Hard work never killed anybody (or, Can we ban X Factor?)

Our guest daddy blogger for this week is Rob Fletcher, who is more than a little concerned about the X Factor generation… (warning: rant enclosed)

It’s Sunday as I write this, a day of rest for some – certainly for my family and I. I feel that I deserve this day of rest. Throughout the week I am in work from around 07.30 to at least 17.00. Mrs F begins her working day around the same time, ending at 16.30 before preparing the family dinner etc. A lot of our evenings and down time is willingly devoted to our three children, and administering a family home inhabited by all of the above.

Most of you reading this will relate to that. Some will probably think that that it sounds like luxury compared to their own work-life patterns, others may be a few years away from this but looking forward to it. Some of you may squirm in fear, but it is My Utopia.

The X Factor generation

But then there are those who think that they shouldn’t have to work – that the country owes them a living. Those that feel that they can conquer the world without having ever done an honest days work in their lives. Those just like the ones we see on shows like “X Factor” who feel the need to parade themselves on our TV screens, and in certain red top newspapers in a bid to whore themselves to any media willing to pay.

I mean, what concept of reality do some of these kids have? How can they possibly grow up to become valued and respected figures if they don’t know what it is to contribute to the working world? For every one with a natural talent (whom I admire greatly), there are 10,000 or more of these wannabes with no respect for their leaders, their peers or each other. They snarl in the face of the rest of the rat race, demand thousands of pounds for achieving nothing and generally walk around with the nonchalance that we all love to hate. In fact I don’t love to hate it, I just hate it.

Today’s Great Britain

It disgusts me that we as a country condone and supports this new attitude. Ask the generation aged 6-16 now what they would like to be when older, and I guarantee that there will be many who seriously think they have a chance of becoming a multi-millionaire star, or a WAG as they have seen it on the TV. They have been fed the false hope that you do not have to work for a living in this new world.

When I was a boy, the delusions of grandeur extended to probably one in 20 with a serious talent for football or the like, some of whom made it, but most of whom landed with a bump and then settled into full-time, paid employment. I believe the generation of today are being damaged by this false hope that shows like X Factor offer, and are being led into a world where they dont have to try hard, or listen, or be respectful to those in authority.

Time for change

The phrase “Hard work never killed anybody” is often used by the generations before me, but I feel it needs a new airing.

Toughen up, Great Britain! Stop pretending it’s OK to push your children into a world where they don’t have to work to earn their living.

Support your children and encourage them to do well and get “a proper job.” It’s not easy – children can be challenging – children may not see the benefits of working hard at school at such a young age, but as parents it’s up to us to work hard, and not take the easy way out, not let them think they can be a pop star if they really don’t have one iota of talent.

And to the trash tabloids, report on successes, not on which 17 year old is sha**ing which footballer. Stop showing our younger generation it is OK or funny to behave like a spoilt diva who has never known what it is like to struggle for money. Be proud of a Great Britain that can be great, not of one that condones this superficial image of a youth that is destined for nothing other than a bumpy landing and ultimately failure.

I hear the phrase Broken Britain regularly, I’m not sure if this applies to the above, but if it does fall into that pigeon hole, I can begin to see why.

Fun in the garden (while the sun lasts) – a Giant Connect 4 review

What could be better than chilling out in the garden, making the best of the last of the sun? Playing Giant Connect 4 in the garden with an overexcited 3 year old? Guest daddy blogger, Mark, gives his verdict.

Giant Connect 4

J and I have been playing in the garden as much as possible lately, trying to make the most of the sun before it disappears for the year.

The Giant Connect 4 is a nice piece of kit – solid and fun to play with. J is too young to really understand the rules, but he did have fun putting the discs in. Once it was full, it was near impossible to get him to agree to emptying it so we could play again.

The discs are light, so J didn’t have any trouble there, and it’s about the right height for him.

The only problem we have is storage. Our garage is too far away from the house and although we live in a nice enough area, I’m still not sure the game wouldn’t disappear if left in the garden over night. There’s a netted bag to put the counters in, so we’ve packed them up and put it all the little shed at the bottom of the garden.

All in all though, a thumbs up from me and J. Now I have my eye on giant skittles :)

This is a guest post from Mark Leary, dad to JD and Miss J, wife to Emily. The product was provided for review. All Mums on the Blog bloggers review with honesty and integrity.

A bloke’s reaction to pregnancy – Guest post from Rich Brady

“Rich, I’m Pregnant…”

“That’s Great, I’m Off!”

I’m fairly certain that’s not the ideal reaction Rach wanted when we found out she was pregnant and I assure you I’m not a complete shit. We did the test about an hour before I was leaving for Italy on a weeks climbing holiday with my Dad and Brother and there’s something you should know about my Brother; he’s always unnecessarily early.

We’d joked several times over the week before about his premature arrivals, but neither Rach or I thought that would result in me leaving her sat on the kitchen floor in shock.

Was It Planned?
We were asked this a lot in the early days and the answer is Yes, but it still managed to take us by surprise. Rach is a teacher, so we were trying to schedule the due date around the Summer holidays to maximise her time off. We’d actually stop trying by the time we did the test and the little white wand said we were already 5 weeks in. It’s still very much of a shock that we’d fallen pregnant almost as soon as we’d started trying, but it doesn’t stop me telling Rach that it was clearly down to my Super Sperm…

I’ve gone through 3 periods of emotion during this pregnancy, the first was weeks and weeks of being really excited. Rach was doing enough of the “Christ, we’re going to be parents” for the both of us, all I could think of was “I could do this with him next year…” or “Oooh we can go there with her…”

Oh, I’ve been doing a lot of that by the way. Referring to baby as him or her randomly. We decided not to find out what sex the baby is, but I find myself attributing a sex when I’m talking about her (see I’ve done it there), but there doesn’t seem to be any pattern to it.

Just after Christmas I reached the second period of emotion…

Sheer Terror
I always knew once Christmas came and went the weeks would go much faster, but I hadn’t anticipated how reality was going to kick in. I would say things like “Rich, you’re going to be a Dad for God’s sake, do you know how much responsibility that is?” to myself and wonder how I’d get everything ready (Rach was and still is writing lists at a rate of knots) by the time April 27th came along.
What made things worse was how we now referred to how far along Rach was. To begin with it was “6 weeks… 8 weeks… 12 weeks…”, but once Christmas passed we’d started counting down “16 weeks… 12 weeks… 8 weeks… Argghh…” and then it switched again.

Laughing Couple

Image by uLight.Me via Flickr

Excitement and Impatience
I can’t wait for the baby to arrive now. As I write this we’ve got a little less than 4 weeks to our due date, but as you probably know Rach could go into labour anytime really.

The “to do” list has got much shorter, the spare room has had a coat of paint and is officially now a nursery; Rach’s bag is packed, the house looks like a Mothercare storefront and we’re going over our birthing plan. WE ARE READY…

Rich Brady

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