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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Passive aggression at a party by the Unlikely Dad - The DadRage Club™

I realised that I spend a lot of time writing about my inner dad rage demons, so I recently asked for other furious fathers out there to send me their tales of paternal anger management for a series on this site called The DadRage Club™.

Tom at The Unlikely Dad hasn't disappointed with this story!

Tom, with his son Kai.
I'm a very relaxed guy. I don't like aggression and I steer away from any drama. I just don't have the time or energy for it. Simple life, please! But if the right buttons are pushed, it can be a different story.

Being a dad hasn't really changed my attitude much. If anything, it's given me more reason to chill and just accept things. Like that my son is of course going to make a huge mess with his morning porridge all over my just-steamed floor or pull other children's hair and slap them in the face... we've all been on the receiving end of a kid punch haven't we?

However... my internal calm was slightly disjointed recently.

We were at my best friend's daughter's 3rd birthday party. It was in their garden with sand pits, play house, a slide, magic garden trail... kids everywhere basically!

My boy is 2 and a half and very active, you don't get a minutes peace. During the party I couldn't find him for a minute so I searched the play house. I found him in there with a set of triplet girls (oh god... already having flash forwards to 16 years time!!) All three girls were wearing prescription glasses and I saw him holding a pair. The girl he had taken them from was just sat there looking at him. I politely asked him to give them back. He did. And that was that. Or so I thought...

Later on in the party I saw the same girl (or maybe it was one of the other 2? I really couldn't tell) again just sat stationary as he had hold of a pair of glasses. I certainly don't encourage such behaviour but also accept this is all very age appropriate. Before I could get to him I saw that he was trying to snap them. And the triplet's dad swooped on in there, got on my son's level and pointed at him and told him off. 'NO... leave those!!' He said, in a voice you knew he used to tell his own daughters off.

Inside, I exploded with rage. Then I remembered where I was and who I was. No way was I going to make a scene at my best friend's house on such a lovely day. But I marched over, picked my son up and said 'Hey hey hey what's going on here?'

The dad was acting all nonchalant like he hadn't said anything (maybe my super-extra-macho sudden appearance scared him?? Maybe not...) It may have been wrong/childish but I refused to apologise and just explained the usual 'oh you know, it's all age appropriate' and 'boys will be boys' and that luckily there was no damage. All I really wanted to say was "Maybe tell your girls to take back their glasses next time, they are almost twice his age...!" Did they think my son was some kind of scary giant towering over them stealing their glasses? (That may explain why they froze in fear). If it happens again, girls... just take your glasses back.

It definitely played on my mind a little afterwards. Purely because I would never have it in my mind to speak to another person's child in that way. But I also have to empathise with the dad. He has had to fork out for three (if not six?) pairs of glasses for his beautiful daughters. No way is he letting a little monster break them! I get it, it's not cheap raising these babies.

Our kids are our angels. But we aren't stupid... we know they mess up, we know they can be the ones biting, kicking, breaking glasses. But if you are ever tempted to discipline my child? Just don't, or next time I may just get feral.

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Thanks very much for sharing Tom! And if any other dads out there would like to get involved, you can email me, dadsdiaryblog at gmail dot com!

Friday, 23 September 2016

The DadRage Club™

I realised that I have a switch that can be flicked by complete strangers to get my dad rage simmering in seconds. I used to be quite shy, but now I'm ready to flip my lid in public at a moment's notice it seems, and it all 'boils' down to wanting to protect my son from any idiot the planet offers him.

It's happened a few times, for example the incident when he was naked on the beach, in the cold and rain, and I received DisapprovingLooks™.

But I was reminded of my inner rage demon on Wednesday in London when I managed to disturb the peaceful surroundings of a Lebanese mezze restaurant near the Natural History Museum with a furious onslaught at an IdiotWhoClearlyDeservedIt™.

If you'd like to know what happened you can read this post on Facebook, and please 'like' my page if you don't already...


But the point of this blog, is that it's great to know I'm not the only angry dad out there!

So I need YOU, fellow furious father bloggers!

I am inviting you to email me your stories about your most colossal dad rage moments in history, and I will post them all as part of a series, The DadRage Club™.

Give me your best meltdown story, warts and all, tell me how you roasted a stranger who deserved it, or when you made an absolute chump of yourself in public. Hit me! Not literally please, calm down dear...

Over to you! *To the tune of Kill Bill.*

(My email is dadsdiaryblog at gmail dot com)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Inspirational dads: an interview with a real life shaman

Imagine my shock when after writing about the curious tale of Gary the shaman 'exorcising' my childhood packed lunches, a real life shaman saw my tweet about it and said, "Cool story, bro." What are the chances of that?!

I'm fascinated by things like this, and his Twitter bio said that not only was he a shaman, but also an artist, and a gay dad. So this is how I met Daniel McIlvenny-Cox.

I thought this would be a brilliant interview, to learn more about him. Here goes...

Picture of Daniel McIlvenny-Cox, the bearded Shaman

Daniel, why are you a shaman?
I guess I should start at the beginning. I decided to become a shaman after a healing with a Peruvian shaman. I had suffered mental health issues for decades before, after a concoction of pills, hours of counselling, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy, nothing much seemed to shift the grief within me. I was always interested in alternative therapies and tried crystal healing, reiki and acupuncture too.

I decided to see a shaman. Chris Waters of Spirit of the Inca, based in Reading, is a shaman of Peruvian tradition (otherwise known as a Paqo, or Mystic). Within two hours I was skipping down the road laughing, my friends didn’t even recognise me. I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

Wow! How did you learn to become an 'official' shaman then?
It took a few years for me to answer the Call, then a couple of years of training (official training anyway, because we never stop learning). For example, the Medicine Wheel, where we learn to heal our own wounds, and gain the tools to heal others.

This is Daniel McIlvenny-Cox's Mesa, a crucial tool in my healing work.  It's a bundle of sacred stones called 'Kuya', held within a holy Peruvian cloth.
This is my Mesa, a crucial tool in my healing work.  It's a bundle of sacred stones called 'Kuya', held within a holy Peruvian cloth.
The Munay Ki rites, are a set of nine sacred rites that transform your DNA at a soul level from Homo Sapiens to our future self, 10,000 years from now, Homoluminous. Shadow working, where we work, heal and listen to our shadow selves, the dark parts of our selves we are ashamed of, and the golden parts we have never claimed. And finally, working with the Mythic.

Daniel McIlvenny Cox, the Bearded Shaman, performing a sacred fire ceremony
This is me performing a sacred fire ceremony.
This is where we walk within the mythic realms, understanding our story at a mythic level. It’s intense, it’s emotional (and that's an understatement.) It’s only for the brave, it’s powerful, transfomational, beautiful and like coming home. It’s an aspect of me now.

Interesting! So what are some of the recent 'gigs' you've had?
I work with many types of people, with various issues; child abuse, domestic abuse, neglect, drug addiction, depression, soul loss, relationship issues and of course death. I would say most if not all my clients have left transformed in some way, for the better. I have done house clearings before, that’s pretty weird. Sending ‘ghosts’ home is actually quite emotional and beautiful, though sometimes it’s a little frightening. It depends on the client, and by client I mean the departed one who's stuck.

How do you advertise your services?

All of my clients come to me purely through word of mouth.

What's been your proudest shamanic moment?
Chipping away at a wall someone has created around them, seeing them come out, just for a moment, and experience freedom and light and life. When there is a breakthrough, when I open up and we share our tears together, that is when I am my proudest.

Aside from this interview, what are your most frequently asked annoying questions?
I am an adoptive dad, a gay dad, so obviously I was expecting the Spanish Inquisition when it came to being gay and wanting to adopt. At the adoption panel, being gay was not even discussed, being a shaman was. “Tell me,” one panel member asked, “when you are going into a trance like state, do you use drugs? Herbal or otherwise? And if you do, how long are you unconscious for? Where will the child be at the moment of incoherence?”
 
I was a little pissed at the question to be honest, more so at the lack of research and lack of consideration of asking me first. No, I don’t use drugs. Nag Champa incense is a lovely smell, but apart from Palo Santo wood which I use to clean the energy field and Aqua de Florida for blessing and cleaning, I use no drugs of any kind.

We do go into a light trance, but I am fully aware of the room etc. We shaman travel to the other world to see what’s going on in your soul, past lives, old wounding’s etc. We may use a drum, or like me, a rattle, maybe whistling.

When the whole crew has knowledge of self but still likes to get down - funny meme featuring Jesus and Shiva
...It sounds like the adoption panel was picturing a scene like this!
What's your house like? I'm curious about the house of a shaman!
I think people think I live in a dark forest, or on the edge of a mountain, a witch’s cottage full dried herbs and pickled creatures. I live near Reading in Theale, a suburban village. My husband is responsible for the look, it’s a mixture of gentleman chic and toddler bedlam. I tend to hide all his toys under the stairs when clients come a knocking!

So tell me about how you found it adopting a child?
As I said earlier, I am a gay dad, me and my partner Tom have been together for fifteen years and married for five. We decided to adopt about two years ago, we actually found the process really easy and straight forward, in total it took nine months from, “Hi, we’d like to adopt!” to, “Oh fuck, I have shit on my forehead!” so the same amount of time for a straight couple I guess.

Picture of Daniel McIlvenny-Cox the bearded shaman with his son Kai and husband Tom
(From L-R) Daniel, Kai and Tom.
Nice pic! So how old was Kai when you adopted him?
Kai was 10 months old when I first saw his profile, then 14 months when he finally arrived home.

What's he like?
He’s two and a half now and equal portions of angel and demon! Laughing one minute, crying the next. Just like me!

How have you found it, what have been the most challenging things about fatherhood?
I did a LOT of shamanic work, before and during, working with the mythic helped a lot I think. I stepped into fatherhood away from fear and loss, and the night of a fire ceremony that was held in honour of our new stories, my son was being born. That’s the power of our work.

Being a gay dad is no different from being a straight one, I was the stay at home dad for a year, it was tough, isolating, massively rewarding and something I will always remember.


Picture of Daniel McIlvenny-Cox the bearded shaman, with his son Kai
Daniel and Kai.
I think the most challenging thing I faced was that I am quite selfish. I love time to myself to Be, to meditate, to do shamanic work, see clients, write, work out, or paint.

Finding time to do even one of those things is hard, but I try to bend time, (mastery over time is another shamanic power) and I can find time to do something. Besides, my son loves to sleep, lucky me!

Tell me about your art, and your creative side.
I am a yet-to-be-published writer, I write stories that are spiritually enlightening, yet entertaining and real. For example I just finished a story about a young girl’s journey through death to transformation from child abuse to adulthood and love.

I am also an artist, again I guess the mythic and mystical is my inspiration, a lot of it is from my shamanic journeying to the under or upper worlds, they are fascinating to say the least.

Painting by Daniel McIlvenny-Cox the Bearded Shaman, of One of my ceremonial pieces, depicting Pachamama, Andean earth Goddess, with a still life of my Mesa. This is from a collection I am doing for an exhibition based on the sacred rites of passage to becoming Paqo, shaman mystic.
One of my ceremonial pieces, depicting Pachamama, Andean earth Goddess, with a still life of my Mesa. This is from a collection I am doing for an exhibition based on the sacred rites of passage to becoming Paqo, shaman mystic.
Wow, that's amazing!
I have recently struggled to class myself as an artist, I thought I was a shamanic artist, or maybe a visionary, but they didn’t sit right. I saw myself a bit like an Iconographer but I am not exactly a Christian, so after a discussion with a fellow traveller, I realised I am a ceremonial artist. I call the image to appear, I call the presence of whatever I am drawing, painting, creating, I open sacred space and it manifests itself.

But sometimes to relax I just doodle the fuck out of something!

Original art by Daniel McIlvenny-Cox, the bearded shaman. A piece depicting the healers of the world, past, present and future.
This piece depicts the healers of the world, past and present, and future.
Incredible! So if people reading this want to reach out, how can they find you?
I have yet to finish my proper website, but if you want to find me, you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest under The Bearded Shaman #thebeardedshaman - do say hi!

I love to meet new people and if you are local to the Reading or Theale area I am here as your friendly neighbourhood shaman! In Lak’etch, it means ‘I am another you’ in Quechua, the language of the Q'ero people of the Andes, the linage I am now blessed to be joined with as Paqo.

I also have a blog, if you're interested in reading it -


Thanks very much to Daniel McIlvenny-Cox for this, aka Shaman, aka Dadda.

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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Review of the JORD Sawyer luxury wooden watch. Otherwise known as the Dadgasm.

When I became a dad blogger I didn't really know what to expect, I'd write some sentimental waffle that made people laugh but potentially get some perks one day as well.

The reality is, I haven't had many perks. I've been offered plenty of chocolate teapots and electric toothpicks along the way, but I'd never had anything that made me do a toddlersqueal.

So when JORD contacted me asking me to review one of their watches, I'll be honest, I thought it was a joke. It seemed too good to be true...

I'm extremely fussy about watches. The last watch I owned was a Nixon about 10 years ago. But when I looked at the JORD website I had a serious job choosing a watch to review because they're all great.

Here are some of my favourites from the Delmar and Fieldcrest series.

Picture of JORD Delmar and Fieldcrest watches dark sandalwood and bamboo


Picture of JORD wooden fieldcrest series watches in green sandalwood and maple

I like these because they're attractively priced and would make a great Christmas gift or Father's Day present without breaking the bank too much. I like the simplicity of the design; they make a big statement with the wooden strap, and the faces still add interest where you'd get people commenting on them. These watches are more about letting the wooden strap do the talking, and there's a lot to be said for that.

But, having agonised over what watch to choose, I fell in love with the Sawyer model, in Zebrawood and Obsidian.

Picture of JORD Sawyer series luxury wooden watch with zebrawood strap and obsidian face

No doubt about it, it's a stunner.

I loved detailing on the strap with 5 lines, and different thicknesses of the links. Also, I'd never heard of this type of wood and let's be honest it looked cool. Very fracking cool, in fact. The obsidian face with all the gold details and the bold JORD lettering. Sexy!

So I eagerly sent back my email to the helpful guy there, trying not to sound too aroused in case he changed his mind.

What I liked about the service - I measured my wrist so they could remove a few links and make it perfect for me, and also I loved the automatic email I got telling me it was on its way. I've ordered a few things from the States before, and it's nice to have reassurance, and tracking to let you know where it is. What I liked about JORD's emails about the delivery was that it made me feel like ordering a wooden watch from them was a memorable event.

When it arrived...


It was presented in a beautiful wooden box, giving it a touch of class. As soon as I opened it, it was instant love, with the watch wrapped around a hessian cushion. All these details made it a unique experience.

It's barely left my wrist since.
 Here's what I love about it:-
  • It's sexy! No two ways about it. It's lovely to look at.
  • People really stare at it; I notice this happening all the time.
  • People don't just stare, they give compliments about it.
  • It feels light on my wrist.
  • It suits my fashion style. 

Wait, my fashion style?

OK that's embarrassing, you'll want me to describe this. My fashion style can be described as pretty relaxed. "Grew up in Cornwall, did a bit of skateboarding once, and when he's at work he works in a digital agency, so wears nice casual shirts or T shirts."

This watch goes with everything.

Example: Barbour jumper covered in toddler snot, battered Vans shoes, skinny Lee jeans.

A photo posted by Dad's Diary (@dadsdiary) on

Thanks very much, JORD. Loving this watch.

Next up: Do you fancy winning a $75 gift token with Dad's Diary?
Click here: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/dadsdiary
All you have to do is put your first name and email in this form to join their mailing list:

Even if you don't win, you'll get a $20 voucher which can be redeemed against a future purchase. Go for it, good luck!

Contest ends on 25th September 2016.

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Luxury Wood Watch

 

Monday, 29 August 2016

Lawnmower racing, mud pies, and the mouse who cheated death

 Picture of lawnmowers racing at the Mendip Mower Racing Family Festival 2016 - grand prix race

WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY MENTAL DAY THAT WAS.
  1. I woke up to what sounded like tanks and gunfire in my ear. It was just a toddler watching Monster Trucks on an iPhone. How do they find these shows on YouTube exactly? He's 3 years old.
  2. Was snitched on for putting my hand in the bin, "because it dirty an a mouse was in dere de other day."
  3. Was then told off and snitched on for having the last of the maple syrup.
  4. Had a moment where my son was screaming for no apparent reason for 10 minutes, which started off a chain reaction of arguments.
  5. Quietly rage-drank coffee for a while, hoping all the bad things might stop.
  6. Got the toddler dressed and out of the house but closed the door on his fingers by accident.
  7. He screamed and was quickly ushered indoors to avoid concerned looks from the neighbours.
  8. Got first degree stinging nettle burns on my leg when getting into my car (karma).
  9. Took him to watch lawnmower racing at the Mendip Mower Racing Family Festival. We were both mesmerised. (You can see a video of it on my Instagram.)
  10. Bought an inflatable mallet with acid house smiley faces on it.
  11. Had an ice cream (or what little he would let me have of it).
  12. Managed to get him off for a nap without having to push the stroller (must be a fluke).
  13. Went to the park and watched him shout Old MacDonald while looking like he was humping and riding a tractor.
  14. Found it so funny I made a thug life video of it. It's probably not that funny but I keep chuckling when I watch it. (Head over to Facebook to watch it.)
  15. Nearly lost my temper when he wouldn't get his balance bike out of the middle of the road and several cars had to wait for what felt like years.
  16. Finally got him home. Had no food, wife stuck in traffic for an hour with food. We ate rice crackers with peanut butter like desperate men.
  17. Told him about the traffic delay. Melted when he said "We could go and save her and rescue her from da traffic."
  18. Left him in the garden for 5 minutes, and when I returned he said "I been busy workin. Look I maded a mud pie."
    Picture of my son with his mud pie he made in his water play table
    "You no like my mud pie daddy?"
  19. Swore.
  20. Wife returned home, everyone was happy.
  21. Ate a picnic in the garden and watched him strip off and almost dip his meat and two veg in the beetroot and goats cheese salad.
  22. Died laughing. Got told off by wife.
  23. Everyone was tired in the kitchen. Suddenly there were sounds of a scene outside. Loud squeaking, and my wife screaming, "Tink's got a mouse."
  24. Quickly locked the catflap to keep the threat outside.
  25. Witnessed the mouse sprinting towards me through a tiny gap under the door.
  26. Jumped out of my skin. Everyone screams. Mouse ominously disappears behind IKEA circus tent.
  27. Wife shouted, "Get that bloody cat in. This is her problem, she can help us find it."
  28. Bring cat in but can't help telling her off. Cat runs away in shame.
  29. Chased the mouse for 5 minutes around the house while wife stood on a chair screaming and and the toddler shouted, "I don't like it I don't like it I don't like it."
  30. It was the fastest mouse I've ever seen in my life, it was like trying to catch Cristiano Ronaldo and at one point it surprised me by sprinting over my bare foot from underneath the sofa. The shock of it made me scream.
  31. Just as he was running at me again I managed to throw a Charlie Bigham's pie container over it. Aiming ahead of it like I was shooting a clay pigeon.
  32. Everyone cheered, and I feel like a hero. I let the mouse out the front door to freedom.
  33. Got hit with the inflatable mallet when I was lying down. We laughed like crazy but then all the laughing made us get over excited. I accidentally let out an obscene, humongous fart like a slipstream from a jet fighter. It made my son love me, and my wife retch simultaneously.
  34. Kissed the boy goodnight. He comments, "You shouldn't get grumpy at Tink cos she catches da mouses so you can put 'em in da bin."
  35. Tidied up the house as a team. Feeling absolutely shattered but like I wouldn't change a thing.

Dadlife. What a day.

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

6 survival tips for new mums, living with new dads

Dads can feel kind of useless in those early days when you’ve just had a baby. As a mum, you’re getting used to an undersized goblin sucking on your breast 24/7 and you’ll probably be shouting one of the following phrases at him:

•    “What the f*ck is happening? I feel like a cow.” While milk pisses from one of your tits (or possibly both) like a urinating Belgian cupid statue.
•    “I’m so f*cking tired.” Followed by hysterical crying. Only it’s not funny, and your partner stares at you dumbfounded and entirely devoid of anything useful to say.


Father and son wearing dinosaur costumes
Get used to this confused look - dads will do it a lot.

Well, all this is if you’re a normal mother. A zen mama will be sat there listening to classical music after her perfectly non-traumatic hypnobirth. Meanwhile, a doula (who happens to be a Michelin star organic chef) mops her brow, and her perfectly behaved baby sleeps through the night and makes adorable cooing noises. 

I was invited to give some dadderly advice on this life changing event by Pearl at Miraculous Mums. The reality is, you’re probably both in for a rollercoaster ride completely unlike that last scenario, so you need to work as a team to make this experience easier. 

Here are 6 top tips for surviving a newborn with a clueless father in your household.

#1 – Understand that he’s going to say (and do) a lot of stupid shit.
You’re probably already used to your partner being an annoying dickhead sometimes. Now amplify it by 100. It’s likely he’ll come home from work muttering something about how tiring that was, while you fantasise about stabbing him in the heart for the shit you’ve been through that day.


This is the tip of the iceberg. We’re learning how to support you in ways we’ve never helped you out before, and it can take time for us to adapt to our new responsibilities. But we will do a lot of stuff that makes no sense to you. We'll always do our best but can get it colossally wrong too. Trust me from someone who knows, it's never done intentionally!

#2 - Try to make dad feel useful.
We like doing practical stuff. Sterilising bottles, or pumping breasts to express milk to soothe the pain you’re in. It’s a lot of fun, I became a professional milk pumper, and enjoyed storing milk in the freezer while dreaming of making my fortune selling it to perverts on eBay. Read about it here.

#3 - Let go of the baby.
It can be all too easy to be joined to the hip with the baby because of the bond you have, but let dad have his time too. We LOVE taking our babies out for a walk, grabbing a coffee or picking up supplies from the shop, and it makes us feel good because we’re giving you some time to sleep.

#4 – Give us baby related shopping errands.
What man doesn’t love a deep session of research on the Net for some device or something for the home that we think may be the key to solving a baby related problem. Tell us things to look for and we will happily research the best one to get when we have a spare moment 5 hours.

#5 – If you’re able to, let him do night feeds.
Every situation is different, but I remember when I had my new role as the night feeder, I felt like I had a new purpose in life. I always had that time to look forward to when I was at work, and I’d give my son his 11pm feed. It was our time in the dark for him to be cuddled by me and put his tiny hand around my finger. Magical. This evolved into the dream feed where I’d pick him up out of the cot while he slept to give him his bottle.

As soon as we introduced this strategy it took a huge weight off the pressure of having a newborn, and I felt like I could properly bond with my son.

#6 – Give a little trust. It goes a long way.
Gone are the days when men were unable to change nappies. Nowadays we love it. Who doesn't love commenting on their child's faecal matter like Heston Blumenthal in a food lab. The only way to do this is to get close and personal with it. "Ooh, raisins today. This one's swelled up like a grape."

The point I'm making is we want to be involved and while you'll probably hate us for not being able to wake up as easily as you in the night when the baby cries, we are now living in an age where stay-at-home-dads and other great fathers are everywhere.

Dads are amazing parents when we are given the trust to run with it and make mistakes, and I think I became a better man through raising my son and having days or weekends with him if my wife was away and learning from the things I messed up on. It's an incredible experience, and while it's hard, we can do it, and thrive!

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Enjoyed this? Interested in the female perspective? You can now visit www.miraculousmums.com for the flip side: “6 survival tips for new dads, living with new mums..."

And you can also subscribe to Dad's Diary on Instagram or Facebook:

Friday, 26 August 2016

An Interview with Lisa Williams of TantrumXYZ (and some gossip on Ross Kemp)

I recently wrote about my budding breastmilk empire and favourite cartoon dads for TantrumXYZ, an online magazine and shop based in London. Through all of those experiences I always enjoyed working with Lisa Williams, one of the founders, and the creative engine behind the website.


Picture of the homepage of TantrumXYZ
TantrumXYZ homepage. The company is based in London.

She'd just had a baby and yet was smashing it, writing great content at a rate of knots, and working as a fashion editor, selecting the best kids' clothes and trawling through unusual fashion brands, picking out the best to sell on their website.

OK, so Lisa, tell us about TantrumXYZ, in one sentence?

TantrumXYZ is a shop and magazine for tech-savvy, design-conscious parents!

OK! Now tell us a bit more, what makes you different to other parenting websites? 

We help parents get what they want, all in one place, on their mobile phone. Parents are busy, so we can save them time by offering them funny and useful content in the magazine, and an edit of interesting kids’ brands to buy quickly and easily.

Designer kids clothes for sale on the TantrumXYZ website - featuring Stella McCartney, Bobo Choses and Babe & Tess
Kids' clothes by Stella McCartney, Bobo Choses and Babe & Tess on TantrumXYZ

We’re always thinking of new things to service parents of young children, so have recently added a ‘Breeders’ Digest’ newsletter to help everyone catch up on the news and the best of the web each week, and a family events calendar to browse what’s happening near you (or to upload your own event). We also run our own networking events for parents in start-ups and there's more in the pipeline too…

Tell us about your career and what inspired you to set this up.

I am a journalist by trade, starting out as a local news reporter covering crime, politics, health and good old-fashioned local news stories. I never had to report on a cat-stuck-up-a-tree rescue, but I did have a series of front pages about mysterious dog poisoning incidents, and broke a news story about an Iraqi politician’s wife driving down the road with a traffic warden on her boot, which was quite a far-fetched way of escaping a parking fine.

I went on to work for the UK’s national news agency Press Association. I spent a lot of time waiting for celebrities on the red carpet, and discovered that Kate Hudson and Jon Hamm are the nicest celebs around. I don’t have such kind words for Ross Kemp or Nicole Kidman.

For three years before setting up TantrumXYZ, I worked at Conde Nast, editing Tatler’s website – a heady mix of country pursuits and fashion.

Oh really? Dish some dirt on these celebs then! 

Ross used to complain about being described as ‘hard man Ross Kemp’, but there wasn’t much we could do about it, as that’s just how showbiz reporting goes. We were a bit cheeky with it, and I think we once wrote a story with the headline ‘’Stop calling me a ‘hard man’,’ says hard man Ross Kemp’.

Haha! Tell us about your son, what's he like? 

Picture of Lisa Williams, founder of TantrumXYZ with her son Stanley

Stanley is 13 months now. He looks as cute as a button but is #thuglife through and through. Favourite pastimes include eating mud, bashing objects together to make the maximum possible noise, and smiling at grumpy people.

What was the birth like? 

Stanley was breech so we had a planned c-section. It was very calm, unlike the first six weeks of life with a newborn, which felt as close as I’ll get to being a prisoner of war.

What's been your most memorable moment as a parent? 

Picture of Lisa Williams, founder of TantrumXYZ with her son Stanley
So many! I love all the cuddles and the cheekiness. Highlight so far was probably Stanley’s first giggle, which was when I was pretending to sneeze while holding him in front of a mirror. Making your baby laugh is such a great feeling, and I love having a little partner in crime.

What's been your most difficult moment? 

The first six weeks. We had feeding issues so he was hungry and crying, I was despairing, in constant pain, and severely sleep-deprived. We turned a corner at six weeks, and it’s got increasingly fun ever since. What nugget of advice would you give other new mums, knowing what you know now?

Picture of Lisa Williams, founder of TantrumXYZ with her son Stanley
Don't worry about the state of your house, the thank-you cards or entertaining people when they visit. When you're not feeding and either your baby is sleeping or there’s someone who can hold him or her, stick on an eye-mask and get some sleep.

Thanks Lisa! All the best with TantrumXYZ and I wish you every success.  

P.S. I've just been looking through the kids' clothes on the website and I'm tempted to spend a small fortune! There are brands like Stella McCartney and Burberry, plus cool ones I've never heard of like Bobo Choses, Oeuf NYC, Bellerose and Finger in the Nose. Have a look! 

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