Category Archives: Blog Post

Best Ways I Handle Criticism About My Blog

I’ve been blogging for a couple of years solid now. Firstly, when I kicked off Kangaroo Dad on Blogger, and recently, the reformat and redesign, cum relaunch on a self hosted WordPress site.

I have received criticism over that last couple of years, almost all of it positive. Its been positive as I am not high enough on a certain level of people’s attention to start attracting trolls. Give it time and that will come.

Most recently, I have been getting criticism from fellow digital producers, those who work on the internet, such as other bloggers, web designers, content and copyright creators. Its been a good experience and its helped me reflect with the work I do for the blog. As well as with the future direction I want to take this blogging thing I do.

I am no expert when it comes to website design so I have been seeking those who are. I have been tweaking, working and dabbling here and there, yet I find I don’t have the patience, time, or the want, to learn it and spend time making those changes myself. I am happy with the dabbling I have achieved so far. It has at least helped me with the abilities I have now and how to explain to others, the design I want and what changes I need, for my blog.

The criticism I have received, has been generally helpful in nature and so far has been this;

Your Home page on your blog has category titles, but nothing under them (no articles showing, hmmmm)
Some of your older articles are hard to read (the grammar is worse than I imagined, oh dear)
Your site is hard to read on a mobile device (I must have a non responsive theme for my wordpress)
Your About us section….doesn’t tell me much about you (did I not fill this out appropriately?)
Your contact us, broken?  unfilled?  how do I reach you?
How do I join your mailing list? (I hate my current Avante theme, which doesn’t play nice with signing up on an email list and will change it as its NOT DOING WHAT I WANT)

So, some of these critiques are easy to rectify. Some will give me a reflection on how I want to make a change after receiving some feedback.

There is another important aspect too. On occasion, you will receive feedback and it will be an expression of someone’s opinion. Do you make a change because someone made a suggestion, although most likely helpful? No, not always. There are many factors to consider when receiving feedback. For example, the six suggestions above will be changing. They are items, I want to change and am currently (as of Nov 2014) aware of them, and I am not happy with their status. Changes are coming.

But what do you do when you receive criticism? Especially if it is in relation to your blogging?

1. Listen to the other person, what exactly are they trying to convey to you?
2. Ask questions on reflection, you may be getting information, because of that persons own experience or their expertise.
3. Are you finding out about a gap in your own knowledge?
4. Someone may have picked up on a glaring mistake that you did not see (I am guilty as charged)
5. Some people, are just enthusiastic about you, or your work and want to see you do better.
6. Someone is having a bad day and has decided to deride your blog (you just happen to be todays target)
7. Sometimes people will just want to get an extreme reaction as a response (trolls). This is always extreme, and the criticism is NEVER helpful.

When the criticism is you receive is like the above, (except point 6 and 7 which help no one) take stock, look at the information you have received and see if it can help you. Whether you make changes on your work as a reflection and taking action on receiving criticism, is always your choice.

How do you take criticism? Do you stop and reflect? Or are you one to get your back up and become defensive? Tell me in the comments below.

Liebster Award

…And The Liebster Award Goes To

I received an award last week. Why did I receive this award? Well, read on more to find out of course.

Lisa over @ her Button Brain blog , Twitter, & Facebook, nominated me a Liebster award. Its an award given to emerging bloggers.

What is a Liebster award?“A Liebster award is given to support and recognise up and comer bloggers who have less than 200 followers (on their blog) or Facebook likes on their FB page. The word “Liebster” traces it’s German origins and is reported to mean sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
By following these basic rules (answer 11 questions set by your nominee, write 11 additional facts about yourself, write 11 new questions of your own and pass the award onto 11 other bloggers to answer) it enables readers to get to know new bloggers and connect with a wider audience.”



So, I have accepted the award (of course) and taken on the challenge and here are Lisa’s questions and my answers … 

1. Pink Or Red 

Red. It’s bold, full on and I appreciate that at times. Reflects certain parts of my personality.

2. What is one thing you would love to learn how to do?

 Play a six string acoustic guitar. I just have never spent enough time trying to learn the bastard!

3. What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?

 Before closing my eyes I have usually read something interesting on my iPhone 5, usually a blog post, an article, a news item or a wiki entry. I totally geek out before sleeping.

4. When do you do your best work?

 Usually in the late mornings after having coffee.

5. What would you ask for as your last meal?

 Beef Porterhouse steak, Belgian chocolate, Truffles, Triple chocolate thickshake.

6. If you could spend a day with any person on the planet who would it be with and why?

 If he was alive it would have been Nicola Tesla. Much of our concept of the use of electricity (and hence a lot of the emergent technology in the last 120 years) is attributed to the research of Thomas Edison. Yet it was with the breakthroughs and dedicated research ( and even some of his strange and mad concepts) by Tesla we can attest for much of our electrical and modern technology.If Edisonwas back then the Bill Gates of his day, then Tesla was Steve Jobs.

7. What food do you hate?

 Brussel Sprouts, its like eating, wet, three week old garbage. End of story.

8. What was your favourite childhood toy?

 Meccano! Followed closely by Lego, bot are just so versatile with mechanics and childhood building concepts.

9. Your favourite high school memory is…?

 My first girlfriend.

10. What superpower do you wish you could have ? (I love this question so I’m borrowing it)

 Instantaneous Teleportation. I fly on planes, but I am not really fond of flying.

11. You have to leave your house in five minutes, and never come back. Your kids and pets are safe. What 5 material possessions are you going to grab?

 Mobile phone, digital camera, digital video camera, laptop, desktop computer.

11 other facts about me you may not know…

1. I beatbox. I am not very good at it or hold any illusion I am the next Joel Turner or Beardyman, but my darling daughter loves it. Kangaroo Mum, not so much.

2. I can do many celebrity voices. Some of those voices are good. Some are very good. Many voices, I will never, ever nail it. No matter how hard I try, there are some voices I will just not ever get down pat. One I am working on is imitating to sound like Jason Statham, but currentlyit sounds much more like Ray Winstone. My personal favourite is Don LaFontaine (you know, that guy known as ‘the movie voice over guy!’)

3. I am a movie buff. I have watched over a 2,000 movies. Some of those more than once!

4. My favourite colour is blue.

5. I don’t watch much free to air television. I average 3 hours a week.

6. I struggle with arachnophobia.

7. When I was 15 I was hit by a car on my way home riding from school. I was thrown 6 metres but came out of it with nary a scratch. The driver was scared as apparently I stood up and started laughing rather than screaming in pain. Probably also accounts for my good looks…

8. My first international overseas trip as an adult was at the age of 40.

9. I am more comfortable in a t-shirt and trakkies than jeans and shirts.

10. I can cook, but I will not be the next Masterchef.

11. I have lived in three countries and four states of Australia.

Right, OK It’s my turn to pick some bloggers and provide them some questions…
1. You are in The Matrix. Are you Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, or Agent Smith and why?
2. What is one thing you would love to learn how to do? (stealing this question)
3. Overseas or Interstate holiday?
4. What is your dream job?
5. What is your favourite time of the day?
6. If money was not an issue, what would you be doing?
7. What is your best joke?
8. What is your favourite style of music?
9. What is your favourite hobby?
10. Which power would you prefer and why, invisibility or mind reading.
11. You are the Prime Minister of Australia for one month, what would you do?
I am handing the Liebster award on to some of my favourite peeps, some very newly discovered, some just quiet achievers, others you may have known for some time. Please show some loving support to these bloggers. I will add links to their Liebster posts when I receive them.
And the award now goes to…
Libby @ Willy B Mum
Charlie & Andy @ How to Be A Dad
Robyn @ MrsD Plus 3
Keven @ Just Kevin Blog   

A Letter From My Son

Hi Daddy,

We have not met yet, but I am sure when I am old enough to understand I will be excited to meet you and mummy as soon as I arrive into the world. I am only newly created and I will take about 40 weeks until I am ready to meet you. I wanted to write you this letter to let you know how I feel and express my aspirations as a child who will be growing up under yours and mummy being my parents.

I look forward to learning from mummy, all my other family members and you. I also look forward to getting to know and learn from all those new friends I will make over the years. Intime, I will develop new skills and get to explore and understand the world around me.

It is several weeks passed now and I am developing in the womb and I know if you were to take a picture of me I would look exotic and alien like.

I will not understand the importance of you looking after me in those first few critical months, but I will come to learn that through your love, care, gentle and nurturing style I will learn that I can trust, love and also experience life that although there will be sad times, there will be more than enough good times as well. This will put me in good stead whilst growing up and being the person I will become.

It is now a couple of months and I am now resembling what a human foetus looks like. If I was prodded my hands would close and my fingers would curl. I am only 6cms and mummy cannot feel me moving yet. Mummy is most likely experiencing ‘morning sickness’ and if I could hug her to comfort her, I would. You daddy, will have to fill in for me for now.

Its after 3 months and I am growing strong. The doctors have scanned me with that sonic thingyma-chig and declared that I am growing ‘as expected’. Apparently ‘as expected’ is a good thing. If I could I would be able to feel your hand on mummy’s belly and sense that your love for me is growing. I am also looking forward to playing ball with you and catching tag and playing on the swings in the park. The real pearler at this time is you don’t yet know I’m a boy.

5 to 6 months have now passed Daddy and will not be long until I get to meet you. The frequent visits to the midwives and the scans mummy has been getting are still showing that everything is going as expected and I am growing wonderfully. I wonder if your thinking about when I go to school will my first uniform fit me well enough? Kindergarten will be fun, I will be making alot of my first social friendships outside of family and will most likely end up with life long friends. Wow, we will have some stories to share with you Daddy. At this time you also know I will be a boy and have known for a while.

I’m reaching the eight month mark and your excitement for my arrival is palpable. It is not long until I will be ready to come forth. I am getting ready to be in ‘position’ and it will still be some weeks until I appear. I am your first born to be and I am getting excited too. Highschool will be exciting and scary at the same time. I think I may lose some friends, but that’s OK as I will make some new ones as well. I reckon that I will like sports and will be undecided about playing football or soccer or cricket.

Nine months pass and your now getting impatient for me to come. Mummy is getting Braxton Hicks movements and that’s helping to get into position to come and meet you. University is a hard decision to make at the moment as I am dealing with my second girlfriend and we still don’t know if we want to go overseas before doing Uni. I have part time employment, a beat up car that runs that you helped me get and I want to look at investment properties. Dad you have shown me so much in my life. I am grateful for many things and especially lucky, you are my father.

Wow, it is now not long until I will be born, only days away. Even after the wonderful and at times tumultuous life we have shared, I am super proud that I am your son. I reckon now that entering the grand stage of life and getting married, it will not be long until I see you smile fiercely when I announce your going to be a grandfather. You will also most likely tell me your as proud of me as when you found out I was going to be and your dad told you he was proud of you.

It is one day to go until I come into the world. But Daddy, something has happened. I don’t know why or how, but the birth of me will not happen the way it is expected. I know that all those wonderful events in my life I have expressed with you in this letter, will not be. I am so sorry Daddy, your expectations of a wonderful and beautiful boy you will raise will not come to pass. The medical staff in the hospital have scanned and found that my heart no longer pumps. I am hours now from birth. Daddy I am so sorry I cannot grow up into the man you had hoped for me to be. I will look asleep when I am born, but I will not be sleeping.

I love you Daddy.

Thats OK son. I still got to see you come into the world. I see you looked like you were sleeping and I held you for the longest time. I love you and I still think of you every day.

I love you too, son.

Photo attributed CC 0

Do You Date Your Partner?

Do You Have Time To Date Your Partner?

Before my daughters birth,  I knew that significant and important changes would happen after she came into the world. One of those significant changes were the amount of available time I had for me. Previously, I would be able to run out the door to the shops if I needed something urgent for dinner. Grab an hours kip after working a Saturday shift or even sit and watch television whenever I felt the need. That previous free time is used  caring for Lil Miss G and looking after her needs.

Where I previously had loads of time for Kangaroo Mum and I, it’s not so readily available anymore. Raising your child takes a significant amount of your time, every day. I did not know how much time until I became a parent.

It soon became apparent to me and to Kangaroo Mum that we both needed two things. A dedicated amount of time to each other and also, some time to spend alone. That dedicated time to each other doesn’t happen as often as we’d like for many reasons. One of those ways to get that time is to have a date night.

Now date nights do not always have to be a night event. A date time can be a period of a day (or night) spent with your significant other, without your children.

To me, having this date thingy made a lot of sense. I cherish and appreciate the time I get with Kangaroo Mum and there are times I want her, at a predetermined time, all to myself. It allows for some adult conversation, a chance to reconnect with her and for fewer interruptions from the daily activities of parenting, child rearing and all the other daily stuff that needs your attention (like housework). This also gives me opportunity for me to focus on KM.
Until now, KM has organised all the previous date nights and I’ve been strongly encouraged to arrange the next one, as well as the day and time. Thankyou honey, duly noted. To get a date, I need to book with KM and to set a day on the calendar to have the event. We also need to arrange for a baby sitter when we go out (a role relished by Kangaroo Grandma). I am happy for others to babysit, yet KM is not yet ready for anyone else to take that role.
It’s important to us to have a date night as it is also important for us to have a strong, loving relationship and show we are still viable and vibrant as a couple, which does not mean we forget or leave out our child. I do not want to lose sight that Kangaroo Mums needs are no less important than everyone else in the family. She likes date night and looks forward to each occasion as much as I do.

Date night helps to keep our bond strong.

Both KM and I get to have an adult occasion and conversation away from distractions.

It helps to re-energise and help face the day to day challenges.

It also helps to not feel like your doing the same daily activities over and over and date night helps to break up the routine.

It is also good for your mental health!

Looking forward to my next date night. in the family. She likes date night as much as I do.