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The Dadventurer Manifesto

Dear readers... fellow Dadventurers, Momventurers and other parents who don't like nicknames! Here's the Dadventurer Manifesto. Written here to hold myself to account, remind myself of how we're aiming to do this and most of all to invite you to join in, join us on our mutual, perpetual, child-rearing adventure and let us know how it goes! Be the hero, start an adventure and build a community.

Be the Hero

You're going to need to be the hero of this story. You need to be strong, smart and brave. We live in a weird time where our most visible heroes look a lot like villains. Loud mouth athletes who show little respect or work harder on cheating than playing, musicians whose lyrics make you cringe at what they teach, film stars and celebrities using their powers for evil... the very concept of Love Island or Ex on the beach. You need to be a strong influence in a world of strong influences. You'll need to lead, you'll need to guide and you'll need to be the one they can always look up to. Set examples in the best possible way, be the best version of yourself and be visible and proud. You've got this!

I aways tell myself this, like a mantra in my head "they're watching, they'll learn this bit from you" I try to model the behaviours I want Isla and Finley to look up to, and to be strong enough to show them how to react when things go well or when things go not so well. Teach them how to be the hero of their story.

A Call to Adventure

Dads, parents, carers, babysitters (with explicit permission of a parent or carer!)... This is your call to adventure! You are responsible for showing a young life how to live in this world, you're responsible for teaching them to be brave and to mould the world into the one they want to live in and you're responsible for teaching them how fun this world can be!

Live your best life and adventure with them and for them. It doesn't matter what your adventure is - cook the food, buy the tickets, play the game, walk that walk, live your life! Include them. Include them in every part of it so that they can learn how it works, what it feels like and how to live life! Take the opportunity, responsibility and excuse to do those cool things and show a new life how to, you HAVE to.

It is no longer your preference to live an adventurous lifestyle, it is your responsibility!

Ignore any one that thinks the baby is going to come along and change everything - you brought a beautiful little monster into your life for a reason. You're ready (and if you weren't when you found out you were pregnant, you probably are by now!).

As an expectant parent you'll hear a lot of, "You won't be able to do that when you have kids", "make sure you enjoy your lie-ins now before the baby comes"... you know what, f#ck that - if you are relying on your baby to arrive to show you how to live then you're doing it wrong (but kudos - your baby is going to be pretty damn smart!).

Let's take our advice from the people we want to follow and let's give advice as people worth following.

Do it, try it and give them a chance to enjoy it with you.

My wife and I love to travel, we love to explore. We are including Isla and Finley in our travels, whilst tailoring our trips to the kind of places and experiences we can all enjoy together. We've set up a home and lifestyle where we can adventure with them every day. We pick the flowers, we nurture the pets, we grow food, we play. There's always a game and we try to enjoy every moment with our family. There are times it can be tiring or difficult but we try... And we enjoy every minute of it.

Build a Community

It takes a village to raise a child, but our villages look a lot different to how they used to. The "village" raising our kids spreads across 3 continents, includes communities on Facebook, Instagram and Skype and contains nominal uncles/aunties from at least 10 countries. We temporarily extend it through holidays and the positive influences wherever we find them. There are times when we feel almost too visible, where the influences on your parenting seem overwhelming and everyone is watching. Choose the communities that help, that support, that nurture you and your children. and share yourselves selectively to the communities that you feel comfortable with, you'll discuss things with grandparents you wouldn't put on the 'gram for example. You can probably ignore the aggressive keyboard nuts that spit web venom at a t-shirt slogan they don't like or at those that choose a different way to feed/nurture/bring up their children. Do what feels right and you'll find your village, you'll find the community you fit into and you'll be a valuable part of someone else's. We'll do this together.

I feel so lucky to have such a great community around our kids as they learn to fit into this world and fit this world around them. the people we've met, the people we engage with online, the family they happen to have lucked out with. But the community still needs to be guided, we need to choose the right people who will go with us on the journey... so far we're doing ok.

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