The Wonder Years: Dr. Tim Jones

The Wonder Years: Dr. Tim Jones

Parents of small children are amazing. You are juggling all the juggles; keeping small humans alive, a house (vaguely) tidy, feeding yourself and others, dressing yourself and others, maybe working, maybe exercising, maybe pursuing passions. The first years can feel frantic one day and magical the next. We believe these are the years we’ll look back on with a wistful smile. The Wonder Years series chats to other parents about the highs and lows of parenting and finding joy (or at least some sanity) in the simple things.

Dr. Tim Jones lives on the Sunshine Coast with his wife Hayley, two boys, Jack (4.5 years) and Louis (19 months) and two rescue dogs, Florence and Nacho. He is one of the busiest people I know (apart from Hayley!) with a high-pressure job and multiple sporting commitments alongside raising two small children. 

Describe your perfect family day:

A sleep in, with no kids in the bed. They awaken and come into our bed for a morning cuddle. We all get up and grab a coffee (for the adults) and babycinos for the kids on our way to the beach. We have a swim and play on the beach for a couple of hours before grabbing breakfast on our way home. Some fun activities at home or a bush walk and then lunch time naps for everyone later in the day.

A nice wine or beer in the evening while over dinner outside while we watch the sunset and then off to bed with the kids at a reasonable hour so Hayley and I can have some time to ourselves to rest/relax/ watch serial killer documentaries.

Your favourite thing to do with your kids?

I love to go to the beach with the boys. Watching them grow in confidence as they get better at swimming and ducking under waves.

I also just love watching the two of them play together. Usually in the late evening as it's getting close to their bedtimes they have play wrestles on the couch and Jack will blow raspberries on Louis' tummy as he laughs hysterically. 

What are you most proud of about your children / your parenting? Any parenting wins?

I'm always very proud when our friends or family tell us about how well our older boy plays with the other children, both older and younger. He's very caring and considerate. I like to think that we have passed some of those skills onto him through our actions.

Any embarrassing stories/fails relating to parenting? 

I'm not too easily embarrassed, but some of the things that Jack hears us saying and he "parrots" when he's at day care crack me up. It's usually some inside joke between Hayley and I that Jack will hear us saying and repeat it at day care. 

Some examples are when he's referring to his genitals, he calls it his "wassle" and when he hears a song he likes he calls them "bangers." I love picking him up from daycare and the staff telling me about the funny things that he's said through the day.

What have your children taught you?

I've learned a lot about love, empathy, compassion and probably most importantly, patience. Hayley would agree that I'm the world's least patient person, and I like to think that having the kids has changed that. 

I would also say that they help you to priortise your time better. I've learned to say "no" to more things, specifically when it comes to work commitments. I used to struggle to do that, because I would feel as though I was letting the team down, but with the kids, I value the time off that we get together so much more now.

How do you juggle working and family life with small children?

It's challenging, but for me I look at my roster projections and try to plan it around the boys daycare and try to book things in that we can do together. Sometimes I'll even pull them out of daycare so that we can have a day together. I also try to ensure that we book in fun things to do rather than just be stuck at home.

There's something to be said for quality time and trying to make the most of the time together that we get, but I believe that there is something to be said for quantity too and just trying to be present for as many bedtimes and as many morning wake ups as possible.

Best advice you were given about parenting:

"There's not that many summers that you get with them." When I think back to my childhood, some of my fondest memories were spent with family on the beach and with the extended family. I want to make sure that we try to emulate that with our boys and give them plenty of opportunity to have time away with family and friends. 

Your advice for new parents:

Try not to stress the small things and make sure that you take lots of videos. One of my favourite things when I have to go away for work is to look at the videos of the boys when they were younger and compare how much they've changed. It goes by really quickly, so make the most of it.

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