When I volunteered to go first here at Dad Revolution, I was really just making up for all those times I slouched deeper into my chair to avoid being called on at school. I figured now that I am an adult – a father and husband to boot – it’s time for me to start taking on more responsibility. I never imagined a few months ago that I would be swept up by this revolution, but just a short time later I am the first of this motley crew of dads to step onto the virtual soapbox.
Writing about anything and everything encountered by an urban dad on my blog New York Dad’s Blog has been an unexpectedly pleasant way to connect with other dads who are stepping into their parenting roles with a very different perspective on life than our dads and grandfathers. This is not to say that only those of us who write about our experiences are “good fathers” – we are certainly not saints; nor is there a set of rules or level of engagement needed to qualify as such. It does not matter if you are a SAHD, WAHD, 9-to-5 Dad or any other “type” of dad, the importance of the Dad Revolution is a break from the past and a decidedly new way of being a parent. Many of us are newbies, others are veterans, some feel more clueless than others (I know I often do), but we all do our best as do countless other dads that you and I will never hear or read about.
Everyday as a father and parent is a challenge and a joy, none of which you can correctly predict or fully comprehend until you live it yourself, despite what others may tell you even before your first child is born. We do, though, understand each other – on a parenting level at least. This is the driving force behind the Dad Revolution, in my opinion. The dads involved understand that despite all the differences and distractions that might separate us in any other context, when it comes to “Daddyhood” we speak the same basic language.
My son is the best thing that ever happened to me and to be perfectly honest it is only thanks to having found my soul mate who had no small role in bringing us this gift. We do everything for him and wish to give him still more. No matter what I am doing during the day at work, commuting or at home I think of him – even when he is driving us crazy. I am thankful that I get to be with him at night when I get home before he goes to sleep. I am glad that he says “Daddy” just as often as he says “Mommy”. No it’s not a competition, but a desire to be there in a way that past generations of fathers were not, could not or did not want to be there for their kids. No judgement, either, just a different way of looking at and living life. I like to think of it as progress – the true catalyst of all revolutions.
My idea of a Dad Revolution is not about replacing or overthrowing anyone, but rather changing a mindset that has placed fathers on the fringes of parenthood, much through our own fault and neglect, for too long. We are here to stake a claim on our long lost half of the parenting equation and make sure that our stories are told.