At the start of the year I set out my goals for the Millennial Dad movement. I pinned them to my Twitter profile as a public statement and to hold myself accountable for reaching them. They are:

  1. Define my vision.

  2. Publish my book.

  3. Establish my web presence.

Another month has passed and we’re now in March. I’m writing this post feeling a little ashamed that I haven’t done much to move things forward since the last post. I continue to maintain my web presence although I’ve fallen short in the past week.

Real life always seems to get in the way!

Our second baby is due at the end of March. The past two weeks have been a constant struggle to paint the house and buy everything we need to prepare for our impending arrival. And then there’s the growing realisation that I’ve forgotten how to care for a new-born baby! Work has been busy and one of my grandparents has been taken ill.

I really wanted to focus on defining my vision for the Millennial Dad movement but I haven’t managed to find the time.

I kind of know what I want to achieve with the Millennial Dad blog and that’s the celebrate and support modern fatherhood. I now need to focus that into a defined vision with a set of objectives and aims. The trouble is, to do any of this requires time and space. I’ve been waiting for the right time to sit and work out my vision, time to write down what I want to achieve, and really give it some proper thought and attention. And now February has passed – technically we’re still at the end of the month because February is such a short and silly month!

I may have failed to reach one of my goals but I’ve also learned a valuable lesson… there’s never a perfect moment!

We can sit and wait for the stars to align, for the perfect weather and opportunity to get things done, but at the end of the day it’s better to just start something and work hard on it. Why?

–         If you start something there’s a much higher chance you’ll keep it going.

–         If you do only a little bit to keep things moving, then you can take comfort in the knowledge you’ve moved things forward.

–         An imperfect moment can be more productive and inspirational than waiting for the perfect moment.

There are many fantastic parent bloggers on the web who juggle so many different commitments and keep going. Look behind their glossy websites and impressive productive output and you’ll find discipline and hard work.

We all struggle from time to time and it’s important to realise we’ll never be able to achieve everything. Sometimes we need to take a break and acknowledge that we’ve done a good job, even if it’s not everything we wanted to get done.

So, I may not have achieved all my goals in February. But I’m proud that I kept the blog running, connected and engaged with more brilliant parent bloggers, and also got a bit more prepared to welcome a new baby into the world. Sometimes it’s ok to give yourself a pat on the back.

At the start of the year I wrote a blog to set out my goals for the Millennial Dad movement. I pinned it to my Twitter profile as a public statement but also to hold me accountable to myself, if that makes sense. I’m often reminded of them whenever I check my profile:

1. Define my vision.
2. Publish my book.
3. Establish my web presence.

So far I’ve made the most progress with establishing my web presence. I’ve set up accounts through the main social media channels and started to make use of them in different ways. Whereas I thought Twitter and Instagram were synonymous and I could post the same thing to each, I’ve realised each has its own advantages. Twitter is great for interacting with people and I’ve enjoyed discovering and learning from other parent bloggers. Instagram is a really great place for images and also to engage with others across the world on different topics.

Here are some shout outs for two people I’ve particularly enjoyed following.

Twitter: @youbabymemummy. Does a great job in sharing tips about blogging which is particularly useful for those of us just starting out. There’s so much great material on her blog and regular links to stuff through Twitter.

Instagram: @FatherofDaughters. This guy is hilarious and posts some truly fantastic content. He’s obviously successful, too, as his posts are liked by thousands of people. He gives a daily insights into life as a dad to four girls.

I’ve also taken the plunge and opted to self-host my blog.

I thought that if I was serious about it I should just go for it. So I saw a recommendation for a hosting company called Siteground and a design company called Pipdig. It was really easy to set up. And by really easy I mean I didn’t have to do a thing! The Pipdig guys very kindly connected everything for me and installed a cool WordPress blog theme. So now I have a brilliant site and I’ve tried to bring together all my social media onto the page. It looks pretty good if I say so myself, even if my ugly mug is plastered at the top of the page.

So I think I’ve gone some way to establishing my web presence although I know this job will never really end. The point of a social web presence is to stay engaged so I know my blog will evolve over time.

Finally, on branding I’ve commissioned a designer on Fiverr to produce a new logo to give me a bit more of an identity.

Where does that leave my other goals?

I haven’t made much progress with the book for a while. I bashed out an early draft but it’s still at the monkeys on typewriters stage. I’ve started to read through some early chapters but I’ve not made much progress with editing. Now I’m up and running with the blog and starting to post regular content, this should inspire me to get on with the book. After all, the book was my main idea before the blog took hold.

And on defining my vision, I don’t feel I’ve made much progress of actually writing it down. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to achieve but I still need to articulate it. Work out my elevator pitch, as they say. Vision should really come first and then everything else should flow from it. But one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was not to wait until something is perfect. Just get on and do it. JFDI.

So that’s January done and only 11 months to go until 2018.

I’d love to devote more time to the Millennial Dad but I’ve got a full time job and a daughter to look after, too, so I’m beginning to learn the art of managing my time wisely. Oh, and the small matter of another baby on the way in March. Eek!

We were walking to ballet class this morning and passed the old house of one of A’s friends, who moved away from the area last year. 

“Do you remember going to Santino’s house?” I asked. 

“Who’s Santino?” She replied.

I’ve started to notice that she is forgetting some things in the past that meant something to her. 

A. was good friends with this little boy and used to play with him a lot. But now he’s moved away and we haven’t seen him, she’s gradually forgotten about him. The same is true for my great aunt, who died last year. We chose not to mention it and she has gradually forgotten my aunt’s name. I get a tinge of sadness when I think that she’s forgetting these experiences and people. But then her whole life only spans four years and she’s learning so much every day she can’t be expected to remember it all. My first memory isn’t until around aged five. I think I can remember being stuck in my cot when I was a baby but then perhaps I made up that memory. Some people claim they can remember being born!

As children grow up they forget things but that doesn’t mean those things are any less important.

They might not remember a holiday as a toddler but the experience will contribute to their development. It’s important to capture as many memories as possible. 

Take photos, record video, keep mementoes from holidays and drawings from nursery. In the digital age the millennial dad can do this really easily storing things digitally without filling up our homes with bits of old paper. It’s good to hold onto things and bring them up in later years. 

I enjoy looking through all the old stuff my mum has kept about me over the years. Occasionally it sparks memories of the past, and often it makes me think about the happy childhood I had. 

It’s been about a week since I first made a blog post. Since then I’ve done a couple more. But I’ve also been introduced to the weird and wonderful world of parent blogging. And I like it. 

I’ve made several attempts at starting blogs in the past but I’ve always been put off by how lonely and removed I felt from other people. It felt like I was just writing into a void. Of course, I know it takes a while to get any sort of blog traffic but I never enjoyed the process.

I started this blog because I’m writing a book about the Millennial Dad, the newest generation of parents.

I wanted somewhere to share my thoughts and shape my book. Because I’m genuinely interested in this topic I’ve started to explore other blogs and, wow, there are tons of parents out there all writing about similar experiences.

It’s been amazing to see the number and breadth of parenting blogs out there. 

There are mums and dads, in the UK, US and around the world. I’ve begun to learn things that I never knew about parenting, despite having a four year old. I’ve shared in other people’s joys and frustrations, discovered silly jokes, and reviews of great products. 

Whether it’s a millennial dad or mum, who I relate to, or parents of triplets which I can’t even imagine, all parenting blogs I’ve read have one similar trait… honesty. 

More than any other blogging “genre” I’ve found parenting blogs to be really honest about their experiences. Bloggers are willing to share their thoughts in an open and supportive environment. None of the comments on the blog posts I’ve read have any kind of trolling or hate or rudeness. 

I hope I’ll be able to make a positive contribution to the world of parent blogging. I know it will take a while before people start to read my posts, but that will give me time to practice and “find my voice” as I heard someone describe. Along the way I hope to finish and publish my book on the Millennial Dad and maybe even offer useful advice to others, too!