We catch up with daddy blogger, pastor and father of three, Edmund Tay, to find out more about his inspiration to blog and life as a hands-on dad.
It’s not everyday you cross paths with a full-time pastor who is also a daddy blogger, is it? Meet 45-year-old Edmund Tay who documents life with his three children, Nicole, aged 12, Nathan, aged 10 and Nadine, aged 9 on his blog ED Unloaded. Edmund has also authored an e-book, Daddy! A Father’s Guide to Parenting, in which he shares the joys and trials that accompany parenthood. We caught up with Edmund to discover more about his role as an active father and his experiences as a daddy blogger.
(See also: Singapore’s Favourite Daddy Bloggers)
What inspired you to blog?
With the arrival of our firstborn, relatives and friends were constantly asking us about the progress of our child. Along with the purchase of a DSLR, I wanted an outlet through which I could show off the latest pictures that I had taken of my daughter. Blogging was the easiest way for us to update our loved ones while sharing the latest photos of our baby. The blog also serves as a platform for us to record the significant milestones of our children’s development. Keeping a record of these parenting moments is important to me and my wife.
How has becoming a parent changed you?
Being a parent has made me laugh at myself more. I have begun to realise that a lot of the positive and negative traits which I observe in my children are indeed proof that they are chips off the old block. As much as we may wish we weren’t, we are inevitably role-models for our children as they are learning from us everyday.
What’s a typical family day or weekend like?
On Saturdays, the kids accompany us for any blogging related engagements. Sundays are spent together as a family in church.
How has being an active Dad helped in your everyday life?
Fathers play an important role in the development of a strong family unit. Research has shown that the absence of a strong fatherly figure can increase the probability of kids growing up developing behavioural issues. Active fatherhood will positively impact the social, behavioural and cognitive development of children.
Being an active father has given me the privilege of being a valued part of my children’s life. I am glad to say that I was there when my kids experienced their significant milestones. As an involved parent, I have also better developed as a co-worker. I am now able to be more understanding when I work with colleagues who are much younger than me.
What is the difference between being a daddy and being a father?
To me, daddy is a term of endearment that vocally symbolises the strength of a relationship between a father and his child. Being a father is about experiencing both faucets of this relationship.
What have you learnt about yourself as a parent?
I have learnt that I need to have more patience. My daughter tells me that I am very impatient when explaining mathematical concepts to her and my two younger kids.
Personally, I had always thought that I was very easy-going and patient when it comes to teaching. However, these traits seem to disappear when I am instructing my own children.
How have you overcome the challenges you faced as a daddy blogger?
The main challenge was trying to produce regular content while juggling a full-time job and the demands of being a parent. I receive numerous invites but I have to be selective about the events that I choose to attend. After all, the hobby should not distract me from my primary duties as a parent.
Since the kids were young, we have gotten them to go to bed early. Having them turn in early ensures that my wife and I have more time for each other as well as time for blogging. In 2016, we invited some of our friends to contribute to our blog. Through this, we ensured that we didn’t overwork ourselves trying to come up with regular content.
What’s your blogging style?
I like to write about issues and things that I can relate to, like child-friendly places to visit and technology. I also like to report about the developmental milestones which my kids have experienced as it means that they have conquered new grounds. It also means that we have something “new” to celebrate!
How do you think daddy bloggers differ from mummy bloggers?
Daddy bloggers tend to write more about technology, travel, and fun places to visit, while mummy bloggers tend to focus more on the emotions involved in parenting. One misconception is that daddy bloggers have little to write about. This is tied to the myth that fathers do not take on an active role in their children’s lives. In our current era, many fathers adopt a hands-on role when it comes to parenting and are no longer that quiet and stern head of the household figure.
How would you describe your parenting style?
I am quite a hands-on parent. I remember learning all the baby care techniques from the Lactation Consultant when the hospital conducted ParentCraft classes for new parents. I had zero experience then and I knew that I had to learn everything fast. Since then, I’ve bathed my kids, changed their diapers, cleared their vomit and cleaned up their poo.
(See also: 10 Ways Dads Can Help with Breastfeeding)
You are also a licensed solemniser. Tell us more about that.
I am a full-time pastor. Helping to build marriages and strong families are a great priority in my life. Being a licensed solemniser is a great privilege as I am given the honour of witnessing a couple’s special day. I also have the opportunity to guide them in starting off their married lives on the right foot.
Complete the sentence: “The best thing about being a parent is…”
“… the accompanying privilege of investing in our children’s lives. I have a chance to guide, inspire and impart my values to another human being.”
Images courtesy of Edmund Tay.