Story Time: Why I’m NOT the best Dad.

Recently I was approached by an acquaintance asking for some advice. He said I inspire him to be a better dad. He is a new, young father and just getting used to the changes that come along with fatherhood.

I’m floored he was asking for advice. I don’t consider myself an expert, a lot of times I’m aiming from the hip and just make sure what I do is in the best interest of my minions.

When I asked what he needed help with, he asked for ideas how he can make more money so he can be a better dad without working endless overtime. He said he felt that he needed to bring home more finances to be a better dad, but mama bear is upset he spends too much time working and not enough time with them.

This shook me at the core, mainly because he thought he needed more money to be a better dad. I explained to him my point of view: making or having more money doesnt make you a better dad.

My biological father was a doctor and he’s a worthless piece of trash for many reasons, and having/making more money didn’t justify the other deficits.

From this life experience I have learned spending more time with my kids is more valuable than an extra few dollars. Working passionately for the required work hours is important, but being able to “turn off” work mode and spend time with the little one(s) is more important.

My parenting situation may be different than the next guy, but we all do our best (in most cases, we all know of an intentional deadbeat parent somewhere).

Comparing our situations and saying someone else does parenting “better” isn’t fair. That’s why I don’t call myself the best dad. Someone’s ability or inability to provide financially/emotionally/physically shouldn’t hinder their portrayal as a great parent.

We went deep in conversation deciphering his thought process and my theory on fatherhood. I get it, being financially stable is very important. But at a point there are things that money cannot buy.

Bringing home an extra $100 from overtime cannot amount to the value of hearing your child’s first words, it doesn’t equate to seeing your son score his first goal or see their performances at school.

In the end I told him that bringing home a little bigger paycheck is not going to make him a better dad, but spending more time at home doesn’t make him a better dad either.

He looked at me confused in silence, then I explained to him that I obviously understand spending less time working doesn’t make more money.

However, it gives him the opportunities to be the best dad more.

And in my book, being home with my littles more each day is trade-off I’d take every time.


How My 8 Year Old Made Me Cry

Happy Monday, #GP5Fam! It’s been a crazy start to our week here in the Grr-arrow household! I mean when is it not ever crazy in my household, psh! Who am I kidding! I live with crazies! Haha! (facepalm)

Anyways, with hockey & figure skating in full swing. I barely can keep up with the household chores and sleep– speaking of sleep, I miss doing that. And, it’s usually when everyone is asleep, is when I can bust out the phone (or laptop) and get my thoughts on paper.

So, as a warning. We are gonna get sappy in today’s post. So grab your favorite blanket, get cozy on the couch, and grab some tissues & let’s get heartfelt! On today’s post, ”How My 8 Year Old Made Me Cry.”

Today guys, I was a parenting failure! You’re probably thinking I’m being over the top dramatic. And, I wish I was. My TDL was beyond overwhelming. I had emails to tend too, tasks to complete, calls to make and let’s not even get to my list of household chores that desperately needed to get done. I got up early to do some laundry, only to realize the clothes that were previously in the dryer were still wet. So the kids helped me get the wet clothes separated from the dry clothes and placed back in the drier to get dry.

After that, I started getting the sheets off my bed and started piling clothes for the next load of laundry. Mind you I still have a load in the wash, a load in the dryer. 3 piles outside my bedroom door that STILL needs to be done. Sigh. It just seems neverending. I was also on a time crunch as I still had to get Skyler’s homeschool assignments together. And, log on to work!

Time was not on my side today, even though I woke-up decently early. As loads of laundry were going, I scrambled to make sure everyone was fed- from the dogs, turtle and of course the kids!

Once that was ”somewhat” situated I launched my laptop and started on my emails. Simultaneously, I was working on some schooling issues for the upcoming school year which resulted needing to be done via a phone call. Of course, in perfect timing. Katelynn decided to have her full-blown tantrum, complete with ”exorcist” back arches and laying on the floor. All because I told her she couldn’t have fruit snacks for breakfast. Oh, and I stood my ground while I tended to my important phone call. Honestly, I should’ve just given her the damn fruit snack so I could get through my phone conference.

But, alas, In her best, high shrill, Katelynn sang the song of her people — loud enough for the poor lady I was talking to on the phone to hear. And, she politely said, ”Shes got some lungs on her”. Oh, If she only knew how I tried to muffle the sound on the phone so she couldn’t hear and failed epically to balance the phone off my shoulder & pick up a flailing 4-year-old off the floor. All while struggling to also hold a pen & notebook.

After picking Kate up, she was still whining and whimpering, as she still begged for the fruit snack. I continued to stand my ground and put Kate on the couch and walked away into another room so I can somewhat pay attention to what this lady was saying to me. I think I repeated every other sentence back to the lady, to confirm we were on the same page & in all honesty, just cause nothing was clicking.

I walked back out into the living room and put the phone on mute while the lady kept talking. I quickly tried to multitask and tend to Kate. Which resulted in a bigger meltdown cause she wanted to be held — which I, unfortunately, couldn’t do as I needed both hands as I was taking notes during the phone call.

After I no longer could take the whining, I turned on the TV and Thank heavens for Nick Jr, cause whatever show was on calmed Kate. And, after realizing fruit snacks were out of the question Kate drank her milk & ate cereal. (THANK GOD!)

Mind you through this whole Katelynn ordeal, Skyler was (as always) playing hockey in the living room. So I felt like I was playing dodgeball in the house trying to weave through and not get hit. Telling him to stop seemed impossible, also I don’t think he understood my ”miming” since I was on the phone.

Thankfully, I was able to go through my phone call, multitask on the laptop & go through emails. Still, laundry wasn’t done & homeschool didn’t start. My conference and emails took up a chunk of my time.

Once I was finally off the phone the kids reminded me that we needed to get cupcakes and cookies (something I had promised them last week). I packed all my electronics and earpiece and decided that my work would have to be mobile today.

When we got to the bakery we picked out our cupcakes, cookies and headed back to the car. As I loaded the kids into the car I dropped the box which resulted in all the frosting and cupcakes to turn upside down. Fabulous. I scrambled to save what decency the cupcakes had left and headed home.

I tried my best to hold myself together and figured, “What else could go wrong today?”  when we got home, my Husband was there to greet us. I was ready to cry and go in full-Mom-meltdown. And, then Skyler said something completely surprising.

He began to tell Ric about our day, and, I was just waiting for all the epic Mom fails, I had. But, he literally didn’t mention how stressed or frustrated I was. All he took out of the day was– regardless of how busy I was I took time to make Kate food, and turn on the TV for them, and that I drove them to get cupcakes and cookies. Skyle, looked at all the positives I did today, all my multitasking and was happy they got cupcakes and cookies regardless if it was half smashed.

I teared-up and Ric just looked at me like I was insane. I later went on to explain the day from my point of view. How crazy, chaotic it felt.

My kiddo for sure just served me a slice of reality and a good one at that. Perspective.




When I Walked Away From My Marriage

It had been a tough few years.

I’ve known my Husband since I was 5 years old, We practically grew-up together. And, after being together for 10 years and married for 9. My Husband and I no longer looked like the doe-eyed, fresh-faced newlyweds who eagerly got married on Christmas Morning. We no longer looked like that young couple you’d see at the restaurant completely enamored with each other across the dining tables fiddling with each others hands. And, we certainly didn’t resemble the couple who used to stay up all night talking to one another and texting each other all day because we simply missed  each other too much to put the phone down.

You can tell that years of sleep deprivation, job stress, and possible resentment had built-up. Little things would annoy us and at times these annoyances would just be pushed down and buried only to be worried about another day. These foreseen annoyances  would eventually re-surface and an inevitable argument  would occur (like clock work) that would leave us hurt and angry for days. As always, we put on a bright smile & were civil in front of our kids. But, it was unbearable, you could feel the underlying tension between us. In some instances, we would see glimpses of our former selves and it would happily remind us of who we used to be. It was US, before the kids, before a mortgage & bills, before life moved to quickly and we lost each other along the way. Back to the easier, lighter days when our relationship didn’t seem so forced.

The day finally came when resentment took over and brought us to a breaking point. The day I knew we were broken beyond repair, and there was no way around the anger, the hurt. Days after the argument, seemed like a blur, we tiptoed around each other, and were completely unsure if we would be able to put our lives back together.

After a flood of discussions, we ultimately decided to work on ourselves apart, hoping that at some point we could find ourselves again. It got us both thinking on how we could ever fix us again, and how we could make things better, stronger. It didn’t seem possible, but, we were both willing to try.

As we began packing for a getaway trip with some of our friends to go snowboarding up in Flagstaff. I felt angry at even going on a trip with someone I wanted nothing to do with. But, he insisted that this would help. He quietly packed his own suitcase and I didn’t even realize that he had helped me pack mine. He would place items I completely forgot to pack. He carefully laid out clothing on top of my suitcase that would keep me warm, extra items in case my first pair of clothing got soaked by snow. He would do this quietly, without making eye contact cause he knew I was I hurting. But, it showed he still cared. I was so engulfed by anger, hurt that I forgot other people were in the house with me. That I wasn’t packing items I really needed. To be honest, I really didn’t care.

After packing, I got ready for bed, and I got under my covers, and slowly felt myself going into fetal position. I felt my breathing become shallow, and everything around me became hazy. I felt my heart beating rapidly and in that moment, that’s all I could hear…

Thump, thump, thump, thump.

Before, I could stop myself, I fell apart. I couldn’t stop the tears from coming out, and I couldn’t steady my breathing.  I couldn’t stop quivering, and I couldn’t stop the pain. I felt the weight of my life falling apart, the reality of my marriage came crumbling down. Memories kept flashing in my head, from our first kiss, to the birth of our first son, to our first home together. These were all memories of a life that we had struggled, and fought for over 19 years.  The thought of packing my things, packing my children’s belongings, and sharing these moments separately, made my heart ache. I lost it. I completely lost it…

Than something made me slow down my breathing, something made me calm my nerves. I felt this pressure, like a hug. I lifted my head, and opened my teary, puffy eyes and saw my Husband. There he was rubbing my back, and hugging me. I saw the pain in his eyes, I could feel the love radiate from his arms. I looked at him and suddenly without any explanation, in that moment, I knew I still love my Husband. I knew that we were going to make it through our marital struggles. It would take time, and it wasn’t going to be fixed overnight. We still have to work on each other, and do what’s best for our Family. But, I knew at some point we would find each other again, because of love. Love is what brought us here 19 years earlier…


 To Be Continued






Why, I Love Elephants

images-2Random post, random thought process.. but, I thought I’d share. Its been a few difficult weeks, maybe months, possibly year. You know that saying, “when it rains, it pours?” well, I feel like I’ve been stuck in a tsunami for the past few… (insert amount of time). My mindset when it comes to obstacles, struggles and such, I try and embrace it instead of go against it and sulk. (Try to at least). I try to learn from it, accept it, and of course I’ll continually pray about it. I just always pray for more patience, strength and guidance, peace and of course help. I continue to put faith in God above all, no matter how stuck I am. I know that he is and always will be there for me and in his time will help me. Sometimes I may get bitter about it and stubborn because I’m just tired of my situation that I am in, or sometimes I’ll just force things to happen and not in God’s time. Both are wrong. You should pray and have faith in Christ in all he does, for all the obstacles you go through he walks with you, he never gives you anything you cannot handle. And, sometimes I am blindsided and think otherwise.

So, back to my story, our fridge finally gave up on us after 3 in a half years. It was a used fridge, so I’ve replaced and fixed it about 3-4 times. Finally, we got a technician to come out and look at it and they were so kind and honest to tell me the truth, to better invest my money towards a new fridge instead of trying to fix our current, broken fridge. So, of course being a single income family we budget, and try to save as much as we can. This was not in our plan to have to spend thousands on a fridge! Of course, when this happened- like a domino effect, many other bad things happened, and so on and so forth. I had bottled so much inside that I finally broke-down and cried. I was just tired. Fed-up. Mentally, physically and emotionally – DRAINED! I cried and just let it all out. I then prayed, I prayed the same things I always ask for: patience, guidance, strength, peace, and for help. The following days after I just tried to take everyday slow, and breathe in, breathe out. Accept what I couldn’t change, and work with what I had.

I did just that. I sucked it up when things got tough, I cried when I just hurt too much and I just breathed because thats all you can really do sometimes. Then randomly, I started noticing elephants. I would go on instagram, twitter, or a website and there would be an elephant. I did not really think too much of it, because well – its the internet! It happened again when Kate wore an elephant onesie, and she just would not stop pointing at her onesie. She then saw an image of an elephant on her boppy pillow and continued to point at it. Again, I just thought she wanted me to state what animal it was, and I did. It wasn’t until today, I realized this might be my sign!


I opened the mail that I had received from a friend, I pulled out the card, and read the inside. It wasn’t until I closed the card, and saw the front of card. It was two elephants, trunks up. It finally clicked, elephants! I decided to google the meaning or symbolism of elephant as I know in the asian culture there is a meaning behind it.

“The elephant is generally considered a symbol of good luck and the animal is a symbol of good fortune. Elephants in Asia are symbolizing a kind of divinity and benevolence and that is why in the recent Asia there are still religious ceremonies where offering is made to the elephants, they wash them and anoint them with special oils and pigments so that the community be blessed with good will. They also symbolize wisdom, loyalty, strength, fidelity and longevity.” (animal-symbols).


God shows his signs in mysterious ways, and I believe these past couple of days, I received mine. I’ve also been smelling my Dad’s cologne the past two nights. Usually, when I needed help when I was younger, my Dad was my go-to and he always helped when he could. Now, that he passed I still pray to him and ask him for help.

Always, have hope, and faith that good things come in small packages, or in my cases in elephants. Be patient. God sees your struggles and he hears your prayers.