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?

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?

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.