Slouching Towards Thatcham has steadily climbed its way up the daddy blog ranking and most recently reached the third spot. Written by Tim Liew, Slouching Towards Thatcham reports from the ‘frontline of fatherhood’ and features tales of Tim and his three kids. A popular figure among daddy bloggers, Tim is also well-known for his hilarious musical parodies. Tim told us about the daddy blogging community, how he likes to work with brands (including the fact he’s cheap!) and the many other blogs he likes to read.
What makes your blog unique?
For starters, I’m a dad, I work full-time and I’m Asian, which makes me a rarity in the parenting category. I also focus a lot on audio content. I hosted parenting podcasts for two-and-a-half years (although I’m currently taking a break) and, despite my less than stellar ability to hold a tune, I regularly write and perform parody songs about my experiences as a parent.
What’s the best thing about being a dad?
Just being there to watch the kids develop and grow. Our three are all so different: Isaac takes after his mum, Toby is basically my mini-me and Kara has a personality that is all her own. It’s incredibly rewarding to see them take some of the best bits of both their parents, while building their own unique skills and experiences. I think the best part is seeing them become more than just the sum of their mum and dad.
How are daddy and mummy blogs different?
I’m not sure they really are that different, insofar that I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a typical mum blog or a typical dad blog. 99% of the time we write about the same things. Okay, the male perspective on childbirth or period pains is never going to be the same as a woman’s. But even so, I think the biggest differences arise as a result of environment rather than chromosomes.
The blog of a mum in a traditional nuclear family is going to be very different from a single mother or one half of a lesbian couple. Similarly, my experiences as a 40-something working dad of three aren’t going to be the same as a 20-something stay-at-home father with a Down’s syndrome child. Fundamentally, we’re all parents with our own takes on this parenting life.
How would you describe the daddy blogging community?
Small but perfectly formed – and under-utilised. There are some fantastic dads with lots to offer in terms of their diverse parenting experiences and creativity, covering the LGBT, adoption, stay-at-home and autism communities among others. Brands are starting to appreciate the value of working with dads. We’ve come a long way in the past few years – but there’s still a wealth of untapped opportunity (and talent) out there.
When do you create most of your content?
I’m a night-owl so I do a lot of my writing late at night and at weekends. But I’m also constantly jotting down notes and taking and editing photos in spare moments during the day. Blogging is 24/7 – there’s no such thing as a 9-to-5 day.
What are the biggest issues facing dads in the UK today?
It’s a real challenge for modern dads to establish their place in a world that hasn’t always moved with the times. Many of us are deeply involved in all aspects of our children’s lives; in some cases as the primary carer. And yet, there is still a huge gap in societal attitudes towards dads, from the old ‘dad as babysitter’ jokes to baby-changing facilities and the low adoption of shared parental leave. That’s not to say that mums don’t face many issues of their own – of course they do – but too often dads are the forgotten half of the parenting equation.
Do bloggers need their own association or industry institute (and why)?
Yes! The blogging industry is getting bigger and more complex, faster than ever, with the rise of influencer marketing and the arrival of GDPR, among other things. I think a blogging association is desperately needed to help raise standards among bloggers and PRs, and to give brands the confidence that bloggers they work with are credible and professional. I wrote a piece outlining my thoughts on this topic for the Vuelio blog.
What one thing should PRs/brands know about you?
That I’m very selective about who I work with, simply because I don’t really focus on monetising my blog. I work only with brands I’m genuinely interested in, so any content I produce comes from a place where I’m passionate about the brand or what it stands for. (Also, I’m cheap!)
What are your favourite collaborations you’ve worked on?
I’ve worked on some fantastic projects over the years, but my personal favourite was the year I collaborated with Gadget Show Live because it meant giving the boys a fantastic experience too. They loved the show but they were particularly thrilled about something as simple as having press passes, which made them feel like VIPs. We even produced a podcast review of the show together afterwards. Those kinds of experiences are worth more than payment or product for me.
What other blogs do you read?
In the parenting niche there are too many to mention but my favourites include John at Dad Blog UK, Matt from Man vs. Baby and the incomparable Sarah of The Unmumsy Mum fame. As a long-suffering Arsenal fan, I also read Arseblog every day. And, as a former TV reviewer, I religiously read many of the major pop culture blogs/websites, although The A. V. Club is probably my go-to.
Tim and Slouching Towards Thatcham are both listed on the Vuelio Influencer Database along with thousands of other bloggers, vloggers, journalists and opportunities.