Dads Round-up: Beating the winter blues

February is one of those months, isn’t it? On the one hand, we have the annual winter blues, which this year was served up with a side-dish of the Beast from the East. On the other, February means half-term and Valentine’s Day. So let’s check in with what some of my fellow dads have been up to over the past month.

The great outdoors

At this time of year it’s all too easy to huddle indoors and avoid the miserable weather. (Except when it snows, of course!) We got around it by disappearing off to Australia and Malaysia for the best part of three weeks. But it isn’t necessary to be quite that extreme.

Oli (The Outdoor Dad) issues the rallying cry Calling all outdoorsy parents! as he implores us all to resist the lure of the indoors. There are so many outdoor activities that can be done even during winter. And, of course, they’re great for helping us bond with our kids.

Phill (Four Seasons Dad, aka Corporate Dad) is in training for July’s 26-mile Macmillan Mighty Hike. He shares his experience of completing the 10-mile Edale-Kinder Scout hike, along with photos of some spectacular winter Peak District views.

If that isn’t enough to inspire you to get you off the sofa, I don’t know what is.

A poet’s soul

Being of a lyrical bent, I always enjoy a good poem, especially if it touches on universal parenting themes.

Kevin’s (Bringing Home the Baby) An Ode to Sleep reminded me more than a little of my own Adele parody song, One More Hour of Sleep. Sleep (or the lack thereof) also featured as the ‘S’ in Benny’s (Daddy Poppins) A-Z of Parenting. Or maybe that should be A to Zzzz?

Meanwhile Matthew (meandminimees) takes a different tack with his poem Chameleon. He asks: do you blend into the crowd or are you comfortable in your own skin? It’s an important question to ask of ourselves that also spills over into how we treat our children. Do we push them to conform to societal norms? Or do we encourage them to take the harder path and explore their own individuality?

Be my Valentine

Being single on Valentine’s Day wasn’t going to get Luis (SingleDaddyDadycare) down. And quite right too. Valentine’s Day is most usually associated with romantic love – and extortionately priced gifts – but I admire the way Luis chooses to view ‘love’ in a broader sense and approach the day with a sense of positivity.

Finally, New York is an amazing city to visit for any reason at any time of year, let alone around Valentine’s Day. But Kaden (Dad Vibes) ended up having a whirlwind adventure to end all adventures as he found himself NYC-bound to elope with his now husband Mark. Congratulations, chaps!

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About Tim Liew

Tim, also known as @thatchamdad, is a blogger, a podcaster, a father of three (aged ten and under) and a master of none. By his own admission he’s forever stuck somewhere in the mid-1980s, probably a Thursday. In between bouts of nostalgia, complaining about his aching joints and compiling endless iTunes playlists, he has been writing about his experiences as a working dad on his blog Slouching towards Thatcham since 2008.