In the almost two years since the inception of this blog/Facebook page/website, I've realized two things: 1) there are a lot of great dads out there, and 2) there are a lot of moms who seem to be threatened by that. Now, I write a lot of posts that come straight out of my daily life. I enjoy being a dad and I take great pride in being as hands-on as the best of them. I'm not trying to impress anyone by doing what any father should be doing. If anything, I'm merely trying to impress upon the next generation of dads that being an involved father is possibly the most rewarding job a man will ever have. I love my kids. I love spending time with them. And I certainly love the fact that my wife and I are on equal footing when it comes to our roles as parents. But for some reason whenever I post anything about taking care of my kids, on my own, without any help from my wife (i.e. giving her time to herself) someone (more often than not a mom with an axe to grind) thinks I'm looking for a pat on the head, and that irks them. Well, guess what... their small-mindedness irks me.
Why can't a man post his escapades with his kids without some mom trying to shit on him for it? And, it's always the same old shit. "You're not doing anything moms haven't been doing for thousands of years," they say. "Why do you deserve a pat on the back for doing something you should be doing anyway?" they say. "Those are your kids" they say, "You should be able to care for them." And, they're right. I should be able to care for my kids. And you know what, I should also be able to talk about my day just like any mom blogger does without some feminist, or momzilla, or insecure ninny getting up in arms over the fact that, barring giving birth or breastfeeding, I can do everything they can do when it comes to raising a child. And in some cases, even better.
Am I looking for attention? Damn right I am- but I'm looking to draw attention to something that is obvious to me, and not so obvious to others. Are you ready for it? Here goes: being a great dad/parent (to small children, anyway) is pretty easy. It requires three things: 1) The willingness to learn (be it through reading, instruction or trial and error), 2) A confident wife/mother of your child who will allow you the autonomy to parent differently than she does, and 3) the willingness of society at large (the parenting magazines, the media, the old school moms) to accept that gender roles do not remain stagnant, and today's new dads are interchangeable with their mom counterparts.
I'm not trying to take anything away from moms. I'm a big supporter of single moms, stay-at-home moms, working moms, etc. I'm trying to build up dads. And, in doing that, I would hope I'm merely setting an example, like so many of my dad blogging contemporaries, that involved dads are a valuable asset to the parenting equation. But many don't see it that way. There are still those who see dads as secondary care givers who should be given orders and not be trusted to care for their own children. There are those who want to still believe that moms are superior when it comes to childrearing. There are those who see caring, competent dads as a threat to the centuries of propaganda that says moms are better "wired" to handle anything in the domestic domain. And from where I stand that's bullshit. It's brainwashing. It's backwards. Especially when the world should be moving forward.
For the record, I post what I post because I like talking about spending time with my kids. I like talking about being a dad- a better one than my own father. And I like writing about my experiences so I can share them with other dads, and moms, and grandparents and non-parents, or anyone who wants to listen. I like talking about parenting. I like learning about it from those who have gone before me. And I like sharing what I know with those who are just starting out. I don't need a pat on the head for doing what I do- I'm going to do it regardless. I do it for my kids. If people like that, it's just a bonus. If you don't, you have to ask yourself why. Because if I'm a threat to you, there's something wrong with the way you look at what I represent. I'm just a parent doing what comes naturally.
And, if I say so myself, I'm damn good at what I do. I'm a dad who doesn't need a mom to show me the way. My wife and I share everything equally. We are equal in all things parenting, and that's the way we like it. If that upsets you, well, I'm sorry, but when I'm dressing my daughter in the morning, or doing the midnight and 4 a.m. feedings for my son, or changing diapers, or cleaning up puke, or cooking, or cleaning, or coming home from work and giving my kids a bath and reading them bedtime stories, or taking care of my sick child, I'm not thinking about you-I'm thinking about them and the memories we're creating together.
I'm a New Dad. And I do what I do for my kids, not the notoriety. Maybe that doesn't impress you? But it sure got your attention, and maybe it will get the attention of the guy who is about to have his first child, and give him the courage he needed to be the best dad he can be. And that works for me, even if it doesn't seem to sit well with you.
Dads matter. Let's support good ones and not try to tear them down.
Here are some great dad blogs you may want to check out:
If you would like to add your dad blog to the list, please comment here.
***Article featured on www.mamapedia.com, December 28th, 2012.