Dad bloggers shouldn’t just be categorized as “parent bloggers”

I’m here in Austin, attending Dad 2.0 Summit, and a message just flew past on Twitter and was echoed in a session I attended: that there shouldn’t be a separation between momblogging and dadblogging, but instead we should all be building towards a “parent blogger” community.

Specifically this tweet from attendee Rita Arens captures the question well:

@ritaarens on momblog, dadblog and parentblog

While initially I applauded the idea that we should be a single, unified community, as a man I have to say that I am not ultimately supportive of this being something that we dad bloggers embrace. Why? Because we aren’t the same as mothers. We have different motivations, different approaches to problem solving and stressful situations, and a different role in parenting.

Worse, my impression is that what we’d really be doing as dads is letting women, letting mothers define the role of father, and therefore evaluate whether we men are doing well in our roles as fathers. This is clearly skewed: either men should define what it means to be a father or, perhaps, children should define what makes a good father. Women can worry about being a mother and, in my experience, women think us fathers should be just like them, with the same emotional engagement, level of empathy, etc. But we’re not.

Now that’s admittedly an extremist view, particularly given that I believe the heart of any good parenting relationship is communication, not just between parent and child but also between the parents. Even us single parents: in an ideal world we can have clear, open and thoughtful discussions with the other parent, even if one or both of us are in new relationships and there are step-parents in the picture.

So yes, mothers actually do have a role in helping us men figure out how to be the best dads we can be, but we dads should also have a similar role in helping women learn how to be great at being moms. Fair? And if so, do we?

Even if you don’t want to address whether women should be involved with defining the role of a father in a family, what’s your take on whether men and women parent in a fundamentally different fashion? And if you do think parents generally work differently and have very different internal dialog, concerns and anxieties, should we move towards a “parent blogger” community, or should we retain the split by gender and have us fathers who blog about parenting creating a dadblog community?

I think it’s pretty obvious what my view is on this question. What’s yours?

5 comments on “Dad bloggers shouldn’t just be categorized as “parent bloggers”

  1. Hi Dave-

    From a marketing perspective, lumping Moms & Dads together is a big mistake. If I have a product for Dads specifically, yet there is no “Dad market” to speak of, I’m at a loss. But if, for example, someone were to have, say a blog dedicated to fatherhood targeted at other Dads, perhaps, I would pay money to be in front of that market with my message. I’d sponsor a blog, pay for you to attend an event, or something else that would benefit you, because it would also benefit me.

    Just a suggestion to those who don’t get it: get our of your own ego-centric head and start looking at ways to make actual currency and make a living doing what you love. You CAN have your beloved blog, opinions, and all AND pay your bills from doing it too!

    Yes, Dads and Moms are different. They have different needs and wants and there should be subgroups for each. Sure, if you want to lump us together, go ahead and have panels talking to parent bloggers about what it takes to run a successful business, or the tech aspects of blogging or social media… that’s all the same no matter man or woman. But in terms of who we ARE – vastly different. And we both represent different markets to advertisers.

    Felicia Slattery

  2. Dave… First of all I have to say this is a great blog. I have a dad blog and a friend of mine that follows you online told me to check your blog out. Good stuff.

    I do agree with you about the momblog vs dadblog vs parentingblog. Moms and dads play quite a different roll in raising children. Different responsibilities, different interaction, even different activities. Usually it is dad that takes the kids out to ride on the motorcycle or go cart, play basketball, go fishing etc. Kids know the difference between the 2. I wrote a lighthearted post on my blog about the bouts of depression a young dad may feel with a toddler because they will always choose mom over dad. I think the different perspective and group from a blogging platform is great.

    There seems to be a section of our culture that wants to claim moms and dads, even men and women are not different, but we are infinitely different.

  3. Mothers and fathers work so differently from each other, I agree. I don’t think they should be combined, that’s just my idea though.

  4. I read your blog because I’m interested in a dad’s view on different topics and for me to to find out what I can do different when I have an issue with I don’t know how to solve.
    It’s great to be able to use your or other dads’ blogs for another opinion on things!

  5. I have to agree with you and other commenters on certain topics there is certainly a large gap between mom and dad bloggers, especially when it comes to raising kids. But there certainly are overlapping topics that does concern both mom and dad bloggers and we shouldn’t ignore them as well.

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