Welcome to my new monthly feature-Who’s The Daddy!
A huge fan of blogs penned by fathers, I wanted to showcase the rich, insightful and damn right captivating male bloggers who so eloquently share their point of view on all things parenting and beyond, right here on my blog once a month with a guest post from each contributor.
I’ll be tweeting about it using the hashtag #whosthedaddy too if you want to get involved!
First up, to kick off the series, is one of my all time favourite Daddy bloggers, a friend and sometime colleague too, John Adams of Dad Blog UK.
John is regarded as one of the UK’s 5 most influential Dad bloggers according to Cision, has been a finalist in national blogging awards several times and has worked with the BBC, and featured in the Independent, Huffington Post, Private Edition Magazine and more.
Mums often say they feel under huge pressure to look good, but what about dads? Stay at home father John Adams reveals that he feels under pressure to look good, although not for the reasons you might think.
A short while ago I was reading a blog post by Californian Mum in London titled The Mistakes We Make. I’ll paraphrase, but amongst many other things, she made the point that mums are always under pressure to look perfect.
Despite not beinga mum, I feel this pressure too.
I hesitate to use the word perfect, but I feel the need to fit in among other parents. In the first instance, this comes from looking the right way. We all know the world shouldn’t work in this manner, but it does.
If I were being completely honest, there is an element of vanity at play here. I like to take a certain amount of pride in my appearance.
There is, however, a more serious point to all this. If you were the only dad in the playground, wouldn’t you make sure you looked presentable?
Okay, that comment isn’t entirely accurate or fair.
Huge numbers of dads and granddads can be seen dropping off and collecting kids at my daughter’s school. I, however, am the only dad guaranteed to be in the playground twice a day and I don’t want to let the dads down by making the wrong impression.
I know people are curious about my position. It comes up in conversation from time to time. A while ago I was a taken aback to be asked if I was a single parent.
This was the conclusion one individual had jumped to because she always saw me doing the school run (I was mildly offended but had a certain admiration for the fact I was asked directly and not gossiped about).
If people are going to talk about me, I feel it’s better that I look polished and approachable in ironed and flattering clothes. First impressions count, especially when you’re in a minority.
Shirt:TM Lewin, hooded top: Tokyo Laundry from it’s AW 2014/14 range, changing bag/ messenger bag from JoJo Maman Bebe. Photo by Ania Wilk-Lawton of Photography for Parents.
Do you remember that old TV series Shameless? I doubt I’d get the warmest reception if I turned up at the school gate looking like the feckless Frank Gallagher with long greasy hair and wearing a grim Parker jacket.
I’m not for one second telling you that I do the school run in an Armani suit. Nothing could be further from the truth. I never wear my best clothes to and from school.
I do, however, like to spend a bit of time deciding what to wear and try to make sure that everything matches and is ironed (…or at least has most of the creases removed).
With two children to haul in and out of car seats, attire is usually smart casual; often jeans and a top or a shirt with a collar. Depending on the weather I may wear a jacket or a hooded top and generally you’ll find me in either a pair of Chatham or Timberland deck shoes.
The choice of shoes is relevant. Deck shoes can be slipped on at speed and, like most parents, I’m generally in a huge rush to get out the door when it’s school run o’clock.
Tweed jacket: Magee of Ireland, black top: Uniqlo, jeans: Brax, Carlos style.
I’ll end this post with a true story. The other day I was stopped in the playground by a mum I know. I won’t bore you with the entire conversation but it went something like this:
“You look good today John.”
“You always make such an effort, much more than most people.”
I’d rather that’s how people thought of me. It’s much more preferable than the other way round!
What are your thoughts? Mothers or fathers, do you feel the pressure to look good on the school run?
John is author of A modern father (…and dad blogger). Available now on Kindle and paperback. Published January 2015. For a limited time only, 99p for the ebook version. Click here to buy / more info.