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:
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?