This is the part of our fatherhood series where we asked dads to share a little about themselves, their most prominent memory of their first year of fatherhood, the best parenting advice they have received and a message for dads-to-be. Each answer was limited to 50 words and you find them here unedited and as given.
I'm 38 and a youth and children's worker for a church in Islington, London and I've been doing this sort of thing for about 20 years. I live with my wife and two boys, Toby who is 4 and Asa is 2.
Prominent memory of your first year of fatherhood:
I will never forget the time I was leaving my local laundrette carrying my eldest, Toby, in a sling. It was raining, so I paused as I left and opened an umbrella, and said to Toby “oh it's raining, we better put up the umbrella.” Just then this mean looking bloke about my age stopped and comes over to me. He just looked at me and said, "I wish you were my dad."
Best fatherhood advice received:
All your children need to know is that they are loved.
Message for men expecting their first baby:
Your kids will know that they are loved if you are able to be present for them. Whatever age they are make time to connect emotionally with them by doing things together. I've never heard a kid say they wish their dad bought them more stuff, but I have seen the sad effects of an absent or disinterested father.