About Hands-On Dad

Hi, my name is John McClellan and I am the founder of ‘Hands-On Dad’. I believe one of the most rewarding things you can do in life is to become a parent. Here at ‘Hands-on Dad’ you will find information and resources to help hands-on dads and moms navigate the complexities of parenting.

My story

Hands-On Dad

I married my amazing wife Julie nearly fourteen years ago. We have two beautiful children. Our son Jordan is eleven and our daughter Sophia is nine.

My upbringing was pretty ordinary. I grew up with two sisters, a mostly stay-at-home mom and a father who was the breadwinner for the family. As was typical of the day, I didn’t see a huge amount of my father during the week as he was at work. Mom was very much our primary carer and the hands-on parent in our household

Even though my father was not hands-on in the day to day, I do have very fond memories of the times I did get to spend one on one time with him.

My Dad was interested in astronomy and I remember building a telescope together to view Halley’s comet. We also built a couple of radio controlled gliders and I loved nothing more than going out on the weekends to fly them with my Dad.

From my experience as a child, I know how much it means to kids to have the eyes of both parents on them.  Mom’s and Dad’s bring different qualities to the parent child relationship.  So when I became a Dad I was determined to be hands-on.  I wanted to know the fine print of my children’s lives.

This has been a challenge.  In my career, I am a communications engineer and for the past ten years have worked in executive roles in the information technology sector.  Family was always my priority but my corporate job didn’t always respect that.  It demanded long hours.  Work life balance was a constant juggle.

Six months ago I decided to take a break.  I left my secure full time job to spend more time with my family.  I could see that the years were passing quickly and before I knew it Jordan and Sophia’s childhood would be over.  I wanted some time out of life to spend with my kids.  Fortunately my wife Jules was  supportive of this decision.  So we swapped roles.   Jules, who had been a very hands-on Mum from when our kids were born commenced full-time work and I became a stay-at-home dad.  We knew our role swap would only be for a season but I saw it as a real opportunity to build my relationship with my kids.

Now I need to tell you a bit about Jules.  Jules is a doctor, a teacher, an amazing wife and loving mother.  She is very intentional and thoughtful in her parenting.  She reads widely and brings a lot of knowledge and wisdom to our home, especially when it comes to parenting.  Our role swap meant I was now the stay at home parent.  I had big shoes to fill!

Why I have started ‘Hands-On Dad’

I started my new stay-at-home Dad gig like many Dad’s… surfing the net!

What I noticed was that there was a wealth of information about parenting available but most of it was written from the mother’s perspective.  In fact there were very few parenting resources online specifically geared towards dads.

I have always loved helping people and have a real heart for families; so I decided to create this blog to write about the things I learn, my experiences and everything that has helped me be a hands-on dad.

The goal of ‘Hands-On Dad’

I love it when my kids exclaim “You’re the best dad in the world!”  Admittedly, getting them to say this sometimes involves ice cream!

The goal of this site is to provide information and resources to help parents; with a particular focus on helping dads.  My hope is that I can support you to become “the best parent in the world’ to your kids.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to email me at john@hands-on-dad.com.  I will be more than happy to help.



Founder of hands-on-dad.com

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