Karl Young is the twenty-something father of two behind The Yorkshire Dad, who found that sharing his experiences and joining in on conversations helped him settle into parenthood. The Yorkshire Dad uses the advice that Karl has learnt in his journey to help others, and keeps a record of his family adventures. You’ll also find the occasional tech review and useful ‘how to’ articles to help with everyday life. In this spotlight, Karl, who recently featured in our Top 10 Daddy Blogs, discusses using the Twitter community, honesty and the positive effects of fatherhood.
Tell us about your blog?
The blog started out as a place where I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences of fatherhood. I wanted to give people a real world view of fatherhood and a look a some of the best family friendly products and places to visit in the UK.
What prompted you to document your life as a father?
Going back four years ago, there weren’t as many daddy bloggers telling their story as there is today. I remember being awake at night doing the night feeds, browsing other parents’ blogs and interacting on the hashtag #nightfeeds, thinking to myself ‘I bet more people want to hear about my experiences of fatherhood’.
How do you help your readers in their journey as a parent?
I try to be as honest as possible as you see so many bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers posting the perfect pictures and talking about their perfect lives. Parenting is hard and if people are just seeing the best bits of parenthood and not the dark side then that is setting them up to fail.
What is a typical day in the life of you as a dad?
Honestly… Full of laughter and fun; even on the days where I work, I still find time to mess around. I work four and a half days as a senior project manager, so I don’t get to see them as much I would like to, but I make the most of messing around in the morning or getting creative when I get home at night.
I am an active dad, I don’t like sitting around, so I think that has rubbed off on the the kids!
How do you manage your blogging career and being a father?
I usually have an hour or two spare every night once the boys are in bed, the house is tidy and I am fed and watered. Instead of sitting down and watching loads of TV or reading a book, I spend an hour blogging and updating my social channels.
After you’ve been blogging for so long it kind of becomes almost an automatic and therapeutic process.
The opportunities I have been given through my blog are incredible and priceless. When we are attending an event or reviewing a toy, the boys know I need to get photos of them.
How has fatherhood changed you?
It has changed me for the better; I am more compassionate, driven, focused and caring than I ever have been before.
What did you learn about yourself after becoming a parent?
I learned quickly that I was genuinely programmed to please people and make the happy in any way I could. I would spend hours and hours with my kids messing around on the floor just so they weren’t bored or unmotivated.
How do you like to work with PRs?
I work in PR/SEO so I know first hand how some of these companies work with outreach to bloggers. For me it is so important that PR companies don’t just scrape media lists and push-out mail-merges to all the bloggers in one particular niche in the hope that one blogger will pick up the story.
You wouldn’t believe how many times people have referred to me as a ‘mum’ and how many female products I have been offered to test!
What are the main challenges that fathers face?
To earn the same amount of respect as mothers do for providing the same level of care. I don’t want to hear anyone say that when a father is looking after the kids he is just ‘babysitting’, we want to be praised for doing a good job!
For new fathers, it is learning about how your life and lifestyle will change, you will soon learn who your friends are and will discover some new friends along the way.
What advice would you give to a new dad or dad-to-be?
Join Twitter, get following some of the best and most relevant parenting accounts and hashtags. The parenting community of Twitter is a supportive and funny group of humans from around the world. It has aided me so much over the years and generally make me feel normal!
If your friends don’t have kids then find a dads’ club, most of the guys are in the same situation and just want to talk to other like-minded dads. I went to one in Harrogate and got introduced to some dads I still talk to this very day.
What is it that helps you to cope when the going gets tough?
Time away. I arrange to have the night away from the family and I go and act my age. I either go drinking, rock climbing, out for a meal, hit the cinema or just go for a walk or swim on my own.
If you are feel particularity down, get on Twitter and chat to people about their experiences with the same problems.