At the time that this post was published – I set this to be published at 7:00am on Friday 13th February 2015 in Sydney, which is midday on Thursday 12th February in San Francisco – it was exactly one week to the opening of the 2015 Dad 2.0 Summit, aka Dad 2.015 or #dad2summit for those following on Twitter.
The organisers of the event sent out the invitation for those attending to be a speaker and to do so you needed to submit an essay. Originally my plan was to submit one about being an Australian dad blogger conversing and networking with the other dads around the world and the differences and similarities between us. Sometimes it feels a bit like an us-and-them (not in the pejorative sense though), especially when the bulk of the 1000 plus men in of our Facebook group called Dad Bloggers is made up of those on the North American continent, and more so, from the United States to be exact.
I wanted to promote not only my own work, but that of my fellow Australian dad bloggers. Sadly, we were limited to 500 words maximum, and a topic like that would have taken up ten times that. And as I asked for input from the dozen or so Australian Dad Bloggers that are in the group, it wouldn’t leave much room for everyone to add something worthwhile. So I changed my topic and made it about my “journey” into the world of blogging, and in particular, becoming a Dad Blogger. Yes, it was my own little “American Idol” style teaser story to introduce me before I got to sing for the judges. So here’s what I wrote (although I have edited it to update the fact that there are over 1000 in the group of Dad Bloggers whereas it was about 50 less when I wrote it).
When I started out in this chapter of my life I often felt like I was the only dad who was not only an active father, but a proactive father.
I read heaps of parenting books and magazines as well as lots of stories on parenting websites. I engaged with the parenting community online, but it was full of mothers; fathers get shot down or overlooked in these discussions very quickly.
One of the reasons why I felt I was on my own being an active father is because I started following Facebook pages or joining forums associated with parenting websites and magazines, and the mums would always discuss their lazy husbands, boyfriends and partners. And when one starts, a whole snowball effect happens and all those angry mothers come out of the woodwork to offer empathy, sympathy and to rally the troops and join together in a deadbeat or lazy dad bashing session.
I had no intention of being a blogger, but after defending myself after being called out for defending dads, and after being treated like a troll and then was ultimately blocked from a forum even though I wasn’t being rude or disrespectful, I contacted the site’s owners to ask as to why I was blocked, and why they allowed these dad bashing sessions to happen without letting dads defend other dads. That site asked me to write from a dad’s point of view and they published my stories. After I wrote four articles for them they suggested that I write a blog and tell my story.
Not long after that one of the administrators of that website’s Facebook page contacted me and put me in touch with Becoming Dad’s Darren Mattock who told me about the Dad Bloggers group on Facebook and it was like all my dreams had been realised at once. Here were like minded men who were already telling the same stories that I was telling plus many more.
From the stay-at-home-dads to the work-from-home-dads, from the gay dads to the Christian dads, and from the estranged dads fighting for the rights of other dads to the family man who wants to help spread the word for his brother, this group has it all.
To say that I would be lost without this group is an understatement. We cannot agree on everything, and nor should we. Our little community of just over 1000 men is its own little bio-dome or community within a greater community. We are diverse in many ways, but we all come together for the greater good of the story of dads. We all come together to show our love for our children. We all come together to show that we care.
We care about the world we live in. We care about the kids we’ve brought into this world. And we care about each other.
I am proud to be a father. I am proud to be a husband. And I am proud to be a Dad Blogger.
I look forward to meeting not only the dads in that group, but the PR people and marketing people from the sponsors that are making this event happen, as well as those Mom Bloggers who think they can be a Dad Blogger. Pffft. What do mums know about parenting?
I am really looking forward to hearing those speakers who were chosen this year – click here to see the list – and who knows, maybe if I make the journey back the the US next year, I will be able to present one of my stories.
So are you one of my fellow bloggers attending the summit? If so, make it known to my readers by leaving a link to your blog in the comments below.