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!

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.

garden-partyAh, summer garden parties are such a delight. But when you are hosting one, there are a whole lot of things to take care of before the party, mostly grooming the garden. So the party is in a couple of weeks and the garden is in no state. I planted potatoes and sunflowers and mowed the lawn….once!

So safe to say, it is a disaster. Weeding is needed and don’t even get me started on the hedges. So let me just make this clear. I have the kids and a blog and it takes up pretty much all of my day. Naturally I am nervous about the party and decided to hand over the task to Fantastic Services. Life savers, those guys.

Not just gardening but they offer a whole range of services that includes cleaners, builders and pet care takers. It operates from London and the South East mainly but it is now expanding and services are now available in Leeds and Manchester.

Needless to say, we hired them for their gardening services. The men brought their own tools and the job took them four hours. They made wonders happen is an understatement.

Besides the actual work, the company was very responsible overall. They sent an email to remind me of the appointment and a text once the appointment was made. They were supposed to get to my house between 10-11 am but they arrived at 9:50am. Everything was done according to what I had asked for.

The sun had been merciless the day they had come to work. I told them to ask for anything they needed. Three hours in, I went to check on them and asked if they needed anything and one of them said “some water, maybe?” which is when I realized they hadn’t had a drink of water under the scorching sun for three hours.

I got them a jug of water and glasses right away and turned a little red due to my guilt.

When they were done, the hedges were perfectly trimmed, the lawn looked lush and beautiful, the patio was weeded and there were 13 bags of waste. My garden was ready.

Are you thinking about how much they charged me for their services? It cost me £144 but the headache I was saved from was priceless.

Keeping up with my favorite stay at home dads blogs, I came across a piece on how you could tell a guy was a stay at home dad. Needless to say, I was inspired and here is my very own list.

So, I give you five ways by which you can tell I am Brad Pitt. I mean a stay at home dad. I mean a stay at home dad like Brad Pitt (yes, he is one when his wife is away filming).

 

Suntan
Surprised by this one? The sun doesn’t pay these many happy visits to us British too often but this summer had been quite sunny. I spent too much time outside with the kids and therefore, the tan. It is rather impressive and I am wearing it proudly.
Facial hair
This can be found on other daddy blogs but it is not cheated or anything, it’s simply true. Before my second child, I used to be clean shaven but then time is valuable now and I kind of like the stubble. It’s only 3mm in length and looks nice actually.

I have been told that the stubble suits me and people actually complaint when I clean shave. I tried growing a beard and surprisingly it suited me but I do not want to get committed to that look.

 

I can be scatter-brained.
You should see me when I am grocery shopping along with my two precious bundles of joy. My train of thought is interrupted constantly and I am all over the place. I mean the kids get bored during the shopping and play about. This distracts me to keep track and some items that needed to be bought are forgotten.

Well, I am not perfect and I do make grocery shopping blunders often. I’d be gone to buy ingredients to make chicken risotto and I’ll pick up like shoe polish, cling film and apples.

So the wife isn’t always very pleased with having fish fingers for dinner because that was the last resort. My reply in such a scenario is pretty simple. Does she remember to pick up everything on the list when she goes shopping with both the kids, once in 400 years?

 

I am the family’s social secretary
Force of habit perhaps, but when people arrange a gathering they usually talk to my wife about it because according to the stereotype, women are in charge of the family’s social calendar. Well, things are different around our house. We do have a calendar hanging in the kitchen and my wife puts an effort too, but generally I am the who enforces it. Scatter-brain sure but hey, I keep perfect track of where we need to be a year from now.

When I was working for the Age Concern England (ACE) charity it had merged with Help the Aged to create Age UK. They used to campaign for the rights of the elderly.

There was a study conducted that targeted a common problem. Most married men relied on their wives the responsibility to make all social arrangements. If the wife died before the husband, the poor widower would lead a very unsocial life due to loss of confidence or simply because he had been out of practice for too long.

 

Shoes
before I became a dad, trainers were a big no for me. Always sound them too casual. But after my first child was born, I was a man changed. I bought a pair of Merrell trainers and soon enough, those became my “daddy shoes”. So now, I have a few pairs of trainers. Moreover deck shoes are also quite comfortable and can be put on or taken off quickly. Being parents is also about speeding up, well, everything. Trainers and deck shoes are now my day-to-day fashion choice. Ah, how times change.

So there you have it folks, five ways you can tell I am a stay at home dad. Do let me know what you think and tell me about your experience as a stay at home dad or mom.

There have been thousands of times we appreciate what women do for us. Yes, top of my head I can think of many times I appreciated what all the women in my life do for us but I didn’t fully believe this from the bottom of my heart till I understood the importance of it all after getting married to my beautiful wife. Since the tag Before I had a Husband is trending, I thought I should get in on it too.

So, here it goes. If you are reading this my love, know I mean every word. .

Before I had a wife:

  • Never had I imagined I’d meet anyone special enough to share my life
  • Never did I think someone so special would have my children
  • Never did I think someone would support me in every walk of life
  • Never did I think I could be someone’s constant support and other half
  • I knew but didn’t really know what women go through to bring a child in this world
  • And you did that for ME
  • Never did I know how money, a better job and career could fall meaningless for a family of my own
  • I did not know what to do with my life till I found you
  • Unsure of life, I let myself indulge in the lifestyle not so suitable for a guy in his thirties
  • I need someone who could keep me from the physical stress the doctor warned me about
  • I wanted a constant and family and faith
  • My entertainment was the four channels my medieval television received
  • My house was tidy but my life was incomplete
  • And then you came along and made it look so easy