A few weeks ago, I asked you to send in questions on through our Instagram stories and, to be honest, I was blown away by the response.
So first… I’d like to apologise for the time it’s taken to answer them! This whole ‘Parent Blogger’ thing takes quite a lot of time, apparently…
Thanks so much for taking the time to get involved. I’ve linked you all below.
If you see somebody you don’t know, check them out and give them a follow!
Has Evie ever asked questions about why you and her mum are not together?
Evie was only just about 2.5 years old when we separated and so she wasn’t really old enough to understand.
Even when I was with Evie’s mum, I had Evie every other Saturday on my own whilst she was at work, so it was never a really noticeable transition.
The way Evie dealt with the separation was fantastic, I was in absolute awe of her.
It’s amazing how resilient children are and how effectively they can adapt to new environments and surroundings.
What’s your favourite film?
Oh, tough question. I don’t really have a favourite if I’m honest…
Before lockdown, I used to go to the cinema a lot with my brother and I like A LOT of films for lots of different reasons. I’m a sucker for a comic book or a Star Wars movie though…
*Coughs* Nerd *Coughs*
Have you ever dated someone who doesn’t have kids?
Of course! I’ve dated a few people without kids, but one of the challenges I found was that they never quite understood how important Evie was to me.
I know it might seem like an obvious statement, but when you’re used to being the priority when you’re dating other people and suddenly you’re not when it comes to me, that can be a bitter pill to swallow…Unless you have children yourself.
Dating somebody with kids is a balancing act because you always want the person you’re with to feel loved and special, but you also need them to appreciate that you only get a small window of opportunity to raise your kids – I don’t want to waste a second of it.
What I love about Rosie is that she completely gets it.
To give you an example, we went to hers a few weeks ago to make mince pies and to be honest, Rosie and I barely spent any time together at all.
For both of us, the priority was and is making sure the kids are always having a nice time. It usually involves us splitting up between the two older girls and Liza, the youngest.
When we do finally get a chance to be alone together, it’s all the more special.
What’s your best quality (or something you’re proud of) as a dad?
I think my best quality is that I am absolutely unwavering in putting my daughter first.
I see my purpose on this Earth as making sure Evie has the most fun-filled, loving and memorable childhood that she can possibly have – Nothing relationship, work or otherwise will ever get in the way.
Did you ever doubt a bit about having the account public or private?
Yes, for sure. I toyed with the idea of creating a public Instagram account for almost a year before I actually did it. I spent a lot of time researching parenting accounts and realised that SO many people were doing it.
I’m very careful about the information I publish on the account and take our privacy seriously; it’s something I think about often.
What’s the best thing about a blended family?
Seeing the bond between Evie, Tilly and Liza forming has been absolutely lovely. They already behave like they’re little best friends and play so nicely together – It’s the most rewarding dynamic to watch.
It helps to add an extra dimension to Evie coming over because she gets social interaction with children of a similar age, as well as just time with her old man.
I also love that Rosie and I have quite a similar approach towards parenting, which is very hands-on. I’ve been able to learn a lot from Rosie and I’d like to think she might have been able to learn from me too.
I think the fact we can work together like that can only enrich Evie’s perspective on life as far as I’m concerned!
Would you start a podcast too or just focus on YouTube for now?
You may have noticed recently that I’ve been dabbling with a few different platforms aside from Instagram.
I’m working on developing this website, as well as gradually getting to grips with YouTube; expect more in ’21!
I’d like to ultimately film a YouTube series that can double up as a podcast too, but I’m also conscious that I don’t want to spread myself too thin.
At the moment, the battle is that I work full-time hours and have Evie just short of 50% of the time…On top of the Instagram, blog, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook etc… I don’t sleep much.
What is the best thing you love about the bond between your new partner and your daughter?
Oh, I absolutely love it when Evie gives Rosie a big old cuddle when she sees her.
It’s lovely to see how at ease Evie’s become and what a great addition Rosie’s made to both of our lives.
I recently mentioned in this Instagram Post how Rosie would never try replace Evie’s mum and just love that she sees her role as adding value to Evie’s life, not pretending to be anything she’s not.
Do you have a goal for the future?
I’d love for Rosie and her girls to move in with us towards the end of 2021.
We’re not in any rush at the moment and, right now, are quite happy to take things slowly.
I have a lot of things I need to do in order to get the house ready for them, so 2021 will be a year of saving and prepping.
Aside from that, I’d like to keep working on the blog as well as the Instagram and hopefully grow it!
How did you feel when you found out you were going to be a dad? Did you feel ready?
I was so excited! All I wanted since I could remember was to be a Daddy.
When I found out Evie was on the way, life changed instantly.
I remember feeling surprised at how real she felt already, even though Evie’s mum was only two weeks pregnant.
Evie was the first name that came to mind and although we went through just about every name in the book, Evie always just felt right.
Nothing in my life ever felt more like it was supposed to happen.
Although I never saw separation and co-parenting in my future, my role as a Daddy in Evie’s life has only become more important to me I’ve watched that little lady grow.
If you could give one bit of advice to co-parents, what would it be?
I’m actually in the middle of writing a blog post on co-parenting tips from the lessons I’ve learned; watch this space!
The biggest piece of advice I can give to anybody from personal experience is to strip out all emotion from the situation.
Separation and co-parenting are incredibly emotive subjects. It’s so easy for that delicate parenting balance to be thrown out at the flick of a switch.
If you can take a step back and look at the situation empathetically and truly put yourself in the other person’s shoes, you’ll realise that EVEN IF you think they’re being nasty, they’re probably doing it for the right reasons.
Focus on the intent rather than the outcome and remember that no matter what, your child(ren) MUST come first.
Since making your new relationship public, do you feel that men are judged/criticised more for moving on after a relationship breakdown?
100%! On the day I posted the first picture of Rosie and me, I lost 200 followers overnight.
Every time I share something involving her, along with the fact we’re happily building a life together, I get some sort of message or comment that suggests that I shouldn’t post about it.
The thing is, I totally get it.
Lots of mums wouldn’t like it if their ex were to post pictures of their new partner with their children, particularly those who are newly single and haven’t yet been through it.
My ex knows all about Rosie and I was as respectful as I could have possibly been.
I involved my ex in the decision to introduce Evie to Rosie, I took the process very slowly and we placed absolutely no pressure on it whatsoever.
We all have to move on at some point and, so long as Evie is happy, I’m happy.
How do you make sure your child’s education isn’t affected by co-parenting?
I don’t see why co-parenting would impact a child’s education if I’m honest.
The most important thing is that Evie has a supportive and loving environment, whichever home she’s in.
If anything, I think co-parenting benefits Evie because as parents, we each have less time with her for things like reading and homework, so we want to make the most of it!
As far as Evie’s development goes, seeing Evie progressing and reading her first books fills me with so much happiness. She’s an incredibly bright little lady and all I try to do is reinforce that curiosity to learn with lots of praise.
I have no doubt that Evie’s mum does the same.
What did you want to become (career-wise) when you were younger?
When I was growing up, I really wanted to be a journalist. I think deep down I just wanted to be Superman but settled on Clark Kent.
I did some work experience for a newspaper and I HATED it.
I’m sure it’s not all bad, but I didn’t like the way the people stepped on each other to get a story or exploited others for coverage.
I’ve always been into the design as well as copywriting (the focus of my degree) and I told the Editor at the newspaper that I wanted a career that would allow me to do both.
He told me categorically I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) find a job like that.
I now run a marketing team, take a hands-on approach and routinely get involved in writing, as well as design…every day.
Being able to roll my sleeves up and muck in with the design as well as copywriting has proven one of my greatest career assets.
The joke’s on him.
How did you know when the time was right to introduce Evie to your girlfriend?
We really took our time with it.
Rosie’s separation was far more recent than mine, so we knew that meeting her children would be much farther in the future.
I wanted to be sure that Rosie and I were going to be staying together. I talked to Evie’s mum about it to make sure she had no issues with it. We’d both agreed early on in the separation that we’d leave it a minimum of three months and from there, we just gauged it.
First, Rosie came for a day out with Evie and me and took a deliberate back seat (although Evie loved her almost immediately). Then, over time we just gradually increased the contact here and there.
This whole process took a good few months and we still take it nice and slowly, making sure Rosie and I both get lots of one-on-one time with our respective kids.
How did you and Evie’s Mum split Christmas?
We alternate each year.
Last year, Evie’s Mum had her on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day until 14:00, at which point I picked her up,
This year, I had Evie until Christmas Day at 14:00, when I dropped her with her Mum.
Evie’s mum has been great this year and really helped to facilitate a good amount of time with her between us – I really can’t fault her actually.
What did you want for Christmas?
I’m very easy to please, I don’t really need anything.
As cliche as it sounds, it was just the fact that I got to see Evie’s face when she woke up on Christmas Day this year.
That made me a very happy man.
That said, Rosie did surprise me with the most INCREDIBLE present for our first Christmas together.
I’m a bit of a boxing fan and I have a signed picture of Muhammad Ali on my office wall.
I mentioned when we first started dating that I loved it and hoped to get one of Mike Tyson one day.
Rosie remembered it and got me a picture of Mike Tyson’s first Heavyweight Title win against Trevor Berbick.
It was the most thoughtful and generous present I’ve ever been given!
Do you have any festive traditions?
I wouldn’t say we have any festive traditions outside of the ordinary really.
Of course, the mince pies go out on Christmas Eve and Evie always has some new pyjamas and a little cuddly toy on Christmas Eve in a little Christmas box (This year I had a matching pair…), but otherwise, I’d just say it was all the standard stuff!
What made you want to start blogging?
Well, I work in marketing for a living and have written articles for commercial blogs for over 10 years now.
I ran a small blog when I was first starting out, which helped me get my first job and had never really done it since.
I just love the idea of growing the website to be a platform of information and support for other parents.