One thing that hasn’t changed is my expectation to remain a big part of their lives. I always understood that fatherhood was a big commitment and honour that to this day. I want to be there for them. They’re part of me.
Reality of Fatherhood: It’s tough being on your own at times. It can be exhausting and frustrating, plus you make a lot of personal sacrifices – as any parent does. But that’s the deal. On the other hand, being with the girls brings me moments of happiness, laughter and pride beyond all imagination.
I’ve started taking them with me increasingly on travel journalism assignments and I love sharing these new experiences with them. As they get older, they’re becoming true little companions. That makes me very lucky.
The hardest parts of being a father: The hardest part for me over the last couple of years is being both bad cop and good. It’s easy to be the soft one but tough to set the boundaries and enforce the rules, especially when you don’t have any back up. I’m aware that, at times, I’ve been way too strict, or gone over the top reacting to something, often something inconsequential. I’m still trying to find the right balance. I’m doing my best.
As a dad, you have rights and increasingly society recognises the importance of your role. Don’t let yourself loose sight of that.
I've taken a whole new career avenue over the last couple of years, turning to family-travel articles as the mainstay of my journalism. There are not many dads writing about travelling with their kids, even fewer single dads, and I'm finding my voice in a mother-dominated sector.
I won a travel-writing award for one of the first pieces, a story about going on a Barbie cruise; read more at http://atkinsondavid.co.uk/?s=Barbie+takes+the+prize
I’ve also blogged about some of my travels and experiences with the girls.
Read more at http://atkinsondavid.co.uk, or follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/atkinsondavid.