A modern father (…and dad blogger)’s author John Adams talks to us about the trials and triumphs of fatherhood.
Tuesday 10th February 2015 08:56 Poet's Corner Posted by Anna Fletcher

JOhn Adams

 

‘A modern father (…and dad blogger)’ by John Adams is both a funny and moving account of what it is like to be a stay at home dad in today’s society.

The chapters are short and easy to read and cover things such as fatherhood exclusion, starting school and what’s next for stay at home dads.

The book is a true gem and quite eye-opening in places as John writes about his experience of others and how they view the father role.

John said: “I had been the main carer for my kids for about a year and I had noticed just how sexist the world of parenting is. People didn’t know how to handle it if I turned up to things like doctors appointments.

“I was treated quite poorly by some medical professionals, they’d say insensitive things like I was babysitting my children and it just made me think I have to do something to raise the profile of dads, there are plenty of good dads out there.”

John went on to say: “I had never noticed it before, prior to that I had been a working dad and to find myself facing these attitudes was quite a shock. I don’t think anyone has ever said anything malicious, but there are such strong stereotypes about the roles of men and women.”

John started his blog, dadbloguk.com, to talk about these things and record his own experiences of being a stay at home father and it was from this that he was approached to write a book.

John said: “I’m quite honest about this, it isn’t a lengthy book, you could read it in an evening, but it is full of personal experiences although there are a couple more theoretical chapters too.”

John writes about messing up his daughter’s nativity costume two years in a row and the school run which he describes as the bane of his life: “I don’t know what it is about parents but they lose the ability to drive completely which irritates me immensely, I have seen some dangerous stunts pulled off on the school run.”

One of John’s favourite chapters addresses fatherhood exclusion with one example of this being the maternity ward.

John said: “I have to say some wards are very good but by and large maternity wards are difficult for dads. This may sound petty, but most wards don’t have a men’s lav so you have to be buzzed in and out every time and force the midwives to play bouncer.

“There are no catering facilities and the policy was that every time mum went for a meal she had to take her child with her even if the dad was there. It just all delivers the message that as a dad you have no role in the early years of your child’s life.”

Through his blog, John has been asked to meet with ministers to talk about the role of fathers and his own experiences and has helped to make a difference. He remembers one business that decided to change its name as it was very mum focused and hopes that he will be able to do a little bit towards changing the view of dad’s.

He has appeared on Channel 4 news to discuss Labour’s promise to double paternity leave and increase statutory paternity pay if they are elected.

He remembers one business that decided to change its name as it was very mum focused and hopes that he will be able to do a little bit towards changing the view of dad’s.

However despite the mishaps and the bad drivers, John says he would not have it any other way: “I enjoy it, it is demanding and anyone that says it isn’t is lying, but the best thing is when you help and nurture your child to achieve something and you know you have helped to do that, I get to do considerably more of that now.”