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.
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…
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…
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…
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!