November’s Featured Blogger is a person who I’ve been interacting with more over Twitter and I’m really pleased he agreed to collaborate with me. I like to have a range of bloggers in this series so it’s nice to have one that ticks the ‘dad’ box like Richard from Man Stays Home, but also reaches the single parent audience, and the Yorkshire (whoop!) blogger audience too.
Matthew’s blog ‘Leeds Dad‘ follows the activities he shares with his lovely daughter, Heidi, and the occasional parenting post. I think it’s refreshing that he wants to focus more on Days Out as I know most parents are always looking for fun and new things to do with their kids. Anything to keep them entertained, right?
Having an interest in Drama myself, I loved Matthew’s post about Pyjama Drama which you can find here however I love browsing through the blog in general, finding ideas for the future.
Here’s what Matthew, AKA Leeds Dad, had to say for himself…
1. Tell me a little more about your family… I’m probably slightly different to “normal” bloggers, as I am a single dad, to a 3 year old girl, Heidi. Me and mum separated when Heidi was 8 months old and we have had to deal with the rollercoaster of being a new parent alongside everything else – however, no-one goes through life having things easy! I am an accountant working in the NHS so I tend to value my weekends a lot and make sure we are shattered come Sunday evening!
2. What are the main themes of your blog? It is really all about documenting where we have been for days out/activities to try and give people an idea about places which are potentially a bit less well known. Also, I do branch into a few “parenting” blog posts now and again, especially when certain events come up such as first day at nursery/toilet training etc. Probably my favourite post is one I did recently about Heidi starting nursery and I was in floods of tears writing it and it was my most popular post ever
3. Why did you begin writing your blog? When the break-up was happening and I was giving Heidi back on a Sunday evening, I used to go through the pictures that I had taken on our mini adventures as a way of reminiscing, through the floods of tears. However, I started the think that it would be much more productive to write about these places, so that one day I can show Heidi the blog and talk through all the brilliant places we went to. Also, I wanted to be able to help parents (particularly single parents) that you can go out and about, and navigate the various pitfalls!!
4. What’s your favourite thing about blogging? One is certainly the reminiscing and reliving the day that we had. The secondly is the interaction on social media with some of our favourite places to visit – certain places such as Boomchikkaboom and Rainbow Factory are brilliant to follow and generally interact with.
5. Do you celebrate Bonfire Night? (If yes, how? If no, why not?) I’m not a big fan of Bonfire Night, never have been, probably because I grew up with dogs who hated the fireworks!! However, last year, we went to a local one for the first time to see how Heidi reacted. After half an hour of watching a bonfire and waiting for the fireworks, she had enough so we went back home!! All the effort of getting both of us layered up was all for nothing!!
6. What’s your perfect way to spend a Winter’s day? Get out and about!! Anywhere!! Seriously, if it is a nice day, then there are plenty of parks to go to and have a cheap day out. If the weather is rubbish, then somewhere like Boomchikkaboom is the perfect place to go with a young child.
7. What’s your favourite thing about living in Yorkshire? We have the beaches, the hills, the transport links, as well as the best people in the world!! We don’t have perfect weather, but it is dry much more often than not!
8. What’s your favourite activity to do in Leeds with your daughter? It has to be the Rainbow Factory! They have made us feel so welcome over the last year and Heidi absolutely loves it there. The staff are brilliant and it is somewhere completely different but allows children to be so creative in so many different ways. I’ll always remember when Heidi was 2 years old and acting out Little Red Riding Hood with a similar aged girl who’s mum works at the Rainbow Factory and it was so sweet! They are also doing childrens science classes now which brings out the inner geek in me!
9. Snog, Marry, Avoid: Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton and Davina McCall? What a choice… The avoid would have to be Davina, because I think that she would eat me alive a bit. Snog would have to be Fearne, but only because the chance to marry Holly and wake up next to her every morning would be impossible to pass up on!! However, that question is unfair!!
10. What’s your No.1 parenting tip for a Dad-To-Be? Stick with it as it does get easier. There are dark moments, but it does get better and it is worth it. The first week or so was quite easy for us, but you quickly get into the cycle of work -> home -> nappies -> broken sleep -> work etc and it is difficult. However, it is worth it and if you are finding it difficult, ask for help. Please. Use your support networks, reach out for help. You don’t need to do it on your own. You’re a dad. You’re a superhero already, but even Batman needed Robin for help!
Thank you so much to Leeds Dad Matthew for taking me up on my offer to be Featured Blogger. I have to say, sounds like he’s doing an excellent job as Daddy to Heidi. You can find his website here
, however he is also on Facebook
– check him out!