I don’t normally feel nervous my children and especially not the baby who isn’t old enough to actually do anything yet! But today I felt a pang of emotion as I dropped off my daughter at a holiday workshop. She was so excited about doing the drama workshop and in her mind must have built up all sorts of things in her mind about how it would be. I hope that the reality was just as exciting. As I dropped her off I could see she was a little unsure of herself as all children are when they first meet but the person in charge was very welcoming and introduced her to some new children straightaway. Before I knew it I was out the door back in my car. Throughout the day I’ve been thinking about it and I’m now on the way to see her final performance they put together for the parents.

I guess the thing with parent nerves is that, just like with enemies, you should never show your fear.

I imagine that many children feel nervous about doing things and it might be compounded even more when their parents feel nervous for them. I remember when I went to Cub Scout camp first time only about 20 miles away from home, but I thought that was the end of the world and I was really homesick for parts of it.

The thing that really tipped me over the edge as a young boy was a note my mum put in my bag saying how much she would miss me.

It read, “love you and miss you lots of hope you have a good time mum X”. I can see what she was trying to do but it wasn’t very helpful. I didn’t descend into floods of tears and I didn’t make a fuss, but I spent a good part of that camp wishing I was at home. .

Sometimes as parents we have to hide our fears and just let our children get on with it.

They are far more resilient than we are and don’t find it hard to make friends and play alongside others. So the key lesson here let your children explore new things even if it feels a bit heart wrenching. Now I better get back inside and watch the performance!

This is going to be one of those self-indulgent, navel-gazing posts that’s probably more for my benefit than anyone else. It breaks the rule of successful blog posts to offer some value to the reader. Read on at your peril.

When I started this blog it was with the intention of creating a movement to support men of the modern era who are becoming fathers.

Typically I have found it hard to maintain due to the business of real life getting in the way. The subject matter that could be the greatest source of interest and inspiration, i.e. my children, has actually been the greatest hindrance to my success. It all comes down to a question of priorities. At the end of the day, when I’m tired from trying to get a one year old to sleep while convincing the five-year-old to put herself to sleep I just don’t have the energy to do much else.

At the start of 2017 I set some relatively simple goals to grow my social media presence and, most importantly, to finish a book about millennial parenting. None of this really happened.

The annual subscription for hosting this blog came up again recently and before I had a chance to contemplate whether or not to keep going the auto renewal took over and answered the question for me. I really want to make something of this blog now I am more invested than ever in it.

On the horizon I see increasing acknowledgement of millennials as parents and the unique challenges they face. There are numerous articles now referencing this generation and a lot of it isn’t all that positive.

Above all I have realised that being a parent is a positive exercise.

Day-to-day life may be challenging but the business of being a parent is truly rewarding. And that has never changed between the generations. I may not have a big readership and I may not ultimately change the world, but I can change my small part of it. And in writing my blogs and contributing to this world I’m sure I can make positive difference in my own life. As Martin Luther said you can do great things or you can do small things in a great way. And so this blog continues.

This post isn’t going to be the best one I’ve ever written. It’s not tagged with useful tips. It isn’t visually appealing. I don’t even want it to be read by many people. But it’s important that I do it. And keep putting words down.

Progress is putting one foot in front of the other and keeping moving.

I always love to read about the people at the back of the London marathon. The ones who have committed to completing the 26.2 miles at all costs. They’re usually doing it because there’s some higher purpose, like raising money for charity. They might be injured military heroes who are battling onwards in memory of their friends who never made it back home. They might be doing crazy charity challenges dressed in absurb costumes, highlighting their cause and raising lots of money. The guy who completed the marathon in a full diving suit sticks in my memory. He could barely move and it took him the best part of a week to do it.

But diving suit marathon man did complete the race. He set a goal and went for it in his own way, and completed the personal challenge doing some good in the process.

My blog has a kind of higher purpose; I want to examine and celebrate modern fatherhood. Sometimes I just enjoy writing and go through periods of prolific posting. But then modern fatherhood can also get in the way. I’ve realised my last blog post was nearly two months ago.

I might not have created any blogging content over the past two months but I’ve made some great memories.

I’ve been on a couple of holidays with my family, during which time I completely turned off email and social media. Sure, I’ve got plenty of Instagram-able images and lots of anecdotes for Twitter. But I haven’t managed to share them. It’s been tough juggling everything with a 5 month old baby and some things have to give.

I do regret that I’ve stopped completely over the past two months. I wish I kept my blog going, even minimally.

Like the diving suit man I’ve realised it’s important to keep taking the next step forward, however laborious and challenging. Because at least I’m making some progress. So this post is designed to give me a kick up the backside and try to stick to my 2017 annual plan. If I keep going between now and the end of the year I’ve got a good chance of finishing my book on the Millennial Dad.

I’m counting on other great parent bloggers to keep me accountable.

I’m not asking for a buddy blogger to keep an eye on me and make sure I’m posting regularly, although that might be helpful. Rather, I want to commit myself to regularly reading other bloggers’ posts. There’s some truly inspiring content out there being presented in exciting new ways. The standard of the bloggers I follow gives me something to aim for.

Keep up the good work everyone, and I’ll keep on taking steps forward!





The recent BBC Annual Report disclosed a big gender pay gap between men and women. This made me think why men might reasonably be paid more than women.

Here are five times when men should be paid more than women for doing the same job:

1. They are better at their jobs.

If a man and woman do the same job, but the man does that job better than the woman then he should be paid more. The measurable for the job should be clearly defined and if a man performs better in those areas then he should be remunerated more highly. At the end of the day, we all perform certain tasks for money, and it follows that the better those tasks we perform the more money we should receive.

2. They don’t take career breaks.

If a man and a woman do the same job, and then the woman takes a career break, it’s reasonable to assume the man will continue in his current career trajectory while the woman remains at her previous level. It just so happens that it’s more likely women take career breaks to have children on maternity leave, and therefore when they come back into the workforce they do so at a position further behind than their male counterparts.

3. They generate more money.

If a man and a woman do the same job, a man should earn more money if he generates significant revenue for the organisation where he’s working. That could be in funds generated, or advertising or sponsorship. One example is in the world of sports where male footballers are paid significantly more than female footballers. This is because male football attracts more viewers and therefore greater degrees of sponsorship and advertising. It’s simple market forces.

4. They ask for more money.

If a man and a woman do the same job, and they are appraised on that job, the man may earn more money if he asks for a raise. It is more likely that men ask for raises than women and therefore more likely their bosses will give them a pay rise. See this article on how female graduates dramatically underestimate their worth.

5. They network more.

If a man and a woman do the same job, the man may earn more money and greater opportunities as he networks more than his female counterpart. Men, by training or inclination, often choose to socialise with colleagues and network with potential clients. The more somebody is known in a particular circle, the more likely they’ll be trusted by others and the more opportunities they will gain.

All of the above points should be prefaced by “if” and can equally apply to women as well as men. It may seem vastly unfair that there is a gender pay gap, but the historic nature of men and women and the way they operate in the workplace is balanced in favour of males and away from females.

Does this mean that women should act more like men to be paid more?

I don’t think this is the case. None of the above points are particularly male traits, rather they are traits that males have adopted. It may be that work environments have been unfairly biased towards these activities and male workers have adopted those practices to earn more money. Also, having more men in positions of power makes it more likely that other men will progress at the expense of women.

Gender balance will not be achieved by simply encouraging women to act more like men.

Hundreds, if not thousands of years of biased thinking towards men means that we must take affirmative action to redress the balance. I applaud the recent news  that female celebrities in the BBC have collectively demanded a pay rise to be more equivalent to their male counterparts. By asking for what they want, rather than accepting what is given to them, they have a much better chance of achieving their aims.

The Swedish government hopes to address the gender pay gap in part by emphasising equal parental leave. There is even a portion of benefit which must be taken by men or it is lost. The benefit to Swedish society is that women are given more opportunity to get back into the world of work and come closer to equalising pay over time.

When I first read about the story of the BBC, it made me think how things could be improved. At first I thought we should become gender blind when it comes to pay. In an ideal world this would be the case. However, we don’t live in an ideal world and we must work harder to make gender equity possible within the next few years.

There’s a lot of talk about percentages these days. We’re often told people are “giving it 100%” whether it be at work, sport, or family life. Sometimes, it’s even higher: 110%, 200%, 1000%… there’s no limit to our level of commitment, regardless of whether it’s actually possible to give more than everything we’ve got.

The thing is, giving 100% is usually a fallacy, or worse, it’s the path to burnout and failure.

In our daily lives we have so many duties, and modern dads have more than any other men before us. We’re family men, successful colleagues and leaders, fit and competitive sportsmen, and social eagles. The motto is “work hard, play hard”, and men today have to do it all. If we’re always operating full-on, with nothing more to give, then we’re leaving ourselves very little space to recover.

There’s an expectation from society that men should have it all and do it all.

This constant pressure to always be “on” and “at the top of our game” has consequences. It’s believed that, at any one time, around 1 in 8 men are diagnosed with a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. This could be anxiety born out from all the stresses heaped upon men, or depression that men feel they have nowhere to turn. But if you think about it for a moment, very few of us ever talk about those deep-seated feelings, so how many more men in our society are suffering mental anguish in silence?

New fathers feel more pressure than most and male post-natal depression is a real thing.

In today’s society, modern millennial dads are expected, and expect to take a full role in raising their children. This is great for dads, families, and society in general as I’ve posted about in other areas. But with this new empowered family dynamic comes an additional pressure that men need to measure up as dads, as well as colleagues in the work place. A recent survey by the National Childbirth Trust found that over a third of new dads were concerned about their mental health.  So what can we do about it?

A first step towards easing stress for dads is to take away the pressure.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of everyday life, taking on more and more responsibility, and trying to do it all. Why? Because it’s expected from society. Look at this advert for a well-known razor blade (with amazing 80s soundtrack and video!) showing us that we can do it all, if only we buy their brand of hair removal.

You’re looking sharp, you’re looking good, you’ve come so far,
And we know how to make the most of who you are,
Father to son, it’s what we’ve always done,
Gillette, the best a man can get,
On so many faces it’s plain to see,
We give you all we have to give for all a man can be,
Where the race is run, you’re the champion,
Gillette, the best a man can get.

It’s time to stop believing that we have to be the champion all the time. Sometimes it’s ok to give less than 100%. For most runners, a marathon is about finishing and doing the best we can do for ourselves. It’s not about beating everyone else. Fatherhood should be like this, too. It’s not a constant sprint.

No man being honest with himself or with those around him can reasonably expect to operate at 100% all the time.

Bosses need to understand their employees will work hard, and will give it their all when necessary, but they can’t expect 100% all of the time. 80% is good enough. Partners and children should understand that dads are doing a good job but they can’t always be switched on and fully engaged with everything. Sometimes it’s ok to give 80% and watch something mindless on TV.

Men need to believe that whatever the pressures of society, they don’t have to conform to everything. They don’t have to say “yes” to every request. And if they give 80% to the world, then they can keep 20% for themselves.

There’s a quote from the first Bourne film when Matt Damon’s character is sat in a café and explains “at this altitude I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start to shake”. Elsewhere in the film, Jason Bourne switches in an instant from unassuming passer-by to deadly assassin. He knows when he needs to give it his all, when to dial it up to 100. Modern dads need to operate steadily most of the time, knowing when to step up and do what it takes when needed.

This is one of the best ways to look after ourselves and be the best dads we can be.