Tuesday Morning Focal Point

Tuesday Morning Focal Point – May 24, 2016 – The Challenges Facing the Working Father

I am pleased to present this blog from John Adams – our guest blogger this week

John Adams combines life as a stay at home dad with an increasingly high-profile career as a blogger, writer and YouTuber. He is based in London in the UK and has two daughters, Helen, seven and Elizabeth, three. John’s wife works full time while he does the majority of the childcare and runs the household. In this article he outlines the challenges of being both a dad and running a business.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I never quite know what to say. I am, first and foremost, a stay at home dad, responsible for running the household and the majority of the childcare looking after my two daughters. My wife, meanwhile, works full time bringing in the majority of this family’s income.

Although a stay at home dad, I also run my own business. I fit my business life around my family. It isn’t easy and life is busy. Even so, I love it. Allow me to explain what it is I do, how I got here and what challenges I face.

What is my business?

I am a blogger, writer, social media manager and – increasingly – a YouTuber. I make money through advertising, various commercial sponsorship deals, affiliate deals and so on.

I admit it is a cottage industry. Although small, my business is growing and I am forever diversifying. If I were a woman, I think people would refer to me as a ‘mumpreneur’!

How did I get here?

I was originally a journalist, but had moved into PR and communications. In 2011 I was unhappy with my job. Both my wife and I worked full time and I was increasingly unhappy that my young daughter was in childcare five days a week.

My wife and I discussed the situation and I suggested I leave my job and become a stay at home dad. My wife needed some convincing, but we did it. In 2012 I used my skills as a journalist and started blogging about my experiences (our second daughter was also born in 2012).

To my amazement, people started reading my blog. I had some successes very early on. Just three months after I started blogging I was invited to No10 Downing Street, official London residence of the British Prime Minister.

I knew I was on to something and persevered. The world is full of mum bloggers, but not many dad bloggers. It appeared to be a wide open market.

I get paid for this?

I started being offered money to write blog posts. I was offered money to write for other people. Over time I built up a large following on social media and found myself being asked to appear in commercials because of my profile. In other words, yes, you can make money from blogging.

It can’t be that easy?

Sure, there is money to be made, but balancing my working life, fatherhood and family responsibilities is difficult. I have to get up at 5am, seven days a week. This gives me a couple of hours to work before the children wake up.

Social media is a particular occupational hazard. You have to be disciplined and leave your PC and phone, otherwise you will always be checking emails, Facebook and Twitter.

Another big challenge, and one I hear working mothers complain about, is the cost of childcare. Helen, my eldest daughter is now in school but our youngest, Elizabeth, is almost four. She goes to pre-school four mornings a week.

If a lucrative piece of work comes my way, I can’t turn it down. I find myself arranging additional childcare for Elizabeth in these circumstances.

Guilt is another issue. Not that this happens all the time, but I feel guilty about placing Elizabeth in childcare or setting the kids up to watch a Disney film so I can work.  The truth is, my wife and I need the money. I don’t do this for fun. The money I make bring pays for clothes, food, swimming lessons, soccer lessons etc. Even so, I wish I had more hours in the day!

I enjoy it

Although it isn’t always easy, I enjoy what I do. I love writing and blogging and I have had some fantastic experiences and met some really inspiring people as a result (not least a certain individual called Cameron Keller who I recently met in Melbourne, Australia of all places).

Crucially, however, this way of life allows me to spend much more time with my children than many fathers. For this I feel genuinely blessed.

John’s blog can be found at http://dadbloguk.com

Twitter/Instagram: @dadbloguk

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/johnadamsDadbloguk