Today on The Baby Box Co. blog, we are excited to be featuring Al Ferguson of The Dad Network, a wonderful blog that aims to promote and encourage the role of dads within family life. We highly recommend you (or the men in your life) sign up for his free newsletter, which provides dads with helpful and valuable words of wisdom, strategies for parenting, recommended products, and more! Keep reading to learn a little more about Al, his website, and his experience as a father.
(1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background! Where are you from, how old are your kids, etc…?
My name is Al, and I live in a small town in the UK called Tunbridge Wells. I’m 26 and have 3 kids: Teddy aged 5 months, Isla aged 2 1/2 and Louis aged 10. When I’m not being a dad, a husband, working or blogging (which leaves practically nothing), I’m enjoying some form of sporting activity.
(2) What is an average "day in the life" like for you?
A work day sees me getting up at 7 with Teddy and spending an hour thinking how I should be getting ready for work but I’m actually playing with him! I then leave, slightly late for work having thrown a baby sick stained shirt on. I get back at 5:30 and am normally welcomed by a gorgeous smile on Teddy’s face. I feed him, bath him, feed him again, and then put him to bed by 7. Then it’s wine and dine time! (Plus some TV.)
(3) What are your new dad must-haves?
- A subscription to The Dad Network… (Shameful plug!)
- A baby carrier: Here’s our recommendation.
- A supportive wife!
- The 24 box set
- Friends & family
(4) What is the best part about being a dad, for you?
I’m not sure I could pin it down to a ‘part.’ There are so many wonderful parts to being a dad. Seeing them smile at you is a horrendously cheesy cliche, but so true! Seeing them grow is painfully lovely and watching their personality sprout a little more each day is truly remarkable.
(5) What is the hardest part about being a dad?
Sleep deprivation is worse than anything I could have imagined. (I reckon that’s why some people use it for torture!) Having no sleep doesn’t just impact you physically, but emotionally too. It effects your moods, your thoughts and your decision making. I’m confident, having been severely deprived of my sleep and seeing my wife even more severely deprived of her sleep, that having a baby must be a walk in the park as long as you’d had some sleep.
(6) Anything that really took you by surprise?
I was surprised how much I’d hate leaving in the morning to go to work. It’s terrible! He’s giggling and laughing and I’m walking out the door… something's not right there! I was also surprised at the potency of a baby’s nappy! I always thought that I could stomach most smells, but Teddy’s nappy is something else!
(7) What is/was your most trusted resource?
The Dad Network’s private Facebook group for dads. It’s a remarkable resource where hundreds of dads from around the globe support, encourage, joke and advise each other. What could be more valuable to a dad than learning from other dads?! It really is a great resource to me and the other members.
(8) Are there any key pieces of advice you would pass on to new dads?
The most important thing is to talk to others about your new role as a dad. Talk about what you love, what you enjoy, what you find hard and what you're scared of. Share your fears and your hopes for your children. You will be amazed at how many other dads think and feel exactly the same! Exactly the same!