DAD – Open Conversations From The Frontline Of Fatherhood By Cal-l Jonel

Despite the significant challenges we have faced this year as a global collective, the silver lining has been to witness a shift in conversation around the important role fathers play within the home and lives of their families. Elliot Rae (founder of Music Football Fatherhood) decided to contribute to this zeitgeist by curating a collection of 20 powerful and defiant stories from real dads across the UK, each chapter carrying its own unique dose of truth and vulnerability.

DAD is a compilation of stories from the (MFF) team. MFF is the UK’s most exciting parenting and lifestyle platform for men. Called the “Dads’ version of Mumsnet” by the BBC, MFF is the online community for fathers. Through blogs, podcasts, and events, MFF aims to increase positive representation of diverse dads; champion equal parenting, and provide a space and community for dads to have open conversations around fatherhood.

DAD has a diverse range of contributors whose stories often go unheard. These are ordinary men, being extraordinary by sharing their story with the world. Our contributors have come together from different walks of life because they believe in the shared purpose, vision, and movement, hence the book’s newly popularised hashtag, #WEAREDAD.

This is a groundbreaking book.

A movement. Never before has a group of men come together to bare their souls and speak so openly and honestly about their fatherhood experiences. The mental health of men is still overlooked, with suicide remaining the biggest killer of men under the age of 45, and 12.5% of men in the UK suffering from depression and anxiety. This has been further compounded by the pandemic and lockdown. New dads are particularly vulnerable, as financial and work pressures – coupled with a huge life change – can have a significant impact. DAD is a cathartic book that will contribute to better mental health, and help men and dads realise they are not alone.

This book aims to encourage better dialogue between colleagues, friends, and especially within families: between husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, dads and children. We know men and dads don’t always have the space to speak openly about their experiences. We believe DAD can change the world and move forward the conversations around fatherhood, masculinity, mental health, and gender equality.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to discuss in my particular chapter how my faith has shaped my fatherhood, identity, and life. It was refreshing to be able to do so in such an open and honest way, during a time when discussions around Christianity and faith have become increasingly marginalised within mainstream culture. This just speaks to the intent behind DAD to give every dad a voice.

So how has faith shaped me as a parent and spouse?

Being a family man at heart, my faith has enabled me to understand that my wife and children are my first ministry – the first group of people I serve, nurture and cultivate. That said, my wife and I strive to keep our relationship with God at the centre of everything we do and every decision we make as husband and wife, as parents, and as human beings.

Ultimately, parenthood is bigger than us. It’s our duty to nurture the leaders of tomorrow – leaders who are secure, wise, loving, and resilient human beings of integrity. By God’s grace, our children are the legacy we will leave behind when we are gone. So, our challenge today is to train up our children in the way of the Lord, so that when they grow older, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

You can read more about my journey through faith, fatherhood, identity, and life – plus so many other wonderful and nuanced stories from real men on the frontline of fatherhood – in our new book, DAD.

DAD will initially be published in hardback and e-book formats, with the paperback and audiobook to follow. It’s available to purchase from Waterstones, WHSmith, Amazon and Foyles.

For more information, or to buy the book, visit 

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