“A father is a biological necessity, but a social accident” (Minden, 1982)

In the western world, fathers have for generations been viewed as playing minor roles in the care of their children. Simultaneously they have been painted as the head of the family, whose main roles in child rearing are that of disciplinarian and bringer of the cheddar.
Fathers are now encouraged to play a more active role in the upbringing of their children. The idea of a good father is no longer simply a money maker or authoritarian figure but one who helps promote moral development, serves as a gender role model, shares the burden of gathering nuts for the winter, nurtures , encourages, and plays an active role in their child’s life.
We learn from those who go before us. How I father is influenced by the ways my dad parented me and how he parented was influenced by how he was parented. Today’s fathers find themselves in a peculiar position. We are the gap between the old style fathers, the fathers who took on more stereotypical models of such as that of money maker, man builder, and the head of the house to the new vision of fatherhood as the dad who gets involved and shares the responsibility.

It is important to remember that father’s now face the challenges and demands fatherhood brings, whilst potentially being caught in a battle between traditional views of fatherhood and new found ideals.

With this we need to ensure that we give a voice to dads. Not to discredit or minimise their experiences but to empower them to talk and encourage them to share their views. New father’s need to know support is there for them when they need it. In that the support needs to be there for them not as an offshoot of mother’s services but tailored to the needs of dad’s. Business owners need to support dads in paternity leave applications. No dad should fear losing their job due to wanting to spend time with their child, or be paid pennies whilst on leave.
To help fathers become what society now wants, we need to change what society offers. Without the support it will never work.

For a really good read on paternity leave check out @youthedaddy blog post here.


Mother’s Day Review: This year was lobster compared to the tuna you served me last year

As the father to young children it is my responsibility to ensure that my wife’s Mother’s Day is a day of celebration. To provide a wonderful, magical experience where she is showered in gifts and relaxation. The aim is to firmly show her how much we as a family appreciate all she does for us. It is the one day a year where Mother’s should be able to sit back, relax and be well and truly pampered. Last year I failed at making the day magical. It was a complete and utter disaster which left the wife feeling unappreciated and let down. You can read how well it went here.

This year I had to step up and get my shit together. The first stage of this was to ensure I did not forget to get a gift. I learnt that gifts are an important part of Mother’s Day and the line ‘don’t get me anything’ is a polite way of saying ‘you better bloody get me something’. I asked the wife what she wanted. A nice nightie she replied. So the hunt began. However not sooner had I started did I receive a message whilst she was out one day saying she had found one and bought it and was going to give it to me to give to her. Kind of takes the magic away a little but at least she was happy with it, she had something she wanted and most importantly she would actually have a gift this year. Winner.

Next task was a card. But again before I had chance to do this, the better half had bought her own card whilst out with Florence and then given these to Florence to hide. That was two tasks sorted. However I knew that I still needed to get her something and to only give her gifts and cards she chose herself would not go down well.
The good folk at Hobbycraft sent me a nice little crafting package to make some Mother’s Day goodies with the kids. And my gosh we had some fun. Hours spent painting, sticking, gluing, colouring generally making a jolly good mess and producing masses of gifts for the Mrs. We made cards, boxes, pictures, many many wonders. We even managed to contain most of the mayhem within the conservatory, except for paint footmarks across the living from carpet. But we created art of the highest quality. You would never know I failed art at GCSE.

The wife has got giddy for plants lately. Real ones. Fake ones. If it is green and potable she is loving it. Our house has been swarmed by plants. She keeps telling me which ones a real and need watering but then the next minute she moves them all around the house and I forget which plants are real and which are fake. Hard to bloody tell. But they look good. So to add to her little collection, the girls bough her a plant each.

One of the most important lessons I took from last years shenanigans is to book a table well in advance otherwise your snookered. This year I booked us a nice table for 4 at Miller & Carter Steakhouse. Job done.

The Big Day Checklist

First thing first. Leave mummy to have a lie in. Tick

Make mummy breakfast in bed. Tick

Give mummy presents and cards. Tick

Ask mummy what she wants to do for the day. Tick

Do whatever mummy wants to do. Tick

Make lunch for mummy. Tick

Give mummy time to get ready without interruption and in peace. Failed (hard to stop a 4 year old running up and down the stairs but tried and that surely counts)

Do not argue with mummy on the big day. Failed

Make amends with mummy after the argument by admitting you are an idiot and that you are very sorry. Tick

Go out for a wonderful meal, have an amazing time. Tick

Get home, bath the kids, get them in bed then relax. Tick

Outcome. The wife was happy. Claimed that this year was lobster compared to the tuna I dished up last year.


Qualitative run down of the days events

Kids woke up at 6am. Brought them downstairs to give them breakfast. Left the wife in bed. Gave the kids breakfast. Had a coffee. Watched tele. Then cleaned the kitchen. Had another coffee.
Caffeine kicked in. Felt energised. With the help of the kids laid mummy’s presents out. Began to make breakfast in bed. Scrambled tofu on toast. Yum. When it was ready took it to the wife, who had just woke up. She ate it in bed with Flo. Edith and I ate ours downstairs.
After breakfast the wife came downstairs. Opened her presents. She was happy. Told her we were going out for a meal. She seemed pleased.
Played around in the house. The made lunch. Was not great but everyone ate it. Then the wife started to get ready. Asked to be left in peace. Florence did not conform. She was up and down the stairs. Apologised to wife. She accepted.
Already to go out. Dropped pressies off at mothers and mother in laws. In car had argument with the wife. Cannot remember what about. Tension.
Arrived at Miller & Carter. Apologised. Forgiven. Had a lovely meal. Ate lots. Drank lots. Spent lots. Went home.
At home bathed kids. Got them in bed. They went to sleep. We crashed on the couch. Wife happy.
Jobs a gudden.


I want to go really fast down a big hill, on some skis with my family: Mark Warner Ambassador quest

Fifteen years ago, half my life time, I got on a coach with lots of other teenagers of schooling age, and a few teachers who were there to keep us in check and traveled for 24 hours across Europe. Our destination was Austria. Why were we going? For a week of skiing.

It was one of the most amazing times of my life. I was young, carefree, risk averse and let loose to do all the cool things like black slopes, slaloms and jumps. I promised myself I would go yearly from that point. Unfortunately I did not keep that promise and have not been since.

I have mithered the better half that we should go but it’s never happened. Since we have had kids I have longed to take them, then this winter this dream intensified when Flo tried ice skating for the first time and loved it. In that moment I knew she would love skiing.


So 2018 is hopefully the year the Freckles finally go skiing as a family. As a December baby I feel it will be my treat to myself this year and an extra special christmas and New Year for us all.

Mark Warner holidays specialise in activity holidays for families and providing award winning childcare. It is why I am planning on using them to help me plan this little family adventure. They have it all covered when it comes to creating that fun filled, activity packed holiday for the family whilst also ensuring that christmas and New Year magic does not go missing.


I’m thinking of the festive period simply because christmas and snow go hand in hand in all the films and story books but here in Manchester it’s always a whiteless christmas. Therefore a little of the white stuff for the kids to play in would I am sure put me in the daddy good books. Also New Year in our house usually involves an early night. Being in a beautiful part of the world, in the mountains, I am sure would keep us up until that clock strikes 12.

The sheer thought of being out skiing with the family gets me all giddy and warm inside. The lovely crisp fresh air. The amazing views. Being out in the mountains, experiencing something different. It is what life all is about.

That is why I would love to be a Mark Warner ambassador this sheer and share my family adventure with you.