We’re happy to welcome a blogger back to the Essex Baby website – Rob Tyler! Rob has been a stay-at-home dad since June 2013. His wife looked after their two girls beautifully for five years until they decided to trade places; while mum headed back to work, Rob took over the role of caring for their daughters at home.

Still a pioneer among fathers, Rob, from old Harlow, has spent three years charting his experiences through social media. His adventures begin with the words:

“Week 1: So this is the start of life as a stay-at-home dad with my two little girls, Ruby, 5 and Poppy, 2. I’m feeling pretty optimistic, it shouldn’t be too bad. I mean how hard can it really be anyway…?”

Now a seasoned stay-at-home dad, we catch up with Rob as he shares the joys and trials of parenting on the frontline:

 

9th March – The Worst Kind of School Run

Well, this morning was different to the many that had come before. I woke up to the usual sound of Poppy calling out for me to make her “brepfast” (breakfast). Ruby was already downstairs, half-ready, trying to convince me she wasn’t being distracted by the TV. After persuading little Pops to take off her princess dress and wellies, she finally agreed to get ready for school. But then the worst thing happened. Daddy couldn’t find the tangle teaser and tangle spray ANYWHERE – items number one and two on any parent’s survival list.

I tried my best at a makeshift ponytail, much to Poppy’s disgust. Whilst doing all the above, I forgot to look outside to check the weather situation. It was terrible; the kind of wind and rain that cuts through any type of clothing no matter how waterproof they claim to be. Poppy’s first reaction: “I am not going out in that Daddy.” Sorry, darling. Daddy can’t control the weather (unfortunately).

I get them both out the door and headed towards school. Then I turn to look at their faces as they battle the elements (scrunched up like their biting on sour lemons) and I realise Poppy has decided her headband would be better suited on top of her hat. When I questioned her on this, her reply was: “It will keep my hat on my head, silly Daddy.” Of course, silly me.

So both girls are now in class as I type this and Daddy is recovering in Costa (loads of money) coffee. So every cloud…

 

24th March – Late Night Tickles

I came home late tonight. Poppy had waited up for me so I could tickle her back, just like I do every night. I kneeled down beside her bed and Poppy said: “Daddy you look fwweezing.” Then she looked like she was having a panic attack; both hands over her mouth and cheeks puffing in and out. Or like she was about to be sick! I asked if she was OK and Poppy replied: “I’m warming my hands up Daddy, so I can put them over your ears.” She did exactly that and kissed me on the forehead. After a good minute, Pops turned over so I could tickle her back and within two minutes she was asleep. Out walked Daddy, with a big smile and two very warm ears.

 

12th April – Three in a Bed and the Little One Said

So as I rolled over in bed this morning, I nearly crushed my little Pops in the process. When I asked what she was doing in my bed, her reply was: “I’m sorry Daddy but I wet my bed.” I told her, “That’s okay darling,” and we had a big cuddle. A little while later, when it was time to get dressed and have breakfast, I went into her room to change the sheets and realised my little Poppy’s bed was clean as a baby’s bum (no pun intended).

When I later questioned Poppy about this she looked at me with those amazing eyes and said, “I told you that by accident Daddy so I could come and give you a snuggle.”

Sometimes being a parent has those melt your heart moments, and it also has those pull your hair out crazy ones too. But today I am feeling extremely grateful…