Welcome back to another instalment of my weekly feature Meet The Blogger! This week I’m chatting to Dad Blogger James to find out all about his little corner of the internet which is inspired by his gorgeous son Joshua. I hope you’ll check out his interview and be sure to check out his blog and social media channels too, his content is fabulously unique!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog
I am James, I live with my wife Rebecca, son and pet cat in Blackburn, Lancashire. My blog “My Hero Joshua” is primarily about my son, Joshua aged 6. Joshua was born at 31 weeks and he also has a twin brother. Sadly my wife and I lost his twin brother shortly after birth. Joshua was born with an extremely rare skin condition called Erosive Vesicular Dermatosis and also Oesophageal Atresia. The skin condition only has 32 reported cases in the world and both of these conditions combined, Joshua is the ONLY reported case. He spent the first five months of his life in hospital. Both of these conditions are now very much under control, though Joshua has scarring across his body, mainly limbs. Joshua is currently under investigation for Autism, ADHD, Hypermobility and a blood clotting disorder. I also write about my thoughts and feelings around being a parent to a child with additional needs, whilst dealing with the trauma of losing a child. I’m also autistic and have mental health difficulties, so I like to document how they impact how I am a Dad to Joshua.
How long have you been blogging?
I used to have a mental health blog a while ago but stopped writing due to varying factors. I started My Hero Joshua last November after Joshua won an award for his strength he’s shown since birth. The whole award weekend was such a surreal experience and I thought to myself to aid my own personal recovery from the trauma of everything that’s happened to us as a family. I stopped for a while but now I’ve been continuously blogging since the end of May.
What or who inspired you to create your blog?
The main inspiration behind the blog is obviously son Joshua but also underlying to that is the motivation to establish a firm bond with him as this is something I have really struggled with. Also, another thing is that I want to be the best Dad I possibly can be because my own Dad isn’t exactly the best, so I want to show Joshua I’m there for him, despite what my Dad is like to me.
What’s your favourite thing about running your blog?
My favourite part has to be meeting new people through social media, especially Instagram. I am part of a group called Dadvengers which was set up by children’s TV presenter Nigel Clarke with the aim of helping Dads become more involved because invariably they don’t tend to get quite as involved as Mum’s. You can check this out on Instagram – Dadvengersofficial. We have chats on Instagram on Friday nights at 9pm about various parent related topics. There is also a Podcast coming out very soon. It’s not just for Dad’s despite its name. The people I have met on there, I can honestly count as friends, Eddie, Mark, Ashleigh, Graham and Dom. We have a WhatsApp group as well to bridge the gap between each Friday.
How do you stay motivated?
Being part of a growing community really keeps me motivated as well as Joshua. I want to tell the world his story and just how proud I am to be his Dad. He’s given me so much light in my life through his strength and tenacity.
What’s been the most challenging part of your blogging journey to date?
From a technical point of view, it has to be the dreaded SEO. I have a working understanding of it, perhaps not quite as much to gain as many views as I perhaps would like. However despite this, I am proud of what I have achieved so far.
Tell us about your favourite blog post
My favourite blog post has to be the one that I wrote about Joshua‘s skin condition. This is because not much is known about it, so it was good to get my thoughts across about it.
Describe your blog in four words
What are your future hopes and dreams for your blog?
I simply want the blog to grow more and more so Joshua‘s story can be read across the world. I’m hoping to get some collaborations done with companies in order to give Joshua new and exciting experiences in life.
QUICKFIRE GET TO KNOW YOU QUESTIONS:
Early Bird or Night Owl?
I’m an early bird, I get tired very easily and get myself to bed quite early sometimes.
Night in or night out?
A night in for me! I’m very much a home bird. I do like going out but generally speaking only with Rebecca.
Ketchup or mayo?
Ketchup, every day of the week, however, I’m not a big fan of either
Summer or Winter?
Winter because you can warm up then. I hate hot weather.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee! I’m not allowed to drink it much though, mmmmmm coffee!
Bath or shower?
I am extra sensitive to water being near my face, despite this, I much prefer a shower, it’s quick and easy.
Pizza or Chinese?
Pizza! I do like Chinese food, but I often find that I’m hungry not long after eating a banquet! Not literally!!!
Dog or cat?
I’m more of a dog person, however despite this, our cat Sooty will not allow anyone near him, only me. He’s been my best mate since we got him, just over 2 years ago.
Movie or box set?
I’m not much into films or TV programmes, I much prefer Music. Music is something I really hold dear in my life and it really helps me get out of the slump I sometimes fall into.
Sweet or savoury?
I love sweets, I’m a pain for them. Controversial opinion: I HATE Palma Violets. I do like a good bag of crisps too! So perhaps I’m 50/50 on that one.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to James for taking part. Check out next week’s post as I welcome another fabulous blogger.