Dad Chat – Episode 16 – Ben Kershaw “your arm falls off people hug you, if your brain switches off nobody cares”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-uk3u9-106fd3b

This week we sat down and open up about depression with Ben Kershaw, Ben is the CEO of Golden Egg Group and he share with us his journey from being adopted as a child, living with Sickle Cell Anemia and the challenges that has on one’s mental health added that to the pressure of running a business with over 150 employees through the worst crisis in a century.

Ben is a stepfather to his current partners daughter whilst just finding out the news he is about to be a father for the first time himself.

Ben says that when your brain switches off (depression) then nobody cares, is he right?

Fatherhood Movie

Click here for the audio version ^

I have just finished watching the movie Fatherhood on Netflix and right from the start let me tell you that I am not a Kevin Hart fan, in fact I put this movie on 3 days ago and turned it off after the first scene when I noticed it was Kevin Hart laying on the bed. But Saturday movie night and my wife suggests “lets watch this new movie Fatherhood”(eyes roll) 

Fatherhood is based on the heartbreaking true story of Matthew Logelin and is based on a memoir of love “two kisses for Maddy” 

The film starts with the death of Matthew Logelin’s wife, Matthew played by my favourite actor Kevin Hart. Matthew has just lost his wife we soon come to learn that the death of his wife happens shortly after the birth of their daughter suffering a pulmonary embolism. Dealing with this tragedy alone would be difficult but with the added responsibility of a new born baby,  you have all the makings of a story going off the rails quickly. Fortunately for Matthew it seems that his mother and mother in law (no matter how annoying they can be) are on hand to give the grieving husband and struggling new father a lifeline in those first few difficult months. 

At this point let me interject a few points here 1: let me go ahead and say that this movie plays into all the negative stereotypes of men and being a father or indeed a single father, Matthew is often told he can’t do it, shouldn’t do it and one scene in particular when he walks into a parenting group and is told that it just for women, as a father and a dad blogger these are all the things that I hear from men all over the world, men who get in touch with me and share with me their lived experiences of being a dad.. for my money most of the time parenting done properly requires a mother and father. And I say most of the time because of course I am aware that same sex couples do have children but the same applies it requires two parents equally. 

And secondly, doing some reading on this film shortly after I watched it, all the noise I was hearing from other bloggers and reviewers was all about the fact that Matthew Logelin was being played by a black man, I mean.. I’m not really sure how that is relevant to the story? This film is about the message and is relevant to every man in every corner of the planet black or white! Can people not relate to this story because it was played by a black American man? Hamilton the biggest and soon the be the most successful musical of all time is a story of white American men and is played by Black and Puerto Rican men and women, and they rap! Would that musical be better with an all white cast? It would arguably be worse, so why does it matter. 

Hamilton

Anyway I digress, back to the movie review

Shortly after the funeral Matthews mother in law pitches the idea of Maddy (the new baby) being raised by them in Minnesota rather than with Matthew in Boston, not being from the states I had to Google the distance between Boston and Minissota and its a 22 hour drive! If my mother in law suggested my son was to move a 22 hour drive from me she would get much shorter shrift than our mate Matty gave her in this movie. 

There is a really touching scene with Matthews father in law, in which he gives him some advice about bringing up kids – “let go, look as a parent we do all this shit trying to make things perfect, but we don’t have any control, we just have to accept that fact” what a perfect way to sum it up and its something I talk about a lot and have written about in my blog ,nobody is perfect. 

Going back to work Matthew is given some flexible time by his boss who starts with the negative stereotypes of a man not being able to raise a child, he says a man can’t raise a child because we don’t have “patience, emotional vunerability and…. breasts” I can assure you men have breasts sir. 

One of the real positives of this movie is Matthews friend Jordan (played by Lil Rel Howery – he is very witty and the timing of his quips are fantastic throughout )

Lil Rel Howery

We are then given a whistle stop tour of the first year of parenting, dirty nappies, vomit, feeding, the crying..oh the crying.. it never stops.. Matthew is introduced to the parent sanity saving device of white noise… apparently it replicates the sounds the baby hears in the womb so comforts the child.. incredible really. And putting down a stroller, as simple as this sounds both me and my wife both couldn’t figure it out at first, it’s not easy. 

The story really highlights the brotherhood and bond between men, Matthews friends are extremely supportive of him, it reminds us that real brotherhood is unbreakable and your real brothers will always be there to have your back. 

Matthew goes to a new parent support group , when he walks into the room they assume he is there for an AA meeting, he is initially turned away and is told that its a group for mothers – Matthew reminds them that it is a group for parents and that men are parents too. 

One of the things that the movie misses that the book shares is that the pregnancy wasn’t easy and Liz spent several weeks in and out of hospital, in the movie the day before and just after the birth Liz looks incredible! In fact a little too good for a woman who has just given birth and is about to die. 

One of the saddest scenes in this movie is when Maddy has a sleep over at her friends house, during bed time Maddy watches her friend be put to be by her mother and the warmth and love shown to her friend doesn’t go un noticed by Maddy and she looks really saddened by what she see’s.. This reminds me of my childhood and watching my friends interact with their fathers, I think they capture the emotion in this scene remarkably well. 

For me this is one of Kevin Harts best movies, he doesn’t over act it he’s not telling a joke every two seconds and you can feel the bond he has with his daughter Maddy, you also get to see the strife and mental torture he goes through when deciding to move on and introduce a new partner to your child, this can never be easy especially when one parent has tragically passed, I think the film does a really good job of showing the mental ups and downs Matthew was going through during this period. Some people rush to introduce new partners to their children which is in my mind extremely selfish as a large percentage of these relationships don’t last. 

The only part of this film I really disliked was when he decides to leave Maddy with his mother in law, watching and reading scenarios like this I can only put myself in the shoes of a father and there is no situation I could imagine that I would willing to allow my boy to go and live with someone else, Matthew wasn’t really struggling, he had a good job looking at his house , earning good money, yes she doesn’t have family around her but surely when you’ve lost your mother having your father around has to be the number one priority. 

This is a warm, heartfelt story of a father trying his very best to bring up his daughter in a world that tells him he can’t do it as good as a women. Like I have mentioned before since starting Nobody Cares About Dad this is the narrative I hear all over the world, guys we have to continue to be good role models to our children, be emotional, be vulnerable and be involved, together we can normalise this story not demonise. 

I would definitely recommend giving it a watch 4 out of 5 stars for me 

Greed is the biggest virus’s to hit this planet

We tell ourself that capitalism is the way forward, governments ram it down your throat that democracy is the mother of all great ideas, “ignore the socialist’s forget communism” you’ll often hear our politicians spew from their lips, but is it? A capitalist society breeds greed, it feeds a narrative of take take take, we’ve forgotten about helping each other as we are so consumed with money and material things that we have forgotten the fundamental basics! Help one another.

Let’s look at communism, communism says in its most simplistic form, let’s group the wealth and share it with all, but this leads to a small percentage at the top having all the wealth and “sharing it” out to the rest, look at Russia, China, North Korea, examples of the haves and the have nots, are the poorest in those countries benefiting from this collective redistribution of wealth? No, because of greed. 

Photo by Gerhard Lipold on Pexels.com

Now let’s look at socialism at its core the main focus of socialism is the elimination of rich and poor socioeconomic classes by distributing wealth equally, to accomplish this the government controls the labour market. Socialism doesn’t not work because it ignores the fundamentals of human behaviour, “incentive” Socialism tends to start well but soon collapses in on its self.

And then with have capitalism, capitalism! The Bastian of the western world.. Capitalism is an economic system based on free markets and limited Government involvement so the complete opposite to communism right? Or is it? Communism is about the 1% controlling the rest, in capitalism that’s what eventually happens anyway. By allowing “free markets” the big eventually crush the small, look at the way the high street has been dismantled over the years, companies now like Amazon, Google, Facebook control almost every aspect of your life, the top 1% have more wealth the 43% of the world! And our government whilst they have “less involvement” are in bed with these wealthy one percent for their own political / wealth creation gains, Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton giving speeches around the world for £500k a pop, the political elite in bed with the 1% for one reason and one reason alone Greed. 

We have forgotten what it means to be human, compassion, suffrage, emotion, helping one another, the wealth and satisfaction you get from helping others.  

In the Bible, it is said that a rich man entering heaven is like a camel entering the eye of a needle, which clearly is impossible right?. If you imagine that heaven is a point in space then this makes little sense, but if you equate, for academic purposes, that heaven, Nirvana, and enlightenment are the same thing, then you start to see that happiness is a state that you cannot enter while you are distracted by the pitfalls of wealth, the longing for wealth, the disappointment of not obtaining that wealth, or dealing with the consequences of trying to attain wealth.

In the world today, happiness has been hijacked, or rather, the definition of happiness has been hijacked in a way that is prevalent and pervasive. We see the idea of happiness limited to the fleeting nature of consumerism and the physical feeling of bliss. There is really nothing wrong with that concept. It is perfectly acceptable for a person to feed their desires of feeling. After all, they are already within us. The confusion and the long-term definition according to Stoicism is that it can get to the point of being a considerable distraction to the efforts and actions that one needs to take to reach that level of peace and happiness.

As a parent we must teach our children the importance of money of course, but the intrinsic value gained from the happiness and joy of helping others will lead to a more fulfilled life for your children.

Stay blessed everyone and have a great day.

Please check out my latest video

Smacking your kids

Is there a bigger cultural taboo in parenting than the issue of smacking your children? I will often hear parents say, and I’ve been guilty of muttering the words myself “a good smack never harmed me” and it’s true, growing up if I was ever out of line ( I know hard to believe I was ever naughty) I and my siblings would get a smack round the ear or a slipper to the backside, did we we behave after it? You’re damn right we did, only long enough for the memory to fade of course but behave we did. Moving from the 90s to the late 00s though it appears that the regular practice of parent(s) disciplining their children with a smack has become a cultural no no, we are even divided in my own house, my wife believes that smacking your children is not the way to go, where as I am more in line with “well it didn’t kill me” 

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Speaking to dads on this matter we seem to be divided into two camps, those that were never smacked and those that were, if you were given a little smack as a naughty youngster then growing into adulthood it seems as though you are soundly of the mindset that if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. 

Now of course when I use the word smack I’m hardly talking Mike Tyson vicious right hook,  but it’s my belief that as a growing human you need to understand the consequences of your actions.

Experts will tell you that the way to deal with a naughty child is with time or charts, I will tell you that that is BS, sitting on the naughty step becomes a game, reward charts just become calculated behaviour in order to get a reward but a slap on the arse when you have been naughty will make sure the child knows that they do that again and another slap might be coming their way. 

Interested to know what anybody else thinks, like I mentioned me and my wife are diametrically opposed on this issue and who’s to says who’s right? What I can tell you is Nardo is less well behaved for his mother than he is for me. 

Check out my latest video

How do you deal with destructive people around you.

We all have that one friend, you know the type that is completely destructive to their own life, you see them pressing the red nuclear button, day in day out, never listening to anyone other than themselves ruining the lives of those around them but what are you meant to do? Walk away? As a parent if your child was playing with children that were a bad influence or getting them in to trouble you would remove them from that situation but how do you deal with this as an adult? 

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

That one friend clearly needs your help but there is only so many times you can keep getting let down before you have to let them go. How do you get help for somebody that doesn’t want it? Whether it be help for addiction to drugs, gambling or alcohol maybe they are violent or controlling. Addicts are difficult to deal with because of the controlling nature of their manipulative behaviour. I guess the thing to remember here is that addicts don’t have any respect for themselves so why would they have it for you, getting through to an addict is extremely difficult because they need the drug, drink whatever vice it is more than they need you. 

The UK government estimates that 2.9% of young adults (aged between 16-69) have or use cocaine in the UK, in my opinion that is extremely low! And they have clearly never been out in Grantham before. Annually this equates to roughly 3,000 over dose deaths per year so how do you stop your friends, family, work colleagues from becoming one of these statistics? Its a tough one because getting help for these people isn’t easy, you can’t just call a number to report people like you would of done in the olden days, watching as they are carted off for psychiatric help .Nowadays the person addicted to substances has to make the first move, the issue with this is addicts invariably don’t see that they need help or at least don’t accept that they do so why would they go and ask for help? In my experience it isnt until they have reached rock Bottom, lost everything and everyone around them before they will look to change, but why do we have to let it get to that stage? As an outsider you can see the spiral, maybe there needs to be some sort of way for close family and friends to refer people to start them on the path for help rather than mopping up the path of destruction caused by their actions. 

 Stay blessed everybody and have a fantastic day. 

Lad Chat – Virtual Social #11 – The French Kicking Off, Noel Clark, BJS v Canelo & Football

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-escdf-1039739

This week on our Live Virtual Social we discuss all the weeks news from Boris sending the Navy to deal with the French, the Noel Clark controversy, plans for travel now restrictions are lifting, and all the usual sports chat from BJS v Canelo, Fury v AJ and the protests in Manchester last week. As ever im joined by Ady Tilly, returning for his second podcast is James “Fez” Ferris and making his debut tonight is Dean Michniew

 

#furyvAJ

#Noel Clark

#BJSVCANELO

Lad Chat Virtual Social #10 – DAI MANUEL “Are you being the man you would want your daughter to marry”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-4cir9-1039734

Dai Manuel – Dia is an Author, Lifestyle Coach and Business Mentor to name a few of the hats Dai wears. Dai details his journey from obesity to a much healthier life both physically and mentally, a journey that has led him to quitting his corporate job and taking on his passion, culminating in him giving TED talks.

Single Dads & Suicide

Firstly before I go on let me just give a huge shoutout to all the single mums out there, you guys are doing a fantastic and extremely difficult job, I watched as my mother raised 4 kids on her own for virtually most of my life, the courage and determination that women showed I’m sure is echoed across homes up and down the globe. Doing things on your own isn’t difficult but raising kids alone shouldn’t be the way it has to be, but unfortunately many women find themselves in this position. 

But this post is about single fathers, I’m not talking about dead beat dads that have left these amazing women I have just mentioned , I’m talking about the single fathers that are being banned from seeing their children, the guys that if they don’t play ball with their ex they will be stopped from seeing their kids, the guys that have to watch another man live with their kids whilst they are only allowed them every other weekend, these are the single dads I am talking to. 

I can’t think of anything worse than not being woken up each morning by my little man, so I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like going through a situation where you are told you’re “not allowed” to see your kids. 

I know there will be men out there struggling to cope with not seeing their children, fathers desperate to give their kids a hug or read them a book. I get messages from dads all the time telling me of this struggle and its heart breaking to read. You’ve got to keep trying, don’t give up, your children will thank you for it eventually, Maybe not with words but with their smiles. Father for justice are a fantastic organisation and a great source of help for anyone in need of it, Jason Hatch tied himself to Buckingham Palace dressed as Batman so you don’t have too! 

So fellas if your in need of support reach out to your fellow men, don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t make a wrong decision born out of frustration and fear, your kids need you, your friends need you, maybe you can’t see the wood for the tree’s but it’s there, there is another way , another route. 

“You are not a burden you are not a disappointment you are beautiful, life is beautiful” – la vita è bella. 

So many men unfortunately take a different route, so many men think the only way out is well, you know what it is… I read an article recently about a guy in his 30s that killed himself at Christmas, just gone because he couldn’t afford to buy his children presents. He felt like a disappointment and a burden to them, reading these sort of stories fills me with great sadness, I don’t even know the guy yet I wish I could do more to help others with the same struggles.

Guys we must become better at spotting the signs when our friends or colleagues are struggling, when you see someone in the shadows show them the light, we must all collectively help open that door, the door on its own can be difficult to push but together, together we can be freed. 

Stay blessed everybody and have a fantastic day. 

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