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On Finding The Missing Piece

Missing Piece

You can never be truly prepared for fatherhood. Even after having one child, I had no idea how a second was going to affect my life. As it turns out, my children have opened my eyes to a world that I had been sorely missing. The following is not a commentary on whether people with children are happier than those without, but more of a look at how my children have changed the way I see the world.

Here’s the thing, before my wife and I became parents, I was very happy. I had a good job, played in a rock band, often stayed up late and we had lots of quality time together. I still couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was missing and it wasn’t until becoming a father that I found the missing piece. Passion. I’m not talking about the passion for loving my wife or my family, which has always been and will always be there. I’m talking about being so passionate about something that you can’t imagine doing anything else but leaping towards it and hoping you don’t plummet to the earth.

My passion, as it were, is in trying to make a difference in the world. I’m not talking about creating world peace, as nice as it sounds, but instead I’m talking about a passion in trying to make a difference in people’s lives, one person and one day at a time. Not just giving money, food or clothing either, but in just giving people a reason to smile day in and day out. I have my children to thank for this and the reason is simple; every time I look at one of them, I think to myself, “what kind of man do I want my children to learn from and remember?” My father left me with amazing memories and I hope to do the same for my children.

When I started writing about my adventures in parenting, I thought it would be a fun place to share funny stories and pictures. I had no idea that it was going to alter the way I think and feel about almost everything in my life in the way it has. I feel like a completely different person than I was just five short years ago. I am not afraid to share stories about my issues with anxiety, my fatherhood insecurities or my hopes and dreams, because I don’t want my children to bottle up their emotions in the way I used to. That’s not a shot at my parents either because they were always there for me, it’s just the way I was.

They have pushed me at every turn to want to be a better man, father and human being, and I intend on using that drive to become the best role model I can possibly be for them. This is where my new found passion comes in. Life can be hard, and not only is there fulfillment in taking the time to make someone else’s day, but in my experience at least, I’ve never been happier in knowing that I have the power to make others happy. My hope is that I can inspire my children to want to inspire others and I will keep fighting for that as long as I am here.

Podcast ~ Discussing The NHL Playoffs, We Day & Letting Children Explore

CJAD800

I am always excited to join CJAD’s Ric & Suzanne for their “Family Matters” segment and this week we started out by discussing how I am going to convince my son to cheer for the same sports teams I do. From there, I shared my experience from attending Free the Children’s “We Day”.

We also talked about the Ottawa mother who made the difficult decision to leave her severely autistic son at a government office and we also discuss how to build self esteem in your children. You can find the recording below.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/90633577″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Are Rules Really Meant To Be Broken?

Dance Class Window

See that picture above? That’s the tiny little window I get to look through while my 2.5 year old daughter is in her very first dance class. When we chose this particular dance class, it was under the assumption that it would be just the kids and the teachers in the room. After all, that’s why they have two options, one for parents and tots together and another for kids who are okay on their own.

I was so excited for my daughter as we drove to her first class. She had her little tutu and she was all smiles as she entered the room and ran right over to the mat to sit with her teacher. She barely said goodbye to us and I was more than alright with that because I loved to see how happy she was. As the other families began to file in, half of them surprisingly late, I noticed a trend forming. Over half of the children immediately freaked out at the thought of being left in the room alone, so their parents went into the class and participated with them.

I get the first class jitters thing and while it bothered me that the class was basically a wash due to all the disruptions, I was sympathetic to the fact that some of the kids needed to get accustomed to it. Besides, I had my own problems in the hallway with one of the other Dads, who was breaking the unspoken “Dad Rule” by hogging all the tiny window time. Oh, did I mention that his wife was IN the class with their daughter!

We approached the second class cautiously optimistic that all the kids would be good to go in on their own this time. You know, because this was the reason we all chose this class, right? So the kids could explore their new found freedom and independence. The results were shocking. Not only did over half the parents still walk right in to attend the class, they didn’t even try to let their kids go in alone. None of the kids were screaming. None of them were clinging or dragging their feet. So why were the parents in there??

Here’s the thing. I don’t care about whether your child is comfortable being alone in the class or not. I only care about getting the experience I paid my hard earned money for my child to get. So when 5 out of the 9 kids have parents in the small dance room, it is distracting for the kids who are interested in actually listening to the teacher and following her instructions. Not to mention the fact that the small window I fight to watch through is now blocked by parents on the INSIDE of the room!

This is not a rant against the kids who aren’t comfortable going to dance class by themselves. I’m talking about the parents who signed up for the “no parents allowed” class knowing full well that their child wasn’t ready for it. This may all seem a little harsh but c’mon, you know your child better than anybody. Plus, there was another class offered that parents were allowed to participate in. Now my daughter has to watch you having fun with your kid in the class while wondering why her Mommy and Daddy aren’t in there and that’s not fair to her.

My point here is that while you may think your presence in the class isn’t distracting, it actually is. I realize they aren’t actually learning professional dance moves, but through that tiny window, I see the crowded room and the intimidation in my daughter’s eyes as she bumps into another Mom’s leg as she dances, care free, around the room. I mentioned it to the teachers of the class, who agreed with me, but said they couldn’t kick the parents out of the room, which was also not what I wanted. I just wish people would be more conscious of how their actions affect other people. Going forward, I’ll have to start focusing my efforts more on fighting for time at the small window and less on who’s in the room.

Thanks for letting me rant. I don’t do it very often but it felt pretty good to get it all out.

Cheers!

Final Thoughts on the Windows Phone 8 {#HolidaySwap}

Microsoft Windows Phone

It’s been just over a month since I traded my iPhone for the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone, in order to participate in Microsoft Canada’s “Holiday Swap” program. I’ve written about my first impressions and covered the social media apps, but now it’s time to break it all down for you.

Over the next 700 or so words, I will take you through all of the ups and downs I have found with the Windows phone and I will let you know if this could be the phone for me. There were so many features to play with, that it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s quickly go over the apps one more time and I’ll add a couple different ones from my original app review.

APPS:

I’m not going to beat a dead horse here. It’s no secret that the Twitter and Facebook apps on the Windows phone are not up to speed with what is expected from even the most casual user. When you add in that I am a heavy abuser of these applications on my phones, I was scrambling to find an alternative. Twitter and Facebook are both built into the O/S but I only found that useful for quick browsing and status updates.

Luckily there are options available for each. I tried a number of options for each and for my money, the best Twitter replacement was the Rowi app and I liked the Facebook Touch Pro app for my Facebooking needs. Both still had pros and cons but they were the most functional for my day to day needs. The option to try out apps before you buy them is a fantastic idea and one that should be implemented across all phone platforms.

Those two social networks are the ones I spend about 80% of my phone time on, so I weighed them more heavily against the rest. Speaking of the rest, here are some of the best I found on the Windows phone:

BaconIt – Excellent Reddit app.
Fhotoroom – Instagram alternative.
Nokia City Lens – This is an augmented reality GPS and was probably my favourite app.
Skype – The best Skype app I’ve seen yet.
Netflix – With the size and quality of the screen for the Nokia Lumia 920, Netflix was amazing for myself and the kids.

You might notice a lack of apps listed and that’s because of two things. First, one month isn’t a very long time to really get into anything too hard core, so I stuck to the ones I knew I would get the most use out of. Second, there is still a lack of developer interest, although it seems to be growing, so there isn’t as much to choose from in the marketplace as there is for some of Microsoft’s competitors. Based on my overall experience with the phone itself, I’m guessing there will be a lot more coming to the marketplace very soon.

KID’S CORNER

kids corner
 

One of my favourite features on the Windows 8 Phone was the addition of “Kid’s Corner”. This feature, which is easy to set up and launch, provides a completely separate area for all your children’s games and apps. The benefit is that it denies them access to everything in your phone except for the things downloaded specifically for them. Anyone who has ever had to replace 15 deleted apps or paid the accidental purchase bill will really appreciate this feature and it is accessed by swiping left or right directly off your lock screen.

A small warning however, that if you use free games or apps, the kids can still click on the ads that appear, so I’d recommend shelling out the $0.99 if it’s a keeper.

 

LIVE TILES

Live Tiles

I have to admit that I was skeptical about the Live Tiles at first. They looked kind of strange and definitely were not what I was used to. It only took about one day for me to warm up to the idea and after the first week, I loved the fact that I could customize my home page exactly how I wanted.

With Live Tiles, you can pin any of your apps to the home page (and even your lock screen) and then size the tiles however you see fit. Because I use Twitter, Facebook and Email the most, I had them as the largest tiles and placed them at the top of my page for easy access. I also enjoyed having all my favourites on one page, as opposed to having to scroll left to right and looking for specific groups of apps.

The other cool thing about the tiles is that they give you live updates of the apps, without your having to click on them. That way I can see who’s messaging me on Twitter, what appointments are in my calendar for that day or even what the weather is in Ottawa. It does tend to drain the battery life a little bit quicker but there are steps you can take to ease the strain on the phone, such as the Battery Saver feature. In the end, the Live Tiles feature is one that will definitely draw you into the phone and is very appealing to the eye.

CAMERA/VIDEO:

We’ve reached my favourite part of the experiment. For all the internet surfing and gaming I do on my phone, the most important quality for me is the ability to take excellent photo and video with it. In that regard, the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone did not let me down! With an 8.7 megapixel rear PureView camera with HD video, Carl Zeiss lens and amazing sound quality, I couldn’t stop taking pictures and video. I even started leaving my real camera at home in favour of using the Nokia 920. I was amazed at how crisp the sound was, from any distance, with the video camera and it was perfect for shooting some of the precious moments between my children.

There are also a number of great camera filters and apps available, such as:

Cinemagraph: This app is all about fun. Cinemagraph gives you the ability to take a still picture and then animating portions of it to create a fun .GIF file. I had hours of fun showing off this app to my friends and even more fun creating tons of them with my kids, who could never figure out why their legs were moving but their arms weren’t.

Smart Shoot: This is one of the most useful camera features on the phone. This app takes 5 quick shots in a row and then allows you to choose your favourite parts from each to create the perfect photo. Tired of losing great moments to a blinking eye or sudden toddler meltdown? Smart Shoot will make sure that never happens again!

Optical Image Stabilization: It’s hard to take video with one hand, which is what most of us are doing with our smart phones half the time. The optical image stabilization offered on the Lumia 920 helps to make your shaky videos easier on the eyes. It’s not perfect but it definitely made me look like a much better videographer than I really am.

Panorama: I love this app because it creates amazing panoramic shots by combining multiple pictures together. It’s very easy to use and I really liked the fact that it guided you from one picture to the next with easy to follow target circles.

My Comic: This one was for me and I had a lot of fun with it. You can choose from a number of different text boxes and turn your ordinary photos into fun comic strips. Yes, I am a nerd.
I have a limited sample size for smart phone cameras, as I have only ever owned as iPhone, but the upgrade in the quality of the pictures and video on the Lumia 920 really blew me away. I would considering switching phones based on those qualities alone.

CONS:

With all the good qualities that came along with the Windows Phone, there were also some things that I wasn’t too keen on. At the top of that list is the poor quality of the social media apps, which I have covered on a number of occasions already and won’t get into again. The bright side is that they can only get better and with more exposure, I’m sure they will.

Although I enjoyed that the phone had a larger screen, the sleek design and size, caused it to be very slippery in my hands and I dropped it on a number of occasions. The weight will also be an issue for some, as it was not the best for carrying in my pant pockets.

The lack of quality third party apps was also an issue for me. While I don’t mind trying out alternatives to my favourites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), they are never really the same to the original creation. My hope would be that developers will start to see the benefit to producing apps for the Windows phone and their Live Tiles and Live App features.

OTHER BITS & BYTES:

Microsoft has designed the Windows 8 Phone with the integrated ability to use its cloud service, SkyDrive. SkyDrive allows users to store their photos, documents and other files from the phone to a safe online storage. Admittedly, I didn’t have enough time with the phone to really dig into the SkyDrive feature but what I did see what definitely impressive.

I really enjoyed the XBOX Music pass and how easy it was to navigate through the store. There was a large selection of music to choose from and the ability to listen to songs before you buy will always be appreciated.

The Windows Phone has an incredible predictive text feature that gives you a list of words that it thinks you are going to type next. I realize that something like this sounds trivial but when you type as much as I do, it was a very welcome feature and shaved a bunch of time off my emails and blog notes. The best part is that it doesn’t auto correct everything to what it thinks you wanted and it’s completely out of the way of the keyboard so there are no accidents.

The Office tile is great for those of us who like to write and create while away from the house but don’t always want to bring a laptop. From here, you can create new MS Word and Excel documents right from your phone and then save them to SkyDrive for later use.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:

As a social media addict, it’s not easy to hand over the thing you spend the most time with in your day to day operations. It took me a couple weeks to agree to the program and another week to warm up to the idea after the swap. What I noticed is that as I began to get more comfortable with the Windows 8 Phone’s layout, I stopped worrying about what was missing from my iPhone and focused more on what was available with this phone.

The standouts for me were definitely the camera/video quality and features, along with the Kid’s Corner option and Nokia City Lens app. Taking screen captures are a breeze and I like the position of the camera buttons. There were other features I would look forward to trying out further, such as SkyDrive and the creation of MS Office documents.

I was disappointed with the quality of the social media apps and the overall lack of apps available in the marketplace. If Microsoft wants to compete with the iPhone and Android markets, this is something they are going to have to focus their efforts on.

There were many other cool features that I didn’t get a chance to fully dive into during my stint with the Windows Phone, such as the ability to create private rooms for friends to connect in and the XBOX smart glass, but the items I did get to sample were enough for me to decide that I really like this phone. The biggest knock I have on the phone is the lack of available apps and that is something that can and hopefully will be rectified fairly swiftly.

This was a great experiment and one that took me way out of my comfort zone. If anything, it has taught me that there is never only one option out there and it doesn’t hurt to check out the full range of what is available. I’ll leave you with a sampling of what some of my Holiday Swap teammates had to say about their experiences with the Windows Phone. Thanks for reading!

Emma Waverman – How To Shield Your Kids From Your Potty Mouth Texts

Stacie Vaughan – Blogging With The Windows Phone

Shelagh Cummins – SkyDrive For The Windows Phone – Work On The Fly

Julia & Grace Rosien – Mother and Daughter Take On The Nokia Lumia 920

Ariane Griffiths – Navigate The City Like a Ninja With CityLens

Shannon Mischuk – Top 3 Favourites From The Windows 8 Phone

Cheers!

P.S. – Hey, did you notice I just did a giant review on a smartphone without actually talking about the phone portion of it?? I guess that’s the world we live in today. For the record, the feature that involves physically dialing a number and speaking to someone works just fine and I had absolutely no issues with it.

Disclosure: The Nokia Lumia Windows phone was provided to me by Microsoft Canada in order to facilitate this review as part of the #HolidaySwap challenge. I will also be receiving compensation in exchange for my posts related to the review of this phone, however all opinions on this blog are my own.

Return Of The #AwesomeDads!

I took a bit of a Holiday break since my last #AwesomeDads post but I think it’s time for a Dad revival!

My goal is to feature Awesome Dads doing awesome things with their kids. Whether it’s hitting the slopes, helping with homework or snuggling them back to health, I want to showcase the changing face of Dad. That said, here are this week’s Awesome Dads!

AdultEssentials

 

 

This is a great shot of Stuart Lowther and his 3 daughters, as they are about to cross the finish line at Gabrielle’s Ride in Oakville. Stuart is the Founder/President/CEO at Life Science Nutritionals, which create the Adult Essentials and IronKids Gummies brands of vitamins.

 

 

Trev Mahoney

 

 

Trev Mahoney is seen here with his kids, on a Whale Watching tour in Newfoundland. Trevor writes over at the Just A Dad blog and also on the Cheo Moms & Dads blog. You can catch up with him on Twitter at @Trev_Mahoney.

 

Cloak&Curio

 

 

Steven Grossman knows how to tire his kids out before bedtime. He opens up the Daddy Gym! A big thanks to his wife, Roshan, who runs Cloak & Curio, for submitting this picture (with his permission, of course)!

 

Justinvl

 

 

 

 

Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen sent in this hilarious picture of his kids invading his private time. Justin runs JVL Photography out of Ottawa and can be found on Twitter at @JustinVL.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for this week’s edition of #AwesomeDads! Keep an eye out each week for a new set of amazing pictures and feel free to submit pictures for future editions to my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Cheers!

How About Another Dose Of #AwesomeDads

After a great response to last week’s Awesome Dads post, I’ve decided to keep it going as long as I keep getting photos submitted. I’m also working on a design for the main photo, so it doesn’t look like I’m implying how awesome I am from week to week, haha.

My goal is to feature Awesome Dads doing awesome things with their kids. Whether it’s hitting the slopes, helping with homework or snuggling them back to health, I want to showcase the changing face of Dad. That said, here are this week’s Awesome Dads!

 

 

Here’s Oren Miller from the blog, Blogger Father. This isn’t the first time he’s appeared on my site and the write up I did on him for Dad Blogs Exposed will tell you more than I could write now. To follow Oren’s journey, you can check him out on his Facebook Page! Thanks, Oren!

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Mike Reynolds from the blog, Puzzling Posts. I don’t really know how else to describe Mike, except to say that he is one of the really great ones. I’m not talking just Dadding here either. He just seems to be a genuinely kind person and I’m happy to have met him and his family. Of note, Mike just single-handedly raised over $1800 for our recent Movember campaign. Not an easy feat. You can catch him on Twitter at @PuzzlingPostDad.

 

 

 

 

This is Kevin, who I only know as @KevinSky on Twitter. The best thing about pictures is that you don’t need to know somebody to appreciate them and I love that Dad and Grandpa are present in this amazingly patriotic shot.

 

 

 

 

Here is a photo of Chris, helping his daughter learn how to swim. This one strikes a chord for me because it’s one of my favourite things to do with my kids. It’s great when you can capture pride in a picture!

 

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least, meet Ryan Sanders from The National Fatherhood Initiative. This photo has me missing our Expos and even more so because he’s cheering for the team that they left for. Ryan has also been kind enough to offer me a guest post on his blog and I’m grateful for the opportunity. You can also follow him on their Facebook Page.

That’s it for this week! Thanks to all the Dads and wives who submitted pictures. They were all great! If you’d like to submit your great Dad pics, please send them to chris@canadiandad.com, along with their name and a link, if any, to your site. Til we meet again!

Cheers!

Forget Dad Fail; Here Is Some Dad Awesomeness! #AwesomeDads

I got slightly annoyed this week, after seeing two separate posts featuring photo slideshows with the tagline of DadFail. I won’t link to them but I assure you, they are out there and the pictures were a complete misrepresentation of what I’m guessing in 98% of the Dad population.

I thought it would be a fun idea to counter that post with some pictures of the Dads I associate with, doing the things that real Dads do with their children. I’m sure it won’t get even 1% of the hits those other posts got but it’s a start. We’re certainly not perfect but we are definitely not failures. I put a call out for photos and received so many that this could become a weekly feature.

 

 

This is another Canadian Dad blogger, James from EduDad and also from the Dads Round Table. You can catch him on Twitter at @SaskaDad. He’s a good dude and a great Dad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Trent Hamilton, who blogs over at Green Eggs & Hamiltons and also at Life of Dad. Don’t be afraid to hit him up on twitter at @mrThamilton. He is a perfect example of the changing face of fatherhood today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Spencer Warren and his daughter at last year’s Ottawa Children’s Gala, which he also organizes. It’s an excellent event, for kids too, which raises money for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario’s ‘Plan It Safe’ Program. He is a really good person and has committed a lot of his time to helping kids in my community. You can follow him at @CharityForCHEO on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

This is Daddy Nickell from the website Daddy Scrubs. It’s actually a very cool website and I encourage you to check it out. You can also catch up with him on the Daddy Scrubs Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How about a Dad who doesn’t blog? They are the majority after all! Here is a cool shot of Darryl hanging with his kids out in the wilderness. I’m willing to excuse the Penguins hat here because of the amazing setting and the giant smiles!

 

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least, we have Mark Buell from my hometown of Ottawa. Hard to believe we are back to tobogganing season already! You can find Mark writing things at, A Semitone Higher and on Twitter @MeBuell.

 

 

That’s all for this week’s Untitled Dad Awesomeness Feature! I hope enjoyed it as much as I did putting it all together. I’m hoping to keep it going but I’ll need your help. You can do so by sending me your cool, Dad pictures, of you and your kids spending quality time together. You can send them to me on Twitter at @CanadianDadBlog, via my Facebook Page, or email them to me at chris@canadiandad.com. Have a great week!

Cheers!

Movember Update And A Birthday Wish!

I’m struggling with writing today’s post for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to attempt to accurately capture how proud I am of the Movember team I am Captain of. I’m guessing typed words won’t begin to show my passion for this cause or how excited I am that we have already raised $4,836 towards our goal of $5,000, with 16 days left to go.

The other issue is that today is also my Birthday, and while I realize the poor etiquette in pointing that out to everyone, I can assure you that my motives in doing so are pure. I wanted to share my Birthday wish with you all. If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you’ll know that I don’t believe in a lot of superstitions, so sharing my wish with you all shouldn’t be a big deal.

There are a million things I could wish for, with most of them being things that you would never see come true. Wishing for health and prosperity is nice but those are things that you can’t really control, except for following a healthy diet and going after your dreams. My wish today is a little simpler and a lot easier to obtain.

My wish, on my 34th birthday, is for our Movember Team to reach its goal of $5,000! That’s it. We’re $164 away and I know that this is an attainable wish for today, so let’s make it happen!

PS – Thank You for all the birthday wishes today! It’s only 8am and I already feel more spoiled than I deserve to be.

PPS – A special thanks to our Movember Corporate donors: Tag Along Toys, Play It Again Sports & Logs End Flooring! We couldn’t have gotten to this point without your support!

Cheers!!

Don’t Eat My Snack, Okay?

One of the joys of having a daycare running out of my house, is that I get to learn about how truly different kids can be. What is funny to one, could be horrifying to the next. Never has this been more evident than when I attempted to play a little gag on the group at a recent snack time.

We’ve all seen the game played before; “Hey, look over there!”, as I reach over and pretend to eat one of the kid’s snacks. Everyone erupts with laughter and encourages me to do it again to a different child. In my mind, the kids know I have no intention on actually eating their snack. In their minds, however, I am a snack eating monster who will stop at nothing to get my hands on those sweet, sweet apple slices.

That day, the game ended innocently enough. We had all had a good laugh and the kids finished their unstolen snacks with smiles, knowing that they had defeated the angry snack monster. At least, that’s what I thought had happened that day; until snack time came around the next day, that is. I had completely forgotten the game and was catching up on the day’s news, when I heard a voice from across the room say,

Chris, don’t eat my snack, okay?!

Oh yeah, the snack game! Thinking this plea was an invitation to steal some yogurt, I made my way over to the table and treated the children to my deepest “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum” giant voice. The only problem was that upon arrival at my destination, I could see in this child’s face that his statement was no joke. The poor little guy was petrified at the thought of me coming over to steal his hard earned yogurty reward and I felt terrible.

This was just one of the many, many lessons I am learning about the different personalities of children. Just as my son won’t watch Tangled because of Rapunzel’s scary mother, this little boy did not like the thought of a snack monster coming to trick him out of his loot. They all have their quirks and that’s what makes them all so unique and amazing. Needless to say, it’s been a month since the incident and the snack monster hasn’t made any more appearances. Still, every snack time since the incident, I am reminded of the joke gone wrong as I hear,

Chris, don’t eat my snack, okay?

Don’t worry buddy, the snack monster has retired.

Cheers!

The Mo Slowly Grows; But The Cause Is The Key #Movember

With Movember season in full swing, this will be my first weekly update on how the Mo Grows. More importantly, it’s a chance to talk a little more about why I’ve decided to Grow my Mo for this worthy cause and to give an update on how Team Canadian Dad 2.012 is doing in their efforts.

As much fun as growing a moustache for Movember can be, it is obviously not the primary objective. We are raising funds and awareness to support men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer and male mental health initiatives. These are issues that need to be talked about on a more consistent basis and Movember is helping to get the conversation started. It was in reading some of the stats below, that you really start to take notice of the change that is needed in our mindsets:

* On average men die five to six years younger than women.
* Suicide rates are four times higher for men than women.
* More than five men die prematurely each hour from potentially preventable illnesses.

While Movember does encourage more men to actively participate in the management of their health, studies also show that a lot of men are still ignoring their issues, rather than seeking the opinion of a doctor. Please, don’t be afraid to see your doctor if you think something is a little off. There is nothing uncool or unmanly about going to a doctor’s office to get checked out.

My Story

This initiative hits home for me on a couple of levels. Both my father and cousin are cancer survivors and without the proper funding and awareness, things could have turned out lot different. As far as me personally, after my father passed away from a vehicle accident, I went through a very dark period. For almost two years, I spent countless hours and many sleepless nights, thinking that I had every disease under the sun. I bounced from emergency rooms to specialists to my family doctor, until finally, after getting yet another negative result, one of the emergency room doctor’s referred me to a psychiatrist.

As you can imagine, the thought of needing to see a psychiatrist didn’t sit too well with me, but I went anyway. I’m not sure if it was my time with that doctor or just the realization that I was letting my family down, but I snapped out of my funk and haven’t looked back since. That’s not to say I don’t go get checked out when I feel a bit off, but I don’t let the negative thoughts creep into my head and take over my world anymore.

How You Can Help

We’re not growing these Mo’s for nothing! If you’re interested in helping out, I encourage you to visit our team page at Canadian Dad 2.012 and please make a small donation. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount, just whatever you can spare for this great initiative. Our team has been working very hard and we have already raised over $3000 in 7 days, so I’m excited to see where we can take this.

Furthermore, if you have a business and would like to make a corporate donation, I am offering a sidebar ad in my Movember Supporters section (until Dec 31st), as well as mentions in my upcoming Movember posts. We already have two wonderful sponsors in Tag Along Toys and Play It Again Sports Ottawa and I couldn’t be happier to have them on board!

Please feel free to contact me via email with any further questions and as always, Thank You so much for your time and donations! You are the driving force in the battle to change the face of men’s health!

Cheers!