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Dad in training – from modern man to handy man

I’m not ashamed to admit, I’m not what you’d call a manly man. Sure I drink real ale, I mow the lawn, I’m a proficient sportsman, I hate asking for directions and I’m about to become a father. But manly? Not so much.

I guess, if we’re getting technical about it, you’d probably describe me instead as more of a modern man; I sing in a choir, I read, I write, I play music and I can’t for the life of me grow a beard or more than nine chest hairs.

While I’m generally proud of my modern man status, it does occasionally cause some friction with my wife at home; usually around my procrastination when it comes to DIY.

In my defence, my father wasn’t much of a handy man either. Growing up, he had a seriously time-consuming job and a long commute, so was almost always home late. And with four kids craving his attention whenever he was home, I don’t remember him ever fixing a leaky tap, hanging a picture or painting a fence. As a result, DIY was never really on my radar as a child, and I’m afraid that situation hasn’t improved much into adulthood.

So when I was recently approached by Dickies, the leading workwear manufacturer and clothing retailer, with an invitation to peruse their extensive workwear range and pick out an item to try out, I took this as a clear sign.

A sign for me to put down my knitting get off my arse and finally attack the ever growing list of DIY jobs that my ever growing wife has been nagging me to do since the day we found out we were pregnant.

So, ever the practical gent, I picked out this seriously manly and seriously hardwearing Raegan knit fleece in grey, partly, I’m slightly embarrassed to say, as my wife was particularly fond of its blue zips. Plus I figured it would double up as a great piece of kit for both my outdoor DIY activities as well as for my semi-regular country pursuits and dog walking responsibilities during the winter months.

The Dickies Reagan Fleece - the perfect gift for any handy manWith this fresh impetus from Dickies, I set straight to work on my list of jobs and I’ve got to admit, I haven’t looked back since.

First on my list was rebuilding our garden wall. After a particularly harsh winter, the top layer of the wall had completely disintegrated causing huge chunks of breeze block to fall on the toes of any passers-by. As a blogger, not a builder, I’d been putting this off for some time in the hope that my wife might eventually tire of waiting and employ a professional handy man to do the job properly.

But kitted out in my new, seriously comfortable workwear, I bit the bullet, borrowed a trowel, purchased a load of reclaimed roof tiles and a 25kg bag of mortar and finally got on with the job in hand. After an afternoon of mixing cement and swearing at my spirit level, I managed to surprise both my wife and myself by completing the task to a surprisingly high standard. Serious man points achieved…

Modern Man builds wall

Next up, I turned my attention to painting the new bookshelves in our spare room and newly built cupboards under the stairs, which I actually designed myself, to give us some much needed extra storage and finally allow us to house a tumble dryer in the flat; an essential accessory, I’m assured, for any new parents. A mammoth task, but somebody had to do it…

Modern Man paints things

Modern Man sands things

Finally, with the dust sheets packed away and the messy jobs now complete, I was at last able to construct our ‘new’ cot (kindly donated by my sister), thus effectively transforming our old spare room into our brand spanking new nursery. While still a work in progress, I thought you’d appreciate a sneak peak of how it’s looking now…

Man made nursery

And there we have it. With these major DIY jobs now firmly ticked off my to-do list, at last I can relax, safe in the knowledge that my graduation from modern man to handy dad is now officially complete.

All that’s left to say is a big thank you to Dickies for giving me the nudge I needed to dust off my tool box and get cracking with these essential baby preparations. And if you are ever in the market for some seriously manly workwear, you can check out their full range of hardy jackets, trousers, shoes and accessories here.

Just 8 weeks left to go…

So what kind of major DIY tasks did you have to do in preparation for your baby’s arrival? As always, please do share your stories with the Group via the comments section below!

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  1. 5th August 2016 / 1:41 pm

    Welcome to the manly man world 🙂 I’m with ya on the “modern man” thing. Though I’m more of a fence sitter. I’m either both modern man and manly man or I’m neither. I take part in both. Dirt haulin’, roof climbing, tree cutting, reader, blogger, “guitar player”. DIY job look great!

  2. 4th August 2016 / 8:37 am

    Brilliant! I am very impressed! It is so nice to see you in picture and in action too. I was being to think you are the kind of behind the camera/ laptop. I will certainly let my man know of how hard you work. Oh! He would be so jealous! Lol! Thank you again for joining us on #FabFridayPost

  3. 30th July 2016 / 9:42 pm

    For a none DIYer I’m well impressed you tackled a job involving a borrowed trowel – you must clearly be in your nesting phase! My hubby admits he’s more of an ‘office man’ (I’m sure he has a manicure now and again in his lunch break…) Maybe the secret lies in looking the part and fake it till you make it LOL.

    When it came to doing up our nursery (2 years ago nearly now yikes!) I decided not only that room but the whole house needed repainting. But we got a pro in to do it (we chose white. Big mistake). Your home and nursery look lovely and cosy, with a very comfy looking chair – you’ll be in it a LOT. And it’ll be the place where happy memories are made at each stage of your baby’s little life, from nursing/feeding, putting on tiny socks and trousers, reading and comforting a fever. I’m so excited for you.

      30th July 2016 / 9:53 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comments – literally can’t wait for what’s to come!

  4. 29th July 2016 / 5:32 pm

    Well done in getting the jobs finished. My husband started a job back in November and it’s still only had done. The job was to it up a dividing wall in the kids room. The wall is up and safe but still needs sanding, painting and a door hung but because the mwall is standing and fitting it’s purpose my husband is no rush to get the job finished. I feel your wife’s frustration. Maybe I should get my husband a workmen’s outfit from Dickies. If it inspired you maybe it will inspire him? Highly unlikely but you never know 😉

      29th July 2016 / 5:55 pm

      haha you definitely should! A little present might be just the impetus he needs. I feel his pain though – the fear of not doing a good job!

  5. 29th July 2016 / 10:53 am

    Bravo and well done! I’m impressed. Wife must be thrilled! #FabFridayPost

  6. reimerandruby
    29th July 2016 / 9:08 am

    Well done, you’ve done a great job! I’m sure your wife would be proud… #FabFridayPost

  7. 29th July 2016 / 8:15 am

    Lovely house! You did a good job as far as I am concerned. Keep it up, your wife must love it. #FabFridayPost

      29th July 2016 / 8:23 am

      Thank you! It’s been a struggle but totally worth it!