Tag Archives: dad

Looking for childcare?

When it came time for me to return to work, I toured a lot of childcare centres. To be honest I didn’t fall in love with any of them. Staff were always lovely but the centres were often quite old and run down.

Now there is a new wave of childcare centres on the scene and they are amazing. Hudson, Scarlett and I recently had a wonderful time checking out the Guardian Early Learning Group centre at 101 Collins Street Melbourne. There are 38 of these centres in Victoria and many more Australia wide, if you are considering childcare it’s definitely worth checking them out.

The centre we went to is located at 101 Collins Street, right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. perfect for working parents.  I was expecting a small centre with not a lot of light and no outdoor areas. However, the centre is huge (it spans over two levels), really bright and there are two large indoor/outdoor areas for the kids to play.

In addition to the indoor outdoor areas I learnt about the amazing ways they get the children out and about. There is a special 8 seater stroller that is used for trips to the park, art gallieries and walks around the CBD. They have super cute little rain suits so the kids can really enjoy their time out and not even Melbourne weather will stop them.

Scarlett’s highlight was meeting the pet fish and the kids even got to hold the pet bird that lives at the centre.

Hudson loved the indoor/outdoor area and even made a friend while he was playing outside.

I loved the open plan feel, light bright presentation of the centre. However, my absolute highlight was the open kitchen area. Children can sit and watch the chef prepare their nutritional meals and everyone is welcome at the centre for breakfast. This would definitely help with time management in the mornings as mum, dad and any siblings are welcome to eat with the little ones.  Parents only have to worry about getting dressed and hopping on the train or in the car. A nutritional breakfast is waiting at childcare (including coffee).  I often drop the kids off in a frenzy and end up eating something in the car or skipping breakfast all together.

There is an open door policy and parents are welcome to visit their children at anytime (perfect for breastfeeding mummas), the director told me some parents take their kids out to lunch. I would love to be able to have lunch dates with Hudson and Scarlett on work days. or simply pop in and say hello, I think they would love it and I would have way less mummy guilt about having to leave them while I work.

There is a fully funded kinder program and the fees are really reasonable. If you would like more information feel free to contact one of the Guardian centres or check out their website 

Rachelle xx

 

 

 

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Guest Blog Q& A – Jarrad (@therealdadsofmelbourne)

Guest Blog Q & A – Jarrad  @therealdadsofmelbourne

We have been following them on Instagram for a while now. Jarrad and Michael are certainly the real dads of Melbourne.  Their little boy Reid (5) would give even the most stylish adults a run for their money.  Reid owns more clothes than a lot of men; he is always styled to perfection and has a rocking haircut. We had the opportunity to ask Jarrad some questions about their life and experiences.

Hi Jarrad, it’s so lovely to be able to ask you some questions. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your family?  

Michael and I have been together for 14 years,  we met in Tasmania.  We moved to Melbourne in 2001 when  Michael took advantage of a work opportunity.  I’m a fulltime stay home Dad, have a passion for interior styling and renovating. Michael has recently left the  airline industry after 18  years with Qantas to embark on a new career.   Reid  is currently in 4 year old Kindergarten and is excited about starting primary school next year.

Marriage equality is very important to us. We certainly hope Australia makes some important changes in the near future. What are your thoughts on this issue and how can our readers support marriage equality?     

We try to respect the fact that everyone has their own opinions on Marriage, however in our country  the current Government should put the vote to the people rather than force their own personal beliefs on others.   This is  very important to our family. Not because we want a wedding or need the title of  being ‘Married’ but we feel every human deserves the right to be treated as an equal and marry whom they love.

You mentioned to us that Reid was born via a surrogate. I’m sure that was quite a journey can you tell us a little about that?

He certainly was,  Reid was born in Mumbai India with the help of an agency called Surrogacy India (SI).  We investigated surrogacy for approx 5 years prior to choosing SI. It was important to us that we understood the process and that we chose an agency that was transparent and honest, after all we were bringing  a child into the world, we wanted to make sure that it was based on respect, integrity and of course love. One of us is the biological Father of Reid, however we have decided to let Reid be the first to have that information should he want to know. We had our surname legally changed (combined) so that when Reid was born he had our Family name. Like many IVF couples we experienced the heartache of a miscarriage on our first attempt however we were blessed to be successful on the second transfer. The agency organised an anonymous egg donor (we choose from a catalogue  based on medical, physical and academic backgrounds) and then we choose the Surrogate whom we will be forever grateful. We maintain a distant relationship with our surrogate and plan to travel to India one day soon to see her again.  We are so proud of his Indian heritage, and grateful to everyone who made it possible to create our Family.

Since you and Michael are both male. Does Reid call you both Dad? Or does he have a different name for each of you?

Ha, we didn’t have any preconceived ideas of what we wanted to be called, so we let him decided when he started to talk.  He calls me Daddy and Michael – DadduM (The M is for Michael) It’s stuck now.

Reid seems like a very mature five year old. Has he ever asked why he has two dads and other children have a mum and dad?

Absolutely, we have always been very open and honest with him about how he came about.  We are so grateful to his Kindergarten Teachers who have embraced our family and helped explain to his classmates that all families are different and made up of different combinations of parents and guardians. In fact one of his mates is thinks it’s so cool that Reid has two dads and wishes he had the same!

What do you love most about being a dad?

This is really hard to answer, there is nothing I don’t love about being a parent.  I think if I had to say one thing, it is when a parent approaches me at a children’s party or playground and says “Your son is so sweet, kind or has good manners”.  It’s the feeling of being proud that cannot be described and something we didn’t think of when we set out on the fatherhood journey

We just adore Reid’s style. How would you describe it?

I don’t think I could really label his style to anything specific. We often get asked if he wears anything twice and the answer to that is yes.  Although he has a lot of clothes, sometimes my most favorite pieces are surprisingly his most inexpensive. I have never purchased anything for him that’s novelty style clothes with transfers on them, and wouldn’t force him to wear anything that he is uncomfortable in.   Thankfully he loves fashion.

Reid always looks immaculate.  For anyone reading looking for styling tips for little boys. Do you have any go to stores for cute clothes and accessories?  

That’s very kind of you to say, sometimes it’s hard to find that unique piece of clothing as boy’s seem to have limited choice compared to girls clothing. We are lucky to have the following stores to help us spend our hard earned cash!

Neckwear and Accessories

www.watfordties.esty.com

www.foxyfellow.com.au

www.milknsoda.com.au

Fashion

www.Zara.com

www.microfashion.com.au

www.bardot.com.au

What are some of your favourite things to do as a family?

We love to meet up for play dates (coffee / wine for the grown up’s) with the friends Reid has made at Kindergarten. We have met some great Families as a result and really enjoy the social activities as much as the kids.
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Thanks again for answering our questions. We love following you on Instagram, keep up the good work!

We believe that a loving family and happy children are what is important. The sex or preference of parents does not and should not matter at all.  Hopefully someday very soon Australia changes and all marriages are recognised and legal.

You can follow Jarrad (plus Michael and Reid) on Instagram too – @therealdadsofmelbourne  

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Packing for an outing

We were headed out on the weekend and I was getting everything together.  I was ready, children were dressed, dog fed, husband peacefully relaxing on the couch and taking his time to get ready while I scurry about like a mad woman.

I started to think about what I take out for my kids and how I used to constantly forget things or not know what to take.  While I still sometimes forget bits and pieces I pretty much have it sorted. I thought I would share my going out essentials for any new mums or mums who have forgotten since their last bub (I certainly did).

● Nappy essentials.  Nappies, wipes, creams and bags. I use wipes for everything. Not just for nappy changes. I  wipe hands, clean seats, wipe trollies, clean up dirt….the list is endless. I also always include scented bags for dirty nappies as there might not always be an appropriate place to dispose them.

● Change of clothes.  Very important. I always take a change of clothes for both children. If we are going to be out for awhile, I take a couple of changes. I also often leave a spare top for myself and my husband in the car as our little girl vomits quite a bit and no one wants to walk around smelling of baby vomit. 

● Plastic bag or some kind of pouch for dirty clothing or burp cloths. You really don’t want to get everything else in your nappy bag dirty. Plus it’s easy just to empty the contents straight into the washing machine when you get home.

● A few swaddles. These can be used to cover your baby, drape over the pram to block sunlight, burp cloth or simply pop on the floor so bub can have a lay down.

● A book, stickers or small toys (also, spare dummy if you use one). I often have these in the car too. Saves me packing each time. They often come in handy.

● Healthy snacks.  You always want to have something on hand, nothing worse than being stuck in traffic with a hungry, screaming little person. I often use rusks, boxed sultanas or cut up fruit.

● Small bottle of hand sanitiser.  No explanation needed.

● Think of the weather. If it’s cold pack a warm blanket, extra jackets and beanie. For warmer days don’t forget hats and sunscreen.

● I always have a towel in the car.  It comes in handy if you have an unexpected poop or vomit explosion.

● Water and snacks for mum. Especially if you’re breastfeeding. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your children and forget to eat. I always have a bottle of water and some muesli bars or rice crackers on hand.

Having everything you need when going out really does make life easier. It might take a little more time to get organised, but you will be thankful.

Rachelle xx

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