Despite my wholehearted commitment to squashing my 'Daddy guilt' by taking a step back from work & spending more time with the family, this last week has been incredibly busy from a business perspective. What that means, of course, is that I've had much less time to spend with Jade & Shannon. Because we haven't had as much quality time as I'd like I decided to plan a little surprise trip for the two women in my life, and make sure they were both treated like princesses for the day!! Cue a very relaxing, very luxurious & very fun day out at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin because they COMPLETELY deserve it! Background info, I met my amazing wife in a quaint village in central China. I call it a village because there were only 2 streets, they go on for miles and it has a population of 1,000,000 people but to me it felt like a rural village in Ireland where everyone knew your business. I was there to teach English to kids, it was an amazing experience and my job was to be “seen”, being the only western guy in the village I was a novelty, but I loved it. I tell everyone that myself & Shannon met on the street… and we did! (Sort of! Haha) You see I was walking along, heading back to the school when a mutual friend introduced us so she could practise English and learn more about Canada, where she'd been accepted for a Masters. Fast forward 12 years and we're living back in Ireland with our daughter in the suburbs. You can easily walk around and not bump into anyone. Compare that to 1 million people on 2 streets! To say the move was a culture shock was an understatement but one Shannon's mastered quite amazingly. When we moved back first we travelled a lot and saw a lot of Ireland and had a great lifestyle but adding baby puts pressure on a relationship, pressure on finances and pressure to work harder. This can be tough, especially if one of you decides to stay at home to care for your child. To be a parent is one of the toughest jobs and I honestly don't know how single parents do it! (Kudos to them! I’m sure there are times that Shannon feels like a single parent with my work schedule!) Shannon being at home with Jade and me working as much as I do gives me awful ‘Daddy guilt’! Without her I couldn't do what I do - I couldn't stay up late and prepare for meetings, I couldn’t get up for 6 o'clock conference calls, I wouldn't have pushed myself to move out of my comfort zone… really I wouldn’t be who I am without her. So with that in mind I really wanted to treat her to a lovely family outing – something we would all enjoy!! When work is busy like it is at the moment, I try to do something to break the routine, mix things up a bit and have some fun as a family! It's impossible for me to get the balance right but I do really try. So, I decided to take them into a the Dylan hotel for Afternoon Tea (something we used to love doing together when we were childless), then stay over so we could relax after bath time in our special robes and order up some room service from the fabulous menu at the Dylan (eating out is getting almost impossible because someone's food is always going to go cold but with Jade tucked up beside us we can sneak in a semi romantic meal, once we are careful not to bang the cutlery too much. Notice theres not pics of that... it has to be eaten in the dark!). And of course Jade is so busy trying so many careers these days, a little pampering is what my Princess and my Queen deserve! The trip was EXACTLY what we needed! Great fun, amazing food and wonderful staff. It's back to the diet on Monday… as usual.