The Dad Spa

He won’t admit it now- or maybe ever, but once you bring your Dad to the spa and let him enjoy a treatment…he will be secretly hooked.

Back in the caveman days, before I became a Dad, I considered myself to be a rough and tough kinda guy that worked hard on oil rigs and played even harder when I wasn’t. The rest of the time… well thats another story.

The rest of the time I spent hanging out with friends and trying to impress who would eventually become the mother of my children (those were the days…She’s much harder to impress these days), and whatever I was doing, it worked because she signed a life-long binding contract that proves I impressed, or more likely fooled her. Or maybe she fooled me?

Perhaps we’ll never know.

I was a pretty sheltered guy back then. I mean, I had never even spent a day in Banff before I hooked up with her. Most of the mountains I had seen were from the drill floor of the oil rig I was working on at the time. Seems kinda crazy, right? I mean living in Alberta my entire life and had never really experienced Banff among many other places. You don’t have to drive very far in any direction no matter where you live in Alberta to have great experiences, yet here we all are believing we have to get on an airplane for that. Bullshit!

This girl was broadening my horizons!

I had been in the bush on one of my 2 or 5 week hitches, I can’t really remember, but My girlfriend at the time-who my children now call Mom, had organized and booked a nice trip to Banff for a weekend getaway. We were young D.I.N.K.S. (stands for Dual Income No Kids for those not aware). These days we don’t get time to go to the bathroom by ourselves.

As she was telling me about this surprise, I was getting quite excited. She said “We are booked into the Banff Springs Hotel (A place I had never even seen before but heard it was a step or two up from the Riverside Motor Inn) and we are going Dog Sledding, and to the Spa”.

I asked her what I was going to do while she was in the Spa. She said I was coming with her. Pretty sure the conversation after that went something like this:

Me: “I’m not going to the Spa…”

Future Wife: “Yes WE are, you will love it. Please do this for me”

Me: ” I don’t do Spa’s, I do Oil Rigs”.

Future Wife: “God…Don’t be such a LOSER. They have nice pools and we are getting massages”.

Me: “Okay, whatever, but under no circumstances is anyone to ever know I was at the “Spa”.

I finished my hitch at work, and was looking forward to my days off. What the hell happens at a Spa anyway? I’m sure no man alive knows. But whatever- a man will do whatever is required sometimes, especially when you have been away at work in the bush for a month.

Fast Forward to ‘Spa Day’…

So there we were, in the mountains staying in the Banff Springs Hotel in all of its glory. What a place that is! We went down to the Spa for our massages. I was looking forward to it as that was something I would just never have done on my own. We approached the staff at the counter and my lovely bride-to-be checked us in for our appointments.

The lady at the counter said “Okay, we have Laurianne booked for a 1 hour full body message with Ivanka, and we have Justin booked for 30 minute neck and shoulder message with Derek”.

My jaw hit the floor. “Ummm that is NOT going to work. You mean I am supposed to go with Ivanka and she is with Derek, right? “No, Ivanka does the full body massage and Derek does just the neck and shoulders. Is there an issue Sir?”

“Your dam rights there is”!

I said to my soon to be x -fiancé  “this has been a mistake, right?” She said “no- these were the only appointments available for these times, and I really wanted the full body message cause I knew you said you didn’t care”.

“Oh, I care… you have no idea how much I care!” I think you left out some important details!

While this was going on, the receptionist, Derek, and Ivanka are looking on wondering if they would be witnessing a full on domestic dispute. It was getting close…

In an effort to diffuse the situation and not ruin the entire weekend, I said alright, lets do this. Lauri went her way with Ivanka, and I followed Derek to his massage room. He asked me to take my shirt off. Reluctantly, I did, and sat in the massage chair. I gave him my best “I don’t mess around look” while he oiled up his hands.

He began to massage my shoulders and neck and I made sure I didn’t enjoy any of it. I focussed on conversation. “So, Derek, you massage any famous guys, Like Sylvester Stallone or anyone like that? He rattled off a few names I had never heard of, and then I heard him say Woody Harrelson. Okay, I thought, he’s a man’s man.  If famous guys like Woody Harrelson who stars in movies like ‘King Pin’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’ get massages from dudes like Derek here, then hey-I am going to get through this. Nobody will ever know about this anyway. We talked about things like NFL Football, Hockey, and I think I might have brought up Hunting Deer or something like that.

Anyway, that was my first Spa experience. Wierd as hell…But the pools were fantastic.

Over the years, I realized that using the health benefits I had through work was a great thing. Many people don’t utilize what they are entitled to, or even have an idea of what their work benefits cover in my opinion. Through using my benefits and realizing over the years how great massage therapy can be, I discovered another amazing place.

Getting back to finding great places not far away in any direction right here in our beautiful province, there is another place I know that is a resort caliber spa located right in Ponoka, Alberta- the Altitude Laser Spa.

One of my guilty pleasures when I joined the world of being a full time stay at home Dad, was, and still is, finding new ways to get “alone time”. Pay attention fellas! My top 3 ways of finding solace, inner zen, and most importantly ALONE TIME (not to sure if I should expose these) were as follows:

  1. BBQ things that take extra time, or smoking meat. Explain to your wife about the benefits of grilling meat SLOWLY.
  2. Doubling up on lawn fertilizer. This means doubling my time on the ride-on lawnmower with built in cup holder and ear-buds
  3. Booking massage appointments and teeth cleanings at Altitude Laser Spa. Yeah, you read that right.

I had purchased a one year Altitude Laser Spa membership for my wife on Mother’s Day, and during my period of being a full time Dad, I decided to help her to use that membership by using some of the awesome services they provide, and services I felt I so rightly deserved! Hey man, being a full time stay at home parent is hard work- it’s not for the weak, or faint of heart!

They provide many services, and I always went there to get my teeth cleaned by the talented Dental Hygienists (Big shout out to Randi Lynn!) that I have built a relationship with there over the years, and then hey, why not get a massage while you’re there, it only makes sense, right? The moment you walk in the door of that place and greeted by Allie, Ponoka’s customer service person of the year, you are completely blown away. There is an atmosphere in there that makes you feel relaxed and welcome right away. It is the same atmosphere that you feel at world class resort Spa’s.

And the staff that work there, where to start?

These awesome ladies have a smile on their face every single time you’re in that place. It is so obvious that the employees that work there are very happy- and that certainly shows up in their work and interactions with the customers. Clearly they are more than just employees, and there is a sense that they are all one family. The leadership group here obviously “gets it”.

My 4 year old daughter actually gets super excited to get in the dental hygiene chair to get her teeth cleaned, which as a parent is a huge thing because you don’t want your kids to be afraid of getting their teeth worked on. She comes home excited about the whole experience.

I took things a step further the other day from my normal teeth cleaning and massage routine, and decided to do something that not many dudes do, or so I thought- I got me a pedicure. I can’t say I never had one before, because I did once in the Vancouver airport when I was stuck there for a few hours waiting to fly to beautiful Fort Saint John for work.

I remember it like yesterday, cause my wife was about 8 months pregnant at the time with our second child. I was slowly walking around the airport checking out the shops when a lady in one of them talked me into giving it a go. I thought sure what the hell.

As I sat in the chair getting about 39 years worth of dead skin off of my feet, my phone rang. It was my wife. We spoke for a bit, and I didn’t dare tell her that I was enjoying getting a pedicure while she was at home feeling, and I quote “like there is a bowling ball in my va@*na”. But she found out later when she seen my credit card statement… Should have used cash I guess!

Anyway, back to Altitude Laser Spa.

So I relaxed in the “Serenity Lounge” with my refreshment, until I was invited back to what seemed almost like another lounge. Six big white chairs for people to sit on. “Hello ladies”! It was like another social club all on it’s own, except poor Jolene who was assigned the tough task of giving me a pedicure, had to sacrifice the feeling of relaxation and ambience the other ladies were enjoying when she had to get out the big tools.  Armed with a 5″ Makita angle grinder, Faceshield, and gloves, Jolene handled the grinder with the skill of a surgeon, and  powered through my man feet like nobody’s business. Sparks were flying! Thanks Jolene!


After that fantastic experience, I was treated to an unbelievable 1 hour message (big shout out to Kyla) that never disappoints.

The Bottom Line:

The community of Ponoka is very fortunate to have a business such as this one, that truly exceeds customers expectations and a level of service that would be hard to match anywhere. Period. If you have been there before, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t been there, then this is something you need to experience for yourself to fully appreciate what the service level and treatments available to you are. Please check out their full line of services and packages at Altitude Laser Spa.

In honour of the upcoming Fathers Day, Altitude Laser Spa would like to give you the chance to make Dad happy and WIN A COUPLES SPA DAY!

Like I said earlier- he won’t admit it, but once you bring in your Dad or husband to the Altitude Laser Spa and let him enjoy a treatment…he will get hooked.

If going to the Spa for Father’s Day is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

Happy Father’s Day to everyone!


Justin AKA- Mister Mom





Sidewalk Chalk & Dad Talk

Before having kids, when I would drive around town and see the sidewalk chalk that polluted the sidewalks and driveways of what would otherwise be peoples nice homes with great curb appeal, the OCD in me would cringe. How could parents let this happen? How long until that shit washes away? You must have to scrub it, right? Their neighbours must be pissed!

The things you don’t know or realize when you are not a parent.

  1. I haven’t written a blog in quite a while. I have been pouring all of my time into my kids and re-educating myself for a real estate career, and finding the time to sit down and write was very much becoming a challenge. Any spare time I had, I just wanted to zone out. I wasn’t really sure if I would, or even should continue blogging or not. Do people actually give a shit what I have to say? Are people actually interested in my thoughts or opinions or what I do with my kids anyway?  How or why did I ever start blogging? It is still strange to me in a sense, but somehow I have enjoyed writing about it and still to this day, I am not even sure why I do it, but somehow I enjoy writing- let’s keep doing this. Continue reading “Sidewalk Chalk & Dad Talk”


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Ode To The Single Mom

Being an unplanned stay at home Dad with a three year old, and a 17 month old is tough sledding, I don’t give a shit what anyone says.

Unless of course, you’re a single Mom.

If you’re a single Mom, or a married single mom, then you my dear can tell me to shut my pie hole and I will, happly. But if you’re not that person, you can go f-ck yourself.

Thanks for your unsolicited opinion though, tips, but please don’t tell me about how it only gets harder as they get older and that I just need to enjoy this “easy” time right now and what I am going through is really not that big of deal. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have heard this.


Just cause you had kids a few decades ago or knew someone who did, I don’t think you remember all the fine print details there sweetheart. Nor do I think you have any right to tell me how I should or shouldn’t feel about my current situation. You don’t know jack shit about my situation. I think you are suffering from early stages of Alzheimers myself.

There is nothing worse than someone dismissing your current situation and turning it around to somehow talk about themselves while somehow making you feel like your supposed to all of a sudden change your whole prospective on things based on their past war stories of their distorted past. You know, back when they used to kick their 4 and 7 year old out of the house not knowing where they were all day and just told them to get their asses home before dark. Back when it was cool to drug your kids to go to sleep at night, give babies gripe water with alcohol, or give your kids cocaine to soothe their tooth aches. No wonder kids were so easy in your day, they were all stoned! Well, times have changed Chiquita.


Since you’re the one who asked me, when I tell you I feel like a zombie that just won the championship trophy for completely ignoring almost all personal hygiene steps for the longest stretch of time, and I feel like the road to future employment is going nowhere, just acknowledge that I am feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and beat up. Just turn a blind eye and leave me for dead. I don’t have the energy for your kind of self righteous conversation. Next topic please.

If you truly, truly, care about my well being you’ll drop a bottle of Jack Daniels and a six pack of Coca-Cola on my doorstep to help me numb my pain if you care to. Send me a PM for my address. I don’t need you to tell me “oh you just wait, it gets worse”. Again, unless you’re a single mother packing triplets and recently took on a red headed step child to add to your daily chores, I don’t want to hear it. Capiche?images

While I agree the problems will obviously become more expensive and complex in nature as they get older, don’t tell me it only gets worse. Right now I am just dreaming of the day when I can go to someones house with both of the little hellions for a visit and not have to spend the whole night chasing a 17 month old away from your wood burning stove, your expensive lamp, your knife on the counter, eating your new plant, tossing your family photos across the room, opening every drawer he can find, fishing in your toilet, trying to go tobogganing with his face on your open staircase, or turning your back for a split second and he is coming out of your master bedroom waving your shiny battery operated silver bullet around like it’s a shiny new vibrating spaceship for the astronauts in Lego Land.ikea-vibrator

Then again maybe I am just bitter lately. I have spent the past couple weeks feeling completely drained and helpless. My 3 year old just spent three days without eating, and was vomiting at all hours of the day and night while my 17 month old Brock ran around the house like gangbusters looking for shit to get into every chance he got. He pretty much just wanted to pull his sick sister off of the couch and drag her around by the hair to play with her.IMG_4945

It’s definitely one of the worst feelings in the world, not being able to help your kids when they are at the lowest of their lows, and up until now she had never been that sick. Usually this would last for not much longer than 24 hours for her, (not the case with Brock – He definitely gets “The Man Flu”) but this went on for days. As shitty as that was, I will disclose I selfishly loved all the cuddles and the quiet time that came with that. I was very happy and relieved when she got better.

Of course though, I just had to wait long enoug, and just as God planned, they switched places.


Brock was just walking around the other night doing what Brock does, and then the projectile vomit began to happen. Repeatedly. He didn’t eat much for lunch that day, and pretty much skipped supper, so we figured it was coming. And come it did. Right in the shag area rug from Costco.41fd528b9fd1b8d02120273423df01df

Its’s the area rug I refer to as the “Black Hole” or the “Abyss”. If you have ever had one of these shag beauties, you will know that when you drop something on it, it disappears. Like, forever.

It’s like dropping your keys in a river of molten lava, just leave em’ cause man, they’re gone!

For all I know, that rug may very well be where Malaysian Flight M377 may have ended up. It’s too thick for a vacuum, and easily hides about 2 boxes of family sized Cheerio boxes and there is probably about four sippy cups lost somewhere in there.

So needless to say when chunks of peas, blueberries, yogurt, and whatever else he had been scavenging was introduced to the “Abyss”, after a bit of a failed effort to clean up the shag, it was rolled up, duct taped, and carried out of the house. I was going to try to pressure wash it outside, but then I realized that’s just stupid… I would NEVER have time for that or the space to dispose of all the shit that would reappear from it. So currently it sits outside just waiting to be taken to its new home – the county dump. IMG_5521

Just when Brock started to get sick, that’s when Sloane got better. Go figure, right? And it was a carbon copy of Sloane’s symptoms. Vomit, fever, no eating hardly for days, followed by laying on the couch, not moving and mostly sleeping, and me feeling helpless again, and Sloane ready to take on the world and wanting to drag her brother off the couch to take it on with her. It makes it even tougher when your little patient can’t speak to tell you how he is doing or what he needs. It really is a horrible situation. I hate it. IMG_4950

These kids spent just as much time this winter being sick as they did being healthy. It sucked. It sucked real bad. My wife and I both feel like we haven’t slept all winter. Hell, I even take a piss sitting down now days just because I am too tired to stand up. Nobody told me that the expression “you can sleep when your dead” was invented by parents. I thought it was invented by people who liked to party all night long. Guess I was a little off on that one.

We finally got through that, and then as I knew it would, I got the night sweats and shits so bad that I couldn’t go fifteen minutes without being on a toilet. Worst. Case. Ever. Too much information I know, I know, but I am a too much information kind of guy. I am the kind of guy you never want to put on speaker phone. True story.

While all this crap goes on (pardon the pun) it certainly makes me grateful I have a wife to tag team this stuff with at the end of the day when she gets home from work. Not everyone has that luxury. Not everyone understands how shitty this can get.

It really got me thinking about many of the single moms out there who don’t get the luxury of a “shift change” when you can hardly scrape yourself up off the floor, or the moms whose husbands are away working for very long stretches at a time who are pretty much single moms themselves without the title.

It really makes me think about how tough it must be on those single parents who don’t get a break when they are sick unless they have a great family support system at their disposal, which, not everyone has. I often feel isolated as a married stay at home dad. I can’t imagine how isolated a mom feels while her husband is away at work for weeks or months at a time, or the single mom that has nobody walking through the door to give her a break no matter how many weeks or months pass by.

Yet, you see many of these “super moms” (that’s exactly what they are) powering through it all. Getting it done, and getting it done all the time. Now that I am living it, I have so much more respect and a deeper understanding for stay at home parents now than I ever did.

Even when they are clearly at their lowest, you will still see them charging ahead with their three kids in tow – and they only have two hands – at places like the arena trying to put on their kids skates while keeping the other two within arms reach, even when you know they clearly should be home sick in bed, but they have no help so they “soldier on”.0df90a030c8d2dba0279c7d7b1d439fe

You see them everywhere. At the grocery store, at the pharmacy, the dance practice, the parent meeting, the swim club, and the list goes on and on because their kids don’t give two shits or a rats ass that their Mom is sick and they always put their children needs far ahead of their own, even when they know they shouldn’t.

These underrated Moms don’t get nearly the credit they deserve in my opinion. When I see a Mom out in public by herself these days and her kids are in melt down mode driving her bat shit crazy grabbing everything that’s reachable down the grocery store aisle, I probably would have at one time thought “hey Chica, get control of your goddamn kids already”, but now I’m very much thinking something much more like “Good on you for just getting this far, I wouldn’t have made it across the parking lot, and I will be cheering you on as you continue to weave your way around the aisles for the next thirty minutes.”

So to all those folks that want to tell me, or other people like me, about how life is only going to get worse down the road, just save it. I don’t want to hear it, and I’m not buying what your selling. I get that you had kids the same age as mine once upon a time in a land far, far away, but I will continue to choose to believe my own story; that life is only going to get better as easier it goes with my two young grasshoppers. I will be a happy man when they can dress themselves, get their own breakfast, and wipe their own asses.

Man, who am I kidding… I will miss being needed all the time – that I know for sure.

But if you’re that single mom or that married single mom fighting in the trenches by yourself, then you can tell me I don’t know jack shit all you like, and I will keep my mouth shut, listen, and politely thank you for your lip service, and walk away with my tail between my legs.

Honestly, I don’t know how you all do it. You guys are amazing.

Much respect to you – the single mom.superwoman-blog-illustration3


Thanks again for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.

Please leave a comment and give me some feedback as to how I am doing, I appreciate all feedback- good, bad, or ugly. It’s the only way I can get better. I want to hear from all Moms, and E specially if you raise your kids on your own much of the time, I would love to hear how you do it!

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my blog by entering your email address on my website. I promise you it will not leave this site. I will be running some cool Mothers Day & Fathers Day giveaways for those who are subscribed via email.






“There’s A New Sheriff In Town”

I had it all planned out to a “T”. A new Sheriff was coming to run the show at home with the kids. Just like I was a supervisor at my former workplace, I was now going to use those skills and run the show at home.

Piece of cake.

There would be schedules, a strict meal plan, and these two little guys that were apparently burning their mother out, were going to be whipped right into shape. They would be so full of arts & crafts, field trips, and an endless learning of gross motor skills, they would be begging to go to sleep early every night from being over stimulated. Watch me turn them into law abiding little “angels” sent straight from heaven above. Watch me.

I will show you how it’s done, my dear.

Continue reading ““There’s A New Sheriff In Town””

The Early Bird Gets The Worm

Hello! Welcome to my second blog.

I have had multiple requests that I share a Facebook blog post that I posted back on December 18th, 2015. It was a day I will not soon forget. And neither will they…

Personally, looking back at it now, I think this story is great on so many levels . The chances of this EVER happening again has gotta be ZERO. I would likely have a better chance of being killed by a vending machine before this magical alignment of the stars would ever happen again. Just like that billion dollar Powerball that everyone was excited about a while back. I will call Las Vegas for the official odds later.

I have added more of the details from that epic day in the middle of December, and exactly what was going through my mind. So even though many of you who seen that post from back in December, it will be a bit new for you.

Continue reading “The Early Bird Gets The Worm”


Hello World Wide Web! Welcome to my first blog. You asked for it, you got it. God help me…

To those of you who know me, I have for a long time been documenting my “Mister Mom” “Daddy Daycare” adventures, and “mis-adventures” on Facebook. I get many comments and compliments as I go about my business around town from many people who seem to really enjoy seeing that there is a real life guy out there who realizes how hard it is to raise kids at home, and who seems to be “validating” what many of you women have known for years – that being a stay at home mom is just as tough as any job there is out there. And I have to admit… I 100% agree with you.

I told my wife the other day before she hopped in her car on her merry way to work (she is now working full time to support my unemployed ass while I look after the kids full time), to enjoy her day at her “paid vacation” that she calls “work” and proceeded to tell her I work way harder in a day than she could ever hope to…

Continue reading “HOW I BECAME “MISTER MOM””