Being Dad

Parenting: it’s a lot of hanging around!

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Here’s how to occupy your time in those parental ‘hanging around’ moments.

Even the most involved dads in the world sadly can’t be involved all the time. When you’re rallying your kids around to their chosen activities, the parents are supposed to be nothing more than a taxi, simply dropping the kids off.

Sometimes, however, you’re best hanging around just for logistical purposes, because there’s no point leaving just to come right back again (even if the entire ordeal is a little… boring). Just ask any dad who’s ever had to wait around for his daughter at the hair salon… You really need to find something to do while they’re occupied to help you pass the time!

Be proactive

In situations like this, you’ll often find yourself wishing that you downloaded the next episode of that series you’ve been watching on Netflix, or the latest album from your favourite artist. While you arguably can just stream, downloading in advance makes your viewing or listening less likely to be interrupted, and it won’t be a strain on your data package.

By anticipating in advance that you’re probably going to need a supply of content some time soon, you can make sure to get it all sorted at home, when you’re around Wi-Fi. Just don’t forget your headphones!

Catch up on sports

If you’re lucky enough to have unlimited data and your child dares to drag you out of the house during a match, it’s always a good idea to find somewhere that has the streaming link. If you’re not that blessed, perhaps it’s time to live vicariously through other people’s social media updates (if you can stand to miss out on the actual action, that is…).

Alternatively, you can read up on the latest sports news from your phone, including having a look to see if you agree with the week’s “hot takes”. And, if there’s a game on tonight that you simply cannot miss, use the time wisely while you’re otherwise occupied to place a bet – which can be easily done even when you’re away from watching the game using a mobile app such as the one from William Hill, which is available for both Androids and iPhones.

Make plans

Are your friends always having a go because you’re busy being a family man and helping the kids? Downtime while waiting for them is often as good as it gets, so if you want to get stuff done, this is your time to do it. Message back your mate who you’ve been ignoring for weeks (he’s probably got a point, you’re being a bit of an idiot), and start actually thinking about when you’ll be able to meet for a catch up.

And while you’re at it, get other stuff done, too. That doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off for god knows how long? Book it. Men have a habit of putting the doctor off! Those emails you really should have replied to? You’ve guessed it, just do them. Part of being a parent really is learning to multi-task.

Basically, when it comes down to it, all you need when acting as Taxi Dad to your kids is your phone. Then you can take them to any activity or appointment, and the time will fly by! Just make sure it’s charged…