Daddy’s Digest: What have you created? 

Mia: We’ve build an app called fatherli to support dads with their parenting and wellbeing.My co-founder Sam and I have worked with over 100 dads to understand their needs.  

DD: Aren’t there loads of parenting apps, why is having a dad app important? 

Mia:  We noticed that most parenting apps are for mums. Excluding Daddys Digest of course!  Yet dads are spending more time with their kids (this has increased 18% during the pandemic according to research by the Fatherhood Institute. At the same time, parents always need to find information and guidance to manage the multiple challenges that parenthood can throw at them. Whether it’s a teenager that’s stopped talking or sleep challenges with a 1 year old!  Sam, my co-founder is a dad of 2 small children and found that all the apps were designed for his wife, and not for him. The app is designed to offer support, guidance and advice to dads who are looking to solve their parenting problems, find their tribe and spend more time doing the things that they love with their kids.

DD: Why would dads need an app for that? 

Well sometimes dads might want to discuss quite sensitive issues with other dads and access information and resources and talk about it with other dads. At the moment, there’s nowhere private to do this. Everything is public, be it Mumsnet or Reddit. Whilst these are incredible platforms and dads do use them, it can be awkward as a dad posting on Mumsnet and some of the dads that we’ve talked to say they would like a space for just dads. 

DD: Do you think dads really want help? 

Mia: Help is a 4 letter word! Seriously, though, what “help” actually means is very complex. I like to think about it in terms of solving problems and I think dads like solving problems.  I think all parents, mums and dads, sometimes need help solving parenting challenges. Help could be something such as what’s the best way to do potty training with my kid whilst we are traveling, or how do I teach my child to tie their shoelaces? It’s hard to talk about, but some dads might be the main carer, so for them help might also be chatting with another dad that’s going through similar experiences. 

DD: So what does the app do?

Mia: The app has a number of features designed to connect dads. First of all, the app provides information and guidance on a range of parenting and relationship topics within the Dad Wiki written by dad-writers and experts. Sam and I believe that supporting dads to have a voice on parenting topics is really important. For free, dads can ask a parenting question within the app and get a response within 48 hours.

Another feature is the forum, where dads can connect with other dads in their area and share their experiences and photos.  

fatherli also has a ‘dad finder’ and “dad hub” where dads can join or create groups on topics they are passionate about, groups such as footballing dads, to dads of neurodiverse children. Through the dad finder, dads can grow their connections and build their tribe. 

DD: You’re a mum, what brought you into a dads app? 
Mia: I noticed when I had a child that I got a lot more support than my husband, even though we both went through a traumatic birth. I sometimes think as women we expect men to do more but then we don’t always support them to actually do more and historically in the West men have had more of a breadwinner role, but this is really changing. As a psychologist, I’ve also come across research that shows playing with dad is super important for a child to develop cognitively and emotionally. I met Sam and we both wanted to find new ways to support dads.

DD: So who is on the team? 

My co-founder, Sam Talbot, is a dad and I work closely together on the product and the business. We also have other dads on the team that we work closely with and as I said before a large group of dads that have been giving feedback from the start. Sam is based in the north of England and I’m based in the south (Oxford). 

DD: Who is fatherli for? 

Mia: We’ve designed the app to be welcoming of all dads that includes married and separated or divorced dads. 

It’s important to us that we listen to all different types of dad voices, whether it’s a married dad, single dad, step dad, dads of adoptive children. Whilst the dads are diverse they are all committed to being great dads to their children and so there’s a lot of common ground there. And whilst dads may have different circumstances, there are many challenges in parenting so these are cross cutting. 

The fatherli app is now available  on the App Store (At this link) and at Google Play (at this link). 

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