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My two dudes are little legends, I love them, but being a father to them is not without it’s challenges. I like a list, simple condensed info – do this, don’t do that. And I’ve formed a few mental lists of my own while looking after the kids. This one is for days when my wife has work to do or friends to meet, and I’m in charge solo.

You’re probably busy, so I’ve tried to keep it succinct…

My top 10 tips for days alone with the kids:

  1. Have a plan. Always.
  2. Leave the house early – definitely before noon – or else it’s lunch and sleeping and all sorts of other fucking about which means you may never get out, or moods will have turned sour by the time you do.

  3. Visualise that day being great and you all having an amazing time, as opposed to it being like hell where you need a beer by 9am (I’ve deffo had my fair share of those). If you perceive it to be great, it will be.
  4. Pack snacks for the kids. Always. You don’t want ‘hangry’ kids. 
  5. Pack snacks for you. Always. You don’t want a ‘hangry’ dad, either.
  6. Don’t drink too much coffee – it might seem like a saviour in the morning, but personally it makes me cranky later, when the kids are kicking off. 
  7. Get physical – I once read, having boys is like having dogs, they need a good run. I also benefit from a good run about, too. Swimming is always a winner for me and the boys, as we’re all happily exhausted afterwards. 
  8. Only go and see relatives that love to help out. Some relatives and friends are better than others at helping with children – you want to visit the ones you’ll distract the kids, not just leave you to it when you’re solo.
  9. Focus on the kids. Match of the day, emails, work, Facebum or any other bobbins will distract you – but they can smell that (like dogs – again). Concentrate on them and you’ll all benefit from it. 
  10. Enjoy yourself – you’re not laying new tarmac on the M1 in the pissing rain in the middle of the night.
    Perspective will keep you sane 🙂

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Tom Mangan

My name is Tom, I am a father of two boys, Rafferty aged 5 and Fox aged nearly 3. I also run businesses with my wife, Molly (Millionhands & Selfish Mother) and I write and record music.

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