Do you encourage your kids to be outdoorsy and active? So does our company founder and father of three, Simon. When he got tired of his childrens’ expensive school shoes falling apart, he decided to design his own. Based on hard-wearing footwear worn in the construction industry – a new brand of children’s school shoes was born – ‘Treads’!
We wondered what other innovative dad solutions might be out there, so we trawled the web to find out. Here are some of our favourite UK dad bloggers who write quirky, funny and helpful posts about parenting from the male perspective. Check these guys out…
“When does a hill become a mountain?” asks blogger and dad of two, Jamie Day. A trip to North Wales is all about enjoying the natural beauty of the mountains and valleys, even if it does mean carrying your young son uphill in a snowstorm. Sore shoulders apart, Jamie and the family loved staying at the Rocks Hostel in Plas Curig and visiting outdoor adventure centre, Zip World – do take a look at Jamie’s awesome video of the downhill action.
As the prolific and award-winning blogger behind A Day in the Life Dad, Jamie offers a uniquely male perspective on parenting. Having suffered with depression for a number of years, Jamie has used his experiences to help other men with his podcast, Man Talk. His message for everyone, and men in particular: “talking must become normal.”
“Daddy, did you know a peregrine falcon is a bird of prey?” If you’re a parent, you’ll know how hard it is to get a four-year-old to go to sleep – the questions just keep coming. Such is the life of DADventurer and stay-at-home dad Dave – if you want to know what it’s like to be a male main carer, this is the site for you.
About to take on the school run for the first time? Check out Dave’s post for the lowdown on what to expect: “There’s nothing scarier than your kid’s teacher making a beeline for you in the playground and saying the sentence ‘can I have a little word with you please?’!”
And it appears that Dave has a new start-up business idea of his own. Watch this space to see what he does with a second-hand mobility scooter and an old shower curtain!
“We were so fortunate.” Get the Dad’s-eye view on the IVF postcode lottery from dad blogger and former ‘Corporate Dad’ blogger Phill Palmer. Thinking of trying IVF? It’s no walk in the park. As Phill says: “It’s emotionally exhausting going through the pain and suffering that comes with an unsuccessful cycle, or the mixed emotions of exhaustion and elation that come with a successful one.”
Leaving the brand ‘Corporate Dad’ behind, this year Phill launched his own new business and website – Four Seasons Dad – the ups and downs of which he generously shares as he works his way through the changing seasons. If you like cars, golf, hiking, keeping chickens, finding fairies, family days out, camping at festivals, and training for mammoth charity walks – this is fun, informative and accessible stuff. Good luck Phill!
Considering working from home? It might be a workable solution to the childcare conundrum, but it comes with its disadvantages says stay-at-home dad, John – like keeping your desk free of Harry Potter toys, handbags and tubes of Savlon. But, he says, you do get to “drop everything to deal with the kids if [you] have to,” and that’s priceless.
Your chuckle-inspiring, go-to resource for the lowdown on being a stay-at-home dad, check out the great Dad Blog UK interview with children’s writer, Giles Paley-Phillips. The author of popular works like ‘The Fearsome Beastie’ and ‘Tara Small and the Monsters’ Ball’ is also a musician and has a podcast called BLANK. There’s also an interesting interview with England Rugby Sevens Star James Rodwell – a dad of two who combines working away from home with busy family life. John’s great at getting to the nitty-gritty of most subjects, bringing a sense of humour to everyday parenting dilemmas.
What’s your take on teaching boys that it’s OK to cry? Dad blogger Tom is in no doubt at all: “Educating boys that crying isn’t socially acceptable is nothing but toxic masculinity.” And that, he says is a big problem when you consider that “the biggest killer of men under 50 is suicide.”
Tom has been writing his multi-award-winning blog Diary of the Dad since 2010 making it an excellent resource for anyone looking for some dad’s-eye-view parenting information. How are your kids at busting stuff? Tom’s are “like the fence-testing raptors in Jurassic Park. They’ll systematically look for weaknesses. And find them!”
Am I, “An adoptive dad. A gay dad. Or maybe just a dad?” asks Tom aka The Unlikely Dad. While Tom is all of the above, he’s also a top notch blogger whose writings will be of particular interest to anyone thinking about adopting.
Do you wonder how easy it is to bond with an adopted child? “Between 1 April 2000 and 1 July 2012, 565 children were known to have had an adoption disruption (source: adoptionUK).” says Tom. You need to know what you’re taking on, especially with older children, but from the moment Tom and his husband saw the picture of their little boy, they were in love.
“Just because I haven’t used them in the last 15 years, doesn’t mean they’re not vital. Right? Right???” Blogger Alex’s trepidation about clearing out the attic seems to have been inherited by his kids who, when asked to part with an old or broken toy will, “wail and play with it incessantly until you leave the room and then revert to the scrumming wrestling game that is their preferred pastime.”
This Dadda Cool blog is great fun, with Alex wielding a pen (or keyboard) with wit and charm. Check out the rest of his musings on the noble art of hoarding junk – an unused, boxed Sega Dreamcast memory card from circa 2000 – really Alex? Really?
Jamie and Tom are dads with a mission: “We aim to raise awareness of life as a British gay couple with adopted children in the hope that more people choose adoption when planning a family.” The Daddy & Dad blog provides a valuable insight into family life for adoptive parents – You’ll love Jamie’s post about the benefits of helping kids keep their early pre-adoption memories alive – it really is best to be open and honest.
And there’s plenty of useful stuff too…Kids struggling with their times tables? Try Jamie’s clever hacks – take the nine times table – all the sums add up to nine. 3 x 9 = 27 (2+7 = 9). It’s a handy way to remember one of the trickier tables – check out his post to discover more simple tricks.
Expanding girth? When dad of three, Tim found himself losing the battle to juggle work and parenting, and stay in shape, he decided to take action. A “fat to fit” campaign was his answer to the battle of the bulge, and you can follow his journey as he sheds an impressive 43 pounds and takes on his first Park Run.
An entertaining mix of parenting anecdotes, views, reviews and more, Tim’s Slouching Towards Thatcham blog comes with a warning: it’s just a little bit addictive. You’ll love his 10 Rules for Dads – “There is no such thing as a free lunch. Or a free evening out with the lads. Or a free round of golf. Everything comes with a price tag. It’s just that you can’t always see it.”
Flat tyres are the number one source of vehicle breakdown calls in the UK, says Yorkshire Dad blogger Karl Young. Make sure you’re up to date with the legal requirements for tread depth, and find out how you can save money by avoiding rapid wear courtesy of Karl’s excellent post on the subject.
Here you’ll find a host of useful parenting content – check out Karl’s tips on adapting your recipes to cater for children with allergies – chickpea flour makes an excellent replacement for soy, and don’t forget to take your flax seeds which offer an ideal meat-free alternative. A senior project manager by trade, Karl’s practical tips on everything from camping to giving up smoking will help any parent out of a tight spot!
We hope you enjoyed our round up of some of the best dad blogs out there. If we’ve missed one of your favourites, do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.
Lead image: Aboltin