Fatherhood in 200 Words #15 - Piers

This is part of our fatherhood in 200 words 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 a 36 year old father of one boisterous boy, who I look after 3 days a weeks, with another due any day now!  I live on the sunny south coast with my amazing wife of 12 years and run a small charity exploring the connection points between Christianity and Judaism which is heaven for a theology graduate. 

Prominent memory from first year of fatherhood:

I come from a family of 6 kids, my sister had her first when I was 14 and my new baby will be grandchild 22 (I think…). But I didn’t have it all figured up when it became my son and my responsibility. My big epiphany from the first year was that it was going to be a long haul with a lot of opportunities to feel humble. Getting the mindset that fatherhood is a marathon not a sprint really helped.

Best fatherhood advice received:

The best bit of advice I got was from my dad, "no matter how tired you are she is more tired". The first couple of years is no place for feeling hard done by and bickering about who has done more/slept less etc. I made a conscious decision to always put my family before myself which sorted most issues from day one.

Message for men expecting their first baby:

It will stretch you and challenge you but it will make you at the same time. Fatherhood is a proving ground for men. I can't think of another place where you can leave an imprint so indelibly on another life. Oh and it is the most joyful, humorous, rewarding and fulfilling thing I have ever had inflicted upon me.

Opinion: Fire your work! Why it's important for dads to think about how work fits with family life.

Opinion: Fire your work! Why it's important for dads to think about how work fits with family life.

There is an interesting contradiction in the way that the 'traditional model' of parenthood has changed in our society. 

Traditionally dad goes off to win the bread while mum stays at home to nurture the children. Dad may contribute at times but clearly the nurturing and raising of children is primarily the woman's job. For a long time women with children were restricted - the arrival of kids also signalled the end of their career as their world narrowed down into a small child-shaped box.

Happily, women are no longer expected to 'just' stay at home or give up their careers. There is not the pressure that a woman with a child can 'only' be a mum. More and more women are working as well as caring for their child. While things could be better and there is still progress to be made it's great that women have more freedom than they previously did. 

It's interesting that we haven't seen a similar transition for men...

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