In Brief Defense of Great Dads
Why Does a Good Dad Seem So Amazing?
Disclaimer: I’m sick. So, this post probably won’t be as robust and littered with examples as it should be. That said, I’m writing it anyway!
I’m sorry, but I’ve gotten a bit annoyed recently. It seems like dads are expected to be complete idiots who have no brains. So, when they do something right, they should get a pat on the head and a cookie. Why is it so surprising that there are some good, engaged dads out there? Screw that – it’s not there are some good, engaged dads…there are LOTS of us! Heaven forbid we might actually be the majority.
There’s a difference between Mommy Bloggers and Daddy Bloggers. When my wife was pregnant in 2005, I, like many dads, went looking for resources that would speak to me. I wasn’t particularly interested in being told that I was in for “the most magical, spiritual ride of my life.” I wasn’t all that interested in learning how to “make my wife’s pregnancy mine.” (Impossible, by the way and silly to even try.) I wanted a resource that talked me like I talked. Couldn’t find it. So, I started my own blog, which led to a book deal.
Then, as my son got to be a few years old, I abandoned the blog and some new dads started their blogs (with the same premise – they couldn’t find what they were looking for). The dad blogs are a vicious cycle like that. There’s all kinds of new, engaged and awesome dads writing about their experiences. And every few years – it turns over.
The moms, however, are writing about their feelings. They aren’t afraid to rip their husbands. They aren’t afraid to share their most intimate fears. Most dads won’t do that. And they certainly won’t be talking publicly about their wives shortcomings. That would just be stupid. (That’s what golf courses are for.) But, when a dad DOES open up a bit, it seems like that’s the difference between an engaged dad and one who isn’t. That doesn’t seem to be not a fair scale on which to judge.
I love the Mommy Blogger community and the message boards. They have been a tremendous help to our family. I’m not ripping on Mommy Bloggers – AT ALL! I’m not trying to start any kind of battle or war. There’s no blame. Just an observation. I’m just sharing my feelings! (With “I statements!”) What I’m merely trying to suggest is that the idea of the engaged, present dad – whether he is a SAHD, working dad, single dad or any other kind of dad – isn’t as surprising and unique as we make it out to be.
Dads have a lot of the same experiences as the mommies and we recognize the VAST differences (with great relief – breastfeeding is brutal…and that’s just one example out of zillions). Perhaps, we’re just not as good (most of the time) talking about these experiences as our partners might be. Just because a dad admits his fears, doesn’t make him a good dad…it makes him communicative. Now, THAT, perhaps, is surprising and unique. I can accept that.