With the New Year upon us, I thought I’d do a bit of a summary post on what I’ve written about during 2015. Having had a gander at my WordPress Jetpack annual report, it would appear that this is actually my 136th post of the year – just think what I could have accomplished if I’d have put that much effort into something useful!
So, if you’re a new follower wanting to discover some of my earlier, more underground work, or if you’re a loyal
stalker reader wishing to relive all of the laughs from 2015, then this is the place for you! If you see this post for what it actually is – i.e. me doing a hell of a lot of link dropping in the hope that you click around my blog – then it might be best to leave right now, as uttered by Will Young.
Having started The DADventurer in July 2014, this is the first full calendar year which I’ve been penning my thoughts. For something that started as a little side project to keep me busy and sane, blogging about my life as a dad has actually become a secondary job to looking after Toddler L.
My little space on the internet has become bigger and (not meaning to sound like a dick, but I probably will) more popular than I ever imagined it would – I have been named a top 10 UK dad blog after all, don’t you know?! This is awesome, albeit pretty surreal. Still, I’m not complaining and am truly thankful for everyone who reads, likes, shares and interacts, either on my blog or social media.
My blog was always intended to chat about my thoughts, feelings and any other random crap as I went from an expectant dad, to a newbie dad, to a kind of experienced dad, to a stay-at-home dad. However, I’ve never really wanted it to become post after post about the boring little things, like how much she weighs each week or how many craps she’s had that day.
Instead, I’ve always viewed it as something which I hope other mums and dads can relate to. Something that they can find an ounce of entertainment out of and think “hey, that’s totally true but I’ve never thought about it like that before. What a top notch bloke”.
So, without further ado, here’s my 2015 summary:
Baby / Toddler L Stuff
Although I don’t write many Baby / Toddler L update posts, I do occasionally reference big milestones that have happened. These are nice to look back upon and remember how far she’s come, but I don’t imagine they’re *that* interesting for people that are outside of our circle of family and friends.
For instance, in growing up too quickly I wrote about how Baby L reached a number of significant milestones (e.g. moving from carrycot to pushchair) all within a few weeks of each other which made me realise she was growing all too fast for my liking. Similarly, in the changing face of Baby L I briefly reflected on her first year of life, which included a monthly photo of how her cute little face had altered. Finally, we did a pretty cool ‘cake smash’ photoshoot for Baby L’s 1st birthday which was a great experience and resulted in some awesome photos which we’ll always remember fondly.
As a dad, who has a dad blog, who is now a stay-at-home dad, the subject of being a dad tends to feature pretty frequently in my writing. These cover a whole range of experiences from things I’ve learnt as a babywearing dad, through to gross things I didn’t think I’d do before becoming a dad, through to mistakes I’ve made as a dad which I outlined in my open apology to my daughter. I also feel like I spend a lot of my time sat on the sofa watching kid’s TV – I reckon this has ruined my brain a little bit and made me question what the hell I’m watching, which I talk about in random thoughts from watching CBeebies.
Sometimes I get into a bit of an odd mood when writing stuff. I don’t really know where it comes from, but I’ll admit that I do worry myself at times. Probably the least said about these posts the better, but they are actually some of my favourite!
Sex often features prominently, as evidenced by my tongue-in-cheek advice piece on things to consider if having sex in the same room as a baby and how having a baby has ruined my enjoyment of sexual innuendo. I’ve also considered starting a new fitness regime which uses the baby for exercise and have invented some amazing baby products which look set to revolutionise the market and make me rich.
I also continue to be astounded that my post on drinking the wife’s breastmilk is my most viewed post ever, mainly because I accidentally tapped into a hidden fetish involving people drinking straight from the tit!
Not everything I’ve written has been this LOL and ROFL inducing though. I can also occasionally do serious – although this is few and far between.
Back in March, I shared a few of my fears ahead of the missus going back to work and me starting my stay-at-home dad journey. Although the majority of these fears haven’t come to fruition, one of them touched on doing things ‘untraditionally’ and stereotyping – something which I’ve had to write about throughout the year to fight the corner for us dads.
The first time came when a woman working in a bank asked if I was babysitting my daughter because I was with her in the day without the missus, whilst the second was more recently after a particularly sexist, dad-bashing session at the Blogfest ’15 blogging conference. Both were written with a sense of rage, but hopefully they were still thought provoking enough.
I’ve also tried to share our honest experiences of a few baby / toddler related things to allow other parents to know that they’re not alone. I’ve found that a lot of things are sugar-coated and don’t really tell it how it is, so where I can, I try to openly share what we’ve been through. As such, two posts which have gone down well include how we (just about) managed to survive 4-month sleep regression and the battles faced on our journey as the missus exclusively breastfed Toddler L for just shy of 14 months.
One of the things I enjoy about blogging is getting the chance to test out and review some pretty awesome stuff. Luckily, 2015 has seen me collaborate with a wide range of family-focussed brands and PR companies which has given us experiences and opportunities that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.
This year, we’ve had the chance to go on a few holidays and short-breaks as part of reviews for the blog. This has included our first family holiday to Bluestone in Pembrokeshire where we got to check out the facilities at the resort as well as explore the surrounding country and coast. We also had an enjoyable short-break in Hampshire where we visited some of the local attractions, including Peppa Pig World. Finally, we got the chance to not only have a night away and visit West Mids Safari Park for Toddler L’s birthday, but was able to do so whilst we test drove the new Peugeot 308 GT Line family car.
Having never used a pram, pushchair or travel system as little as 18-months ago, I feel like I’m now pretty clued up when it comes to wheels for your kids. The past year, I’ve tested the revolutionary Doona which is a car seat and stroller, the exceptionally compact folding BabyZen YOYO, the beefed up, off-road version of Mamas & Papas Armadillo Flip, the (third) love of my life known as the Stokke Scoot and the SmarTrike 5-in-1 tricycle which has become a very viable alternative to using a pushchair.
Around the house, we’ve also had the chance to try out some awesome baby equipment which has made our lives easier. From a sleeping perspective, Baby L was able to sleep in the awesome Snuz’s SnuzPod, before she graduated to her own room and the Little Green Sheep’s Twist Cot Bed Mattress. When it comes to weaning, we converted the Stokke Tripp Trapp from the Newborn Set to the Baby Set, which she continues to use to this day. We’ve also recently entered the realm of ‘proper’ toys – Little Tikes invited us along to the launch of their Lil’ Ocean Explorers range which we had the opportunity to review.
One of the best baby classes we’ve gone to is Water Babies – in the nine or so months that Toddler L has been doing the lessons, her confidence in the water has developed massively whilst it’s provided us the opportunity to bond in a different environment. As part of the lessons we also got the chance to do the Water Babies Underwater Photoshoot which was a cool experience and we got some great photos from it.
It’s not all about the sprog though. From a ‘selfish’ perspective, I’ve been able to test out some cool tech, including the new Dyson V6 Cordless Vacuum, the ASUS ZenPad and Panasonic Home Monitoring & Control System. Oh, and I also got tickets from the FA to watch my beloved Aston Villa beat Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi-Final, which included going behind-the-scenes and hanging out pitch-side. Quite an unexpected bonus!
So, that’s my summary of the year. If you’re still reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey down memory lane and found a few other posts which you’ve enjoyed browsing. All that’s left to say is thanks for the support during 2015 and Happy New Year!
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