Christmas is right around the corner, so do you have a plan? Don’t be one of those who excuse themselves saying everyday is Christmas. Your dad is probably expecting something. Not to getting emotional here, so let’s talk about gift ideas to surprise your dad with.

Shaving is every man’s worry and if your dad is fussy about it then here is how you can make that easy. You can gift him a shaving subscription service. You will find packages according to your budget (big or small). If need be, the subscription can be cancelled at any time.

Don’t pull a face or discard this idea right away. High-quality socks can make excellent gifts. The London Sock Co. provides a great subscription service and the packaging is quite nice too. Also, the label has good value for money. Subscription starts at £10 a month.

If your dad appreciates something less materialistic and a kind gesture then here is an idea. UNICEF provides Daddy Cool Vaccine Boxes which comes with 10 doses of measles vaccine, 10 doses of polio vaccine and 20 doses of tetanus vaccine. You can’t put a price on a gesture like that but to put a number on it, it costs £16. This box is for developing countries, not your dad (if that wasn’t clear).

We see hundreds of advertisements on women skin care on a daily basis but men skin care is also being focused on nowadays. Moisturizing for men is important too and some do it and a very few accept it. Well, here I am publically accepting it. Summers approaching quick, keeping that in mind you could get your dad a moisturizer with SPF. My personal favorite is the Rehab London Revive Survive, easy on the wallet too.

More mainstream ideas include clothing as a gift. I tried this online store called Repertoire Fashion and it sells some great designer brands. Also, they have excellent discounts and a exchange policy (exchange within 14 days).

If the dad has younger kids then you need a more reasonable and comfortable dressing items. Something that can work for the park or the school. On the website you will find some high-in designer brands too like Vivienne Westwood Man, Emporio Armani and Duchuamp but I would personally opt for a polo shirt and linen shorts.

No matter what you get, at the end of the day what matters most is love. Be sure your gift says ‘I love you Dad’. Have a happy Happy Christmas.

In the past, parents didn’t constantly remind their children how much they were loved. Speaking about my experiences, I don’t think I am eligible to answer the question because I grew up in a step-family.

Nowadays people believe in expressing their feelings and speaking their mind more often than older generations normally did. It is commonly assumed that mothers love their children more if not unconditionally. Since we are talking about dads, here we will talk numbers and how the modern man is not afraid of expressing their feelings and love towards his offspring.

The survey was carried out by Dove Men+Care among 1450 individuals. This is what the results looked like:

  • 67% of men said they love their children more than their spouse.
  • 66% of men tell their children they love them on a daily basis
  • 16% of men said their fathers never told them they loved them
  • Men are at their most caring at 53 whereas women are most caring at 40

Of those surveyed 38% of men step up and help kids with 10 routine tasks to benefit their family including handling the kids’ bath time (30%), reading bed time stories (35%) and helping in the kitchen (27%).

Based on the survey, Callum Galloway, Brand Manager of Dove Men+Care concluded: : “It is clear to see that the modern definition of ‘masculinity’ has developed over the years with men expressing their emotions and doing more than ever to provide for their family, showing that care does make a man stronger.”

In addition, a woman always appreciates a more emotional and a step up kind of guy. But coming back to the survey, it was conducted on a rather small scale and there is no academic research to back it up. But the end results cannot be ignored. Looks like the men of our time are opening up and paying more attention to family time.

What do you other dads think? Do you agree men of this age are more expressive of their emotions than the previous? Do you make it a point to let your children know they are loved every day? Do you think you love the kids more than your spouse? Please share your thoughts with me!

freebie_fridayAs another Black Friday is close, everyone is getting ready to scramble for the discounts totaling as much as 70 percent. Of course 70 percent in and of itself is a great discount, however, there’s something even better if you know where to look. “What is that?” you might ask, glad you asked. It’s called 100 percent off. Yep, that’s right, free. You can’t beat free. With all of these great freebies you’ll appreciate the savings. How about free chocolate? Free hot cocoa and even a free burrito. Should you, like many of us, desire to avoid high street, you can also indulge in free golf lessons.

Free Burrito

If you’ve already blown your cash on a new jumper for Christmas and your near London, you can enjoy the extra value on Saturday the 6th or the 13th of December. Simply hop into your favorite branch of Chipotle in your new jumper from 4 to 6 pm and you’ll get a free burrito.

Free Chocolate Coins

Those using have found another great free samples. First sign up for 02 Pirority Moments. Then you cn have 02. Use pay as you go SIMs and there are many other great freebies to offer that you may wish to consider. WHSmith is offering up free chocolate coins as well when you simply download the code on the app and show it to the clerk on your cell phone. A great stocking filler or a good reason to eat more of your favorite chocolate all in the spirit of Christmas.

Free Chocolate Reindeer

Should you be in the mood for something more festive, how about a free four pack of chocolate reindeer from Hotel Chocolate? According to the deal, it runs another ten days however, these are so popular that they often run out early. Get it while you can.

Free Golf Lessons

Free stuff has found free golf lessons as well. The World of Golf is offering these. Limited to four locations in Glasgow, Sidcup, New Malden or Croydon you can enjoy beginner lessons reasonably free. These typically go for £60 so you’re getting a great deal. Excellent to discover if you really enjoy the game for kids and adults alike. Lessons are one hour in length and the instructors are fully qualified. They even provide the golf club. All you pay for is the golf balls.

Free Malibu Hot Cocoa/Chocolate

Las Iguanas is also offering up a freebie of Malibu hot cocoa/chocolate each Saturday until Christmas. You’ll appreciate the break and you can fill out the form online. They send you a voucher and you simply take it with you to the restaurant.

The kids get the summers off and that’s amazing but us bloggers and dads do not get one. After a year of hard work, the children need a summer well spent to get ready for the upcoming school year. But is anybody else concerned about how much the ‘fun summer’ costs us parents. Yes, you can’t put a price on happiness and memories but we got to think about finances, don’t we? So here is what I am going to do to keep my kids occupied and save at the same time.

1. What’s in the garage?

The garage is where the hidden treasures are at. Fish out the bike that hasn’t been used. This saves you some money, physical exercise and fun is all part of the package. You can escape the traffic and enjoy some peace of mind with the kids. I did this with the kids last summer and we ended up racing in the empty bus park of a high school having a wonderful time.

2. Holidays for less

You probably guessed this one before you started reading but anyway here it is. Camping is a great way to get in touch with nature and have some quality family time. You could go with friends or just the family. Hire someone to do the cooking. This will be cheaper than dining out every night.

You could also swap homes for the summer vacations. This is exciting and cheap. Just check the house insurance beforehand.

3. Cheaper days out

Most events that your kids would love to attend over the summer have sky-high entry fees. But there are also events which charge you nothing for entrance and you will have a great time hanging out at one of these. One summer, we went to the Book Festival and they had a coloring in tent there. The children had such a great day. Find out about any events in your city now.

4. Get the kids helping out

We parents do not get the summer off and for all we know, the chores could be increasing in number. Since the kids are free, you can ask them to give you a hand with some chores like washing the car, painting the shed or gardening. At the same time, they will learn a couple of new things and you can save on time and money. If the kids need encouragement, tell them they can earn themselves some pocket money by helping out. Also, teach them about savings.

Doesn’t mean saving on money will end up with a boring summer. Have a great time making memories and do share any ideas you have. I’d love to hear them.

Internet surfing a couple of days ago, I came across a post that said Brad Pitt lead the household while his wife was away filming and that got me thinking. Are there any other famous SAHDs that I do not know of? This is pretty big news to us dads by the way.

So I started doing some research and was surprised to find out that Pitt is not the only one. There are so many other celebrities who take charge of the home when their wives are away. So after careful consideration and lots of thinking and negotiating with myself, I give you five famous daddies who become their children’s primary care taker like me.

Cary Grant

After much consideration, I decided the list needed to start with the infamous star of North By Northwest on top. This was back in the last century when the idea on stay at home dads was not commonly known or accepted. Grant did do some work but he pulled back from movies in ’66 with the arrival of his daughter, Jennifer.

His days of youth were gone by then but the grace stuck around. Grant was 62 and decided on children over career. He desired to keep record of his daughter’s life. Love was one thing but his family records and artifacts were lost when his home town was bombed back in 1942.

beckhamDavid Beckham

Save the frowning because I am not ashamed of accepting this. I don’t follow football and I don’t care. Since this is said (and frowned upon) and out of the way, you will not believe who the next famous stay at home dad is.

I was rather too surprised and a little cynical to learn the retired football star, David Beckham, plays the role of primary care giver at home when not modeling underwear.

Recently, I met someone at an event and we got talking. The person knew the Beckham family and confirmed that David Beckham does school runs and school lunches.

This is a heartfelt apology to Mr. Beckham for doubting the fact that he could run things around the house. Maybe it is slight jealousy from the fact that I do not even come close to looking as good as you in one of your legs-apart underwear shots.

Rick Moranis

Don’t stop reading I have a reason for putting him on the list. The Ghostbusters actor had to take up the role of a stay at home dad out of necessity rather than free will. Moranis lost him wife to cancer and the kids needed the only living parent. He did continue to work for a while till he decided on kids over career.

Here’s a quote Moranis gave to USA Today in 2005:

“I’m a single parent and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the travelling involved in making movies. So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it.”

Pretty sad, huh? Well, since his kids are grown up now, Rick Moranis has come out retirement in the past years.

John Lennon

Let me just say this. I am not a fan and I think his song writing was overrated. Please don’t kill me, my children need me. He had a son, Julian, from his marriage to Cynthia which did not work out so well. He had a second son named Sean from Yoko Ono. They say that he was a man changed when he found out he was going to be a father again. Lennon played little role in Julian’s life. With the Beatles at the peak of their career, family was ignored.

But times and men change. Lennon called himself a “househusband” and gave up music to be at home from 1975 to 1980.

Here’s a quote from Yoko Ono’s book, Real Love: Drawings for Sean. Commenting on her pregnancy with Sean, Ono said;

“John was ecstatic. ‘I’m going to raise this baby, Yoko. You do the business,’ he said. It was that simple.”

But the tragedy of life is that all good things come to an end.

Ben Affleck

The famous star from Argo takes control of the household when his wife, Jennifer Garner, is away filming. Recently, there has been confirmed news the couple is splitting but they for their children, the pair of them will be sharing a number of homes. The arrangement is when Garner is away filming; Affleck will be the children carer and momentary stay at home dad. Much like the case of Brangelina.

So there you have it folks, celebrities who are also stay at home dads. So what is your take on this? Do you think this sets some examples? The stable finances make it easier for them compared to us? Or would you like to add some famous stay at home dad we do not know about to the list? Please share your thoughts.


If you are a blogger then you will find immense pride in announcing you wrote a piece for a magazine. So, I wrote about stay at home dads (yay me). I found inspiration from guys who are SAHDs like me.

These days this topic is getting more and more focus from the media. Talking numbers, SAHDs have increased recently and there are approximately 250,000 of us in the UK.

This figure is given more focus because the number of men who are leaving the corporate and economic world to look after their homes and children.

So here is what I thought I should do. The right number of stay at home dads in the UK is still unknown so I thought it might be fun to try to find out the number of SADs.

For research purposes, I consulted the Office of National Statistics (ONS), The Fatherhood Institute and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Please take note of my level of commitment here.

So, the statistics is said to be black hole and my research analyzed how big of a hole it really is.
What we know for sure. . .

  • According to the last quarterly data published, we know the following numbers of economic inactivity of both genders.
  • For men aged 16-64 the figure between March and May 2015 was 246,000. For women, the figure was 2,020,000.
  • The comparable figures for 2013 were as follows: 210,000 men versus 2,904,000.

For just one year, the numbers have seen a steep fall for women and a steep rise for men. This suggests more women are going to work and more men are taking responsibility of the home.

But we can’t be sure the number of men inactive are all currently stay at home dads. But we know that women are out-earning men increasingly and the norms of gender responsibility are breaking.
But. . .

The ONS data isn’t concerned with the numbers of stay at home mums or dads. It simply collects data based on economic inactivity of both sexes.

Upon asking them to recheck and confirm, this was the response I received.

The ONS has been crystal clear with me, it does not collect or classify data relating specifically to stay at home mums or dads.

Sadly, we do not know the number of stay at home dads (or mums) in the UK currently.

So after I was upset with what I found out and being upset for considerable amount of time, I figured finding out the right number would be like finding a needle in a haystack. The research would also include stay at home parents, working from home parents, step-parents and divorced parents who share 50/50 custody. All this would need to be classified separately and I cannot even fathom how it would be possible.

Of course they would be a way to find it out and the ONS is more than capable to do so but it would require a big investment of time and hard work. God knows we humans fear hard work.

Let’s talk about economic activity now.
You may not realise it, but you’re probably a working parent

So we know that the ONS doesn’t cover the statistics of stay at home mums or dads. So figures provided above by the ONS include individuals who are a 100% economically inactive.

So what about those stay at home parents who do online or freelance work at home? Or maybe bill a few hours at a charity shop on weekends? So this is a whole new category. Such parents will be classified at economically active despite playing the role of the primary carer at home.

So I asked ONS to confirm his for me:

A mum or dad might do a few hours of paid work in a charity shop on a Saturday. They wouldn’t feature in these figures because they would be considered economically active.

I was told this statement is right.

So what is going on in the world of fatherhood?

So we have established there are no accurate numbers of stay at home mums or dads. So then I went ahead spoke to the Fatherhood Institute. I also spoke to a couple of people I knew and their precise response was “Let us know when you have your answer. Good luck.”

Fatherhood Institute were helpful and told me to rely on the ONS studies and men’s working pattern.

We know from the above mentioned ONS studies of the last quarter that there are 246,000 men economically inactive and after a comparison, it is safe to assume that this number is rising as we speak.

What we forget are gay marriages and adoptions are a part of these two. But if a gay couple has adopted children, chances are one male partner is the primary caregiver at home and this needs to be classified as well.

Unlike the UK, United States have a number on the issue. The Pew Research Centre has found that the number of stay at home dads at the moment is double of what it used to be back in 1989 and there are around 2 million stay at home dads today in the country. Need I mention the fact where the US goes, UK follows?

Research also suggests that unlike the past when men used to work longer hours, the trend is no longer being followed. The following has been picked from the Modern Fatherhood’s website:

  • Between 2001 and 2011 the proportion of fathers working 48 or more hours per week has fallen from 40% to 31%, compared with 35% to 29% for all men.
  • Between 2001 and 2011 the proportion of fathers working 60 or more hours has fallen from 13% to 10%, compared with 11% to 9% for all men.

The following was published in January 2015 in the Working Families’ Modern Families Index:

Within couple households, there has been a convergence between parents in the amount of paid work that they do. Fathers are also working less intensively and are more likely to be around in the evenings and at weekends as the number working non-standard hours has fallen.

In simple words, fathers are increasingly being seen at home and available to their families. Family life is finally presiding over work life. A considerable (but still small) number has given up career to fulfill the caregiver role around the house but other than that men are stepping up as a family person.
Recently the CBI held a campaign and has called on all employers to offer employees flexible working hours.
In conclusion

To my disappointment, I could not achieve what I set out to figure. I could not find the number of stay at home dads in the UK. But we did find from a rather trusted source that the number is growing and will continue to.

I am just disturbed to know no accurate data is known for this category and what the Government uses to provide parent-focused services?

As for the private sector, it is well established that men are making children and family their main focus over careers. Additionally, a small number is giving up careers altogether to look after children. I am just personally offended because all parent-child products are marketed at mums and the growing number of us stay at home dads is ignored.

There is a chance there is a whole bunch of us who lives under the radar. They may or may not be economically inactive. They may or may not be making money sitting at home blogging or running a bakery from home on orders.

So to conclude, we do not know how many proud stay at home dads there are in the UK and whatever you read or see in the media, needs to clarified for accuracy.

With summer vacations over, I have been doing some reflecting and self assessment and I guess I have become a little lazy as a parent.

But I’m not giving up or continuing what has lagged. I’m going to make and work on those things and the areas that need more attention.

Please feel free to share your experiences if you are familiar with these feelings. Maybe we could help each other.

Improve my children’s diet
this is every parent’s priority and it feels like this one just never ends. We will always be concerned about their diets, whether or not they are well hydrated and how much junk food they are consuming. My children for one start their day with fruit and consume the right amount of fruits and vegetable required per day. But my laziness interfered and I stopped experimenting and adding new foods to their diets. This needs work and attention on my behalf.


Do more sports activities with the kids
Kids learn from watching you and as I personally think my lifestyle is plenty healthy, they too find the encouragement to take it outside. They enjoy swimming, cycling and walking which I make a point to accommodate in my schedule. But the thing is we do not play many sports as a family. Let’s just say my wife and I cannot work a bat and a ball. I believe this we need to work on as a family.


Be more organized with homework
We try our level best to give our older child the time, attention, help and concentration she needs to do her homework and keep up pace with her studies. But the younger kids in the house are resourceful and will always find ways to disturb during homework time. Hence, standards have seen a downward slope and over the summer, we are thinking of getting a study desk for our older child which she could use in her room and away from the little ones reach.
Speak more French
I may not speak it or wear it, but I come from a French background and I like to keep in touch with my roots. I used to speak with the kids in French and make sure they learn the language through various means. The older one can find her way around in very basic French but the younger one hasn’t been progressing too well. I have no one but myself to blame since my efforts hit a low. This I need to put on top of the list.

Get those stabilizers off the bike
our area is rather hilly. Riding a bicycle is not the easiest task around here and my children have still not learnt how to ride a bike without stabilizers. We are planning to work on this over the summer so that they can catch up with their friends.

And that’s a wrap. Please do share with me what’s on your list!

Our world is rapidly changing and big issues of our time are becoming dinner time talk, talk show topics and casual exchanges at parties. Children too pick up random words and question them. Ben is 6 years old but she is quickly becoming interested in gender issues, particularly gender equality.

I was putting her to bed and reading her a story. The story involved something about a mum at the school gates and Sarah wasn’t too happy with the stereotype. The picture in the book had no men or dads and she was further offended by it.

This discussion came up before but I did not pay much attention to it. There was a retail store that contained the word “mother” in the title. She was not much too happy about it and said there should be “father” store too.

There have been more such moments but I think I won’t bore you with all the incidents. I for one am impressed to see Sarah is taking notice of such tiny things, questioning them and wants to communicate about them.

Well, I am impressed and surprised the way she picked up on this but I wonder why it didn’t come up sooner. I am a SAHD and I do the school runs. I just wonder why she never asked why she was the only one getting picked up by her dad when everyone else was picked up by their moms.

I have tried to talk to her about the house environment, how mommy goes to work and daddy is the primary care taker around the house but she never showed any interest as such.

But her recent curiosity tells me things are going to change. Her taking notice and questioning tells me she sees her house environment is a different from her friends and school mates. I for one am looking forward to have this discussion.

The issue is sensitive and needs to be handled with care. Since I am a blogger and everything, the concept of gender equality are not limited to just me. I do not believe in forcing my opinions on my kids, of course they are entitled to have one of their own and this is something I strongly encourage and believe in. Sooner or later, they have to know what the world is about. Not to be dramatic, but even I am not sure yet what the world is about.

Coming back on track, here is a share from one of my proud blogger moment. A friend of mine is an English teacher and he used my blog to talk to his students about language and gender equality. The discussion was a success. But there was one kid who called it “doss life”. Well, I am trying not to get offended by the ignorance of children. They’ll know better soon enough.

healthy_eating4132413This particular debate has been going on for quite some time and there are no chances of seeing the end of it any time soon. So, what do you choose?

The eldest girl, Jack is a six year old and gets free hot dinners which are provided to all children under the age of seven. Fun fact: they are now called hot dinners but back in our day, we called them school dinners (Interesting, eh?).

One of the parents from Jack’s school did some quick calculations and concluded that by allowing their child the free hot dinners, they saved £1,000 annually.

So let me quickly tell you the advantages that popped in my mind first time I heard of the numbers.

  1. We need the money.
  2. No preparing meals every morning.
  3. Call me stingey if you like, but after the huge sums taxes we pay each year, I think we have a right to take advantage of any opportunity available to us.

But even after the important financial factor, I am not convinced just yet.

When Sarah first started school, we had met with the catering team and they seemed nice. We opted for hot dinners when Sarah was in Reception and it seemed fine. But they because of her meal option, she could not sit with the group of children she was trying to befriend. Hence, we started packing her lunch for her.

At the time she was new to the whole school thing and her settling in well was the most important thing at the time. But it’s been two years and she has friends so the debate arises.

My child’s health comes first. When we make her lunch, we know the nutrient intake necessary and that is also out primary concern. We make sure she gets one portion of the fruit and vegetable intake as needed and her drinks are do not contain any artificial ingredients. I’m no expert at meal planning but I make it a point to meet standards.

If she does not eat some of her lunch then the school sends it back home. This gives us a perfect idea of how much she ate.

Is we opted for hot dinners, then we would be clueless of what our child was eating and how much she was eating. I’m not saying they would feed her chips and burgers but she could be filling up on white bread whereas we like to feed her brown bread.
Back in our day, school dinners were not very healthy but my parents insisted I had those. If they knew what I ate, they might not have insisted. But in this day and age, this is no longer a problem.

I, on the other hand, am keen to not let my children consumer that sort of food. And as a father, I am more than happy to prepare Sarah’s meals myself and be sure of the food she is eating.

Thinking about it from the corporate perspective, I spoke on the LoveAllDads podcast regarding the subject. As more and more kids will opt for hot dinners, rival companies will try their best to sell their dinners at the lowest possible price which means they will compromise on the quality. Schools will definitely look at this from a financial perspective and buy from the lowest priced vendor. Are we sure we want our kids to eat food that is compromised?

Again, I am not expert and this is merely an opinion. There have been rumors and it is probable. Hence, I have my concerns.

So to end this, I am choosing to pack lunch for my children and I think I will keep doing so for a while.

Kids are more prone to scars and ill-feelings. They need to be encouraged to express these since this is good to their self-esteem as well as helps maintain a communication channel between parents and kids.

My oldest son was upset the other day because she could not participate in an activity and had to pull out. But the way this little girl handled the situation, made me proud of being her dad.

She received an invitation for a swimming competition and she is keen on swimming. When I arrived at the pool, I was taken aback upon learning the participants had to swim 25 meters butterfly, breast, crawl and back strokes. Come on, it is a huge challenge for kids in grades one to three.

Sarah had only swum 10 meters but in the deeper end of the pool. If you’re wondering whether she has had formal swimming lessons, then yes. But even after the lesson, 25 meters was quite too much. Sarah was insistent and confident and I didn’t want to be the one to break it. In all honesty, I was a bit skeptical about the distance. There were lifeguards there on high alert so I wasn’t much scared for her safety.

Sarah successfully finished two lengths. But then they had to do back strokes and this isn’t her forte. She wasn’t particularly happy about it. I was watching from distance trying to keep the other daughter toddler from jumping the pool with fully clothed.

Since she wasn’t up for the back stroke, Sarah herself spoke to the instructor and explained why she didn’t want to do it. Meantime, I made my way down to talk to her.

They allowed her to omit the back stroke but she would still have to do the front crawl on one condition. She was forced to take the outside lane so that she could hold on the wall to rest it need be. When she was called to do it, she wasn’t up for it and I didn’t push it. We left.

Yes, there were tears. I mean she is just a little girl; I’d be worried if she didn’t cry it out. As a father, I repeated a couple of times how proud I was of her for completing two lengths and how she exceeded my expectations. When my wife got back home, she made the same comments and there were encouraging hugs. But most of all, I was proud of the fact that she spoke up and accepted it wasn’t for her. Most kids her age wouldn’t have done so. I don’t think if I was in her place and age, I wouldn’t have either.

But really, I am more proud than my words could possibly describe. If she had taken part in the length and failed miserably, that would have damaged her confidence and some things a little kid can just not bear. I really think she dealt with it really well.

So after the whole thing passed, I asked myself what my role was here. I wondered if I should have let her participate in this thing at all. I have to say, I shouldn’t have. As a parent, this was a lesson for me. I should have had all the information about this competition and talked to the instructor myself beforehand. Also, I need to be sure where my child and her abilities stand in the situation.

But on the brighter side, I am more prepared for my second daughter and these mistakes will probably not be made then. Parenting is hard. We need to cut ourselves some slack.

So, Sarah hasn’t given up her swimming and is still taking her lessons. Guess all’s well when it ends well. I on the other hand, still need to get over the incident.