How do you get a eureka moment? It seems watching back-to-back eps of the Kardashians is the answer. Yes really. New Year’s Day, 2016. Elliott Rae and his wife were stuck at home with their newborn baby watching the Kardashians. A natural party animal, Elliott’s NYE had not exactly been spilling over with party antics. Their baby girl’s agenda had taken priority leaving both mum and dad sleep deprived and lethargic. “Parenting is crazy,” Elliott thought to himself. “I need to capture how I am feeling.”
And this got Elliott thinking. Being a dad felt like the beginning of a whole new adventure. When his baby daughter finally arrived, he experienced new feelings, situations and challenges… Elliott looked around to see what other dads like him were saying about fatherhood. Little it seemed. Yet stuff for mums was everywhere.
So, two days after that eureka moment, Elliott wrote his first blog – What kind of dad do you want to be? – and shared it with his mates. Not only did they like it, but they also wanted more and they wanted to get involved. So Elliott set to it and MusicFootballFatherhood.com was born, a “Mumsnet for dads” website with a whole load of dads contributing.
The “lighting the touch-paper” moment came when the Independent carried Elliott’s story in summer 2017: “I’m a young, black, married, professional father and I don’t exist.“ What frustrated Elliott, he explained in this article, was not only could people like him not find their perspective in the media, they were not even a target audience. And if he was invisible to the media, he was invisible to virtually everyone. No wonder he felt like a spare part when he took his daughter to a local playgroup. And this article went viral – Elliot and his mates were not alone.
So what is it that makes MusicFootballFatherhood.com so unique? Is it the music, football and fatherhood mix? “The website is for guys who love all three things but that’s not the most important thing,” Elliott explains. “I want to encourage people to reflect on what kind of dad they want to be and think about how are they going to parent.” “I want guys to do that, to decide…that way we can be the dads we want to be.”
No matter how you’ve been parented, what your role models have been or your circumstances are, according to Elliott, you can choose what kind of dad you’re going to be. Are you a new dad? Congratulations. Thanks to Elliott, you’re not just a target audience, you’re part of a community.