBQ’. In for a penny, in for a pound and all that. Nine kids and three adults later there we all were happily soaking up the sun heaping self praise on each other while the trampoline did all the work.

We thought we were great. It was only four days but ignorance is bliss.

One thing we all acknowledged though was how tough a job it is as a stay at home parent and how much tougher it must be to raise kids on your own – whether by choice or not. It’s all consuming, it’s relentless and it’s often thankless and we only needed a few days over a long weekend to experience this.

We couldn’t fathom what it must be like if you have to hold down a job on top of all of that.

So as the title of this piece suggests, I salute and tip my hat to all the hard working single parents out there.



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Fathers Know Best – Epic Dad Fails

Becoming a father doesn’t always mean growing up, hence It’s often acknowledged that leaving dad at home alone with the kids is just asking for trouble!

In advance of Father’s Day, check out some of these images and videos from the web that prove an unsupervised dad plus a bunch of small children can often result in some terrible yet funny ideas.

1. While Mums Away

Harley Baby

2. Snowball Fight

Snowball Fight

3. My Little Kiwi

Kiwi Baby

4. A Birthday Surprise


5. Road Rage

Baby Driving

6. First photo, first injury

Phone Me

7. Bum deal

Bum Deal

8. Sit up

Sit Down

9. Parenting 101

Dad Swing

10. Believe me, that’s gotta hurt

Oh Balls

11. Pass The Parcel

Baby Throw

12. The Ghostbuster

Baby Throw

13. Say Ahhhh

Leaf Blower

14. Tractor Time

Tractor Time

15. Plunged


16. Dad Goals


17. Multitasking


18. Slideaway


19. Trolley Baby

Trolley Baby

20. First flight

First Flight

21. Bubble Baby


22. Sports Dad

Sports Dad

 23. Target Practice

Target Practice

24. A Father’s Day car-d

Love You Daddy

Check out some of these funny Dad Fail videos. 

Happy Father’s Day.


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Dear Dad: A Message From My 6-Month Old: Part 1

Dear Big Person,

You’re the first dad I’ve ever had and so far you seem to be OK at it. That said I’ve nothing to compare you against so if it’s not too much trouble I’d appreciate if you could take the time to read some of my bugbears below….they’d make my life a whole lot better.

1. Please brush your teeth before kissing me in the morning. It smells worse than my nappy.

2. Don’t be a lazy toad, put the nappy cream on me every time. We’ll see how you like it in your old age.

3. Eh, you can quit with the airplane feeding game. It’s well run its course. Just feed me and shut up.

4. And if I don’t like the food, I don’t like the food. Get over it.

5. I hope the wheels on the bus fall off so you can stop singing that annoying song.

6. Can you do me a favour and quit putting your thumb in your mouth and then wiping my face with it. It stinks. Have ever wondered why I keep throwing my soother out of the cot? Karma sucks baby. Pardon the pun.

7. Can you tell the other two small people to wipe their noses before they decide to kiss, cuddle and ultimately gunge me. Or better yet, do it for them. Cheers.

8. I kind of like my toes, especially putting them in my mouth from time to time so if my shoes no longer fit, they no longer fit. Square peg, round hole. Alright?

9. By the way, it’s your own fault if you keep throwing me up in the air after I’ve just eaten.

10. If you don’t like my ‘nappy nuggets’ falling onto the ground then refrain from chasing the other two small people around house with the nappy. That’s fear in their voices, not laughter.

That's My Teddy

11. If you insist on moaning every time water sprays out of my ‘wiggly thing’ then stop chatting to me and making stupid noises while you’re changing me. Duh.

12. Can you tell the older woman in the tablet to stop singing songs every time she sees me? You don’t see me crying before she starts do you?

13. Listen I know we don’t live in subtropical climate but we’re not in the North Pole either so do me a favour and relax with the number of layers you put on me…especially given that you insist on further wrapping me in blankets when we go out. That redness on my face is heat not constipation.

14. The vibration on my chair has an off button so can you please use it every now and again? It’s nice to enjoy a ’melty puff’ in peace without trying to guess which way my hand will move.

15. While you’re at it, relax with the nappy straps; they don’t need to be that tight.

16. Listen if you insist on so much tummy time, I’ll have to insist on face-planting to make you stop. Agreed?

17. Do you have any idea how boring it is sitting with my back to you and staring at the food-stained seat while we drive? When can you turn me around? Also, there’s a whiff of urine off the seat, did the two small people have it before me?

18. And do you really have to turn on that mobile above my cot every time? Really? It’s doing my head in and the tunes are so 3-months-old.

19. Just a heads up that Granddad 1 doesn’t know how to hold me properly. I think we’re both scared when he picks me up.

20. Oh and by the way, Mummy spilled the drink on the new couch, not Thing 2. I notice that she tells you stuff like that a lot.

Thanks, Thing 3

Ps. Do the above and I’ll continue to let you use me as a scapegoat for your flatulence.

A Message From My 6-Month Old: Part 2