Home // Blog Articles // Mental Health // What My Kids Teach Me About Living Happier and Healthier

What My Kids Teach Me About Living Happier and Healthier

by | Jun 13, 2017 | CFL, Mental Health | 0 comments

As any dad who’s done it knows, tripping over a kid’s bike or scooter is usually followed by a face-plant into the geraniums. Frustrating moments like these may make you yearn for the kids’ bedtime (if not their graduation).

But four years after retiring from the CFL, Étienne Boulay, the three-time Grey Cup champion and father of two, has learned to live a happier life by taking it one day at a time — and he has his kids to thank for it.

“They teach me so much,” says Boulay, who founded the popular “Ma Famille Mon Chaos” (My Family My Chaos) blog three years ago. “And it comes down to two main things.

No time like the present
“My 3-year-old daughter doesn’t care about tomorrow. She wants to have fun and feel good right now!” Boulay says.  Having fun with his girlfriend and two kids often helps Boulay experience new things that are sometimes outside of his usual comfort zone. “I’m not the most outdoorsy guy, but they help me appreciate nature. Being outside makes me feel calm and chases stress away.”

Gratitude for the little things
“My kids wake up in the morning, and they’re happy,” Boulay says. “They see a bird flying outside their window, and they laugh and smile. They remind me to appreciate and take pleasure in those small moments in life, those things that, as adults, we sometimes take for granted. This helps to slow things down.”

New perspective, new approach 
These simple lessons have helped Boulay overcome the challenges of going from pro athlete to 9-to-5 working adult. “One of the biggest struggles for me after football was staying in shape,” Boulay says.

His big appetite wasn’t a problem when intense football workouts would burn off all the calories. But without a big game to look forward to, Boulay struggled to stay fit. The simple answer: “I train less than I used to, but I eat better.” Guys shouldn’t be intimidated by complicated diets and training regimens. Eat healthy food instead of junk food, and trade soda pop for water.

In partnership with the Canadian Football League Alumni Association

Canadian Football League Alumni Association
Adam Bisby
Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.

Do You Like This Blog?

As a national charity, we depend on your donations to provide our services to Canadians. Every contribution counts.

Your Donations Make a Difference


Your contribution will further men’s health programming, tool development, and research.

Don’t Change Much is a movement inspiring men and their families to lead healthier lives. With reliable information and easy tips, we know every guy and their family can make small changes that will have a big impact on their health.

More From

CFL | Mental Health

3 Life Hacks All Dads Need to Know

3 Life Hacks All Dads Need to Know

It’s tough juggling work and family on a good day — let alone taking care of our health — and champion triathlete Simon Whitfield can relate more than you’d think. These days, as a business owner and father, Simon joins millions of other guys in a different kind of...

COVID Hair? How to Cut Your Own Hair: Men’s Survival Guide

COVID Hair? How to Cut Your Own Hair: Men’s Survival Guide

What do men talk about at home these days? Sports, news, hunting? COVID hair? There’s nothing worse for your self-image than finding oneself in desperate need of a haircut with no place to go due to COVID-19 lockdown. Tempted to take out the ol’ weed whacker and have...

Tackling COVID-induced Grocery Shopping Anxiety with Kindness

Tackling COVID-induced Grocery Shopping Anxiety with Kindness

Social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic is creating some elevated stress and anxiety for many, even in menial chores like grocery shopping. In one jarring hour, I experience thoughts of hyperawareness in the new COVID reality and turn to kindness to cope. My...

How to conquer cabin fever while you’re holed up in your castle

How to conquer cabin fever while you’re holed up in your castle

We all love quality time with family, but QUANTITY time with family can be another story! Staying home for weeks on end during the COVID-19 pandemic can make you stressed out, restless and impatient. Speaking of impatience, working from home with the kids around is...

Let’s Talk!

Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our comments are moderated and are made live after they’ve been reviewed. If you disagree with anything in the article or comments please do let us know, but be polite so we can have a constructive discussion where everyone has the opportunity to learn.

Pin It on Pinterest