Blog

Home / Blog - Blog Demo
Parenthood

Raising Strong Daughters: Here’s what you must do

It’s no secret that I love being a Daddy. I see raising strong daughters as more than a goal, it’s my responsibility. You should too.

Since having a daughter, I’ve realised that us Dads can play a fundamental role in helping our little girls become the fierce women they deserve to be.

Contents:

1. How to Raise a Self-Confident Daughter
2. Be a Strong Male Figure in Her Life
3. Highlight and Acknowledging Sexism
4. You’ve got a battle on your hands

We’re surrounded by white male privilege. By my very race and gender, I’m a beneficiary. It doesn’t sit quite right with me.

Nothing could have possibly opened my eyes more than the birth of my baby girl.

I love my daughter more than life itself. Becoming a parent taught me the value of family.

More importantly, being there for my daughter has shown me the importance of raising a strong daughter in a world of imbalance.

Kids learn how to view the world from those closest to them. In their early years, it predominantly from their parents.

Meg Meeker’s article, ‘How to raise strong and confident daughters‘ got me thinking.

I want my daughter to grow up with the confidence to challenge society, break down boundaries and be who she wants to be.

Here’s a simple guide on how to raise a daughter for dads.

It’s by no means extensive, but it should start you off.

The motivation?

Helping you teach your daughter to be strong.

To raise a girl who is happy in herself.

To show her that she can be what she wants to be.

How to raise a self-confident daughter

As a father, I don’t want my daughter to be defined by superficial values.

Of course, we all want to look good and liked to be complimented from time-to-time, but it’s not everything.

Women are under more pressure than ever to look good, perhaps even more so than men.

Social media amplifies this obsession even more and creates a kind of ‘en mass peer pressure’ that of ideals they feel they need to abide by. I want my little girl to know there’s more to life than looks.

Kindness, decency, resilience and courage should be the yardstick of success when raising a strong girl.

This great article, ‘10 Compliments to Give your Daughter That Have Nothing To Do With Looks‘ is perfect.

Compliment your daughter on traits that really matter.

  • Resilience
  • Courage
  • Intelligence

Make sure they have the confidence to tackle the world around them without being afraid to fail.

Girls are strong.

I’ve been surrounded tough women my whole life. They taught me how to be respectful as a man, as well as how to raise a strong girl.

One of my favourite compliments to give Evie is this:

“You’re so kind.”

Kindness is currency.

A warm heart is a vital foundation in the making of a good parent, an effective employee and one strong little girl.

Of course, kindness can be taken for granted. Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith in order to share a happy and fulfilling life.

Be the strong male figure in her life

As a Dad, if you ever finding yourself asking how to raise a strong daughter, there’s a simple answer: Lead by example.

This article for PsychCentral covers the subject perfectly.

I’ve summarised a few of the key points for you:
1. Love her mother

I separated with Evie’s mum a few years ago. Since then, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs.

One thing I’ve NEVER done is criticised my ex in front of Evie.

A little girl needs to learn from an early age that a man should treat a woman with respect.

2. Don’t be afraid of attachment

Don’t underestimate how important it is for your daughter to form an attachment to you.

Spend quality time with them, play games and let them know you love them often with words as well as physical affection. Evie rarely tells me she loves me back and I never force her to.

To me, those gestures of love are investments into an emotional bank account for the future, which hopefully Evie will be able to reinvest into her own children one day.

3. Celebrate her mind

We’ve covered this topic above, but I can’t stress the importance of it enough.

Be honestly enthusiastic and interested in the things she tells you and take time to understand the way she thinks.

For example, Evie’s latest thing is to go,

“Daddy….guess what…”

This is Evie’s little precursor to telling me something that happened in her life that she wants to share with me.

No matter what, I respond with the same enthusiasm and excitement, whether it’s the first time of the day or the fiftieth.

4. Treat all adult women the way you want your daughter to be treated someday

If you want to know how to raise strong daughters as a Dad, there’s something incredibly simple you can do: Treat women the way you want your daughter to be treated.

Your attitude towards women is a direct reflection on how your daughter will come to view herself.

Take every opportunity you can to SHOW her that she deserves respect, support and love.

Highlighting and acknowledging sexism

There are so many confusing double-standards in today’s society.

For example, assertive men are considered favourable, but assertive women are typically dismissed as rude or abrasive.

This study showed how most of children’s literature was dominated by male figures when it comes to fairytales and children’s literature; something that just reinforces gender stereotypes.
. No surprises there.

What was more concerning was how the girls were “portrayed as acted upon rather than active”. Objects or supporting roles, basically…Not aspirational role models.

The message: Adventures are for men, not women.

I hate that.

Where are the female role models? Who will teach girls to aspire to something more?

Our children should be ready to take on the world and be whatever or whoever they want to be.

Telling stories that continually emphasise these gender roles is a recipe for disaster.

Don’t get me wrong…There has been a definite shift.

Let it go.

Disney’s Frozen definitely helps to dismantle some of these traditional damsels in distress stories.

They deliberately steered clear of power-hungry evil witches or relying on handsome princes to save the day.

That’s a lesson on how to raise daughters in my book.

Take this point with a pinch of salt.

What I’m NOT doing, is telling you that your children CAN’T read classic tales.

Just be aware of those gender roles and remind your daughter to challenge them.

It’ll pay dividends in her development.

Raising Daughters Meme

You’ve got a battle on your hands

If you really want to know how to raise a good daughter, you need to encourage them to be themselves, right into their teen years and beyond.

A good man should know how teach girls that they can be the person they want to be unapologetically, unconditionally and unwaveringly.

If we ever hope to bring genuine gender equality, then men need to take action too.

I’m going to share some bad news with you though…

If you get it right, she’s going to push your buttons, test the boundaries and challenge the rules, particularly during the teen years…so I’m told.

Perfect.

Your little girl needs to understand that her opinion matters.

She needs to know her voice is heard.

You definitely won’t always agree with her.

In fact, she’ll probably drive you up the wall.

Be patient, it’s a sacrifice you’re going to have to be to make.

What do you get in return?

You’ll have guided your little lady through her life, imbued with the sense of self-worth that she deserves.

Want your daughter to take a leap of faith and be who she wants to be? Y

You need to be there to catch her.

No matter what.

That’s what I plan to do with Evie.

Like what you read? Check out some of our other recent posts too!
In-Depth Review: KidKraft Majestic Mansion Dolls House
My top 10 parenting rules to live by for 2021
The importance of taking time for yourself

KidKraft Majestic Mansion Wooden Dollhouse
Parenting Hacks & Tips, Reviews

KidKraft Majestic Mansion Dolls House | An In-Depth Review

The Kidkraft Majestic Mansion is a sturdy, well-built dolls house that is guaranteed to leave a massive smile on your little one’s face.

Evie has now owned hers from for a whole year and she still enjoys playing with it as much as ever. 

My biggest frustration is that buying alternative furniture has proven quite difficult and it’d be nice to be able to switch it up from time to time. 

I can’t recommend this product enough. 

You can pick yours up from Amazon for around £180. 

About the Dolls House (The technical stuff) 

The fully assembled dolls house comes to about four and a half feet tall. The exact measurements 132.1cm x 35.5 cm x 135.9cm – It’s huge! 

To put it into perspective, Evie needs a step to be able to see into the baby doll’s attic room, which means she’ll be able to get plenty of use out of it over the next few years. 

Because of its size, there’s easily space for more than one child to play with it side by side too.

The house comes with 34 pieces of well-crafted wooden furniture including a piano, grandfather clock, bed, bedside tables and more lots more. We regularly play ‘moving house’, a simple game that involves removing all of the furniture and putting it back in its new place somewhere else in the house.

There are eight rooms are spread across four floors and perhaps most impressive of all is the working life for the dolls to move between levels. 

The house is designed for ‘12 inch dolls’, which is the standard Barbie or equivalent brand size. 

KidKraft Majestic Mansion Wooden Dollhouse

Putting the KidKraft Majestic Mansion together 

Although it took a little bit of time, assembling the dolls house was nice and straightforward. 

There were numbered stickers on every separate piece and the instructions were nice and clear. 

All-in, I’d say it took slightly more than an hour to put together, with the help of my brother – I’d recommend having somebody else with you whilst you do just to help you hold bits together.

The dolls house comes with wall fixings and I would strongly advise you to not waste any time in fixing it to the wall. Because the house is tall, Evie has tried on a few occasions to pull herself a little higher to see the attic, which of course means that she places all her weight at the top.

That terrifies me but is easily prevented.

Build Quality 

The Kidkraft Mansion is surprisingly well-built. 

I really like how the panels are already pre-covered with nice little prints, which clearly and easily signify what each room is surprised to be – Evie’s favourite has to be the living room for sure! 

For me, what stands out on the Majestic Mansion is the great level of attention they’ve paid to the little details throughout the house.

The garage doors open and close nicely and can fit Evie’s Barbie car in it perfectly. The little pieces of wooden furniture look great; I particularly love the piano! 

Read some of our most popular posts here:
Low budget activities for kids: Cardboard laptop
5 things about parenthood NOTHING can prepare you for
Our Top 10 Parenting Rules to Live By

Overview

I bought the Kidkraft Majestic Mansion for Evie a year ago now and it’s been a mainstay of our playroom ever since.

Because the dolls house is so big, we can easily sit together and play and, unfortunately for my bank balance, we’ve gradually added to our Barbie collection to keep play fresh and exciting. 

The lovely design and sturdy build quality mean that it makes for a lovely feature in the room and as a daddy, just gives me such a lovely feeling every time we go in there to play. 

For me, parenting is all about creating memories for your kids. You never know quite what will stick and what will be forgotten. 

That’s why I like to create as many special moments for her as Evie as possible. 

Whether she remembers it or not as she grows up, I know that I’ll never forget the look on Evie’s face the moment she first saw the dollhouse. 

It’s something that’ll stay with me for the rest of my life. 

You can watch the moment she saw it for the first time below. 

So all-in-all, the Kidkraft Majestic Mansion is a fantastic product that is well-priced, well-made and now…well-played with. 

You can get this perfect wooden dolls house here

Some of the common questions about the KidKraft Majestic Mansion: 

Does the dollhouse come with decorations and stickers?
Yes, every room is nicely decorated with pre-installed stickers. 

Which dolls should I use for it? 
The dollhouse is designed for 12-inch dolls like Barbies or LOLs. 

Does the dollhouse come flat-packed?
Yes, the dollhouse comes flat-packed in a box weighing 29kg and measuring 104cm x 62cm x 24cm. Assembly took around an hour, although I’d allow for more.

Does the price include furniture for the dollhouse?
You’ll get 34 pieces of furniture included when you order the dollhouse

Never miss a post!

We don’t spam! Your email address will only be used to send new blog posts!

Parenthood

My top 10 parenting rules to live by for 2021

Nobody’s perfect. It doesn’t matter how hard you try; you’re probably going to get it wrong sometimes. ⁣⁣⁣

If you’re anything like me, you’ll second guess yourself when you see how other people choose to bring up their children too. ⁣⁣⁣

Let’s stop just a minute. If you remember one thing today about good parenting, it’s that you can only try your best. ⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣I try to stick to some rules when it comes to bringing up Evie. 

Full disclosure: I haven’t always been good at these, it’s taken a lot of practice and I’m STILL learning every day.

⁣⁣⁣Parenting is a journey, and using these rules is great for setting limits and making sure I can be the best possible role model for my little lady.

Read some of our most popular posts here:

Low budget activities for kids: Cardboard laptop
5 things about parenthood NOTHING can prepare you for
In-Depth Review: KidKraft Majestic Mansion Dolls House

Be patient; they’re just testing boundaries⁣⁣⁣

I wanted to start with this one because trust me, if there’s one thing you’re going to need as a parent of young children, it’s patience! 

Most parents find that their darling little bundles of joys are incredibly skilful when it comes to testing your patience. Your child is growing and learning about the world around them. 

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that your little one just doesn’t quite understand how to interact with the world around them, so what you think is bad behaviour could be their little way of learning what is acceptable and what isn’t.  

I’ve certainly learned that in order to get good behaviour out of Evie, I need to be patient – very patient. 

The more patient I’ve been in terms of my parenting style, the better Evie responds to me. 

Struggling to be patient? Read this great article from EmpoweringParents.com.  

Use positive and supportive language⁣⁣⁣

When it comes to discipline, finding a balance can be tough. We all want to be relaxed parents, but after a stressful day, that all-important patience can start to dwindle. 

Using negative language, phrases like “Don’t do this”, “Stop doing that” can actually have a negative impact on your child’s behaviour too. 

In this great article from Parenting from the Heart Blog, Alana talks about how you can swap some common negative language for more positive ones: 

Instead of:Try using: 
Don’t run Walk, please
Stop touching your sister Hands to yourself
Don’t throw toys Please keep your toys on the ground
Stop interruptingI can see you want to talk to me. Wait one moment, please. 
Leave him alone Come over here and play.
Don’t hitOnly gentle touches, please
Stop yellingQuiet voice, please. 

What I like about this approach, and try to take with Evie, is that you shift your focus toward teaching your child how they should behave, rather than chastising them for how they shouldn’t. 

Be tirelessly enthusiastic⁣⁣⁣

I’ve never been a big believer in speaking to your children in a different way to how you would speak to an adult. I’m never going to be one of those dads who speaks to his children in baby voices or uses silly words for things; it doesn’t help your child learn. 

With that in mind, something I will always do is show boundless enthusiasm towards Evie. It doesn’t matter what she’s telling me, I’ll always consciously make an effort to sound as interested and excited as possible, irrespective of the day I’ve had or how stressed I’m feeling. 

There’s a reason for that…

To me, good parenting skills come from the ability to build a great relationship with your child. I often see parents when we’re out on days out barking orders at their kids or only half listening and I imagine how that parent would feel if the same thing happened to them at work or when they’re talking to their friends. 

Single parenthood has really helped me to hone that skill. Since our traditional family life came to an end, it’s helped me to appreciate and cherish the time more than ever because I understand that our time together is always on a countdown until I have to take Evie back to her mum’s. 

Taking a step back even further, our children grow up so fast. The bottom line is that they won’t be little forever. As they grow older, they’re going to face more complex and challenging issues with school, relationships and work. 

I want Evie to be able to always come to me and know that  I’ll be enthusiastic and interested.

Listen, don’t lecture⁣⁣⁣

By the time most of us come to having children, we’re lucky enough to have been on this earth rather a few years. I’ve now had almost 32 of them and in that time I’ve made many, many mistakes that have helped me to become the person I am today. 

We have to be able to allow our children to do the same. If Evie is anything like me, which she certainly is this far, all that’ll happen if I was to slip into ‘naggy parent’ mode is that she’d push back and do exactly the opposite of what I’d told her to. 

Children need to be able to learn and, even if there are behaviour problems, they need to be able to express their feelings so that you can guide them supportively rather than dictate.

Be consistent ⁣⁣⁣

There are very few aspects of life in general in that don’t benefit from consistency. Whether it’s training at the gym, performing at work, keeping in touch with friends – You name it, people just like reliability. 

I harp on about consistency all the time when it comes to parenting because nothing is more crucial when young people are learning the boundaries than knowing what the expected outcome is. 

For example, imagine if day to day you’re nice and calm when your little one decides they don’t want to eat their dinner, but one day you’re in a bad mood and lose your temper, they won’t understand. 

Likewise, if you have rules in place at home and you sometimes relent on them, they’ll always try their luck. A good example of this might be bedtime – If your child cries when you put them down to bed one night and you go to get them, they will no doubt try it again another night to get the same response…just in case

Shower them with love ⁣⁣⁣

As parents, we all want our children to feel as safe, secure and loved as possible, right? Having a solid foundation helps to instil a sense of confidence in our children, as well as a feeling of self-belief. 

I don’t know about you, but I certainly love to feel loved and I want Evie to feel that too. 

There are so many ways you can show your child some love, but I think this great article explains it far better than I can. 

Create clear rules and expectations⁣

I covered this a little earlier when I talked about the importance of consistency. Setting very clear rules and boundaries is crucial if you want to help your child develop into a well-rounded little human. 

Very often you’ll see parents swerve on a pendulum between either trying to be their child’s best friend or being the military disciplinarian. We’re all guilty of making mistakes on that front – I certainly have. 

You can look at rule setting in terms of 5 Cs: Clarity, consistency, communication, caring and creation. 

You can read this great article from Psych Central for more detail here, but in summary: 

Clarity
Being clear when you set rules, limits and boundaries for your children

Consistency
As we talked about earlier, being predictable in your response so your child knows what to expect

Communication
Talk about the reason why certain rules are in place to help them to understand

Caring
Use positive language and reinforcement to encourage good behaviours

Creation:
Encourage your child to feel that they have a responsibility for their own behaviour

Don’t take things personally ⁣⁣⁣

Trust me, there will be times when your child is downright brutal. Don’t take it to heart, they just haven’t learned how to filter out their thoughts yet. 

As they grow, it’s our job to teach them the social skills to be able to realise that saying, “You look really fat today” probably isn’t a good idea in the long run.

Show rather than tell ⁣⁣⁣

Effective parenting is about demonstrating how to behave, rather than telling. One of the greatest gifts for me about raising a child is getting to be the person who teaches Evie how the world around her works by spending time with her

There’s a great quote by John C. Maxwell that says, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”. 

As a parent, it’s time you take the lead.

Celebrate effort, not just success⁣⁣⁣

In life, we’re not always going to win. To be honest, that’s not even the important part – The effort is what counts. Fear of failure is something we learn as we get older and become more mindful of silly feelings like embarrassment or pride. 

The beautiful thing about children is that they don’t have any of those problems because they haven’t learned them yet. 

If they fall, they get back up and try again and if they make a mistake, they move on. 

I believe that embracing and learning from mistakes is the secret sauce to success in everything you do

Nothing is more damaging to a person than holding on to the past, dwelling on mistakes and being bitter about what should have happened. 

I believe in encouraging children to embrace their mistakes and move on. It teaches them resilience, which is great for their mental health.

⁣Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post! If you think I missed anything, drop a comment below and let me know! 

Whilst you’re here, why not read some of our popular posts:

Never miss a post!

We don’t spam! Your email address will only be used to send new blog posts!

Lifestyle & Adventures, Parenthood, Parenting Hacks & Tips

Grow Your Parenting Instagram Account to More Than 10K In Less Than 12 Months

Want to grow your parenting Instagram account? It’s easier than you might think. You just need to show up.

With a little bit of time, effort and consistency, you’ll get to 10k in no-time.

I couldn’t believe it when we hit 10k followers on Instagram. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that we’d get to that point in less than a year, but here we are!

There has been SO MANY things I’ve learned along the way when it comes to managing an Instagram account along the way and it can certainly feel like a bit of a minefield when you start out.

With so many ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ of Instagram, it can be difficult to know how to grow your account for the best.


I’ve broken down some of the key tips and tricks we used to be able to grow our account to more than 10k in less than a year.



Want to view it directly in YouTube? Click here.

Daddy cuddling with daughter
Parenthood

The importance of taking time for yourself

I saw a great article the other day; it talked about how we should stop glamorising over-working.

It hit home, hard.

I work a full-time job, high-pressured and do all the hours…and extra hours…that come with it.

To be able to pick up Evie from school on the days that I do, I work crazy hours to catch the time back up.

Throw in exercise, managing an Instagram page, YouTube channel and website as ‘The Breaking Dad’, seeing my girlfriend, her kids, and making time for ‘me time’ and, well…the maths doesn’t quite stack up.

Matter over mind.

I’m ambitious, like many other people.

Driven by the desire to give my daughter the best life I can possibly give her, I try to use my time as effectively as possible.

Problem is: There just isn’t time for everything.

I don’t know about you, but I regularly over-do it.

Curiously, I don’t ever feel stressed. I like to think I’m quite a laid back chap, more so over the last few years – I certainly never used to be.

I know when I’m stressed because my body tells me before my mind does.

My eyes start flashing as if I’ve been staring at a light for too long. Warning bells go off in my head because that’s the first signal that a migraine is coming on.

My body goes into shut down, and I can do nothing but lock myself in a dark room until it passes. The next day always feels like a hangover.

100% attention, 100% of the time.

If you look up the job description for ‘parent’, it’ll tell you that stress is par for the course.

When we’re with our children, they expect (deservedly so) 100% of our attention, 100% of the time.

“Daddy, can you get me a drink please?”

“Daddy, I’ve done a poo!”

“Daddy, can you pass me the toy that is literally within arm’s reach of me?”

On top of this, you have the continual worry that your child will injure themselves. The moment you look away, they’ll slip, trip or flip over the only object in the room. It’s inevitable.

I don’t know about you, but whether you work, parent full time, or balance both…It’s bloody stressful.

Dealing with Stress

We all need to take time to recharge our batteries.

I can’t lie to you and tell you that this is something I’m good at, I’m not.

But over the last two years, I’ve tried to focus on my mental wellbeing. That’s because if I’m in a good place, I’m a better parent to Evie.

Meditation

If you haven’t tried meditation before, I can’t recommend it enough.

Meditation is a process that helps you to clear your mind of thought by focusing on the present moment.

I’ve used a few different apps and there are lots of great ones out there. I used to use Calm, which was great…but I’ve recently moved over to Headspace.

You can try both of them for free, and I really recommend them; meditation got me through some very low periods in my life.

Now I just use it help alleviate some of the pressure I tend to put on myself.

I often find that by the end of the day, my head feels really tight, like somebody’s squeezing it.

Meditating for 10 minutes every day helps me to slow down the pace and focus on what matters.

Exercise

Outside of the difficult circumstances we’ve faced surrounding lockdowns this year, I’d ordinarily use exercise as my outlet.

I won’t bore you with the science stuff, but there are tremendous benefits for your mental health, as well as physical.

Exercising releases ‘feel-good’ chemicals which help to regulate your mood – dopamine and serotonin (as well as others).

I’ve always struggled with body image and had an interesting relationship with food as a teenager – I genuinely believed that to look good, I needed to look as thin as possible from the side.

It wasn’t great.

As I got older, I discovered exercise and my relationship with how I viewed myself improved.

Now I find that exercise helps me in a number of ways.

  1. Self-esteem
  2. Stress
  3. Sleep
  4. Energy

Spending time with people I love

Being a Daddy is the biggest stress release for me. Whatever is going on in my work or personal life, my focus always falls squarely on Evie when I have her.

Really, it’s a form of mindfulness. I stop thinking about the past and the future and focus squarely on the now: Making sure my little girl is OK.

I love being with Evie, even though spending the day in parent-mode certainly does have its own challenges.

That’s why I try my best to make time just to switch my phone off and relax with my family and friends as often as possible.

As much as I love working, sometimes it’s important.

Make time for you

Overworking isn’t glamorous. There’s a subtle art, which I certainly haven’t mastered yet, to working hard.

It takes a more holistic approach than most of us are used to.

Putting in the hours at work or looking after your kids is a noble cause, there’s no doubt about it. HOWEVER, if you burn out, you’ll be grumpy, less effective and less valuable to the world around you as a consequence.

Take that work ethic of yours and spread it across your personal, parenting and work-life and strive for balance.

Only when you invest time in all three of those things, will you recognise your true potential, I imagine.

I’ll let you know when I manage it.

Lifestyle & Adventures

The next chapter: Blended family

Every now and then, there are days that stand out as ones you think you’ll probably always remember. Last Sunday was one of them. 

Life has a way of shifting in little phases like acts in a play or chapters in a book. Your story is unfolding and in no time at all, you might find yourself propelled into the unknown. 

Typical examples might include a change of career, the start of a new relationship, having kids or the outbreak of a global disease – these things can all thrust you into disarray as your mind tries to adjust to the new situation and find that ‘new normal’.

The last chapter of my life came to an end when Evie’s mum and I separated and I felt very much lost about what the future would look like.

Meeting somebody new 

Me and Rosie

I met Rosie after almost exactly a year of being single. I found the adjustment into being in a relationship quite difficult, despite the fact I had absolutely no doubt that being with her was what I wanted. 

Going through a difficult separation can leave a lot of raw and exposed nerves, so allowing yourself to let go fully into a new relationship can often feel tough.

We took our time and gradually, over time, our relationship started coming together. 

Rosie has two kids and I have Evie, so we were both very careful to make sure we were sure things were on the right path before we started to even think about making introductions.

Fast forward a few months and Rosie met Evie – they hit it off immediately. Zoom a little further along the timeline and I met Rosie’s kids, Tilly (5) and Liza (2). I fell in love instantly and, thankfully, they took to me.

Then, it was the big one: Our kids meeting each other, 

On their first meeting, Evie and Tilly decided they were best friends and we all had the most perfect day pumpkin picking together. 

Everything felt so natural and we spent the day smiling.

FINALLY, after years of things never quite feeling ‘right’ in the past, suddenly I understand what it means to be truly happy.

Finding a new normal (Featuring Father Christmas)

Evie and Tilly meet Father Christmas

This weekend we all met my mum, mum’s other half and sister at the Watercress Line for a day out meeting Father Christmas. 

The significance of the day was that it was the first time we were having a traditional family day out with what is gradually becoming our new ‘blended family’. 

You can see some of the pictures below, but I honestly can’t tell you what a lovely day it was. 

I was in awe of Rosie and how she raises her kids; she’s so attentive, hands-on and kind to all of the children, it blows me away. 

The children were so sweet to each other and there wasn’t a single temper tantrum or strop. We had nothing but smiles and laughter all day. 

Tilly, Rosie’s oldest daughter (5), even said to my mum as she said goodbye, “I hope you have a lovely Christmas!”. I mean honestly, what five year old do you know that’s that polite!? 

You can see a few of the pictures here: 

Before the separation, I always felt like I was accepting my lot. I remember speaking to a colleague at work about how miserable my home life was and the conversation going along the lines of, “Well, so long as Evie is at home, I won’t be going anywhere. This is the life I live until then”. 

Oh what a terrible decision that would have been. 

I look back now and realise just how much I was missing out on. My life is happier now than I think it’s ever been. I’m more emotionally and financially secure than I’ve ever felt and I’m with somebody I can call my best mate as well as my girlfriend.

We have three beautiful girls and, though I’m hopelessly outnumbered, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

When one chapter ends, another begins

It can be easy to feel trapped in an unhappy life for what you think are ‘moral’ reasons. I certainly did. I thought I was doing right by my daughter by not walking, 

Ultimately, the decision was taken away from me and it was the best thing that could have happened for Evie’s wellbeing. 

She now has two incredibly loving homes and as she transitions from her mum’s house to mine, she sees two glaringly different perspectives on life.

That’s great for her.

There was a time when I thought the end of the last chapter meant the end of any sort of meaningful future for me too. 

I was totally wrong, the next chapter has already brought more romance, excitement and laughter than I could have ever imagined, and it’s only just getting started.

Lifestyle & Adventures

Our first vlog on YouTube!

So I’ve been thinking about creating a YouTube channel for quite some time, but never made the time to just get it kicked off!

Today’s the day. We’ve made the leap and posted our first vlog on YouTube…

You can expect to see things like vlog posts talking about the ups and downs of parenthood and being a daddy, as well as lots of videos about what we get up to.

If you’d like to keep up with what we’re getting up to, make sure you subscribe to our channel; we’d love to see you there!

Daddy and Daughter
Parenthood

Facing into Parental Self-Doubt After Separation

There’s no manual for parenthood. It’s harder than most people imagine, but infinitely more rewarding. 

I’ve learned in recent years that parenthood is one of those un-winnable games. 

Once you think you’ve mastered one level, you’re onto the next – each level with harder puzzles to solve along the way. 

Throw separation into the mix and quickly you’ve got two players trying to help one character win, each with conflicting strategies and objectives.

I have Evie on a two-week split timetable and there’s a gap that I don’t see her every two weeks of about five days.

It sucks.

It’s always been this time I’ve struggled most.

Thankfully, children are malleable little creatures and they adjust so quickly; Evie certainly does.

She fully relaxes back into her routine with mum and when she sees me again, it always takes her a little while to warm back up.

Considering I see Evie seven out of nine days that break after seems like a long time indeed.

That’s not to say we don’t always have a great time together, we do. It’s just that the difference is noticeable.

It‘s this time that causes me to question myself most.

Does Evie want to be here? 

Am I doing a good enough job?

Is she really happy?

It plays on my mind a lot.

More recently, I’ve tried to remind myself that we all succumb to that self-doubt from time-to-time as parents.

Instead of suffering like I used to, I try to think of self-doubt as not only healthy, but useful. 

Questioning myself forces me to continuously examine my behaviour and re-evaluate my approach towards parenting to ensure I’m doing what’s right by my little girl. 

There’s no one size fits all strategy for bringing your kids up.

What matters, and what they’ll remember, is that you tried your damned hardest to fill their lives with love, security and laughter.

So keep smiling.

Daddy and Daughter
Lifestyle & Adventures

10k Instagram followers for a Breaking Dad and his beautiful daughter.

10,000 followers on Instagram. Wow. Well, at the time of posting this photo, 10,116 followers.

I had no idea what an unusual year was in store for both of us; for all of us.

I’d toyed with the idea of starting this Instagram page for a while and kept bottling it for fear of failure. I thought nobody would be interested.

On 27th January earlier this year, I bit the bullet and just went for it.

The goal was simple: To show a real separated dad’s journey, complete with the ups and downs that come along the way.

A year ago, I was in the lowest place I’ve ever been in my life.

Knowing I wasn’t going to have a ‘proper’ Christmas with my daughter was utterly heartbreaking – It was the first one since the separation.

I didn’t want to put decorations up because it just made me sad and was in a worrying amount of debt from solicitor fees and mediation.

I’d go to work, put on a brave face, come home, cry.

Christmas came, and all of the stress had been for nothing.

It was the best Christmas I’d had in so long, and it solidified in my mind just how broken my previous relationship had been.

I realised that what mattered above all else was the relationship I have with my little girl, and that co-parenting WAS going to be best for her in the long run.

If I can look back in years to come and feel proud of the fact that I’ve given Evie the best childhood I could, then I’ll be a happy man.

That’s why I started the Instagram page.

I wanted to make myself accountable to my daughter.

Not all dads just up and walk away. Some of us have to fight tooth and nail to be ABLE to take an active position in our children’s lives.

I talked to my friend, @rewilding_dad on the day I created the account and we joke, saying I was aiming for 10k in twelve months.

It seemed ridiculously unachievable.

Yet, just over nine months later, here we are.

So from a Dad that was on the verge of breaking, who can now honestly say he is the happiest he’s been in such a long time, I wanted to say thank you so much.

Thank you for every follow, like, save and comment.

It means so much.

You’re the best.

Dan
The Breaking Dad

1 2 3 4 5
About Us

Thanks so much for taking the time to read our posts. If you’d like to know a little bit more about us, just click the button below.

Find out more
Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to get the latest content right to your inbox!

We'll only use your email to send you our latest posts!

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Spotify
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound