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…
Mike’s interview was via satellite with the The Today Show crossing to him in a studio in Atlanta, Georgia. It was 7:44am Tuesday morning Sydney time and 5:44pm Monday evening in Atlanta. I was lucky to see this as I switched on the television we have in the master bedroom this morning while I was making the bed before jumping in the shower. The story came on about a minute after I got out of the shower.
When I get the chance, although it’s not that often these days, Today is my breakfast show of choice. Most mornings our eldest son makes his way downstairs first and switches on cartoons to watch before school. As we are two days into school holidays, and seeing that my wife wasn’t having her first patient attend her clinic until 11:00am, there wasn’t the big rush to get everyone out of the house today.
Although I am not a stay-at-home-dad myself, rather a work-from-home-dad or work-at-home-dad (whichever you prefer), I get to be a part of the craziness most mornings. This morning my wife had the pleasure of coffee in bed “made by the toddler” (yes I let him think he did ALL the work), and I organised what the 5-year-old was wearing (it’s the middle of winter but he’d still wear shorts and t-shirt if he had his way) before dressing the toddler and then making both of them breakfast.
It was because of this relaxed environment this morning that I was able to switch the television on and I am glad I did, because it was good to see a fellow dad blogger promoting dads in a positive light when the media’s attention can often be focused on those deadbeat dads and stories like the current news articles about the dad who left his child to die in a hot car.
Multi-tasking as I do ALL the time, between making my breakfast and getting jackets for the boys so my wife could take the little one to preschool and drop the older one at a friend’s house for the day, I logged onto Facebook to let the other dads in my Dad Blogger group know that Mike had been on national television in Australia. Scrolling through my news feed I stumbled upon Clint’s update on his blog’s public Facebook page and noticed that he was going to be appearing on Sunrise at 8:50am.
Although I had already started work having already talked to two customers (securing an order too, I might add) and corresponded with two colleagues at my head office in Brisbane, I took an earlier than usual four minute coffee break to watch Clint’s interview.
Both Mike and Clint were there promoting what many other stay-at-home-dad bloggers have been doing for many years now; being a stay-at-home-parent is a worthy role for either parent. That’s mum… AND dads. And fathers are no greater, nor are they any worse at the role than mothers are. I expect there are those stay-at-home-dads who just don’t get it just as there are those stay-at-home-mums who are nothing more than a babysitter who just happens to be related to the kids she’s looking after.
Although Mike has only been blogging about him being the at-home parent since December 2013, Clint has been working at this since 2008 which is why he had built up a following for his blog and Facebook page. But as I mentioned, there are plenty more of them out there including, but not limited to Daddy’s Grounded, Dad On The Run, Dadding Full Time, Daddy’s In Charge, The Daddy Doctrines, Dad n’ Charge, A Blogger and a Father, At Home Dad Matters, and one of my personal favourites, I Hope I Win a Toaster.
There are many more blogs I could have mentioned, but this was a list off the top of my head with some of the blogs I read regularly and guys who I network with even though they often come across as super whiny dads that need therapy and need to talk out their feelings (that’s an in joke, which I’m sure my fellow Dad Bloggers will be having a bit of a laugh at right now).
But in all seriousness, just like mums feel the need to, dads who stay at home with their kids all day need to release some of that stress and I expect that’s done the same way stay-at-home-mums do; sitting in front of the television with a glass of wine in one hand and chocolate in the other (or are those memes being shared by mums merely for the sake of humour?)
So why is this a big deal for stay-at-home-dads? Because being the stay at home parenting is as rewarding for dads as it is for mums. Because being the stay at home parenting is as tough for dads as it is for mums. Because being the stay at home parenting is as great a role in society for dads as it is for mums. Because being the stay at home parenting is as great a role in their families for dads as it is for mums.
But don’t take my word for it, for I am NOT a stay-at-home-dad. But all those dads who write those blogs I mentioned plus many more are out there being great parents to their kids, even though they are still fighting against those with the opinion that dads should be the breadwinner, and mums should do the childrearing. Society, if that’s your opinion, you have got it wrong. You are living in the past man. Stop it.
So go on, read them. And seek out more. And I encourage any of my fellow bloggers who are stay-at-home-dads and want to link their blogs here to leave a comment with a link to your home page. Better still, share a link to one of your best blog posts about being a stay-at-home-parent. You guys rock.
And for all those other readers, if you click on no other link, at least click on this one and read the story about the Green Ball of Gratitude by Bill of I Hope I Win a Toaster. It is a work of art.Footnote: Clint was also on The Morning Show on Channel 9 later in the morning but I was entrenched in being the breadwinner for my family. And whilst that might sound like a slap in the face, it’s just me being jealous because I would have loved the opportunity to be a stay-at-home-dad if my wife made more than me. You see, it IS something dads can aspire to being… Footnote 2: Header photo courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald and Channel 9’s House Husbands. Edit: Here are the links to both interviews; Here is the one with Mike on the Today Show. Here is the one with Clint on Sunrise.