If you are a parent blogger reading this you probably have already heard, and read, much about how 2010 has been dubbed The Year of the Daddy Blogger. And yes, for better or worse this has been a year when dad blogs and dad bloggers have been in the parenting spotlight like never before.
As many of you may know, there have been some spirited discussions recently about whether we, as a collective are living up to all that we can be. I'm not here to weigh in on that topic. I'll leave that discussion for others to tackle.
Rather I want to, at least briefly, change the focus of the discussion. Personally I would rather people be talking once again about what is currently going right with dad blogging.
With that in mind I want to highlight a few aspects of Dad Blogging that make me proud to call myself a dad blogger. If you would, please take some time and share what you like about Dad Blogging in the comment section. It would be much appreciated.
So, that said, here are 5 things that endear me to Dad Blogging.
1. Community - I have been blogging about being a father for nearly 3 years now. I have been reading dad blogs even longer. Lots of them. One theme that I have heard echoed over and over again is that often dad's find it difficult once they become fathers to interact with, and maintain close friendships with other men. There seems to be something about us, as men and fathers, which makes it hard for us to take the time to talk to other guys face to face about our experiences. This is only magnified once we have kids. I am no exception.
However, amongst the Dad Blogging community I have found a group of fathers who, although I have yet to personally meet more than a couple of them, I can open up to. To be genuine with. It would have seemed a foreign notion to me 10, or even 5, years ago to count as friends a group of guys with whom I have never met. But with this community, that is exactly the sense I have.
2. Exchange of ideas - As I mentioned, my being a member of the dad blogging community has meant that I have spent a large amount of time reading the entries of other dad's who post about their parenting experiences. Amongst the thousands of posts I have read, I have been exposed to some pretty amazing ideas and approaches about how to deal with the everyday issues that arise from raising kids. Already, there have been several occasions while raising Lukas where I have gleaned and used something valuable from the experiences another father shared.
3. Mutual Support - Along with the sense of community I mentioned earlier has also come a support network. I see it everyday. A dad will write a post about a tough situation he is facing in his personal life, and instantly there are several responses via his comment section offering support and advice. Additionally, there will often be an exchange of emails, phone calls, or both seeking to provide support. The Dad blogging community is tight knit and very supportive. Especially to newcomers. If it weren't for the kind words of some veteran bloggers, I might not have continued past my first couple of months. Now that I have been around a while, I try to do the same when possible.
4. Crossing Boundaries - One great aspect of the dad blogging community which I don't think gets highlighted enough, if at all, is the fact that those who participate come from widely varying backgrounds. Whether it be differing political beliefs, racial makeup, socioeconomic disparities, or pure physical divides such as geographical location, those differences that we all have get very little play in the world of Dad Blogging. We are rarely Democrats or Republicans, black or white, rich or poor. We are just dads, working hard to raise our kids while and tell our stories. And lending support to those who would do the same.
5. Changing Perceptions - Telling our stories, one day at a time, the Dad Blogging community is making a difference with how father's are perceived in today's society. How much of a difference? I don't know, but I'm fairly certain that with each new post we are chipping away somewhat at those old perceptions, while replacing them with ones of strong, confident fathers. And, with group sites like Dad Revolution, Dads Talking, and Dad Centric among others expanding our reach, we are garnering more attention with each passing day. To me, that is a terrific thing.
These are just a few of the reasons I love being a part of the Dad Blogging community. I have obviously only touched on the tip of the iceberg, but not to worry. I'm pretty sure my fellow dad bloggers will have my back, and fill in some of the blanks.
How about you readers? What do you enjoy about dad blogs?