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Final copy front cover - page 1

  1. 1. BRITAIN’S No1 MAGAZINE FOR STAY-AT-HOME DADS ONLY £2.50! KING OF THE POST-IT NOTES “I left the Army to be a SAHD”American Dad Confesses Author Scott Benner reveals ALL A Q&A with the world's funniest SAHD 5apps that will change your life Start your own BUSINESS from HOME DAD SNATCHERS Are SAHDs at risk from baby-crazy females? OCTOBER 2013
  2. 2. Welcome to It’s the UK’s No 1 magazine for stay- at-home dads. DadMag DadMag 5 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. Georgia James Grooming and Tech- nology Editor. Keen traveller and lover of pugs. Charlotte Brazier Features, Celebrities and Fashion Editor. Cellist, pianist and CSI enthusiast. Anna Jordan Web Editor. Scottish, vegetarian and never says no to a nice cup of tea. Wordsby:CharlotteBrazier Meet the DadMag Team DadMag We love to hear from readers. Email us at or write to us at: DadMag, Minalloy House, 18-22 Regent Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 3NJ
  3. 3. Every month Wordsby:CharlotteBrazier ASK DR ROB Fridge Raiders: Food made simple Fashion Focus: Fuss-free fashion straight from the catwalk Baby Apps that will change your life Dadgets: Tech your way to a better-behaved baby Gentleman Grooming: Be the most dapper SAHD in town DADTREPENEURS: Set up your own business! How to get back to work: Our tips for success Halloween Spookfest: 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 his heart 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 PLUS TV’s favourite GP answers your health questions FUNNY THINGS KIDS SAY Win a trip to Copenhagen Fantastic days out Entertainment the kids will love DadMag 7 22 16 28 55 DadMagOCTOBER 2013 Features Lifestyle DM Guide 32 38 19 20 48 58 57 52 24
  4. 4. 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. Jeremy, Kidderminster 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. Stephen, Manchester 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. Michael, Newton-le-Willows Yes No “Finally a mag for SAHDs!” Wordsby:CharlotteBrazier “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 really interesting. 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 56% 44% DadMag 9 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! Jon, Macclesfield Absolutely not. They’re ghastly. And why would you want to look like a baby? You might as well wear a nappy. Alistair, Newcastle Hell yes. Bring on winter! Daniel, Bradford I just wanted to say how touched I have been by your Face- book campaign to help raise awareness of depression among stay-at-home dads. 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 you. James, Stoke-on-Trent Next month: Should men be hairy? Twitter Facebook James wins a Nikon Coolpix Camera, £229 You’ve been writing to us in droves to support our Beat Depression cam- paign. To get involved, go to: www.facebook/dadmag DADMAG ASKED: Adult onesies: Yes or No? STAR LETTER We want to hear what’s been making you tick this month. Email us at Have you got something you’d like to get off your chest? Tweet us at: @SAHDmag!
  5. 5. You know you’re a SAHD 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- ly married ...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 cold sweat ...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 DadMag 11 Wordsby:GeorgiaJames
  6. 6. As these celebrity dads sho parenting craze in Hollywo getting in on the action, yo stay-at- 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. Wordsby:CharlotteBrazier 12 DadMag ELTON JOHN 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. BRAD PITT CELEBRITY
  7. 7. CONFESSIONSOFASAHD MARTIN DAUBNEY “With every snuggle suit that was hung on the line to dry, a little piece of my masculinity blew away in the wind” T 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 did before…” 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 utterly exclusive. 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 non-existent. 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 SAHD. 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 alpha males. 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 tremendous sense 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 is emasculating. 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- der. 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 stuff, it can be ‘the best job on Earth’.But for the honest ma- jority, like me, it can feel more like a prison sentence. Still tempted, chaps? ◊ Say a big HELLO to Martin - ex-editor or Loaded, former SAHD and our columnist of the month Wordsby:GeorgiaJames DadMag 15
  8. 8. 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 happy. 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! Wordsby:GeorgiaJames 16 DadMag
  9. 9. GET CONNECTED What do YOU think about straying stay-at-home dads? Have you ever been tempted to stray? Email us at 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 gives me.” 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 needs. “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- perate Housewives.” 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 attention? “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 different ones.” 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.” DadMag 19 Wordsby:GeorgiaJames
  10. 10. 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. Wordsby:CharlotteBrazier army dad NAME: Paul Swiergosz AGE: 46 OCCUPATION: Stay-at-home dad FORMER OCCUPATION: U.S Army Lieutenant, Colonel and Department of the Army Civil- ian employee MARITAL STATUS: Happily married to second wife, Katy 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 app on my smartphone and own a Ba- bies-R-Us preferred customer card. But I don’t regret my decision for a second. 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 could provide. 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 knowing that. A lot of my professional friends were shocked when I resigned to CASE FILE: 20 DadMag
  11. 11. 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… DadMag Features 22 DadMag 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 identity. 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 fair share. 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 taking 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 human. “Controlling the purse strings isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!” Wordsby:CharlotteBrazier Jenny’s book is available at Amazon. £12.99 Author Jenny Garrett is a breadwinner and featured in Linkedin’s Top 10 UK Power Women 2013
  12. 12. 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- tion advice. 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 dream job. “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 employees.” “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 the ranks.” “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!” What did employers say? We asked employers if they would think twice about employing a stay-at-home dad, and this is what they said: THE CV EXPERT DadMag Guide DadMag 25
  13. 13. 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 balanced outlook. 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 way. 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! THE PSYCHOTHERAPIST 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- alising postmortem. 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. Persistence pays. 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 the workplace. “If you want a technique that really works, wear red underpants!” Wordsby:CharlotteBrazier Phil Tyson runs a successful men’s therapy clinic in Manchester and regularly contributes his expertise to national magazines, newspapers and radio stations. Howtogetbacktowork 24 DadMag
  14. 14. 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 babies. 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. DadMag Features 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 DadMag 21
  15. 15. -it notes 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 back. But surely it’s not all a bed of roses? No. There are plenty of terrible things about being a stay-at-home-dad. Like what? 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 DadMag Features DadMag 17
  16. 16. ow, it’s fast becoming the latest ood. And when even Batman is ou know you’re onto a winner… -home dads BEN AFFLECK 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! MICHAEL BUBLE 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.” DadMag Features DadMag 13