Fatherhood by Giles Alexander

Please introduce yourself

I’m Giles, AKA London dad blogger YOU THE DADDY (www.youthedaddy.co.uk) and first time papa to Teddy, aged 9 months.

After discovering we were pregnant, I was disappointed by how rubbish many of the online resources are for new dads, as almost everything is targeted directly at mums. So I set up my own dad blog, YOU THE DADDY, as a source of information, advice and real life pregnancy and parenting stories for other dads like me.

How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a father?

I can’t lie…it’s been a real struggle. Juggling a seriously busy job in the City while trying to be the all present, all singing, all dancing father I aspire to be (and also blogging on the side) is more than a full time job…it’s three! But I’m determined to still be a hands on dad at every opportunity, even if it means going into work a little later on some mornings so I can do the wake up, nappy changing and bottle routine before the daily commute. Ultimately though, our weekends are absolutely sacred, and my time to do some proper dadding.

What makes you, as a dad, happy?

Making my little boy smile…there’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than seeing that toothy grin.

What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

My favourite thing about fatherhood is that feeling when you pick up your crying, unhappy or just unsettled baby, and with nothing more than a little squeeze, they instantly settle. Like they knows you’re their dad and that they’re safe in your arms. There’s nothing better.

My least favourite thing is leaving for work every morning, knowing that I’m missing out on all of Teddy’s firsts. My wife and I try to FaceTime a few times a day while I’m at the office, but it’s not the same as actually being there. He’s just changing so fast…

 If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

I’d have to be Theodore from Alvin & the Chipmunks – we’re both a bit squidgy around the edges and always ready to break into song at a moment’s notice.

I’m a dad and……? 

Tell us something mummy doesn’t know, something that happened during a ‘dad on duty’ moment.

I have been known, on occasion, to finish off Teddy’s breakfast or dinner after he’s refused to eat any more, before telling my wife what a ‘good boy’ he was for eating it all up himself.

Share a top tip with your fellow dads?

One of the great challenges of fatherhood is figuring out how to go to the loo when you have an inconsiderate baby who insists on being in the same room as you 24/7. But I recently discovered that a baby will sit quite happily in its baby bath seat in the tub for about 10 minutes, leaving just enough time for a man to do his ‘business’ in relative peace. Serious dad hack there…

 What advice would you give a first-time dad?

During pregnancy and in the first few months of parenthood, if someone offers you help, say YES, and ask them to make you a few meals for your freezer. These will be a total lifesaver and give you two of the best gifts that all new parents need…food and time. And don’t buy everything new. So much of the expensive baby kit you’ll need can be found second-hand online (most of the time, in tip top condition and at a fraction of the price), as well as at specialist charity shops like FARA Kids, where you can find some amazing bargains.

 What does fatherhood represent to you? 

The best thing any man can do.