New Dad Diaries – week 7 – Introducing ‘The Father Hood’




Chronicling life as a new father to his beautiful firstborn child – daughter Thea – Chris Kerr’s goal is to provide all men experiencing fatherhood for the first time with some invaluable tips and tricks as they are learned – the hard way. This week, Chris introduces ‘The Father Hood’, a large group of dads, and experts on fathering who have ‘been there and done it’, helping all new dads thrive in this most epic adventure.

Is there anything so humbling as being a dad?  Just when you think you it all figured out, you get hit with a curveball. This week, we had to drop everything and take Thea to hospital. She wasn’t putting on weight quick enough and the midwives were quite worried about her. Scary stuff. They reassured us that we are doing everything right, but for my wife and I, we felt utterly powerless to help her.

After the bliss of the opening six weeks, it was a sharp reminder that, though often wonderful and meaningful, being a dad is tough. So tough that we can’t travel this journey alone. We need other fathers and great men in our lives who can come alongside us to support us when things aren’t going well, to confront us when we need it and to provide us with the wisdom we need to navigate the many challenges of raising kids.

With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to ‘The Father Hood’, a carefully selected group of fathers who have been there and done it when it comes to fathering. At least once per month we will be interviewing one of these great men, asking them questions about all things fatherhood to help you (and me) to be the best dads we can be. 

We already have interviews lined up with the following:

Carey Casey: Carey is the former CEO of the National Center for Fathering and the author of Championship Fathering: How to Win at Being a Dad. He is known worldwide for being ‘the ambassador for fathers’, and even served on the White House Task Force for Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage. Carey has served as chaplain for the Summer Olympic Games, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Neil Sinclair (aka Commando Dad): As a Commando, Neil survived winters in Arctic Norway, cleared minefields in Iraq and tracked drug traffickers in the jungles of Belize. Yet none of these prepared him for the minefield of parenting. With no basic training manual out there for dads, Neil took it upon himself to write one.120,000 dads and counting have since relied on this, including Prince William and Sir Andy Murray.   

Rob Parsons OBE: Rob is the founder and chairman of Care for the Family, a national charity which aims to strengthen family life and help those who face family difficulties. Rob is the best-selling author of over 25 books, including the Sixty Minute Father and the Heart of Success. 

Stephen Mansfield: Stephen is a New York Times bestselling author, with incredible books including Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men, Men on Fire and The Character and Greatness of Winston Churchill. He is the Founder of GreatMan Global, an organisation that exists to achieve the daunting goal of changing men, and the model of righteous manhood, worldwide. His podcasts include the Stephen Mansfield Podcast, on current affairs, and the GreatMan podcast, helping men become great men.

People are agreeing to be interviewed all the time, so do check back regularly! The first interview with Neil Sinclair will be published next week. He talks about what his time in the Commandos taught him about being a dad, as well as speaking directly to some of the day-to-day practicalities of fatherhood.As for Thea, we came away from the hospital with a plan that includes giving her high-calorie baby formula (200 calories per bottle!). There is particular pressure on my wife Alicia to breastfeed at least eight times per day, and to pump in between. She’s been absolutely amazing, and it shows, as Thea is already starting to put weight on. Phew!

Tip of the week

“Don’t fall into the classic man trap of thinking you don’t need friends. You do. Build a band of brothers, including other dads, to do life with you. Studies show that this reduces the risk of moral failures (like affairs and abandoning your kids) and leads to a longer life!  Building a band of brothers is so important that our guest Stephen Mansfield wrote a whole book about it.”

Chris Kerr

Chris is a husband to Alicia and father to Thea, who is the subject of his columns on Fatherhood for Sorted.  In his spare time he works for a national law firm in an executive capacity and provides crisis leadership consultancy support for non-profits across the UK.  He attends Urban Crofters Church in Cardiff.  A keen weekend adventurer, Chris is regularly spotted in the sea or on mountains.

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