Today we interview Nigel who is the founder and writer of the blog, DIY Daddy. He is one of the top Dad bloggers in the UK and is currently rated #4 dad blogger and #10 parent blogger.
Nigel is the father of five children so has had plenty of experience when it comes to being a dad. He has written extensively on being a dad as well as many other issues such as mental health, and gender issues. We reached out to him to ask him some questions
What does fatherhood mean to you?
For me, fatherhood is what I feel I was destined to be. It completes me as a person. The love I felt when I held my child for the very first time compares to nothing else in the world and that feeling has never left me.
What about being a dad has been the most challenging?
There are many things challenging about being a dad and those challenges change as your children grow up and become adults. I have found that the best way to deal with challenges is to talk to my children and try and solve the problem together. I have found that nowadays with the massive focus on social media keeping your children safe online is very challenging. It’s a difficult balancing act between their privacy but also making sure they are making the right decisions when online. I have found that you need to learn as much as you can about social media so that hopefully you can help show them the pitfalls and dangers of being online.
Could you tell us about zero waste and why you decided to participate?
As a family, we have always tried to recycle as much as possible. One day my wife and I were chatting and we thought about how we could make the world a better place for our children. That’s when I started to read a little bit about how long it takes for instance for toothbrushes to biodegrade. It’s 400 years! This totally staggered me and from that moment my wife and I decided to try and live a zero waste life. Hopefully the example we set our children will carry on and hopefully it will help reverse the mess the human race has made of this world. For me it’s vital we teach the younger generation the importance of zero waste to make the world a cleaner place for their future.
How do you balance self-employment with the responsibility of fatherhood?
I have been self-employed for about 20 years and that is approximately about the same time I have been a dad. I never really had a problem balancing the two because it’s always been a part of my life. In fact, being self-employed gives you more family time because you can dictate the hours you work.
We’ve seen you’re an advocate for mental health, why are you so passionate?
Yes, this is something I have written a lot about on my blog. The main reason is because of my own struggles with depression since I was a teenager and in those days the stigma surrounding mental health was atrocious. So I have in my own way campaigned for mental health awareness and especially for men who struggle to open up and also for our young people. I have recently been involved in a campaign called #itsoktofeelshit and this is all about encouraging young people to talk and be open if they are struggling with mental health. It was something that I was lacking when I was first diagnosed. My passion stems from the fact that there was very little help then, and I never want a young person to go through what I went through.
We’ve noticed you work with a lot of brands; how do you decide if a brand is right for you?
It’s quite simple really. Any brand I work with has to have a family or DIY theme to it because ultimately that’s what I blog about. I will also look at brands on a one to one basis and see if they are suitable for me.
Legacy is really important to us. When you go what do you want to be remembered for?
Oh my goodness, that’s a tough one! I guess I would like to be remembered firstly for being a good dad and for being there for my children. Also as somebody that tries his best for those he loved most in the world.
As someone who has experience in DIY, what costly mistakes do you see people make time and time again?
The biggest mistakes people make is believing they can do a DIY job without any real experience and rush at it. This will inevitably lead to disaster and cost more money than needed. So my advice is simple. Think carefully before you attempt any DIY job and if you think it’s going to be something that is beyond you call the experts. It will save you a fortune.
You’ve got a successful blog, what made you start blogging and exciting things can we look forward to? My blog was born from an accident! I fell from a ladder and broke my wrist. I was very bored at home and started my blog as a hobby and somewhere along the way it started to get read by people and the rest, as they say, is history! In the very near future, I will become a major contributor to a dad website and app. I can’t say any more at the moment, but it’s very exciting to watch this space!
Five children including twins! Given your experience, what advice would you give to a new dad?
I’m not one to advise too much on how to be a dad because we all do it differently, but what I will say is follow your own instincts at all times because invariably they will be right. After all, you know your children’s needs better than anyone.
Anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed and if you would like to know about my adventures as a dad follow me on my social channels and blog.