WWF in Fatherhood? Differences in Raising Boys and Girls.

As a father of two girls there is a perceived notion that you must raise your daughters in a certain way (or at least I sometimes get this impression form the people that I interact with). At the same time, when I talk to fathers of boys, I hear differing things about their impressions and the ways in which they feel that they can and should raise their boys as well.

For girls, there is the impression that society expects that they will be introduced to dolls, dress up and the like and that fathers will support this feminine societal view. While boys are given toy guns, legos, cars or trucks to solidify their manhood. Who says though that it has to be this way? Who says that a girl can’t love playing with cars or trucks? Who says that a boy cannot like playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?

For me, I have always encouraged my girls to do what they want to do. Whether this is playing baseball or dolls, dress up or cars, I am encouraging them to be the person that they want to be while at the same time encouraging them to explore areas outside of the normal societal mores.

As a father of two girls there is a perceived notion that you must raise your daughters in a certain way (or at least I sometimes get this impression form the people that I interact with). At the same time, when I talk to fathers of boys, I hear differing things about their impressions and the ways in which they feel that they can and should raise their boys as well.

For girls, there is the impression that society expects that they will be introduced to dolls, dress up and the like and that fathers will support this feminine societal view. While boys are given toy guns, legos, cars or trucks to solidify their manhood. Who says though that it has to be this way? Who says that a girl can’t love playing with cars or trucks? Who says that a boy cannot like playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?

For me, I have always encouraged my girls to do what they want to do. Whether this is playing baseball or dolls, dress up or cars, I am encouraging them to be the person that they want to be while at the same time encouraging them to explore areas outside of the normal societal mores.

I have been encouraging this from an early age and I show this not only in the things that I let them see and try, but also in the things that I do with them. Thus, whether it is wrestling and roughhousing with them on the floor or dancing will we can’t see straight, I am pushing myself to look outside of the box while at the same time encouraging them to explore non-traditional society roles and activities.

I truly believe that fathers who do this are building their daughters into strong, well-adjusted members of society that will be able to stand on their own two feel and who will be able to decide for themselves in the end what is right and what they will stand for. In the end, that is what I want for my daughters. I want them to be self-sufficient and I want them to know that no matter what society will say that they can do and be what they want to be no matter what!

What about you? How do you encourage this in your own children?

Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When To Fold ‘Em

As a father there are times when I just want to freeze time and not let my girls get any older. I want to capture their innocence and bottle it up so that they will always know what it was like to be free of inhibition, doubt, and the other cares of the world.

As a father there are times when I just want to freeze time and not let my girls get any older. I want to capture their innocence and bottle it up so that they will always know what it was like to be free of inhibition, doubt, and the other cares of the world. In speaking to other parents, I know that they feel similar, and as you child gets ready to go to school for the first time, the reality hits you that this innocence could be shattered at the slightest word, action or thought that someone else may interject and there is nothing that you can do about it besides try and help your child to be ready and willing to stand up for themselves on their own two feet.

The question that continues to ring through my brain is how to best do this, and how best to slowly let go of the reigns that I have to allow for my daughters independence and personalities to develop and flourish on their own.

As Diva-J has gotten older J-Mom and I have continually played the game of give and take and as she starts to become more responsible in some areas, we tend to give a bit more in regards to autonomy, which I think is the nature of parenting. On the other hand, as I said earlier, it is s nice to have your little child, and it is difficult to let that go as they get older.

Many of the resources I found when thinking about this topic talk about the letting go process parents go through within the College years. I am thinking of something different as you might have guessed. I am truly thinking about the process of shedding my presumptions and allowing my children to become the people that they will become. This is not to say that J-Mom and I will not do my best to mold and instill in them the things that we believe deeply as is our responsibility as parents, because we will. Instead, I continue to find that I need to step back and allow her to make mistakes. I need to allow her to fail (which is not easy). I need to let her learn lessons that are not always going to be easy to learn.

In thinking about this, I came across a few interesting links that I thought I would share with all of you:

Today think about your own children and write down your thoughts on when you feel that you MUST hold them, when you MUST fold them, when you MUST walk away and when you MUST run i. Once you come up with this list share it with us… would love to hear your thoughts!

Are you a Dad – Become An Author!

I have always written in journals. I still even have journals from when I was younger. As I have gotten older I still have continued to keep a journal.

I have always written in journals. I still even have journals from when I was younger. As I have gotten older I still have continued to keep a journal. I have found that doing this helps to keep track of small things, important things as well as ideas and thoughts. I find that entries may be formal or informal.

I am recommending a journal to assist you as a parent because I have found that you as a parent you can not only see your own parental growth, but it can help you to assess your parenting and see what areas you may need to work on and develop.
Will your writing always be about parenting, probably not, but it could be if you so chose. One of the journals that I have kept is a journal for my daughters. Will I ever give it to them, maybe. I tend to be quite honest in it about the fears, concerns and truths about everything, and it would probably be quite a few years before the girls could understand and comprehend all that was in it. Never-the-less I still write in it and it is cathartic to say the least.
Many parent bloggers started their own blogs as a journal or letter to their own children. I know that this was the case for me. As I started to blog I wanted to leave something that my girls could look back at and say, wow, my Dad did really love me enough to write about me (maybe this is wishful thinking). As I have met more and more bloggers, I have continued to learn and grow myself in my writing and my parenting skills.
In researching this post I found the following resources that may assist you in starting a journal.
So today think about taking one week and starting a daily journal about your own prenting experiences. There is no set style that you must follow or length that is required. Simply follow through and see what you think at the end of the week. Come back here to let people know about your thoughts about how things are going after the first few days as well as the mid point and end of the process.

WTH are They Saying WOMBAT ROTFL???

One of the most important things in learning a new language is to speak to others in the language and have others speak to you in the same language. Also, in reviewing numerous parenting books, language acquisition of infants is greater with those that are spoken to often.

Thus, from an early age parents need to be cognizant of this and need to instill the importance of communication in their kids.

As your kids get older, this communication becomes that much more important. Through disciplining your kids when they are young (so they can learn, grow and understand). As your kids enter school and they begin to meet other children, every day is an adventure. Some days are going to be positive, and some days will be negative. It is critical you’re your kids feel comfortable enough to talk to you about their hopes, fears, and concerns regarding their experiences so that they can know that they can depend on your support and guidance to assist them as they need it.
Even older, as your children start dating, as a parent you hopefully will have set a strong foundation for two way communication to occur. You will not always agree with each other, but with a foundation built you still should be able to communicate with each other so that you both can understand.
As they get to adulthood, your communication relationship will change as it has throughout their lives, but the foundation you set when they were young will remain solvent and critical for your future relationship to continue to flourish.
In researching this topic I came across the following links that I felt would be valuable resources for you to access.

 

So my question for all of you is how or what do you do to better communicate with your kids? Please share some of your thoughts and tips on how best to communicate especially in this age of technology where some parents have to have a dictionary to understand what their child is saying. So good luck and if you need a dictionary, check this one out!


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That’s a pretty big boo-boo…

The concept of pain is never easy to explain to a kid. My son understands the basic concept of the so-called “boo-boo”. We also try to teach him that by hitting or kicking or biting or throwing things he can cause others and most often his parents a great deal of boo-boo. He has also, unfortunately, made the connection between certain boo-boos and mommy and daddy pulling out some ice from the freezer so now he finds it quite amusing to cause a boo-boo so that he can run to the get ice the instant he has delivered the blow. It is also a great procrastination tool and smokescreen for him to use when delaying his bath time or covering up some form of mischief or other. He even has a very convincing fake cry and whimper down that he betrays by sneaking peaks through the cupped hands he puts in front of his face.

The other day, though, as we walked near home, we came upon a woman wreathing in pain on the sidewalk. We stopped and asked the two gentlemen who were attending to her if they needed help or if an ambulance had been called. The ambulance was on its way, but one of the two men turned out to be the elderly lady’s son and he seemed understandably distraught. We decided to wait with him until the ambulance arrived which thankfully we saw turn the corner a few minutes later. My son had been chatting away with everyone and asking the logical questions that a curious almost three year old would ask in such a situation. Because of the commotion, though, he was largely ignored. Once the paramedics had arrived, though, it was time for us to move on. My son, though, would not budge and was adamant about wanting to say goodbye to the woman and upset that she was not returning his waves and goodbyes. He started screaming that he wanted to say goodbye. I was at a loss. I try to explain things to my son even though some things are certainly still over his head. He had seen a relative carted off on a gurney already once and it had left him perplexed. Luckily in that instance he had seen that same relative again after a few days so he did not seem so worried that the ambulance had swallowed him. He must have felt the same seeing an ambulance “swallow” someone again and maybe he felt that this time he was going to make sure he said goodbye like he would to a stranger getting off the elevator. This time the explanation that the lady felt “boo-boo” and the ambulance was going to try to make her feel better since it was full of ice did not seem to convince him. I felt bad that I could not reassure him beyond those words. Of course, after a few minutes his tantrum subsided and he was busy with his next focal point. His reaction, though, caught me off guard since he had been innocently and naively talking to the woman (no matter that it was a one way conversation) moments earlier and he must have been jarred by the sudden appearance of the ambulance that took her away from him. Certainly a learning experience for him and one that he will witness all too often in an metropolis such as New York, but I wish I had been able to explain the situation better and reassure him that ambulances do not exist to take people away from him, but to try and help sick people get better. I am probably dwelling on this more than he did certainly, but even when you want your kids to toughen up and learn what life is really like you can never avoid the knee jerk reaction of trying to soften the blows each step of the way. It is just my wishful thinking that things such as ambulances remain, for my kid, just empty boxes with wheels that they can play with in the tub while making siren noises.

A Fathers’ New Years Resolutions

For many of us we will walk into the new year with grand aspirations about what we will do, or what we hope to accomplish this year. We call them resolutions, but unfortunately, for most of us they tend to become null and void pretty close to the same time that we make them.

For many of us we will walk into the new year with grand aspirations about what we will do, or what we hope to accomplish this year. We call them resolutions, but unfortunately, for most of us they tend to become null and void pretty close to the same time that we make them. This is especially true with exercise. So many stores at the beginning of every year put sales on exercise equipment because they know that people are setting these goals for themselves. Too soon after purchasing them you will find them gathering dust in the basement or in the corner of the room.

So this year I am making some goals for myself both personally and professionally that I hope to share with my kids. Both of my girls are not old enough yet to understand the idea of making a resolution. I try though to talk to at least Diva-J, my oldest, about thinking about the new year as a new start. I ask her what she could do this year to make it better than the last. She says, play more with friends? This was not the resolution that I was looking for, so I go on to talk to her about different things that people may say in a resolution and try to explain it further, but I can easily tell that it is falling on deaf ears.

In saying this though, I know that I will continue to try and help my girls understand this ritual and what it truly means to make a resolution for oneself. I also hope to instill in them the importance of holding fast to the resolutions that you set for yourself, not only at the beginning of the year, but all through the year!

So for me, I plan to work on a few resolutions this year!

1.       Make time for play. Make sure to take the time out with my kids to get on their level and have fun!

2.       Work harder at not getting frustrated with my girls when they are pushing every button that I have (you know those buttons don’t you?)

3.       Spend more quality time with my spouse (pry myself away from the computer)

4.       Eat more 100% fruit smoothies in the morning for breakfast and more veggies for lunch (limit the lunches out if possible)

5.       Get more organized with my blog, activities, and other projects!


What about you? What are your resolutions and how do you share them with your kids?

Why This is the Year of the Dad Blogger…

There has been a lot of talk this year about the fact that this is the year of the dad blogger. .I have had a a lot of time to think about this, being a dad myself, for me when starting my Dad of Divas blog, I started this for myself. I did it to share my thoughts and concerns about being a father.

There has been a lot of talk this year about the fact that this is the year of the dad blogger. .I have had a a lot of time to think about this, being a dad myself, for me when starting my Dad of Divas blog, I started this for myself. I did it to share my thoughts and concerns about being a father. When I started blogging three years ago, there were dads out there, but most dads were focused primarily on the topic of fatherhood. There were not many fathers out there that were getting into the other things that bloggers do in regards to reviewing / product giveaways, etc. Moreso it was a bunch of dads that were out there to share their thoughts on fatherhood, supporting each other and celebrating in the positive times and listening in the negative times.


Today, this remains similar. Most of the dads that are out there are still the same guys. They want to give their thoughts on parenting, their thoughts on being a father and what it means to them, talking about their failings and the things that they are doing well. At the same time, they are trying to set themselves apart. I think that it is this last point that sets the dad blogger apart from others. You see mom bloggers have been out there for some time, but dad bloggers have been happy to stay in the background for the most part. It has only been more recently when the media and brands have started to see that in fact, dads do have an opinion and that Dads are making many of the decisions in the home on what to or not to purchase. It is not just moms anymore that are making the decision about what to buy at the store, but that there are many dads out there that are now making these decisions while mom does not.

So Dads are playing a much more integral part in the retail decisions, the family decisions. Now, in my own household, I would say that we have an equal partnership, that we work together to make decisions, in many homes it may not be equal. Still though, the voices of both parents need to be heard.

I also think that having a dad in a child’s life is a very important thing, and I think that media as well as people in general are starting to realize this. There are more and more research studies that have been released that show the importance of fathers int he lives of their children. Also, at the same time you are seeing the importance of dads involvement in the self esteem of a child. Being a parent in general is a large  burden to bear at times, knowing that you hold the future of a child in your hands. Whether you are the parent of a boy or girl, the same research shows that as a father you are letting them see what a man should be like in the world. Thus, they are watching you for answers, whether positive or negative (so beware!).

So as a father you are showing your child about how a man should act toward other women, toward other friends. You are giving them a standard on which to consider other men (now if that is not a huge weight to carry around, I don’t know what is). Thus, as you can see, a father is very important in this regard.

So when the question of what makes this the year of the Dad Blogger comes up, I believe that there are many reasons and it depends on what you are looking at. Are you looking at why this is the year of th Dad blogger in regards to brands and retail purchasing decision and marketing towards Dads as a consumer? Are you asking what the importance of the father in the rearing of a child or the importance of a father figure in a child’s life? Are you asking what the importance of a male role model or a male image for boys and girls growing up. So really it goes down to the underlying question that one is asking when asking this question. There is no easy answer, and many times the answer spurs many more questions, as any good question should.

Overall though, this is the year of the Dad Blogger. The Dad blogger’s voice is becoming stronger and stronger and it is becoming stronger because people like you want to hear what we have to say. I see this as a very good thing and something that will only be the start to something bigger.

Viva La Revolution! Onward live and grow the dad voice, onward grow the Dad Revolution!

Fears/Issues of Fatherhood

Have you ever really thought about what you are afraid of in being a father, or what issues really trouble you in fatherhood? For me, when thinking trying to think of eight main fears/issues that are difficult for me to cope with, I came up with the following:

Have you ever really thought about what you are afraid of in being a father, or what issues really trouble you in fatherhood? For me, when thinking trying to think of eight main fears/issues that are difficult for me to cope with, I came up with the following:

1) Bringing home the bacon – I am the sole income maker for my family. What would happen if for some reason I would lose my job, or become unable to work for some reason. I know that J-Mom could go back to work, but still it is something that weighs on my mind.

2) The safety and security of my family – I am constantly trying to think of the safety of my girls (including J-Mom). I know that I cannot always keep them safe from harm and cannot shelter my girls from the world, but there definitely are times when it seems like it would be so much easier to shelter them.

3) Being a good parent – I don’t think anyone is completely ready to be a parent until they become one, and then when they become one they constantly question whether what they are doing is right for the situation and for their children.

4) Caring for / Losing Other Loved Ones – This week one of our neighbors passed away and he was only 57 years old. This really brought home to me the fragility of life and how close to death we all are. I am not trying to be morbid, far from it, but this situation really made me think about the fact that I am an only child and that there will be a time in the future when I will have to deal with this myself in a much more personal way than I have had to in the past. I have been lucky to not have been touched by death too much in my life, at least not yet, and I hope to be strong enough when I do have to deal with this in the future.

5) Being able to learn and do Manly Tasks – I am not the most handy person. When I think of being a Dad and father and a man I guess to me it sometimes comes withthe package deal that one should be able to do some of these things. This is not to say that I can’t do these things, they just are more difficult for me than for some others. Come back though for my next Many Monday and you will see a project that my father-in-law and I made (well…a lot of it was him – but I did help!).

6) Maintaining friendships/hobbies etc. – I don’t know if this is unique to being a Dad, but I find it increasingly difficult to have times with friends or time to spend on hobbies or other fun activities. Much of this is due to work and then being Dad when I get home and then simply being tierd beyond belief from the combination of lack of sleep, work and play. But I wonder whether other Dads are dealing with this and if so how they are balancing this.

7) Balancing the many roles which is fatherhood – Speaking of balance, I find as a father, balance goes out the window. There are so many days when I say, I should work out, or do this, or that, but then life intervenes. I go to work and try to get all that I need to get done completed, and leave work the same day finding that I still need to complete many of the things that I hoped to complete the next day. Needless to say Balance is a hard thing to come by. Have any of you come up with some surefire ways to balance life/work and other such things?

8) The future for my daughters – The world right now seems to be crazy, the price of everything is going up, there are many issues that prevail on the world scene that are sure to eventually effect the US. I am constantly thinking of the future of my daughters and what it will be like for them. What will they be, will they be successful, what must I do to help them with this? Lots of questions, but the answers are still many years off.

What are your top fears/issues? And yes, Moms you can chime in as well!

A Father as a Beacon to his children

I like lighthouses! The pictures that you will see through this article are a few that I have taken through the years. Recently I have been thinking of lighthouses in relation to fatherhood. Lighthouses have played and still play an important part in nautical safety as many are still in working order doing the job that they were made to do – safeguard vessels from a watery grave. (If you are interested in learning more than you ever wanted about lighthouses go over to Wikipedia and read about the interesting history and technology that makes lighthouses tick!) No I am not trying to be morbid, far from it. Yet, what I am getting it is the fact that Lighthouses have played the role that many of us Dad’s have as well, providing a strong outside exterior to safeguard the waters for ship going vessels. How does this relate – I see fathers as holding a similar exterior, sheltering our kids from the rocks (the dangers in life) and a beacon or a stable beam for our kids to reach out to. Now, this is not to say that our kids will always want to reach out to us, but as fathers we do our best to keep them safe from harm. This doesn’t mean that we will be able to keep them from any harm – as we all have had the experience where bumps, bruises, broken arms, etc. definitely are a part of life and will ultimately occur as kids are being kids. Though saying this we (as the lighthouses before) remain solid and strong. We send out our warnings and reach out when needed. Maybe I am being a bit metaphorical, but I think that it is definitely a metaphor that I can relate to as a father. How about you? What do you think of this? What other types of visual images of fatherhood mean something to you or stand out to you? What about you moms out there? I would surmise that the lighthouse could also be used to portray many moms out there as well. Are there other images that also reflect you as a mother?

Planning our first camping trip AB (After Baby)

Although Michigan has beautiful parks and places for camping, there are two factors which make camping not so enjoyable for me: unpredictable weather (more work for me) and black flies (unreal how much they love to chew on me). However, I’m always eager to score points with my lovely wife so I am currently working on planning our descent into hell, er…um our a camping trip.

My wife loves camping and has been bugging me to plan a camping trip for the three of us. Let’s just say I don’t share her excitement. I used to love camping, but as I have gotten older it has become more reminiscent of work than relaxation. I blame this partly on the fact I worked for a residential treatment center where taking delinquent kids camping was part of my job. I left that job shortly after the last fiasco of a camping excursion which involved a combination of marijuana, fake injuries and a near mutiny.

Although Michigan has beautiful parks and places for camping, there are two factors which make camping not so enjoyable for me: unpredictable weather (more work for me) and black flies (unreal how much they love to chew on me).

However, I’m always eager to score points with my lovely wife so I am currently working on planning our descent into hell, er…um our a camping trip.

In a way this could be cool, because I have to basically buy all new equipment. (I gave away most of our camping equipment to some homeless guys I was interviewing for a project. Seriously, I did.) I’m also kind of excited to take Tessa camping. Mostly because I can use her as an excuse to buy the elaborate gear I plan on getting in exchange for agreeing to do this.

Here’s my shopping list for the 3 main items which I believe will be essential for a pleasurable camping vacation:

Tent: With all the crap gear we will need for Tessa, we will need lots of room.

Below is the tent I want:

From Cabela’s, it’s the Coleman Legacy Weathermaster for $240. (It has a LED tent lighting system with a USB port in the light system power unit can recharge cell phones and music player…waterproof floors, self-rolling windows)

NICE, right!?!

However, I know this is more realistic:

This is the Eagle’s Camp Family Voyager Tent for $99 It’s okay, but no LCD light, USB ports or other things that I might actually enjoy and get pleasure out of having.

I really liked that little section in the tent above where I can put my chair and hide from the black flies.

Camp stove:

I have no chance in hell of getting this but it is so awesome. This is the Camp Chef Deluxe Oven with Grill. It’s only $280, but comes with a top burner (7,500-BTU); oven (3,000-BTU), and the top grill has a 5,000-BTU output. Includes thermometer and two oven racks. Matchless ignitor burners. I can cook, so imagine the gourmet I could put together. I’ve done pretty well with much less and it will likely remain that way.

Like I said, no chance in hell.

(Even Hell, Michigan where we might be camping 🙂


I’ll probably get this:

Remember all the gear and crap we’ll need. That’s why this will have to do. It folds up so it will be easy to pack into the back of our Prius. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that little nugget. We have one car, a Prius. I had a Blazer until we moved to Lansing, but since we were both working within a few miles of our house, my wife suggested I sell it. Yep, that’s my story.

It’s times like this when I miss that Blazer.

Finally, and this item is non-negotiable:

So what were your experiences camping with your baby? Any “gear” you would recommend? Any you would suggest leaving home? Please share your thoughts. I’m going to need all the help I can get (And in help, I mean actual help – not beer).

Balance; A Concept That Is Not Easy For Most Dads

I ran across an older post over at 21st Century Dad that brought up some good points on what the challenges are for a dad these days. After reading his post I have to agree that though there are many challenges for a mom… yet as a Dad there are also many challenges that one may or may not think of…

I ran across an older post over at 21st Century Dad that brought up some good points on what the challenges are for a dad these days. After reading his post I have to agree that though there are many challenges for a mom… yet as a Dad there are also many challenges that one may or may not think of…

I especially can relate to the fact that as a working father in a job that has a demanding schedule…I have to continually make decisions on whether I will do things that will further my career or do things that maintain or build my relationships with my family at home.

These decisions are not always easy and are many times not in concert with one another…but they have to be made. I always try my best to balance the two…but find that I tend to put more time into work. Even to the extent of checking in on email when I am on vacation…I know, I know…work-a-holic…that is what J-Mom would say… I guess she is somewhat right…I do put a lot into work…but I feel that this is what brings good results to what I do as well, so I am in a bit of a quandary to this as I truly want to be a good husband and father but at the same time, I feel the need to be successful and thrive within my work.

This is at the crux of the challenge of working fatherhood…and I guess I would say working motherhood…how to balance both without sacrificing one (if this is possible).

For me, what I do is try my best to be present when I am at home. I also will do what I can to check in with the family at least once per day to say hello and take a pulse on the situation (Will I need to provide mommy CPR when I get home). I think though the largest issue for me has definitely been being present and trying to do special things with each of my girls when I am at home in the evenings and on the weekends. Sometimes these experiences are with J-Mom and sometimes I try and give her a break away from the kids. All-in-all I try my best, but I am sure that there are better ways to accomplish this balancing act.

What have you done to balance this? Have you been successful at your attempts? What other advice do you have for others struggling with this balance issue?

Viva La Revolution – Punch and Pie will be served

Hi I’m Adam Cohen aka DaDa Rocks and I’ll be your cruise director.  I’ve always wanted to write it and think that this will be a good time to introduce the humor that will be inline with the posts I publish on DadRevolution.  The revolution is not just a movement but its also a state of mind. This new mindset is so clearly seen in the eyes of tired new dads, its the idea that I’m over my old life and this new life will involve this amazing new child.

I’ve always been a fan of kids… I’ve been camp counselors, tutors, babysitters, so when it was time to start planning with my wife the life that our child will lead I was dancing on the ceiling.  Its been a dream of mine to build a better fatherhood community, I feel there is giant lack of community activities availbility for dads… we’ve all grown up hearing about mommy and me classes, its only very recently that I heard the phrase daddy and me. I think it talks to the changing roles/dynamics of the cultures in which we live. There used to be no other role for a father but to go to work and come home and be the provider, now we have come to a point where there are stay at home dads, work at home dads, and some parts of our culture require two family incomes in order to survive.

I’m a big believer in community as I talked about there is support, there is unity, there is a common thread we all share… This shared experiences makes us a community.  The question is how to form the community while in some neighborhoods that will be meeting up in other communities it’ll be done in an online experience. I thinks been the best part of the internet for me is finding similar/like minded people across the country (if not the world).

In the end I hope our revolution will transcend the virtual space and be we will one day be able to serve punch and pie at a meetup.

Dad Revolution: A fatherhood manifesto

No matter our differences in geography, ages, the number of children we have or whether we are WAHD, SAHD, single dads, adoptive dads, etc… We are simply dads united in solidarity based on one principle: We love being fathers, and want to share this love with the world.

April 4 of 2009 was all at once the happiest, most exciting and anxiety-producing day of my life.

It was the happiest because I got to fall in love instantly with my beautiful daughter Tessa.

It was the most exciting because I waited nine months to finally meet her, hold her and tell her how much I love her.

It was the most anxiety-producing because now that Tessa was here, I was a father for real now. I was a first-time father a month away from my 37th birthday. I was also a first-time father that was going to be a stay-at-home dad. Most scary though was that I was a first-time father who wasn’t really confident he was cut out to be a good father.

When I started my dad blog, Stay At Home Dad in Lansing, this past December, my original intention was to write a living testimonial about my life as a new father and stay-at-home dad. I didn’t really have an audience in mind so much as I was doing it more for my daughter Tessa than anyone else. However, I never expected the added bonus of finding the positive and supportive online community of dads that I have found in the ‘daddy blogger’ community. I didn’t expect to see not only the high number of dad blogs out there (even in relation to the huge number of mom blogs), but also the high quality of content I found in reading dad blogs. This inspired me to do more than share my own parenting story, but to also try to showcase and support other dad bloggers as well through my weekly Dad Blog reviews.

I’ve been impressed by this online brotherhood of dads who have supported each other no matter our differences in geography, ages, the number of children we have or whether we are WAHD, SAHD, single dads, adoptive dads, etc… What stands out so much in the dad blogger community is the comraderie and solidarity we show simply as dads united by one common bond: We love being fathers, and want to share this love with the world.

I’m really pleased to be part of the Dad Revolution, and excited to see what comes of this project. I’d like to think of the work of this ‘revolution’ and the fourteen dad bloggers featured on this site as a new fathering manifesto. As part of a new generation of dads, we are striving to redefine the “traditional” and antiquated approaches of our own fathers, grandfathers and so on. Due to our own sense of self-entitlement and male privilege, fathers have stood comfortably on the outside looking in for far too long. I hope you will join us as the members of the Dad Revolution share their stories about what fatherhood means to them.

The Dad Revolution Begins…

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.