Being a parent in Wales

March 1st marks St. David’s Day, which honours the patron saint of Wales. To mark this occasion, I thought that I’d do a round-up of posts that I’ve done on this blog that focus on Wales.

I have talked about what home and belonging mean on this blog a few times. I grew up in Scotland and regularly visited Ireland when I was younger as both my parents are from there. Wales was a country that I did not know much about when I was growing up, but it is now a place that I consider home. Among other things, it is where my wife and I met, got married and became parents. In a blog post entitled Seamus Heaney, Haggis and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, I talked about my feelings towards the various Celtic countries with which I have connections.


Since moving to Wales in 2007, I have learned Welsh and my wife and I are bringing up our son using both Welsh and English. It is likely that a significant amount of his school education will be provided through Welsh. Consequently, he should soon be able to pronounce the name of the village whose railway station is pictured above. One of my most popular posts on this page was one called Being a Bilingual Parent in which I talked about the fun challenges that are part of bringing up our son bilingually. A few months later, I did a follow-up post entitled Being a multilingual and multimedia parent. Only last week, I returned to the topic of bilingualism with a blog post in which I described my attempts to learn more kid jokes in Welsh.


Thankfully, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is not an entirely typical local place name. If it were, a significant chunk of the local councils’ budget would have to be spent on road signs. As it is, there are also some villages with quite short names. Over on Anglesey, there’s a village called Star and in Gwynedd there’s a village called Sling. As my wife and I are both keen on baby wearing, it only seemed right that we should go on a special visit to the village of Sling to mark International Baby Wearing Week. Basically, I insisted that we should go there so as we got some photos our son in a sling next to the Sling sign in the village.

Next week, I will blog about how we end up celebrating our first St. David’s Day as a family and where we decide to do so. The video above shows how residents of the village of Bala plan to mark March 1st by making the largest ever Welsh Cake. There are also various local tourist attractions such as castles that will be free to visit on St. David’s Day, so we’ve got a few options. Indeed,if we had called our son David or Dewi then he could have got free entry to watch one of our local football teams.

What are the important national holidays and events that you enjoy celebrating in your country? Are there any events that are really important to you and your family where you live? Please feel free to share your views in the comments section below or on the ‘Dad’s The Way I Like It’ pages on Facebook or Google+.

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In week 1 of the MAD blog awards for UK parent bloggers, I’ve been nominated in the categories Best Baby Blog, Best New Blog and MAD Blog of the year. In each category, only the four blogs with the most votes will make the final shortlist. If you’d like to vote for me, please go to and type in the web address of my blog ( in the relevant categories. Thank you!

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