Dad Chat – Dynamic Dad

Here’s the next instalment of my Dad Chat series. This time it’s from Dynamic Dad. The focus of this blog is all about how to become, and remain, an amazing Dad, even sometimes if your time with your children is limited. The focus is really on having a great relationship with your kids even if you have separated from the other parent.

The answer to question six is really interesting and gives some great advice to all dads.

You’ll find links to his great blog at the bottom of the interview.

Please read on, enjoy, and check out his blog and social media.

1. Tell us about yourself and your family

Dad Chat Dynamic Dad
Here’s Dynamic Dad and his daughter Bean

I’m a dad going through a divorce – of my own choosing, from a long dead relationship. As all the buses arrive at once I was made redundant shortly after I moved out and my car decided it needed £000’s on electrical repairs too.

I work in a specialist role and I had to move away to my new job, so now I commute most weekends to spend as much time as I can with my daughter, including the school runs when I can make my shifts fit.

We have a fantastic relationship now – possibly better than it was before, and spend our time doing all sorts of things from crafts I share on my blog, to weekends away as well as the standard stuff like learning to ride a bike.

If I’ve learned anything, planning our time is imperative, although whatever I’ve planned will inevitably change as the day/weekend progresses. Flexibility and adaptability are just as important!

2. Have you always wanted to be a Dad?

Yes, I am and always have been a 2.4 children big plans but madhouse reality kind of guy. I wanted, and still do want, another child – but we’ll have to see what the future holds!

3. What’s the best thing about being a Dad?

Seeing Bean grow – not just vertically, but academically and emotionally. Being there for those ‘lightbulb’ moments and sharing her pride when she achieves something, as much as being able to comfort her when things don’t quite go to plan. The best bit then is seeing her get up and try again. And again, and again if necessary.

4. What’s the most challenging thing about being a Dad?

In my case, or for anyone separated there are two. One is inconsistency – in rules, support, facilities, environment etc. This can be really difficult if something is not followed through by both parents.

The other is the opposite of the best bit – convincing her that something is not impossible – and that she can do it – just not yet, until she’s practiced more. Getting her to stop saying “I can’t” and actually start to try is sometimes not only infuriating but dangerous.

As we’ve all experienced, refusal is followed by stomping, flailing of arms, throwing of heads and possibly anything they’re currently holding.

One episode was 9 feet up a tree she “couldn’t” climb back down. Not a great place to throw a tantrum!

5. If you became a Dad again would you do anything differently? If so, what?

Yes, I’d be way more involved throughout – and tell work to stuff it. I have as much right to part time hours as mothers do.

I was highly involved when my daughter was a baby and toddler, and a stay at home dad for 6 months until her playschool hours increased enough to make working full time financially worthwhile again.

Unfortunately, going back to work meant I left early and returned late so our interaction suffered and as she got older my work transitioned into long stints abroad. Video calling can be easy, but balancing time zones not so much. This is the stuff I’d change.

6. What advice would you give to new dads?

Tell work to stuff it. Be there as a dad as much as you possibly can.

Parenting is hard, draining, time consuming, repetitive and frustrating but so, so rewarding – unless you miss it. Be able to do all those things that you rely on someone else to do for you – because that’s what you want your kid to be, independent and successful.

The thing is, kids learn by what you do far more than by what you say. So, show them independence by being independent – learn to cook, read stories, sing, clean, change nappies, burp  – do all those things as well as hold down a job, mow the lawn, fix the car and so on.

Own fatherhood. Be THE dad.

Also – check up on mum. PND is real, scary as hell and debilitating.

Make time for both of you to chill, together and separately. This means getting comfortable with someone else babysitting asap. If you can, get the extended family involved.

There’s a stigma now that you must be able to raise your kids entirely without support because that’s what the single mum on Instagram does. It’s utter rubbish.

Turn the clock back a few centuries and families were raised by families, villages and communities. Get involved and get them involved, you need you time. Mum needs mum time.

It is harder for dads, and unfortunately some are shunned from mum-and-toddler etc. type groups but there are dad groups popping up. Find and join or start one.

Thanks for taking part in my Dad Chat series Dynamic Dad! There’s a lot of good advice here for dads. The answer to question six is really interesting and there’s a lot for us all to learn there.

Look out for another interview next week.

For previous interviews check out my ‘Guest Posts‘ category.

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