Going Father Than You've Ever Been Before
Going Father Than You've Ever Been Before
Father's Day may have come and gone but we like to show dads some appreciation for the other 364 days too. We have taken our top three blogger dads and asked them how their experiences and travel habits have changed since becoming a father. From what advice they would give their former selves to the experiences of adopting amongst the LGBTQ community, these bloggers are some of the best when it comes to dad blogging.
Like many parent bloggers, Dad And Buried has chosen nicknames for his children, Detective Munch and The Hammer. This blog is dedicated to his experiences of being a dad and how parenting has changed his life for the better but with an honest look at the more challenging moments! With humour and insightful information this blog is one of the best.
How has travel changed for you since becoming a dad?
It's INFINITELY more expensive! When you fly you even need to buy the kids seats, for some reason! What a nightmare. Plus, everyone on the plane hates you, which is no fun. Of course, when you drive, you're constantly stopping so they can go to the bathroom. And don't even get me started on the packing. We need an extra car just for the luggage! Traveling with kids is hard. It's why parents always need a vacation after their vacations.
Why Detective Munch and The Hammer? How did you come up with the names for the blog?
It's not a very concise explanation, I'm afraid. But I get that question a lot, so I wrote a blog post about it: http://dadandburied.com/2016/08/31/nicknames/
What is one piece of advice you would give to your expectant father self?
Maybe to relax? Both about what could go wrong, what I'm doing wrong, what might be wrong with my kids, etc. Most of the time we stress out over normal stuff that doesn't require it. But the fact that we stress out is a good sign; at least we care! Unfortunately, the stress can wear you out, so you've gotta cool it, for your sake and your kids'! This is easier said than done, as evidenced by the fact that I just said it but still can't manage to do it!
From you father's day letter we saw that you admit to now understanding your own dad's mindset. What else have you found yourself doing that now makes you understand your fathers thoughts?
Drinking more! And being tired. And not always being up for roughhousing! When you're a kid you think your dad is lazy or grumpy but in reality he's just a tired parent!
What is your absolute favourite post from your blog?
Wow, I dunno. I like my (hopefully) funny ones, but my "serious" ones seem to get the most traction lately. Thanks Trump! My "Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate My Son" was a good early one. I like my recent "Trump Question" one. Oh, and my "Warning Sign" post was fun. I love a good rant!
What's your favourite part of being a dad?
Um... The hugs are nice?
Photo by Kyle Galvin
Jamie and Tom, also known as Daddy and Dad, are fathers to two little boys, Lyall (9) and Richard (8). We have fallen in love with their blog which gives a candid insight into the ins and outs of adoption and the LGBTQ community. From the first time they met the two boys to reviews of board games, this blog is the perfect balance of fun, serious, and informative.
How have holidays and travel in general changed for you since becoming a dad?
Tom and I used to stay in five star resorts, however with the boys we find that villa holidays offer better value, extra privacy and helpful facilities that hotels are unable to offer. Since we've had the boys (almost five years) we've had three big family holidays abroad. We stayed in a beautiful farmhouse in exclusive Spanish seaside resort Sitges with the kids a couple of years ago - during the holiday we spent two days in Port Aventura theme park. It was by far the most memorable and incredible holiday we've ever had. Also my parents take the boys on a British holiday every summer - while they're away, Tom and I enjoy a peaceful holiday in an adults only villa retreat. On reflection we do very well for holidays and travel!
What is the best part of being a father?
For me and Tom, the best part of being fathers is spending time with the boys. Lyall and Rich had a turbulent, traumatic first few years of their little lives so we catch up for lost time by spending loads of time together as a family. We're an active, sociable family so we enjoy cycle rides, pub lunches, swimming, day trips, camping and theme parks. Children provide opportunities (and the excuse) for so many social and leisure pursuits!
What you travel what do you look for in accommodation?
Flights are expensive when there are four of you, so we try to keep accomodation costs as low as possible without compromising on style. We look for villas, farm houses or apartments. The most important factors are sleeping arrangements, location, style and facilities. For example, ideal accommodation for us would need to be contemporary, include at least two bedrooms and a living area, have some private outdoor space, somewhere to cook and wash clothes and it would need to be near a town with a supermarket. We don't ask for much, do we!
How did you decide who was daddy and who was dad?
Ha! We are asked this question quite a lot and it's not something we can remember making a conscious decision about! It just happened naturally. One thing we did need to decide was which surname (we're not married) the boys would have. So, we asked somebody in the pub to toss a coin for us. Tom won the toss, so we all took on his surname. To be honest we probably would have double-barrelled if the resulting surname didn't have eighteen characters - Beaglehole-Muirhead's too long!
If you could give one piece of advice to yourselves before you adopted what would it be?
When I'm talking to budding adopters who are negotiating the process I advice them to make the most of life's little luxuries while they can. An uninterrupted bath for instance, first class travel, hotel rooms (family hotel rooms are dreadful), reading a book in peace, going out spontaneously for a late night out, browsing in the supermarket, that kind of thing. Also, I wish we'd used durable paint when we decorated the house before the boys arrived!
What is one of your favourite blog posts you have written?
There are two particular blog posts that I really enjoyed producing and were especially popular among subscribers. The first is about the day that we met Lyall and Richard for the very first time - it was such a momentous, nerve-wracking day but full of surprises and bewilderment. The other is our most popular blog post among readers - it's about an eventful trip to posh hairdressers in the city where the boys made a mess with a cracker biscuit and a cheese slice.
What is your favourite memory with either the children or travelling?
During the introductions (a period of two weeks during which we got to know the boys before they moved in), we took the boys to Cadbury World in the West Midlands. It poured with rain on the drive back in the car and we were all listening to Bruno Mars. As we pulled into the foster-home's driveway, Richard (the little'un) said "Daddy and Dad, I love you" in his adorable high pitched little brummie accent. It still brings a tear to my eye to think about it.
John Adams is creator of Dad Blog UK and in his own words is, “dad to Helen aged 9 and Izzy aged 5. Also husband to long-suffering wife Gill who works in the City”. John previously worked in Government communications but gave this up in 2011 to run the household and become his kids' main carer. Writing the Dad Blog UK in his spare time, we love this blog and his humour.
What is one piece of advice you would give your former self before having children?
I always knew becoming a dad would impact on my ability to socialise. I wasn't necessarily quite prepared for how it would impact on my social life. It's not all bad news, I've made many new friends bonding over family life and kids, but I would advise myself to accept the fact that gigs and comedy nights would happen less often.
You quit your job in Government Communications to become a full-time dad, what was that transition like?
The tough part of the transition from full time employee to stay at home dad will probably surprise you! Leaving the corporate world and the egos of the office was the easy part. The difficult part was realising that my wife and I, when working full-time, had been absolutely awful at doing housework! It quickly became apparent just how little we had done and how much effort I would need to go to to get on top of things.
It's amazing how you can ignore a cupboard rammed full of junk when you're out the house 11 hours a day. It’s much harder to do so when it keeps you company, all day, every day!
How have holidays changed now you’re a parent?
As it happens, I used to be a travel journalist. I used to regularly travel long haul and prior to having kids, Mrs Adams and I flew out to New York and on one occasion, I nabbed her passport and surprised her with a trip to Paris.
These days all holidays are short haul. We could do medium or long haul, I just don't fancy being on an aircraft for that length of time with young kids! Portugal, Cyprus and France are destinations we have been to and we've travelled self-catering. In the past we'd probably have eaten out a lot more.
Not that it really counts as a holiday, but as we only live an hour from Dover, we often do day trips to Calais during the school holidays. The kids love the ferry experience and there's a surprising amount to do around Calais for young families. In fact last time we even took my mother in law.
Having kids does change the way you travel, but travel doesn't have to end.
What is the best bit about being a dad?
There is absolutely nothing like having one on one time with your kids somewhere quiet without gadgets and devices. When you kids open up about their world and tell you all about school. It's great and marvellous to see your kids develop new skills, be they foreign language skills, mathematics, reading, cycling. Nurturing these skills in your kids is also great.
What do you look for in accommodation when going on holiday?
I like a separate bedroom for the kids, otherwise they don't settle! A swimming pool is also nice as my kids love swimming and it's a nice activity to do as a family.
As a blogger, I also need WiFi. When I say need, I mean capital N E E D!
We know the kids like arts and crafts and we can tell that from the photo on your site! But tell us a bit more about what you help them get involved in?
Oh if my kids had their way we'd camp all the time. It's great to go camping with them and we all enjoy it....but in short bursts please!
I do like the kids to be active. I've mentioned swimming. Helen's an amazing swimmer and Izzy is coming along at a wonderful rate. They're both also massively into gymnastics. It's great they have a sport they love.