If you are interested in this project, and would like to take part, then there are two main ways that you can get involved; you can take part in an interview, or send us your fatherhood stories via this website.
1. Take part in an interview
What we would really like to do is interview men who are becoming fathers for the first time. Ideally, in order to participate in the research, you will be over the age of 18, be eligible for Shared Parental Leave, and be based within the North West of England. However, please do get in touch if you are based elsewhere in the UK, as we may be able to travel to different locations. At this point we are interested in hearing from men who have both decided to take SPL, and also from men who have decided not to. If you are not sure if you are eligible to take part, then please email us.
We would like to talk to new fathers who take part in the interview process twice; (1) very early on in their fatherhood experiences (e.g. within the first few weeks/months of their child’s life) and then (2) a second time later on in the first year of being a dad. These research interviews are likely to take around 1 – 1.5 hours of your time and would be organised at a time/location that is convenient to you.
Our approach is very informal, we see interviews as conversations with a purpose and they are really a chance for us to hear about your experiences of fatherhood; and in particular touch upon the different areas of support for fathers and views and experiences of the Shared Parental Leave scheme.
If you are interested to hear more, please contact us here and we can send you further details about the project and what is involved – by contacting us, you will not be committing yourself to being involved. If you have any questions at all – or if there is anything that you are unclear about – please contact us, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
2. Send in your fatherhood storiesIf you don’t want to be interviewed or have older children, you can still take part in the study - we’d love to hear about your experiences of fatherhood.
As your stories and memories of fatherhood/becoming a father are likely to be very personal, and unique to you, there is no set idea of what these should look like. However, to help you think about some of the areas we are interested in, you could incorporate the following questions and topics:
- What did you think being a father would be like before the birth of your first child?
- Have your expectations of fatherhood matched with the realities of being a dad?
- What were your experiences of the support that you (and your partner) received before, and after, the arrival of your child(ren)? (You could include here your stories of prenatal and antenatal care, and experiences of the birth itself!)
- How are parenting responsibilities divided up within your family? (For example, what things do you do as a dad to help care for your child? Did you take any time off work to look after your child(ren)?)
- What do you know about the shared parental leave policy; and is this something that you would have liked to have taken advantage of, if you were able to?
You can write and submit as little or as much as you like in your stories– and you are in no way limited to the areas outlined above. We would love to hear what you have to say.
What will we do with your stories?
When you submit your stories via this website, you will be asked whether you are happy for them to be published (anonymously) on the website itself – this is completely up to you and please do still consider submitting your story even if you would rather it didn't appear on the website.
All the stories that we gather – either though in-person conversations or the written stories that we are sent through this website – will be analysed and summarised by the research team.
All data will be made anonymous. The analysis of the new father stories will be written up in academic journal articles, and presented to appropriate academic conferences. Summarised research findings also posted on this website towards the end of the project (so that our results are shared beyond the academic community).