November 08, 2010

Two kids and a dog- A Father Speaks

(In case you missed my guest post from Blogger Talk here it is.)

Two kids and and a dog call me dad. Sometimes they vary it and call me daddy, abba or abs (pronounced Awbs). I suppose that I should clarify that the dog doesn’t use a name, at least not in English. Mostly he barks at me or gently tugs on my hand to take me wherever it is he wants me to go.

In the blogosphere they have a bunch of different names for me. Some people call me Jack or use more colorful terms to get my attention. My shop is just around the corner from here just a point and a couple of clicks away. That’s part of the beauty of cyberspace nothing is particularly far away. Here distances aren’t fixed and measured in the same way as they are in the so called real world.

Some people call me a daddy blogger. It is a term that has gotten a lot more play recently than it used to. I suppose that you can blame/attribute this to the ruckus created by the mommy bloggers. That is assuming that you are aware of the ruckus because you may not be. This is another time where the vastness of the blogosphere comes into play, if you don’t visit blogs who fall into a particular category you might not know that they exist.


Apparently quite a few people are new to those of us who fall into the purview of dad blogging. I am not really sure why that is or how it can be so surprising for so many but that is neither here nor there. So just for kicks let’s define a dad blog as one that is written by a father(s) and that it is about a dad’s life.

It is pretty simple stuff if you ask me and since you are reading this we’ll assume that you do. Consider me your expert tour guide so remember to stay close to the group so that you don’t get lost. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because there might be a test at the end.

The beauty of blogging is that it provides you with a simple and effective way to learn and interact with the world around you. And for men that is a pretty useful tool for a host of reasons. We’re a different sort of animal than women and not just because of the differences in plumbing.

As much as I hate to admit it, some of the stereotypes about us are true. We are less likely to ask for help, directions or to build relationships than women are. Blogs help solve some of those issues for us because we can hang out and pretend like we know what is going on when in reality we are taking copious notes about how to do XYZ.

Back in the Jurassic age of blogging when I first started in between hunting dinosaurs we wrote about our lives and told funny stories about things that happened to us or conversations with we had with our children .
In some ways it was a simpler time because we didn’t get caught up in discussions about best practices for blogging, we just did.

It is not that there is anything wrong with that because I certainly teach my children to work hard at whatever they do, that practice is important and that there is merit in being good at things. It is not an uncommon practice or discussion among parents to encourage their children to do their best at whatever it is they do.

And so we have seen the evolution of dad blogs that are focused on teaching men how to be fathers and or men. Some of them are more polished than others and are run by professionals and others are written by men who do it as a hobby.

My favorite dad blogs tend not to be those that fit into the professional category, the ones that are a sort of hybrid between blog and magazine. I appreciate them and the work that they do but they don’t cut it for me.
They don’t because my favorite dad blogs are raw and authentic. They tell uncensored stories about their lives. They open up a window into the good times and the bad times. They show you who they really are or at least they make you feel like they do.

And that is what I want. I want to see a person. I want to read about how something made someone laugh or cry. I want to hear that sometimes they lost it over something stupid and trivial. I want to see their humanity because I can relate to that.

There are times when I like reading the more polished pieces about how to deal with a tantrum. They have their place and their moment- but I usually prefer to hear about how dad lost his mind because he stubbed his toe for the 23rd time on a toy that wasn’t put away. I like to read about how he screamed at his kids and stopped because he suddenly realized that he had turned into his father.

That is real. That is authentic.

And sometimes I read about how dad reacted to his wife losing the baby. I nod my head as I read their story about dad’s pain and sorrow. That is not to take anything away from the mothers, but sometimes people forget that we are a part of it too. The wives don’t get pregnant magically, we were there. Those stories impact me too.

They’re raw and they’re real.

The dad blogs make me smile and they make me laugh. Sometimes they make me angry and sometimes they make me sad. But I like them because they help remind me that though it sometimes feels otherwise, I am not the only dad out there.

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