That’s it. Done. Over. Finito. *Checks online thesaurus* Stopped. Ceased. Finished. Discontinued. That’s right, I’ve reached the end of my dad blogging journey, and, from now on, I’m officially retired. Although, having not posted since July, I was arguably already semi-retired so this should come as no shock!
It’s been a difficult decision to make, but it’s not a new one. To be honest, I’ve been kicking the idea around for the last two years, but have struggled to put the final nail in the coffin. However, after much searching I’ve finally managed to find the metaphorical hammer in my metaphorical undertaker toolkit.
I wasn’t sure what to do about ‘announcing’ this and whether it even warranted one. Part of me wanted to slip away quietly without saying anything, whereas the other part of me wanted to film my own version of “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound Of Music with me dressed up as each of the seven Von Trapp children.
In the end, as a blogger, I decided to go with the good ol’ fashioned method of putting some words down on screen. Just like this. And this. And even this. Look this one is even bold, this is underlined and this is italics. Sorry, I’ve got distracted by the Format menu…
Bringing The DADventurer to an end isn’t based on one particular thing, more a combination of little things that all add up together. This includes a lack of time as a dad of two, concerns about online privacy as the kids get older and blogger / social media burnout. In addition, we’ve also had the impacts of coronavirus which have hit the ‘business’ side of the blog. So, all in all, it just feels like the right time.
I don’t have any plans on what I’m going to do next. I’ll continue to be a stay-at-home dad until the kids are older, but will also be looking for something else to fill my time. Whether that’s starting something from scratch, returning to freelance writing, doing some volunteering or just binging on Netflix. Either way, I’m not going to find that next ‘thing’ if I’m still in The DADventurer mode and have that occupying my thoughts.
The blog will remain in place for now – partly for nostalgia, partly for sentimentality, partly for posterity, but mainly because I still have a few years left to run on the domain and hosting! I won’t be posting anything new on the blog after this though. Similarly, I won’t be posting any more content on social media and will probably make my accounts private or delete them fully in time.
So, let’s get to the emotional and reflective bit. Firstly, thanks to those that have read, interacted and / or supported me during all, or part, of my dad blogging journey. A blog without readers / engagement is just the ramblings of a mad man, so I appreciate you stopping by and making the last six and a bit years of online life genuinely enjoyable.
I’ve loved writing about and sharing aspects of my life as a dad. Becoming a parent – then a stay-at-home dad – was obviously a journey into the unknown, so I think writing about it and connecting with others in a similar situation definitely helped from a personal perspective. What’s more, it has given me a creative outlet which somehow turned into a full-time job I could manage around the kids – something I’m still amazed about and thankful for to this day.
At the height of my dad blogging powers, I was named Vuelio’s number 1 UK Dad Blog in 2018, I won best Daddy Blog at the Vuelio Blog Awards 2018 and won best Family & Lifestyle Blog at the Britmums BiBs 2018. To be recognised in this way was truly humbling and more than anything I could have imagined when I started blogging. Again, thanks for reading, interacting and supporting the blog as I couldn’t have achieved this without readers and followers joining me along the way.
Quite incredibly, I’ve had over 1.1 million blog views across the 628 posts I’ve written. I’ve published a whopping 741,000 words – which is 150,000 more than War And Peace – and, according to a WordPress plugin, would take 49 hours and 23 minutes to read in full. That’s your weekend sorted, then!
As much as I’ve enjoyed writing this blog, I hope that you’ve got something from it too though. Obviously, not everything I have written will have been of interest. However, I’m hopeful that there’s been at least something in the last six and a bit years – whether that’s a wry smile, a knowing nod or a chuckle, an understanding, awareness or incite into ‘dad life’, or ideas, recommendations and advice on things like products, holidays or days out. If not, then all I can say is “I tried”!
I always find it difficult to sum up or explain what The DADventurer is, partly because it’s covered so many different topics. Ultimately though, it boils down to being about my own take on life as a dad and anything and everything related to that – vague, I know. My favourite stuff has always been the random posts where my warped humour has taken me to a place not many have dared to tread, such as the drug and sex fuelled When The Class Bear Came To Visit and A Transcript From A Night Out With The CBeebies Presenters.
However, I’ve also felt a sense of responsibility to champion the dad – and stay-at-home dad – cause over the years. It’s not something I started out to do, and at times I’ve done it reluctantly, but I’ve written about things like sexism, gender stereotypes, dad bashing, the lack of stay-at-home dads on TV, and more recently, dad-focussed charities. I regret not doing more, but hope my voice, face and opinions at least helped to highlight some of the issues faced by modern dads and, who knows, even changed some opinions along the way.
Finally, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some fantastic brands on campaigns, sponsored posts and reviews, which has included some incredible family experiences that I’m very grateful for. I know not everyone likes the concept of ‘influencers’ and perhaps see it as bloggers ‘selling themselves and their kids’, but I’m proud of 99% of the collaborations I took part in and believe I was able to produce content for brands which retained my usual style, tone and humour.
Right, I’m going to stop there as this is turning into a longer post than I planned, but hopefully you get the sentiment!
I guess there’s only one thing left to say – so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.