BRITAIN’S No1 MAGAZINE FOR STAY-AT-HOME DADS
“I left the
Army to be
a SAHD”American Dad
Author Scott Benner
A Q&A with the
5apps that will
Are SAHDs at
It’s the UK’s No 1 magazine
for stay- at-home dads.
We know how nerve-wracking
it can be to welcome a new
arrival into the world. There’s the
anticipation, the praying it will all
be okay, and the chaotic last-minute
push before it’s all over and a new
chapter begins. And that’s exactly
how we feel about this magazine.
So, just as you have promised to
dedicate every moment to your
children, DadMag promises to bring
you the latest news, the most insip-
iring stories and the funniest facts.
Because, like you, we understand
how important it is to give your all to
something you have created.
If you’ve ever felt like the only
stay-at-home dad in the world, this
magazine is for you. If you’ve ever needed someone to share
your parent worries with, this magazine is for you. And if you’ve
ever wanted a magazine filled to the brim with naked women,
James Bond-style antics and flashy sports cars, well...this mag-
azine possibly isn’t for you.
DadMag is honest, it’s real, and it’s all about celebrating the
hidden heroes: the stay-at-home dads who spend each day
raising their children, sorting out the recycling and accidentally
shrinking their wife’s washing. It’s about getting to know who
you are, and the amazing job you do every day.
We are proud to call each and every one of you our reader. So
from all of us at DadMag, a big thank you and hello.
Grooming and Tech-
nology Editor. Keen
traveller and lover of
and Fashion Editor.
Cellist, pianist and
and never says no to
a nice cup of tea.
Meet the DadMag Team
We love to hear from readers. Email us at email@example.com or write to us at:
DadMag, Minalloy House, 18-22 Regent Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 3NJ
ASK DR ROB
Fridge Raiders: Food
Fashion Focus: Fuss-free
fashion straight from the
Baby Apps that will change
Dadgets: Tech your way to a
Be the most dapper SAHD in
DADTREPENEURS: Set up
your own business!
How to get back to
work: Our tips for success
Your scariest Halloween EVER
Dad Snatchers: are SAHDs
at risk from baby-mad females?
Army Dad: He fought for his
country, but his daughter won
Help, my wife earns
more than me!
King of the post-it
notes: Chris Illuminati Q&A
American Dad: Author
Scott Benner says howdy
Our no-nonsense guest writers put you
through their paces as they reveal what
being a SAHD means to them.
CONFESSIONS OF A SAHD
TV’s favourite GP answers your health
FUNNY THINGS KIDS SAY
Win a trip to Copenhagen
Fantastic days out
Entertainment the kids will love
Features Lifestyle DM Guide
So what do YOU think?
I am so pleased to have finally found a maga-
zine for stay-at-home dads. I can’t believe
how little there is out there for us dads.
I used to feel like I was being forgotten
about, but it’s great to see a magazine that
recognises that there are a whole bunch of
us out there!
It’s about time that other magazines followed
suit and realised that there’s more to being a
dad than being the breadwinner.
Keith’s story really struck a chord with me.
My wife was diagnosed with early-onset
Alzheimer’s last year, and it has put a lot of
pressure on me and my children.
At times I have felt like I just can’t cope. But
Keith’s story has really inspired me. I am no
longer worrying about the future, and I am
instead focusing on spending the time I have
remaining with my beautiful wife and our
three wonderful kids.
I was so touched by your story on Keith
Radford, whose wife Amanda tragically died
from Bechet’s disease earlier this year.
His bravery and decision to leave work to
make sure his children got the best upbring-
ing possible really made me realise how
fortunate I am.
I made the choice to become a stay-at-home
dad, and I can now appreciate what a gift my
healthy wife and children are.
“Finally a mag for SAHDs!”
“My wife & children are a gift”
“I’ve been inspired”
“I like your testicles”
I found your article on the Emory University
study on the relationship bwteen testicle size
and the amount of responsibility a father has
It’s great to see a magazine that isn’t afraid
to investigate issues - whether or not some
readers might be offended.
As for me, I don’t care what the study says:
my wife has never had any complaints!
Adam, South Wales
Vist our YouTube page at YouTube/DadMag for the best videos on the web
100% yes. They are the
comfiest things ever.
I’ve already got one on
my Christmas list!
They’re ghastly. And
why would you want
to look like a baby?
You might as well
wear a nappy.
Hell yes. Bring on
I just wanted to say how touched I have been by your Face-
book campaign to help raise awareness of depression among
As a father-of-two, I often felt ashamed of my depression,
and I spent a long time trying to hide it from my friends and
family. But thanks to your campaign, I have gotten up the
courage to visit my GP and seek the help I need.
Depression is a serious issue, but it can be treated with a lit-
tle suport - and I feel like I have this from DadMag. So thank
Next month: Should men be hairy?
James wins a Nikon
You’ve been writing to us in droves to
support our Beat Depression cam-
paign. To get involved, go to:
Adult onesies: Yes or No?
We want to hear what’s been making you tick
this month. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you got something you’d like
to get off your chest? Tweet us at:
when......At least once a week someone says ‘I want your job’
...You wear your wedding ring to prove to other mums that you’re real-
...You know all the lines to Iggle Piggle by heart
...You’re careful not to criticise your wife’s parenting, and she doesn’t
comment on your cooking
...You’ve had a piece of Lego embedded in your foot for oer a year
...You’re friends with more women than your wife is
...PJ bottoms are perfectly acceptable attire for the supermarket
...You secretly enjoy Dora the Explorer
...Lollipops have become your bribery weapon of choice
...The thought of taking your kids to the dentist breaks you out in a
...You’ve had to scrub their ‘art’ off the walls
...You can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep
...You know that there’s nothing you’d rather be doing
As these celebrity dads sho
parenting craze in Hollywo
getting in on the action, yo
BILLY BOB THORNTON
The five-times-divorced film star
says he’s happier than ever staying
at home raising the eight-year-old
daughter he shares with his special
effects film technician wife, Connie
Angland. The ‘Bad Santa’ actor, who
once wore a vial of his former wife
Angelina Jolie’s blood, says becoming
a stay-at-home dad has helped to
make him a nice person. He revealed:
“My secret to happiness is staying
home. I’m finding agoraphobia really
pleasant these days. I have a daughter
that keeps me pretty busy.” One thing
the Oscar-winning actor definitely
won’t be busy doing is clearing out
the attic: he has a phobia of antique
furniture and silverware.
He might be one of the high-
est paid actors in the world
(a reported $20 million) but
the movie star chose to stay
at home to look after his six
children – Maddox, Zahara,
Pax, Shiloh and twins Knox
and Vivienne whilst his long-
term girlfriend, Angelina
Jolie, directed her first film in
Budapest. According to sourc-
es, the actor has been asking
Angelina to cut down her
workload so they can spend
more time at home with their
children and even expand
their brood! In his recent film,
‘World War Z’, Brad even plays
a former UN worker who gives
up his job to bring up his kids.
The singer has revealed that he will be cutting back on his hectic tour
schedule once his sons – two-year-old Zachary and six-month old Elijah
- start school. The tots currently travel around the world with Elton as he
performs up to 120 concerts a year. The babies were born through a sur-
rogate, and now play a huge part in he and his partner, 50-year-old Dave
Furnish’s life. They were inspired to have children after they were unable
to adopt an orphan in Ukraine, which Elton says “broke [his] heart”. Inter-
estingly, both Elton and David claim they don’t know who the biological
father of their children are, as they both ‘contributed’ to the process.
“With every snuggle suit that
was hung on the line to dry, a
little piece of my masculinity
blew away in the wind”
alk to any stay-at-home
dad – and I guarantee you
that within two minutes he
will use the phrases “best
job in the world” and “it’s
so much more rewarding than what I
And I guarantee you they will be ly-
ing through their emasculated teeth.
Which, I admit, might sound harsh.
But it is fair appraisal of what was,
from my own six months’ of bitter ex-
perience, the most thankless, baffling
and utterly terrifying time of my life.
And worse, being a SAHD can totally
destroy your sex life.
When I left my job as Editor of lad’s
mag loaded in July 2010, I thought
I’d give it a bash as a SAHD. I mean,
after managing teams of 25 wayward
journalists and multi-million pound
budgets, how hard could it be?
“Bloody hard” is the printable answer.
For starters, when you’re a lonely
island of masculinity jettisoned in a
raging ocean of oestrogen, life is any-
thing but a beach.
It is terrifying enough trudging
to a female-only toddler group, but
once there, the endless conversations
about leaking breasts, torn perinea
and ruptured C-section wounds are
But when I was asked to leave a
mums-only toddler group because
I inadvertently locked eyes with a
breast feeding mum, I could take no
more. I was initially furious, then
deeply depressed. I realised I just
didn’t belong in this world.
I enrolled Sonny in a nursery, and,
three days later, I got my life, libido
and self respect back.
It’s estimated there are 1.4 million
full-time dads in the UK — ten times
more than a decade ago.
But, as taboo as it sounds, I just don’t
think most men are cut out for it.
While the time I spent with Sonny
were rewarding in myriad ways, not
only was I bored, lonely, and de-
pressed, but my relationship with my
partner was blighted by blazing rows
and bickering and our sex life became
In a recent study, one in five stay-
at-home dads claimed their new role
made them feel ‘less of a man’ but I’m
surprised it’s not a lot more. The daily
grind of feeding, changing, washing
and folding started to make me feel
like an exhausted housewife.
With every snuggle suit that was hung
on the line to dry, a little piece of my
masculinity blew away in the wind.
But what really hammered my
self-confidence was the way other men
reacted when I told them I was now a
They’d call me a “SAHD bastard” and
thought it must be great to endlessly
watch Jeremy Kyle and occasionally
potter to the playground. Therein lies
the rub: blokes are clueless about the
reality of the role. And while women
have Mumsnet, there is no Dadsnet.
Men are in it alone.
The truth is, being a SAHD can be
disastrous for relationships. Divorces
where the man is a full-time dad have
doubled in the last five years, and now
account for 10 per cent of all marital
break-ups. Why? Because wom-
en say they want domestic
gods, but really they want
Don’t get me wrong,
I genuinely admire
dads who can make
it work. They’re
better men than
me. There were
times when I got a
of worth — small
things like when
Sonny first called
me ‘Daddy’ — that
I’d never get from work
But, ultimately, they didn’t give me
enough, and once Sonny was at nurs-
ery I was glad it was over — and now
I have a second child on the way, no
way would I choose it again.
Men simply don’t have the patience
or capacity for self-sacrifice. No matter
how hard we try, we cannot surrender
our infuriating male ego.
We are emotionally far less able to
cope than women with the frustrations
of full-time parenting. To men like me,
who define themselves by their work, it
I’m not ashamed to admit I wasn’t up
to it. I feel it was better to recognise my
shortcomings and do something about
it than carry on with the daily surren-
Those who feel being a full-time dad
is a short-cut to inner fulfilment are
seriously deluding themselves. In the
right hands, if you’re
made of the right
it can be ‘the best
job on Earth’.But
for the honest ma-
jority, like me, it
can feel more like
a prison sentence.
a big HELLO to
Martin - ex-editor
or Loaded, former
SAHD and our
columnist of the
King of the post-
Chris Illuminati, the author of the brilliant Mes-
sage With A Bottle blog, might just be the funniest
stay-at home-dad on the planet, so when we got
the chance to chat to him about all things father-
hood, we jumped at the chance. His brutal hones-
ty and ability to keep a fantastic sense of humour
whilst running around after a toddler full-time has
won Chris a dedicated Tumblr following of over
43,000 fans. We wouldn’t mind being this guy. The
36-year-old father of two talked us through nap-
pies, the better half and the terrible twos – one
post-it note at a time.
Hi Chris! Let’s talk post-it notes. We think your blog’s pretty goddamn hilarious, but
what exactly was it that inspired you to start Message With A Bottle?
Thanks. Well, I’m quite a forgetful person and one day I decided to write
down all the things I needed to remember to do. I jokily wrote: ‘feed the
baby’ on a post-it note – as bad as it sounds, I’d forget otherwise! I laughed
about it, and then I thought it would actually be pretty funny to make myself
notes about parenting as I went along. And it all started from there.
You recently hit the incredible milestone of 43,000 Tumblr fans. Why do you think
your blog has been as popular as it has?
People do really seem to love it, and to be quite frank, I’m shocked – after all
it’s just a load of my random thoughts on sticky paper. But people do really
seem to understand and relate. And they get so involved – the notes spark
huge discussions, and people respond with similar stories, words of encour-
agement and sometimes even anger. But as long as I get a reaction, I’m
But whilst it’s awesome to be able to reach such a big audience, it can be
a double-edged sword. There is a bit of pressure there, because I’ll think to
myself ‘Crap. I better say something funny, or these people will forget who
the hell I am.
So are most of your followers stay-at-home dads?
Nope. I seem to attract all kinds of different people from different age
groups. Some of them don’t even have children – they just like a good laugh.
I’ve also got a pretty strong following from younger people who are fresh out
of college and still single. I’m hoping this blog serves as a warning to go out
and have fun before it’s too late!
GET CONNECTED What do YOU think about straying stay-at-home dads? Have you ever been tempted to stray? Email us at email@example.com.
Illicit EncountersJennifer*, a 32-year-old legal
assistant from Swansea, will only
have sex with married men with
children. The man of her fantasies
is not a muscly, suave James Bond
figure, but a slightly overweight,
baby sick stained stay-at-home dad.
And why? “It’s the attention I can
give him,” Jenny explained. “It’s the
fact that when we’re at a restaurant,
or making love, I am giving him all
the attention he needs to feel like a
real man. He might spend the whole
day looking after his children, but
when we’re together it’s all about
him. Anything he wants, I can
provide – and I love the power this
Whilst Jennifer’s situation may
seem unusual, it’s not as uncom-
mon as we might think. DadMag
spoke to Mike Taylor, a spokesper-
son for Illicit Encounters – one of
the UK’s largest and most estab-
lished extramarital dating websites,
to find out what exactly is going on.
“Seeing a man with a baby or a
puppy is like an aphrodisiac for
women,” said Mike. “It’s like in
the Hugh Grant film, About a Boy,
when he tries to gatecrash a single
parents’ meeting to pick up a date.
Women like men who are good with
children, and a male showing his
sensitive side sets him apart from
regular guys – making the woman’s
heart melt whilst reassuring them
that he could better understand her
“When a fresh dad walks into a play
centre with his kids, it’s like a Diet Coke
moment for single women. They think
‘What do we have here? A man, a fa-
ther, a carer who is happy to relieve his
wife of some parenting duties? What a
wonderful guy!’ They’re seeing Mr Stay-
At-Home at his absolute best. They just
can’t wait to huddle together and discuss
the handsome newcomer, like on Des-
But the attention is not always un-
wanted, as stay-at-home dad Jeff*
admits. After he was made redundant
Jeff and his wife, an account manager at
a top advertising agency, decided that he
would stay at home and raise their two
daughters. He struggled to adjust to his
new status and began to notice attention
elsewhere, which eventually resulted in
him registering with Illicit Encounters.
Jeff said: “It took me a long time to
get up the confidence to mix with other
parents, who were mainly mums at
play dates and coffee mornings. And
I instantly noticed that women were
different around me – flirty, and openly
suggestive. It was almost like I was the
new kid at school, and I did find it really
arousing. Who wouldn’t be excited by the
“I have an amazing relationship with
my wife, but as with many marriages
we have become more like brother and
sister over the years and the romance
Stay-at-home dads are on the
increase, with figures now 10
times higher than back in the
90s. And now extramarital
websites are reporting that
the idea of a man staying
at home to raise his children
isn’t just attractive to the
families involved, but to other
women too. We decided to
find out if men really are at
risk of being targeted by
single women who just can’t
resist a stay-at-home dad.
has all but disappeared. I did feel
tempted, and whilst I wanted the
attention, I had to stop myself from
flirting back. There is no way that I
would ever get involved with any of
the women in my circle – that would
be ridiculously stupid and risk the
embarrassment of my whole family
if I ever got caught.
“And that’s exactly why I joined
Illicit Encounters. I just like to chat
with the women and flirt a little – it
gives me the same high as when I
was at the play centre, but this way
no one gets hurt. In fact, I even feel
like it is benefiting my marriage,
because I am learning a great deal
about women by talking to lots of
Jeff is not the only stay-at-home
dad to seek attention elsewhere,
and certainly won’t be the last.
Recent research suggests that up to
a fifth of stay-at-home dads feel like
less of a man after giving up their
careers, and this emasculation can
lead to a temptation to stray.
Mike explained: “Feeling like
they are somehow playing second
fiddle to their wives is not an easy
transition for some men, and the
attention from other women can
help re-establish their power as a
man. It may also help him to assert
himself into this newfound society,
and establish himself as a key player
outside of the home once again.”
Meet ex-Colonel Paul Swiergosz of the U.S
Army. After 20 years spent travelling the
world, he gave up his glittering career to stay
at home and look after his 18-month-old
daughter, Poppy. Here, he tells us why he
doesn’t regret it for a second.
NAME: Paul Swiergosz
OCCUPATION: Stay-at-home dad
FORMER OCCUPATION: U.S Army Lieutenant,
Colonel and Department of the Army Civil-
MARITAL STATUS: Happily married to second
CHILDREN: Paul (24), Meredith (22), Carolyn
(19) from his first marriage, and 18-month-
old Poppy with Katy
GRANDCHILDREN: One and counting
LOCATION: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Ispent my 20s and 30s fighting for
my country. I served in the Bal-
kans and Iraq with the 10th Moun-
tain Division. I worked at the Penta-
gon for three years, bringing home a
six-figure salary. And now I look for
coupons, have the diapers.com app
on my smartphone and own a Ba-
bies-R-Us preferred customer card.
But I don’t regret my decision for a
I love being there when Poppy says
something cute, or being able to see
the joy in her face when she toddles
towards the ocean and tries to chase
the seagulls. I love watching her
progression from me pushing her in
a baby seat and pulling the shopping
cart behind me, to her walking and
pushing a kids’ cart by herself – al-
though she does usually abandon it
near the frozen foods aisle because
she gets tired of pushing it.
When my first child, Paul, was born,
I was 22 and still in college. I was
desperate to provide for my family
and provide them with the stability
they needed, so I enrolled in the U.S
Army as a young officer in a tank bat-
talion. I knew I would never risk being
fired - we had stable health coverage,
and our housing was provided by the
Army. At the time, there was no way I
could have left the Army for my wife
to find employment that had the job
security and standard of living that I
But whilst I slept well at night know-
ing that our family’s fundamental
needs were being taken care of by me
being in the Army, I did miss things
with my kids along the way.
I suppose I’ve never really liked
the idea of having children, only for
someone else to assume the day-to-
day responsibilities of raising them. I
know in the current economic climate
a lot of people don’t have a choice and
need two incomes to make ends meet
- and I completely understand that.
But I know the goodness that an
attentive stay-at-home parent can
bring. I saw it firsthand with my
first three children, as their moth-
er stayed at home with them. And
I see it in so many families I have
met along the way. Today, perhaps
more than ever with all of the pitfalls
lurking out there to twist kids the
wrong way, it is so important to take
an active role in your kids’ lives.
During my time in the Army, I wit-
nessed more than my fair share of
selfish assholes who had no problem
with being out in the field and then
coming home for a weekend, only to
drop off their dirty laundry, pick up
their rifle and go hunting - patting
their kid’s head on the way out of the
door. I’ll never claim to be the best
dad in the world, but that’s just flat-
ass wrong, and I’ll go to my grave
A lot of my professional friends
were shocked when I resigned to
Helpmy wife earns more than me!
Earlier this year, it was revealed that more than
a third of women are now the primary earner in
their household – up from 25% in 2011 and just
4% in 1969. Whilst this may be paving the way for
equality, it’s also breeding a generation of ‘purse-
whipped’ men who are becoming increasingly
insecure about their role in the household. We
caught up with Jenny Garrett, author of ‘Rocking
Your Role’, a how-to guide to success for female
breadwinners, and discovered it isn’t exactly easy
for the missus either…
It’s often said that women need
to earn at least as much as men
to have an equal voice. But that
voice can often come with a price.
In addition to fulfilling their role as
‘Queen of the Household’ by nurtur-
ing for their children and doing the
majority of the housework (it’s been
reported that women still do at least
two-thirds of the housework, even if
they are the main breadwinner) a
lot of women now have the added
pressure of being the main, or sole,
provider for their family.
I’m a breadwinner myself, and
it can be incredibly hard work. I
have a fantastic relationship with
my partner, who works as a college
lecturer, and I am blessed with a
beautiful 11-year-old daughter. But
controlling the purse strings isn’t
all it’s cracked up to be: I feel like
I can never step off, because my
family is dependent on me. It can
feel like a burden, and occasionally
I do get resentful.
Plus there is the constant feeling
that I am being judged for work-
ing full-time and not being in the
playground. Sometimes I feel that
other women are looking at me and
thinking: ‘Poor thing, you’ve got to
go to work’. And people often seem
to assume the woman is just playing
at a job – perhaps explaining why
women only earn 80% as much
as men. There are always assump-
tions of what men and women are
and should be doing, and it’s very
important to keep hold of your own
What people often fail to realise is
that families can sit down and craft
the life they want. By working as a
family unit and deciding who does
the cooking, cleaning and picking
the children up, you can share out
the responsibilities so each parent
feels like they are shouldering their
For some families it just makes
sense for the woman to stay at
home: one woman I interviewed for
my book had one able son and one
disabled son. She was driven and
wanted more, and felt like ultimately
she wasn’t providing the kind of care
her children needed. Her husband,
on the other hand, was more relaxed
– which worked well.
I believe the most important thing
for couples is to value themselves
past money. You still bring some-
thing to the relationship, whether it’s
the bins out, or being the more pa-
tient one. It also helps to find some-
thing you excel at. For my hsuband,
it’s Taekwondo. I love it that he can
look at me and say: “I’m great at
this. In fact, I’m better than you!”
No matter how excruciating it may
be, it’s essential to have the conver-
sation about your attitudes towards
money, and the role you are willing
to take on. If one of you deep down
believes that the man should be the
breadwinner, then your home situa-
tion will never work. But no matter
what happens, you always have a
choice on how you make your life
work together – craft it how you
want it to be.
And last but not least, don’t try to
be superman, and don’t expect your
wife to be superwoman – we’re all
“Controlling the purse strings isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!”
is available at
Author Jenny Garrett is a breadwinner and featured in
Linkedin’s Top 10 UK Power Women 2013
Name: Sarah Lovell
Expertise: Sarah has helped hundreds of
people get their dream job by using her
experience at two of the UK’s biggest recruitment agen-
cies to fine-tune their CV and offer interview prepara-
Don’t overegg your time spent as a stay-at-home dad
I recently had a CV through from a man who described his time at
home as a ‘residential director’. Many people stay at home with
their children – I’ve done it myself – and appreciate how tough it
is, but this is pushing it. Similarly, don’t go on about managing a
household budget, or preparing meals for five people, or getting
your children to school on time. These are skills expected of all
parents and professionals and won’t get you anywhere.
Tell employers what you have been doing prepare yourself
What have you been doing to get back up to speed? Have you
been to career coaching, or volunteering your services to friends
or local businesses? Anything that shows you’ve been making an
effort will help your CV to stand out, and recruiters constantly tell
me that they want to hear about applicants’ training as it shows
they’re disciplined, determined and can achieve results.
Don’t go into too much detail on your CV
It is equally important not to go into too much detail on your CV,
as it can make you look anxious or desperate and recruiters simply
don’t have the time to read through masses of information. Your
CV should never be longer than two pages.
Keep it simple
A lot of people make the mistake of panicking about their CV
standing out from the rest, so they come up with a gimmicky design
or put lots of bold and capital letters in there. But the way to stand
out is to fill your CV with relevant, content-rich text. There is no
need to make it easier to read: recruiters are highly-trained and
know exactly what they are looking for.
Tailor your CV for the job you want
If possible, speak to recruiters before submitting your CV and find
out the style they want. And always tailor your CV for each job
search – if you can, print off the person specification and highlight
the keywords. If it says the ideal candidate has ‘strong interperson-
al skills’ and ‘at least 5 years’ experience’ then you need to mirror
these phrases in your CV and covering letter. It is always better to
apply for 5 ideal roles a week, with a tailored cover letter and CV,
than 20 generic applications.
Create a new chat-up line
Be sure why it is you want to work for that specific company – if
you can’t answer that question, you’ll never get the job. Looking
for a job is like looking for a new partner: if you just walked into
a bar and said: “I’m looking for a wife,” people would think you
were crazy. It really does pay to create a new chat-up line for your
“I wouldn’t be put off from
employing a stay-at-home
dad, as I think it shows
an incredible amount of
commitment – which is an
attribute I look for in all
“To be honest, I think a
stay-at-home dad would
have to try harder in an
interview to impress me.
I think choosing to leave
your career shows a lack
of ambition on their part,
and I would need to see
that they are enthusiastic
about progressing through
“I’ve recently employed a
former stay-at-home dad
and he is one of the best
workers I’ve ever had.
He’s always early for
work, he never complains
about his workload and
he just gets on with it. If
anything, I’ll be looking
out for more stay-at-home
dads in the future!”
We asked employers if they
would think twice about
employing a stay-at-home
dad, and this is what they
THE CV EXPERT
Men’s social identity is more likely
to be tied up with a career and
being a provider than women, so
long-term unemployment can have
an effect on men’s confidence. Along
with the financial pressures and
insecurity that it can bring – which
may in turn be experienced as anxie-
ty – it can also rob men of the energy
and confidence that is needed to be
successful in their job search.
If you have been unemployed for
some time, or have been rejected sev-
eral times, an interview can be daunt-
ing. But it’s important to be aware of
the inevitable negative thinking, such
as ‘what’s the point’ or ‘I’ll never get
another job’. It’s a good idea to make a
list of all of the negative thoughts you
might be having, and for each thought
write down all the evidence for and
against it. This will help to you ration-
alise your thoughts and have a more
If you feel like you are really strug-
gling with your confidence or self-es-
teem, talk your thoughts through with
close friend – another perspective can
help you to see things in a different
The best thing you can possibly do
is to go into your interview with a
positive and optimistic mindset. And
if you want a technique that really
works, try wearing red underpants!
Red is a fiery, energetic colour rubs
off on your attitude. I’ve coached a
lot of men using this technique, and
it really does give them the edge. You
know however difficult the question
might be, it doesn’t matter because
you are wearing red underpants.
After an interview, you might want
to reflect on what you did well, and
how you could have improved. And
if the company offers post-interview
feedback, then take it – it’s important
to know how others perceive you. But
try to limit the amount of time you
spend ruminating, so you don’t get
bogged down in a lengthy and demor-
It’s also important to remember
that interviews are a numbers game.
You might get a lot of rejections, but
the ones who get a job are the people
who stay positive and keep going. I
have one client who was determined
to work for a particular government
agency, and kept applying – despite
being rejected six times. On his
seventh try, he landed his dream job.
With one of the highest unemployment rates in 17 years, the UK job
market has become tougher than ever. Things might have changed
since you became a stay-at-home dad, but with the right attitude and
a can-do approach, there is nothing standing between you and your
dream career. We tracked down the experts to get the low-down on
how you can get the confidence and killer CV you need to get back into
“If you want a technique
that really works, wear red
Phil Tyson runs a successful men’s therapy clinic in Manchester and
regularly contributes his expertise to national magazines, newspapers
and radio stations.
bend down to pick Poppy up or get
down on the floor to read with her, it
sounds like a set of castanets crack-
ling in my knees, hips and back.
However, I have a lot more patience
at 46 than I did when I was young-
er. It’s the old trade-off of strength
versus wisdom: you can find ways to
work around lacking energy at 46,
bit you can’t work around becoming
smarter of wiser when you’re 26.
I see my older kids in Poppy every
time I look at her. It brings back the
memories of when they were little,
the games we used to play and the
books we read together. It’s a bit
like sitting on the couch with your
20-year-old and looking through
their baby book. There is something
so special about being able to see
your kids as both grown-ups and
For me, the hardest thing about be-
ing a parent is knowing that eventu-
ally you will have to let go. Every day I
have to remind myself that as much
as I just want to squeeze my little
girl and keep all of life’s little issues
safely at bay for her, it’s not right for
me to do that, and I will eventually
have to let go of that precious little
hand. Having gone through this with
my three other children still hasn’t
made this any easier.
I guess there has been no one ‘AH-
HA!’ moment that has confirmed to
me that I made the right choice: just
a series of beautiful memories that
when put together form a wonderful
little story that keeps on unfolding.
I will never regret my time in the
army - I met a lot of wonderful peo-
ple, and I saw and did a lot of things
that I would never have otherwise.
But if I never work for a paycheck
outside the home again, my ego can
handle it. And I am never truly far
from the battlefield: I don’t know if
you’ve ever tried to hold down an
18-month-old for her DPT vaccine!
If anything my days as a soldier
have helped to shape me as a father.
When I was deployed to different
countries, I always tried to meet the
local children. They rarely spoke
English, but a cargo pocket full of
candy will always get you a smile.
Bringing a few moments of happi-
ness to a child’s life is a reward that
needs no explanation, but seeing
the conditions these children lived
in still wakes me up in the middle
of the night 10 years later. But I
try to use those moments to make
me a better dad. I try to share in
everything, and bring happiness
where I can.
I’ve travelled the world and found
where I truly belong: at home with
the children I love.
stay at home with Poppy. But gen-
erally speaking, my world was rife
with adrenaline junkies who love
fast-paced work and challenges.
Being in the service these days is
about as close as you can come to
being a gladiator. Even if you aren’t
in a sword-swinging role, you are
surrounded by like-minded Type-A
people who just can’t understand
why you would ever voluntarily pull
yourself out of the rat race.
However, when you drop out of the
Type-A fraternity, you really lose
touch. I don’t really do Facebook,
so all the people that matter to me I
keep in touch with personally. Some
of my most respected supporters
were absolute rock-star Army studs
in their day and had careers others
could only dream of. When men of
that calibre endorse my decision, I
don’t really care what anyone else
says. Most people figured I had done
my 20-plus years of globetrotting
and had earned the right to bench
myself from the game.
When we first moved here, most
of the store clerks would see Poppy
and I at the checkout and say “Oh,
how cute is she! Giving Mom the day
off from shopping?” But most of the
people know us now, and if I do get
any comments like that, I just say:
“Why yes, we are.”
To be honest, my biggest challenge
hasn’t been other people - it’s been
my own ageing body. I no longer
have the energy or the flexibility I
did when I was 26, or even 36. When I
Bringing joy to children all over the world is a memory Paul will always treasure
Paul spent two decades travelling the world, but he loves staying at home with Poppy
A warning? That sounds a bit harsh.
Nah. I love that I get to be there for the moments that other parents miss.
Both my parents worked and when I had special days at school were parents
could come in, I’d get a little hurt because mine couldn’t make it. But now I’m
one of the few parents who can be there every time. It feels great that when
my kid looks across the room for me, I’m standing there and looking right
But surely it’s not all a bed of roses?
No. There are plenty of terrible things about being a stay-at-home-dad.
The feeling that the day might NEVER END.
Still, it’s better than work, right?
I actually do work now. I’m a writer, so whilst I’m not physically in an office
or punching a clock, I am still working and earning a pay-check. I’ve been
messing with fiction and short stories recently, and I’ve started to do some
stand-up comedy when I’ve got the time. Plus I’ve been threatening to take up
cooking – much to the permanent roommate’s horror.
Who is this mysterious ‘permanent roommate’, and why are you so cagey about
naming your kids?
My permanent roommate and I have been married for five years now. I used
to call her my pre-wife because I hate the term fiancée. And then when we
got married, calling her a wife just seemed too easy. One day we were at
a wedding and when someone asked if I’d be going to the drinks after the
reception, and I jokingly replied: “Let me ask my permanent roommate.” And
the name just kind of stuck. I don’t name my kids because I like to keep some
areas of my family semi-private. Plus I like to keep all the attention for myself.
Have you got a favourite post-it note?
To be honest, I really like them all, because every single one reminds me of
the particular moment in my life that made me write the note. The baby fight
club post-it note is very popular, and so is the one about people calling it the
terrible twos because ‘fucking awful’ doesn’t rhyme with two.
So, on that note (get it?) any last words of wisdom to share with us?
It will always get better, and if it doesn’t get better, then…well, at least things
change. The kids will get older and easier to manage, and it will be easier to
find time just for you. It’s never going to be completely easy, but it will never
all be crap. Except the nappies. They will always be crap.
Visit Chris’ blog at http://messagewithabottle.tumblr.com/
ow, it’s fast becoming the latest
ood. And when even Batman is
ou know you’re onto a winner…
The new Batman, Ben
Affleck, 40, is on daddy
duty whilst his fellow movie
star wife, Jennifer Garner,
40, is on set. The pair have
three children: seven-year-
old Violet, four-year-old
Seraphina and 18-month
old Samuel. “She’s got a
couple of movies coming
up,” he said, earlier this
year. “There’s going to be
a little Mr. Mom action.”
The Oscar-winning actor
and director added: “Work
is very important to me. I
like to work. But I need my
work to mean something to
me in order for me not to
be home with them.” We’re
sure if our dad was going to
be a superhero, we wouldn’t
mind too much!
The international superstar and
Argentian supermodel and actress Lu-
isiana Lopilato welcomed baby Noah in
August, and Michael intends as much
time as possible with the mini Buble.
After his grandfather had a heart
attack and almost died, the crooner
decided to make some changes to his
grueling tour schedule. Michael said:
“Honestly, my number one thing is “Is
my wife healthy and happy? Is the baby
healthy and happy? Am I going to be
a good dad?” And the truth is if I sell
ten million copies or ten copies, I got
bigger fish to fry.”