After time spent everywhere from the Toronto Islands and Lake Simcoe all the way to Mexico, the juggling act between the #BloggerLife, the family, and a pile of paperwork that’s multiplying faster than a herd of rabbits has been an intense one.
So much so that I’ve been negligent in doing all I can to share news about the brand with the audience I’ve worked so hard to build!
For Father’s Day, our national paper The Globe and Mail got in touch to ask me some questions on fatherhood as a Canadian who writes about what it’s like as a Dad today. In the answers below, you’ll see I took the task very seriously, as the way I’m raising my boys is super-intentional, and I want them wanting for nothing in their lives—whether physically, mentally or emotionally—by the time they’re my age.
I enjoyed writing the responses below, and I hope you find a little of yourself in them, too!
Casey Palmer — Toronto-based blogger at CaseyPalmer.com
Growing up, my parents always stressed how important it was to have the right footwear for the occasion, so over the years I’ve learned to invest in kicks that help me be my best no matter what life’s throwing at me.
I’d like to think I fare better at my shoe game than most dudes—among my collection of kicks are some black leathers for various formal occasions; some brown leathers when I feel like switching it up; a pair of casuals when I’m out on weekend jaunts with the fam… no matter what the situation, there’s probably a pair in my house to do the trick.
Or so I thought, that is, before I became a Dad.
There’s plenty you don’t really think about before you have kids—the little things we take for granted, because frankly, as adults we just know better. Like how one might find playing around in puddles an unwise idea, since water would wreck most shoes. Or that we adults often stick to marked paths wherever we go, because the roads less travelled often have many a thing we rather not find on the bottom of our shoes.
After enough adventuring around with my mobile Mini-Me, I’ve been lucky enough to dodge permanent damage to whatever I manage to grab every time we dash outside, but it was becoming clear I was in dire need of shoes that could keep up not just with whatever life threw at me, but with whatever my 2½-year old would manage to get himself into.
As if answering my unspoken pleas, Mark’s reconnected with me, helping me pick out some shoes that’d keep me one step ahead of every toddler terror I’d come across!
Which is how I found a pair of size 10½ Helly Hansen Pace Trail Waterproof Shoes on my feet, with features that make them ideal for playing with my kids in all sorts of weather! Anatomically designed uppers to fit the foot’s natural shape. Durable Helly Grip™ outsoles providing solid traction on wet rocks and trails. C-Zone™ technology absorbing shocks on impact. They may look like your ordinary everyday runners, but I assure you—they’ve got what it takes to make running after kids a heckuva lot more comfortable.
Happy Father’s Day from Mark’s — Keeping You Outfitted for the Adventures with Your Kids… One Step at a Time.
But my story is just one Dad’s story. Mark’s wants us to remember our Dads this Father’s Day for everything they’ve done in our lives, and chasing after children to keep them out of trouble is but the tip of the iceberg with fatherhood.
My own experiences with my kids have given me new perspective on everything my father did for my brothers and I, and his tireless efforts over the decades to keep us on the right track may have seemed harsh at times, but I now understand that life could’ve turned out far differently without strong parents in our corners to guide us along the way.
In their Father’s Day video, Mark’s shows the broad spectrum of emotion that Dads bring forth from their children, and that those of us fortunate enough to still have them around should take advantage of that while we can—you never know which day will be the last until it’s behind you… but why wait until it’s too late?
In any case, a very happy Father’s Day from myself and Mark’s—whether you’re receiving or giving the well wishes this June 19th, I hope you make some excellent memories!
Be well and until the next, I remain,
DISCLAIMER: Mark’s was generous enough to compensate me for this post, and now I can chase after my boisterous toddler without worrying about uncomfortably damp socks afterward! You can check them out online, and through their social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram!
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands:
In my world, June’s all about the Dads. Unlike Canadian Moms, unfortunate enough to celebrate Mother’s Day under the shadow of May 24’s looming promise (aka the first Canadian long weekend that isn’t cold, wet, or having anything else fall from the sky), June’s sorely lacking in anything distracting us from celebrating our fathers. And that’s a good thing too, because the very notion of fatherhood is changing — or should I say evolving — as we continue our way through the 21st century.
Though I’m only 18 months into my parenting journey, I’ve already taken note of ways my behaviour’s impacting my impressionable little son. Like his surprise one Saturday morning upon waking up from a nap, finding me at the kitchen table instead of at my computer desk where I was evidently supposed to be. Or his understanding that I won’t give in to toddler terrorism — all the fussing and whining in the world won’t get me to give you a banana when you’re supposed to eat your dinner.
It’s stressful, knowing your behaviour and decisions will have very real consequences in shaping your child’s future; you spend most days winging it, tackling each new issue as best you can, knowing there’s no standardized textbook to guide you through the steps.
But the problems are far from new — the confusion, the worry, second-guessing your decisions… I wouldn’t be surprised if this was exactly what my parents felt when they raised me.
The dad is the unsung hero of parenting, and it’s easy to see why. They don’t grow babies inside of them for 40 weeks. They don’t breastfeed or have the same degree of parental instinct as mothers do. In many parenting situations I’ve seen, the role of the Dad is ambiguous. Secondary to the mother. Perhaps a pale shadow of motherhood, expected to do her same function, but perhaps with a slightly masculine twist to it.
What Can We Learn from the Dads Who Came Before Us?
Our memories are shorter now than they’ve ever been (thanks, technology!) — there’s a lot about my Dad I remember from my later years, but much of my childhood is a blur. And in a family with both parents working to make ends meet, what I do remember is lots of time in my Grandma’s basement, watching TV or horsing around with my brother until my parents come home to resume the parental segment of their lives, tired or not.
I have a wealth of social cues on what it means to be a Dad — so then, why do I feel woefully unqualified to carry it out?