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Why I Loved BritMums Live as a First Timer Dad

25/06/2015 00:50

This past weekend, I found myself treading water in an ocean full of creative, talented and admired members of the British blogging community. I attended, BritMums Live - the most prestigious event of the year for parenting and lifestyle bloggers and boy was I glad that I did. For those of you that don't know what BritMums is all about; well it's the UK's biggest, two-day social media conference and blogger event, where lifestyle bloggers and social influencers gather to meet and socialise, network with brands, improve their skills, and fire their creativity. I travelled to London and found myself sitting in on talks, classes, award ceremonies and creative workshops - a real bloggers heaven. But in actual fact, none of those things are the reason that I came away feeling positive about the weekend.

Dad Blogger CrewDad Bloggers Pizza Express

Thanks to Pizza Express for feeding us Dads. Featured above (in no particular order); Dave from TheDadventurer, Al from TheDadNetwork, John from DadYouGeek, Tony from Papa Tont, Darren from OneDad3Girls, John from DadBlogUk and behind the camera Tim from SlouchingTowardsThatcham.

 

Since becoming a parent 2 years ago, I've found myself a little lost from time to time. My blog is my outlet when I need one, and it serves a purpose but I often crave a bigger stage to sound off from. I'm 29 years old and am still the only one of my friends to embark on the parenthood journey. I live away from my family, and even further from my wifes family. I have no other parents that I can call friends in a similar position to me, fighting the same battles as me or even on the same wavelength as me. Noone who can relate to the every day struggles of being a working parent to 2 small children. The internet though, is a wonderful thing and every year with new apps being created (Periscope is a world away from the 140 characters of Twitter) the world gets smaller. Through blogging, I've connected with so many people who understand me, my life and can relate without having to pretend or force the issue. BritMums Live gave me the chance to connect with some of those people, and meet a plethora of others to add to the list. BritMums Live allowed me to socialise with other Dads and talk mens issues, parenting and blogging. BritMums Live welcomed me, as a first timer with open arms and made me feel as though I belonged to something much greater than my own corner of the internet - it showed me that the much talked about blogging community does exist and they're more than happy to accept new members. BritMums Live made me feel like a real person again, even if just for the weekend and for that I'm grateful.

Mummy Blogger fondles Dad Bloggers beard

The amazing Vicky from HonestMum with her Dad groupies and the beautiful Alice from LifeAsAlice gets to grips with my beard.

 

I met far too many wonderful, creative, friendly and inspiring people in my 2 days to even attempt to compile a list and risk offending anyone I may miss. I didn't meet one bad egg, or witness any negativity first hand. Admittedly Dads were in a minority compared to the female attendance but forget gender when thinking about BritMums Live. Everyone there can relate to the next with a common interest and for that weekend, we're not Mums, Dads, male, female or even parents... we're bloggers. We're all people with the ability to use our creative minds to influence others and we're all there to interact with people just like ourselves. My top tip for attending BritMums Live is to let your hair down, relax and embrace the atmosphere. I was so nervous about attending, but I encourage anyone who is in two mind about going to do so - you really won't regret it! If you need convincing otherwise, then come and find me... because I will most definitely be there again next year!

Dad Creek and Ginger Warrior Selfie

My travelling companion kept my nerves at bay - the bundle of energy that is Ceri, TheGingerWarrior.

Wordless Wednesday

24/06/2015 02:08

Toddler with instant camera

Book Review: Lily Mae by Sarah Mahfoudh and Ruth Thorp

23/06/2015 23:15

I've read to both of my children since they were still inside their Mothers belly and still do so everytime I get the chance to do so. I firmly believe that it's one of the best ways of  bonding with your child  as a Father. With children aged 2 and 11 months, I judge the books that I read to them on 2 levels. If my children sit still from start to finish then it means it is visually very good, and the imagery has held their attention sufficiently. If I sit still from start to finish, then it means it was written well enough for me not to skip pages and I've enjoyed reading it. When you get both of those things in the same book, then you know you've got a keeper. That's exactly what we discovered the first time we sat down to enjoy Lilly Mae; a collaborative effort from author Sarah Mahfoudh and illustrator Ruth Thorp. "Again? Again! Again?". We read it cover to cover 4 times in a row without pausing for breath.

Toddler and baby reading Lilly Mae book smilingToddler and baby reading Lilly Mae book together

Lilly Mae lives on a cloud and controls the weather depending upon her mood (almost exactly what happens in our house if I'm honest). The colour schemes, imagery and fonts change depending on the weather, making you anticipate each turn of the page and the next illustrative masterpiece that awaits. The connections between emotions and weather in this book are subliminal genius and will have your child learning without them even knowing. By the time we had read the book for the 3rd and 4th time, Clayton was looking out of the window saying 'happy' as he recognised the sun to be shining. I'm looking forward to seeing his reaction the next time we read the book, depending on the weather at the time. Lilly Mae conjures up rain, hail, thunder and winds as well as the happy sunshine - just because we're in the middle of a British summer doesn't mean that any of those aren't a possibility to enhance our reading experience!

Toddler and baby reading Lilly Mae bookLilly Mae Book Cover

Created by a pair of talented, young Brits and published by an independent British publisher, this rhyming picture book can be enjoyed by all ages. It's easy on the eye, flows off the tongue and encourages interaction. The Dad Creek household thoroughly recommends it for you and your family!

 

Disclosure - We were sent a copy of Lilly Mae in return for this review. All words and opinions are my own and honest.

 

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Date: 09/07/2015

By: Anonymous

Subject: Depression

I want to congratulate you on coming out about your depression. Depression is nothing to be laughed or joked about. It hits and it hits hard, Affecting everyone around you much more deeply than you ever having a broken leg would. This is where your family really step up. It is always on the media how much women get depression but it's great you have highlighted here that men do get it to... I won't tell you to keep your chin up because I know (as you do) it means nothing. One hour at a time. :)

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Date: 10/12/2013

By: Tuli Banerjee

Subject: Loved reading your blogs

Hi, I don't remember how I stumbled upon your blog. But the journey has been awesome. I am five months pregnant now. Reading your blogs really makes me laugh. :) the ones where you mentioned the snores of wifey, the fountains of Clayton, the 'life without a father' video - all were simply awesome.. I read them and also discuss them with my hubby and my parents... Good job done by you to put your feelings into words :D God bless your family... :D

Date: 14/05/2014

By: Ryan Costello

Subject: Re: Loved reading your blogs

Thanks for your kind comment Tuli... Good luck with your baby.

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