Category Archives: Active Fathers

Why This Morning Was A Leap Forward For Stay At Home Dads In This Country

house husbands

This morning was a pretty big deal for stay at home dads. If you were watching either or both of the top rating breakfast shows in Australia, Today (a.k.a The Today Show) on Channel 9 or Sunrise on Channel 7 you would have seen interviews with stay at home dads.

The first interview was with an American dad, Mike Cavender from Daddy Fishkins whose Apology to Stay-At-Home-Mums went viral last week on all of those regular professional reblogging and news aggregator websites around the world including here in Australia, hence his interview on Australian television.

The second interview was with Australia’s own Clint Greagen from Reservoir Dad who according to an article by the UK’s Daily Mail earlier this year is “Australia’s most successful ‘daddy blogger’.” Although Clint is from the “rival” city of Melbourne, he has been welcomed by us friendly Sydneysiders today as he launches his new book Reservior Dad (yes, his book title and blog title match), in a few book-stores in Sydney and appears on two national television shows, both which are filmed in studios in this fair city.

What’s the big deal you ask? Oh, stay with me…

Read more

Do You Want To Write A Dad Blog?

Do you want to write a dad blog

Do you want to write a dad blog?
Write a blog about your kids?
And maybe write about the things you do
Like cleaning up the poop and finding a clean bib?

I know it’s kind of crazy
That a dad might care
Enough to write these things down
Do you want to write a dad blog?
It doesn’t have to be a dad blog…

When it comes to parenting blogs, those written by mothers outweigh fathers by a ratio of lots more to not as many (source: trust me, I know these things). When I joined my writer’s group on Facebook called Dad Bloggers there were a little over 300 in the group. Almost 12 months after joining we are a few short of 800 and the group is still growing.

The thing that I like about this group of writers is that whilst we are all chest beating alpha males (not true but) men all the same, with opinions of our own, and arguments about whether Star Wars is better than, well, life itself, we can basically agree on one thing and one thing alone; we all want to be great dads and we want to encourage each other to be great dads and we want to have a dragnet effect over all fathers, bloggers and non-bloggers alike and promote being a great dad as an important part of a man’s life ***and breath***.

Well, one who is a dad that is. But it’s more than that.

Read more

The Mummy Blogger Wars Have Just Jumped Genders

Have you read the newspaper today? Well not the paper newspaper, the online version. Who reads the paper version still except for those who have it delivered to their hotel room, or those who have visited a tourist attraction sponsored by a newspaper where they’re giving them out for free. Anyway, I digress…

At about 4am Sydney time this morning after watching Australia in the FIFA World Cup I had trouble getting back to sleep so I jumped on Facebook where I saw a story shared by one of my fellow Dad Bloggers. It was the story about that Mommy Blogger in the US who has been charged with poisoning her son using salt to overload his sodium levels so she could blog about it and achieve clicks via sympathetic measures.

Last night before the State of Origin (yes it was a big nine hours for Australian sport last night), I was tipped off about a, let’s call it “shit fight” happening between two of Australia’s biggest Mummy Bloggers by one of my loyal followers and readers; This evening as I checked out the online news I saw that the fight moved from off of social media and has hit the traditional media outlets. Yes those Mommy (US)/Mummy (AUS) Bloggers are making international news headlines, and some for all the wrong reasons.

Katrina Springer who blogs under The Organised Housewife was surprised to find out that another parenting site had bought some domain names similar to hers and had them redirected to their own website so that they could pick up readers who had entered the wrong URL or simply typed “Organised Housewife” into Google without prefixing it with the word “The.”

Of course the owner of the (I hesitate to call it this but) rival website produced an apology video and the offending similar domain names are now redirected not to the rival site, but to random Wikipedia pages. I’m not going to mention the other site because as of today they are ranked as the 132,486th most popular website in the world and are run as a big business enterprise whereas The Organised Housewife which is currently ranked as the 198,441st most popular site is still run by an individual mum who blogs.

It’s funny, but the most popular Dad Blogger in Australia currently is Clint Gregan who writes under the title of Reservoir Dad is currently ranked as the 620,587th most popular website in the world and yet I don’t believe that he’s gunning to knock those Mum Bloggers of their perch by joining in on this. In fact, it would seem that he, like many other great bloggers who are also fathers (yes Oren Miller, I’m talking about you), Clint is part of a conglomerate website called Aussie Dad Bloggers which is made up of 20 bloggers who write about being fathers, each having their own website but sharing through this site.

To cut to the chase; Dad Bloggers do not compete, they join forces, much like Voltron and tackle this world of parenting blogging together. Well, that WAS until now. Let me explain…

Read more

Is It Acceptable To Say A Man Is ‘Having’ A Baby?

Arnold Schwarzenegger pregnant

On Mamamia’s Facebook page a story about a celebrity baby was promoted with this sting;

This one’s for the AFL fans. Which team captain has just announced he’s having a baby?

And a debate ensued with comments like this;

Sorry, I can’t help but say it but HE is not having a baby. The correct headline for the article should be “Which AFL captain has just announced that he and his partner are expecting a child” Not the current one.

So I thought I would enter the debate myself and added this; Read more

What The Dickens? A Tale of Two Parties

obi won kenobi

Today something happened that you might have had to witness to believe. It was a comedy of errors, one that could have easily have been written by the likes of Shakespeare or Dickens.

“It was the best of times, it was the funniest of times.”

I have mentioned before how my wife works on Saturdays so I am the one who takes the boys to birthday parties when they are held on the first day of the weekend. Remember the day I had three parties to attend? That was a hoot. One of the many Saturdays when I have had more than one party to attend.

Today we were invited to only one party, but I managed to attend two, accidentally gate crashing one in the strangest of circumstances mainly due to me being on autopilot, but the other reason was the strangest of coincidences.

Read more

The Best Invention A Modern Active Father Needs – The Daddyband™

daddyband

Recently a father that I know was out with his child and a mother thought that something dodgy was going on so she called the police who came and questioned him after separating him from his son.

Luckily as one of the police officers walked off questioning him whilst the other stayed with his child, a mother from the child’s preschool wondered what was going on and went over the the cop with the child and asked why the father was being separated from his son. That resolved the issue, but the thing is, this embarrassment or shame should not be brought upon fathers who are out with their children.

I have written about it before, so have many of my fellow Dad Bloggers; often we are out at the park, at the swimming pool, at sporting events, and the movies and the evil eyes from over zealous mothers are staring straight at us, wondering why we are hanging around kids, waiting for us to pounce and kidnap the children (in broad daylight I might add), or worse still, abuse the kids in situ.

But I have a solution.

Read more

Should Male Airline Passengers Be Subjected To This Sort of Treatment?

paedophiles on a plane

This post was pretty easy to write because for the most part, I didn’t have to write it. This morning I was tagged into a stranger’s status update’s comment by a mutual friend. I clicked on the link provided which brought me to another status update by this stranger which was an open letter to Tracy Spicer in response to her “I don’t want my kids sitting next to a man on a plane” article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday.

The stranger goes by the name of Craig Mack. I sent him a private message through Facebook asking if I could publish his open letter here and he expressed to me that I was more than welcome. If you haven’t already, please click on the link and read Tracy’s article first. Then I want you to read Craig’s response below. At the end of this post I will chime in with my own tale as I can relate to this story personally.

Read more

Are Fathers The New Minority Group?

Warren_Farrell_leads_a_group_of_men_protesting,_1972

My most popular (well, my most read post) so far is the one entitled Dear Mums, Please Talk to Your Husbands, followed by What’s The Definition of Parenting? Has The Dictionary Has Got It Wrong? in third spot and the relatively new one 11 Sexist Onesies to Offend a New Dad (and 2 That Are Okay) in sixth place.

When I look at categories that I have chosen for all my posts, Active Fathers is on top of the list with Sexism Against Dads in third spot. I have recently discussed with my writer’s group that my humorous posts get very few hits whilst my activist posts seem to get lots.

And to top it off, the posts with the most comments are the same two that are in the most read as mentioned above. I know why this is the case;

Fathers are the new minority group. Let me explain.

Parents Magazine

Last year Parents Magazine (USA) released 12 issues and 25% of them had mothers on them, with none having fathers on them. Traditionally one might think that a Father’s Day special would show a happy father on the cover, but no, not a single issue showcased dads.

Parents 2013 01 January Parents 2013 02 February Parents 2013 03 March
Parents 2013 04 April Parents 2013 05 May Parents 2013 06 June
Parents 2013 07 July Parents 2013 08 August Parents 2013 09 September
Parents 2013 10 October Parents 2013 11 November Parents 2013 12 December

 

On the magazine’s Facebook page I saw this;

parents magazine facebook 12 signs you're a momNow it says parent in the preamble but mom in the title. And the post itself only has mothers’ comments. Of those “12 signs you’re a mom,” most of them if not all are signs that you could be a dad as much as you could be a mum so the title “12 signs you’re a parent” could easily have been used.

Mamamia Parents

The Australian women’s online magazine, media website, blog post aggregator, and gossip central Mamamia set up individual Facebook pages last year to promote different aspects of their website including the tab they call Parenting. Whilst you can hover your mouse over the Parenting section on the menu and see a Fatherhood sub-header, the display of mums only is rampant on this page.

Take a look at the header of the Facebook page. All writers for Mamamia (and Mamamia Parents) and all mothers. Surely there is a dad amongst their writers who could have been represented here. Even if the page is aimed solely at mothers (but then you have to question why the non-gender specific Parents gets used), the absence of fathers promotes the mindset that dads are not really that important a parent to include, and that their absence is okay.

Mamamia Parents mothers only

iVillage Australia

I have been published twice by iVillage Australia and am very active on their website and Facebook page discussions. Possibly I am the only dad who is a regular reader/commenter, and that might be because of the perceived exclusion of dads on websites and Facebook pages like this.

Take a look at their Facebook page’s header. Recognise anyone in that montage? You should. Some of the photos used for the iVillage Australia are the exact same as the ones used in the Mamamia Parents Facebook page’s header. In fact, most of the writers write for both publications seeing they are sister publications (or should that be non-gender specific sibling publications?)

ivillage australia mothers only

I have brought it to the attention of those who post the updates and memes (like these sexist ones) on both the Mamamia Parents page and the iVillage Australia page that if they are supposed to be for parents, then they need to stop with the (how good am I?) mum only memes and start sharing parenting ones that both mums and dads can enjoy.

One of the pages, I can’t remember which (but I will find it) tagged me in a response and apologised and said that they would be more mindful in the future, and more inclusive of fathers. A pro-dad meme was shared later that evening followed by another a day or two later, but it wasn’t long before they started resorting back to addressing mothers only.

Mamamia (main website/Facebook page)

When the news broke about that mother driving her kids into the ocean in Florida back on the 6th March 2014, Mamamia gave a brief discription of the incident as they normally do on their “news in under 5 minutes” post of the day.

pregnant mum mom florida beach

Fathers killing kids often get caught on these pages before all the details are known. Husbands killing wives are there too. Random men killing random women (that’s not intended in the pejorative way) are headlined too.

But as soon as more details are known, there are endless stories about how we need to end this senseless killing by men. And then we are all tarred with the same brush. All of us men. But not this Florida mum. The fact that a mother was trying to kill her kids is swept under the carpet. It is forgotten about.

Constantly talking about violence against women, especially talking about dads killing mums, without promoting all those balanced stories where modern dads are evolving to be just as active in their children’s lives as how mothers traditionally have been is the driving force behind keeping those dads who are not active in the online community of parenting away.

How can we change this? How can we get dads more active online in parenting communities? Well we could start showing them on the covers of parenting magazines. And not just the one issue every five years.

We can include dads in montages used for headers of parenting websites. We can include dads in discussions and conversations. Instead of parenting pages starting a discussion with “can any mums help with this dilemma?” they could ask if any parents can help, or leave out the salutation altogether and simply ask “can you help with this dilemma?”

Then dads will start to help out with solving problems. Dads will be part of the community of parents, and dads can rejoice in the fact that society is taking them seriously with their relationship and their interaction with their children. After all, Dads Are Parents Too.

To find out more about the featured image, click here…

Seven Reasons The Royal Easter Show Made Me Emotional

Sydney Royal Easter Show Entrance

I took the day off of work today to take our eldest son to Sydney’s annual Royal Easter Show. My wife was working today and the toddler was in preschool so it was another great bonding exercise for me and Master 5.

I had promised him I would take him after a friend of ours who lives over four hours outside Sydney and who we never see as much as we’d like to suggested we go as she was going to be staying with us for a couple of nights en route to spend the long weekend up north. Being only 5-years-old he didn’t really know what to expect but I had told him if he was good I would get him a show bag.

Of course he didn’t understand the gravity of this event. He doesn’t know the history. He has never experienced the old show grounds down the city and will more than likely only ever know the show as it is now on the site of the Sydney Olympics. But I know the history of the show. Furthermore, I remembered my own history of attending, and memories rushed back, sometimes bring a tear to my eye.

There were many reasons why I got emotional today, and here are some I would like to share with you;

Read more

« Older Entries