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WestCoast Dads June

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WestCoast Moms is WestCoast Dads in celebration of Father's Day!

Text of WestCoast Dads June

  • 25June 2010

    Photographed by Ian Redd Photography |

    WCDProfile:Chef & Food Stylist Murray Bancroft

    SAHDs & WAHDs

    Happy Fathers Day!

  • 26

    wcd feature

    By Amy Fardell

    By Karin Mizgala

    SAHDs and WAHDsThe Next Generation of Dads

    Money Matters

    y wife offered to do it, but I knew how much her career meant to her, explains Lindley, and my work is done from home anyway, so it made sense for me to be the at-home parent. I schedule my work

    around the kids nap timesthank God the older one still naps religiouslyand I do a lot early in the morning or late at night when everybody is sleeping.

    John Leung*, a stay-at-home-dad of three kids under age eight in Surrey, said that making the decision to stay home with his kids was the easiest of his life. I wasnt passionate about my job, say Leung, it was just a way to earn money, and my wife makes a bit more than I do, so it made sense to keep the higher income. Plus, I really love having this time with my kids. I feel so lucky. In a few years, when theyre a bit older, I want to get back out there, but in the meanwhile

    With the cost of daycare rising exponentially, and waiting lists of up to two years, examples like these are becoming much more common. Instead of working to pay for daycare, fathers are staying home with their kids, and letting their wives take over the breadwinning duties. But do they take over all of the household management?

    I clean the house during the week, says Lindley, do the laundry and all the cooking, plus I drive the kids to their play dates, doctor appointments and activities. On the weekends, my wife does the cooking and takes care of the dishes, but I still do the vacuuming. We both try to give each other time to rest from the kids and each other, so that we dont burn out.

    I try to keep on top of the housework, admits Leung, but Im not as good at it as my wife, and my organizational skills could use improvement. If I dont write it down, its gone in thirty seconds, and then Ill have my daughter yelling at me for forgetting to buy a birthday present an hour before the party.

    All in all, its a far cry from the traditional father role that most of us grew up with. Maybe men today are more comfortable with their masculinity or were raised with a more balanced set of gender values, but the result seems to be fathers who find it completely natural to stay at home with their kids and run the household while their wives work outside the home. Of course, not every situation is idyllic.

    My wife is definitely still in charge of organization, says Leung. I know its a bit stressful for her to manage everything, and I have had to call her about where to find things while shes away on business trips, but were working on it.


    Yeah, I never thought of myself as the housedad-type, but things change,

    grins Eric Lindley*, a work-at-home-dad in North Vancouver. Erics wife

    works full-time in a corporate law office downtown. Instead of putting their

    two children, both under the age of four, in daycare, they decided that one

    parent would stay home with the kids, and Eric decided it would be him.


    was thinking of buying budgeting software in the hopes that this would help us manage our family finances better. My wife thinks it would be a waste of time and money. Whos right?

    Many of my clients and students ask me about the best accounting software packages to create a budget and keep track of their expenses, such as Quicken or Microsoft Money. Theyre shocked when I say that I dont recommend either of them.

    Now dont get me wrong, Im a big advocate of having a good handle on your expenses. The trouble is most people dont use their money time wiselyand often focus their attention on the wrong things. Budgeting isnt about dumping a whole bunch of numbers into a computer and then wasting time juggling those figures. Yes, you absolutely need to gather the critical budget information for a few months to see what your spending patterns have been. But you can use pen and paper, or a basic Excel spreadsheet to track these numbers.

    The key is to do something useful with the information you have been gathering so diligently and to figure out what the numbers mean. Most importantly, are you living within your means or not? How can you tell? Well, an easy reality-check is to look at your debtsespecially your credit card and line of credit balances. If your debts are going down year-after-yearand not upthen this is a good sign that you are living within your means.


    *Names changed to protect privacy.

  • 27June 2010

    wcd profile

    Whats the lowdown on you?Ive been married five years with two daughters (four and one). As a chef/consultant and food stylist, my career and passions are one and the same.

    What inspired you/led you to become a chef/food stylist?Paris. I had the chance to go to France on a high school trip and I still remember my first steak frites. After attempting to send it back (thinking theyd forgotten to cook it) I tried it, and I liked it. A summer job went towards going back the next year, then eventually moving to the South of France. In fact, I was working in Paris when I got the call that my wife had gone in to labour early. I missed the birth, but at least I had a bottle of Mot in tow when I arrived at the hospital!

    How did your business come about?I was working in the kitchen at Le Crocodile and got to know one of the locally-based farmers who delivered to the restaurant. He inspired me to start a company delivering farmers produce to customers homes. The experience of working for myself and discovering other ways of working with my passion for food was exciting. When I met my future wife, I told her I wanted to have dinner with her every nightsomething restaurant chefs dont get to do. Thats when I began consulting and food styling.

    What are some of your biggest challenges in work? In life?Telling my kids they cant play with their food when I do it for a living.

    What would you describe as some of the biggest rewards of your work/family?Tasting entire menus in one sittingand still making it home to cook for the family.

    Do you manage to take time-out for yourself? If so, what does that entail?I try to get outdoors and exercise when possibleearly morning runs. Lately its crabbing or tennis. We also have a big vegetable garden that I tend to every day from April to October.

    Do you and your partner manage to make time for yourselves? How do you keep your relationship from going stale?My wife and I are masters of the 48-hour vacation. We get away with and without the kids as often as possible to relax, but also to get inspired by new things.

    Any must-haves?Family, good food, wine.

    Murray BancroftChef & Food Stylist

    Handling cases involving custody of and access to children with care since 1982.

    CUSTODY CASEHandle With Care!


    (604) 731-5676

    Suite 308, 2902 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2G8

    Project3:Layout 1 9/12/07 6:28 AM Page 1

    Tell us one or two of the most important life lessons you have learned through being a dad/business owner.Dont sweat the small stuffespecially when its in the form of a half-eaten piece of broccoli being hurled your way.

    Anything else youd like us to know about you?I taped a cooking show (while partially clad) for CityTV that may still be airing (albeit dubbed) in some South American countriesvery late at night, Im sure.

    Next, ask yourself: Am I setting enough money aside for important life goalstravel, retirement, kids education, charitable works, making a difference in the world, etc. If you arent sure how much you need to save now to reach each of your goals, then have your financial advisor run some projections for you.

    If you have a plan in place for saving and investing wisely, if youre living within your means, if you are working towards your lifes purposeyour dreamsyour goals, then it really doesnt matter how much money you spend in each budget category. Knowing how and where you spend your money is essentialbefore you put a financial plan in place.

    Stay on track with your plan by looking at the pace of your debt reduction, the quality of your life on a day-to-day basis, and your progress towards attaining your short, medium and long-term life goals. Spending the time up-front to set up a budgeting system that maintains itself will save you time and money in the long run.

    Karin Mizgala MBA, CFP, is a fee-only financial planner and co-founder of the Womens Financial Learning Centre.

  • 28

    Adult Events for the Hip Dad Around Town!

    Want WestCoast Families at YOUR event?Call 604.249.2866 or email [email protected] us to receive free delivery of our magazines to your family event!

    Improve Communication and Speaking SkillsPitt Meadows City Hall, Every Thursday at 7:30pmToastmasters is dedicated to helping its members overcome speaking fears while building confidence and self esteem. This is for a Toastmasters, non-profit organi-zation starting a new club in Pitt Meadows. Everyone Welcome. 604.465.9699

    We Stand on Guard for Thee: Canadian Naval CentennialVancouver Maritime Museum, Ongoing until September A new exhibit at the museum recognizes and honours the Royal Canadian Navys centennial. The exhibit is supplemented with some rare vintage artefacts includ-ing the rare and unusual Mark IX torpedo. It was also the weapon that defined Canadas role in the war, namely the Battle of the Atlantic. Among the numerous ship models on display will be a large scale

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