1) Tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi my name is Tom, I’m 35 and I am the proud owner of 3 girls (aged 4.5, 2.5 and 0.5), a 7-year old chocolate Labrador and my beautiful wife High Command (best not put her age down as I’ll get shot!).
I run the gauntlet of working full-time whilst at the same time trying to be the best Dad I can be – which is not always easy given the demanding job I have which involves a lot of travel.
Aside from surviving the melee of family life (and of course blogging), I also enjoy cycling (although since No3 has arrived this has fallen by the wayside so note to self I really must get back on the bike so to speak).
2) What’s your blog about and why did you decide to start it?
The idea to first start blogging came to me a couple of years ago when No2 was born but due to work commitments and the chaos of a second born it kind of went on the back burner until last Autumn when I rolled up my sleeves and took the leap of faith into the wonderful world of the parenting blogosphere.
I initially started the blog to detail all the different activities I would do with my kids but the advice is true in that you soon find your blogging voice. For me this has become writing self deprecating posts (including lots of funny lists) about our exploits as a family together with some quite deep philosophical stuff. Oh and a few reviews thrown in here and there too. And I have just got into BBQ recipes as well.
So this, together with realising that the parenting blogosphere is a very ‘Mum’ dominated area, means I am not sure if I have got the name of the blog Ideas4Dads right, but being almost a year in I’m not sure if I can be bothered to change the name as I have worked very hard to get it to where it is.
3) What would you rather: Be an England fan and watch them go out in the group stages or a Brazil fan and watch them lose 7-1 in the semi-finals?
Ha ha good question – I’d probably take the Brazil option simply because I would have had 5 gripping games to watch rather than 2!
4) I’ve noticed you like cycling, a man after my own heart – what’s your chosen bike?
I would love to say it is some sleek and expensive carbon bike but did I mention that I have five mouths to feed plus my own!
I ride a lovely Cannondale Caad-5 which I picked up as a bargain second hand for £235
5) Back to the real business; what has been the best thing about blogging?
Oh crikey where do I start!
I was very sceptical to begin with as to the types of people I would meet but I have met some fantastic people culminating in attending #BritMumsLive in the summer.
Having that feeling you are not alone is another thing that is so valuable – being able to express yourself and then receive comments is truly amazing.
Oh and picking up little nuggets of parenting advice along the way has really enhanced my approach to parenting.
Some of the other great things has been getting into keeping an aquarium through writing and initial review together with getting into BBQ recipes.
6) What’s been your favourite post to write and what do you think is your readers favourite post?
I enjoy writing humorously and my post about what annoys when we are swimming as a family was a seminal moment in my short blogging career where the gloves came off and I started to get honest:
As for the one that my readers have found the most popular there is only one post that stands out head and shoulders above all the others and that is about that high octane day I delivered No3 at home:
7) As an expecting dad, any day now, could you give 3 of your top tips for expectant dads?
1. Wear shorts to the hospital. Those places are like tropical hothouses and the last thing you need to be doing is passing out during labour
2. Don’t go crazy posting photo’s of baby and mum on social networking sites straight after the birth as I did. Half the shots of new Mum will have her looking quite bedraggled and the last thing she wants is the world seeing her not at her best.
3. Make sure you have plenty of food for you because if it is a long labour you need to be equally at the top of your game and adrenaline only keeps you going for so long.
8) Following the expectant stage, I’ll be a new dad, funnily enough, so…could you give 3 top tips for new dads?
1. Once you go back to work don’t be a hero – use the spare bed so you get a good nights sleep. There is no point both of you being knackered. If you want to really help let Mum sleep in the evening until midnight and then hand over. Then get up at 6am to do a couple of hours to give Mum another break before you leave for work.
2. Take all the help you can get. Don’t be proud. Use family as much as possible to help out especially when you go back to work. Its a horrible feeling walking out of the door in the morning not knowing whether your other half is going to have a good day or a crap day at home whilst you are in the comfort of your workplace.
3. You’re going to receive a lot of advice on how to do things and how not to do things, As long as you are trying your best, you are not throwing baby down the stairs and you are telling them you love them every day you’ll be fine :-)
9) What’s the best thing, for you, about being a dad?
Hearing my daughters say they love me.
10) What message would you like to give to The Dad Network readers?
Being a parent is a privilege. Make the most of it because if you blink you might just miss it!!