Today we catch up with Lee Chisholm, father to adorable 8 month old Ava, and Instagrammer at daddownload. We find out all about his expectations for his first Father's Day, parenting hacks and tips for new dads!
Your first Father’s Day! What would make the perfect Father’s Day for you?
The perfect Father’s Day for me would be to wake up naturally. None of this eye-gouging and kicks to the ribs that unfortunately I am experiencing on a daily basis now. Following this, and a nice hot coffee in the sunshine, we would head out as a family for breakfast consisting of a fry up and cake!
My almost 8-month-old daughter, Ava, loves going out and about, so next we would all go out for a country walk. Without any digital interference there’s nothing getting in the way of a good ol’ conversation, meaning we can figure out all of our problems and plan our lives on the walk.
After this, we would stop off for more cake, and once home I would spend at least an hour in the bath. Amazingly, there would be a big game of football on TV and naturally I would get to watch that in some piece and quiet with a nice cold beer, and a meat feast pizza with extra anchovies!!
Finally, I’d finish the day off with a good hour of giggles and fun with Ava before her bedtime - then settle down to watch an action film (one that I don’t fall asleep half way through) followed by bed, WITH the windows open (my partner is a cold-bean so usually they’re shut)!
That to me is the perfect Father’s Day!
So far, what have been your highlights of life with a new baby?
Every day has mini highlights that really pull at your heartstrings and plonks a lump in your throat, so it's hard to pin point one moment that really stands out. To me it was a simple, silly little thing but one thing that showed me the start of a developing little human being and one that could interact with us.
It's a silly thing but it's super cute. When we're playing I will sometimes put my finger across Ava's mouth and she will instantly start to make a sound. I then move my finger off and on and off and on quickly so she makes an "aah-aah-aah-aah-aah-aah-aah-aah-aah-aah-aah-aah" sounds. It's funny and sweet and was the first real interaction (on a funny level) that we've ever done – We still actually do it now!
Do you have any ingenious parenting hacks that you can pass on to other dads?
Yes. Strap a motion-sensitive strip light to the foot-end of the changing station. I actually posted about this on IG.
The theory behind this is when you need to change a nappy throughout the night the last thing you want to do is to fully switch on the big lights, waking yourself up and also the little one up. With the motion sensitive strip light, as soon as you plonk the little one down on the mat, the light will instantly shine – right into those hard to reach places that need cleaned!
Is there anything that has surprised you about becoming a parent?
There are two things that have surprised me the most and these are definitely personal things.
Even though being a parent is a fulltime job, I've somehow managed to just become more busy and active and less lazy and dozy. It's given me a little kick to make the most out of life and try new things and experience new adventures. Indirectly it's given me that extra oomph to get off the couch and make the most of the valuable time I have.
It's also shown me the value of family and just how important it is to have a network of close, loving family who you can depend on. I'm from a small family and I would never consider myself to really be a family orientated type of person. But since Ava came along, everyone has gelled together and the love and support has been overwhelming. Becoming a parent really does open your eyes to just what is important in life.
What has been the best advice you received from your father about being a dad?
"Blink and you'll miss it, so enjoy the moment" also "coffee will soon become your best friend. Find a brand you enjoy and STOCK UP!"
Your Instagram posts are beautiful; do you have any tips on how to capture the perfect moment?
Always have a camera nearby and take as many photos as humanly possible. The perfect moment can be gone in a split-second (especially with an active child that refuses to stop moving) so get that camera ready and blitz through a ton of shots hoping, just hoping, that there's at least one that really captures the mood and feel of the situation.
You’ve got a PacaPod Oban and Firenze changing bag, what has been your favourite thing about using these bags?
I've got a thing about compartments. I mean, I have a drawer full of Tupperware that has to be organised in just the right way. If it's not (something my partner does on purpose to wind me up) it really ruffles my feathers and boils my blood. So having the capability to organise, divisionalise and put everything into purpose made pods is amazing. It's like a toolbox for babies. Each thing has it's own place.
With the Oban, I also like the fact that it's unisex and I don't feel out of place carrying it. It's actually really nice and it's always a battle between the two of us to which bag we take with us (rock paper scissors. I usually lose).
Which are your five favourite PacaPod’s and why have you chosen them?
Firenze – The materials are top notch. The design and style is elegant and classy. That leather smell is just delicious as well. The missus absolutely loves it and takes it everywhere with her.
Oban – This is smart, well designed and really is a bag that I feel comfortable using. It's great that there are bags purposely designed to appeal to both male and female. The colours are also neutral too so whichever one you pick, you'll be more than happy.
Mirano – It was a tough call when deciding a bag for myself. The Mirano is a lovely bag too and almost takes on a Tote form. Again, the additional pods and the styling is excellent and the colour choices available are to my taste. Nice and neutral.
Colby – Who doesn't love a totebag. Male or female, Milan, Paris or Dundee, you'll have no problem looking stylish with this bag. Again, the colours and also print on the bag is both male and female friendly.
Picos Pack - The reason why I love this bag is that if you're out and about on a country walk or partaking in an activity where you need both hands, this backpack is ideal - convenient while also looking smart and current at the same time.
Finally, do you have any advice for first-time fathers?
It's ok to feel out of your depth sometimes. It's a natural thing. But treasure every single moment because as cliché as it sounds, time does indeed pass you by. Also, the nappies get worse. So if you can somehow work out a deal with the missus then do it. You do the first 6 months, and then she does the next 6 months. You'll thank me soon, trust me!
We are offering 20% off Lee’s (aka daddownload) top 5 PacaPod bags, in all of their colourways, for Father’s Day weekend. Enter code FATHERSDAY at our checkout to get 20% off from 16-18th June.
We wish all the father's out there a wonderful Father's Day!