Websites for dads
Recently, I've started looking after my two young daughters for three days a week. Yep, I'm now a part-time house husband, and I wouldn't change it for anything. One of my children is a toddler and the other is a baby, and I love seeing them growing up, changing and developing. Just last week, our baby started crawling for the first time, which was amazing.
But when I think back to three years ago, when my wife was pregnant, the idea of becoming a dad was scary. I knew next to nothing about how parenting would work. While my wife had a host of magazines, books and friends offering advice, the most I seemed to get was dark mutterings from other men telling me that my life "was over." They were joking. I think.
I ended up learning on the job, which worked out well, but I wish I'd realised back then just how many websites there are out there aimed specifically at dads. It would have helped a lot in those early days. Whether you're about to become a father for the first time, or you need some extra tips for looking after the children you've already got, there's plenty of resources you can find at the click of a mouse. Here's just a few of them.
Dad.info is a great site sponsored by the Fatherhood Institute, with a range of sections dedicated to areas like work, money, kids, relationships and much more. The site is incredibly positive about what dads have to offer - one comment article I read sought to dispel some myths about fathers not being good with babies. The articles are informative and easy to read, often making complex information like the law and fathers' rights much easier to understand. Best of all, Dad.info is designed in an attractive yet clear way. An invaluable site for dads at any stage in the process.
Before I became a dad I had no idea that there was a magazine out there just for us. It's called FQ magazine and its website even has a problem page called 'Dear Dad' which looks to solve issues dads are facing, and there's a lot of fun to be had in the top ten dads section, whether you're a sporting dad, a cartoon dad or a funny dad.
Stay at Home Dads aims "to provide some advice, information and chill-out time for all stay at home dads everywhere." There's a great top tips article for house husbands like myself, advising you not only about consistency in parenting but also how to maintain a sense of your own identity, which isn't easy for mums or dads. There are news, advice and money sections and also a great page of links to other sites for dads.
The BBC has a pregnancy website which also features some tips for dads in the lead up to the big day. You can find out how to prepare to become a dad, how to balance work and home life, and what to do when you first take your baby home.
Finally, Contact a Family is a fantastic site for parents who have a child with a disability. You can get medical information, advice about benefits, and most important of all, get in touch with other families for support. There's fact pages and the chance to find out about resources in your local area, and there's a dedicated Dad section.
Being a father can be exhausting but the truth is, bringing up your child (or children!) is the best job in the world, and you're always learning new things. I hope the sites I found have given you some advice and tips that you've found useful - they've certainly helped me.
Charlie is a journalist and scriptwriter specialising in articles and films featuring deaf culture and sign language. He has written for the Guardian online and has contributed to programmes for Radio 4, while his films have won international awards. He also works in the arts, helping to make theatre accessible for deaf people.