I had no idea that my post, Top 10 Things Mothers Do Better Than Fathers, would get the such big reception. So far, it has over eighty comments; mostly filled with hate and personal insults directed at me, mixed in with more hate and insults lobbed at those who know me, intertwined with more hate and personal insults pointed at those who didn’t view the post as if it were about pulling legs off puppies. Apparently, the daddy blog community is real and out in full force.
I’m new to the blogging world. Although my wife has been a part of it for several years now, that’s really all I knew about it up until April, when I began writing for Babble. I had also heard that there was a dad blog community and that the community was growing. When I began blogging, I was surprised to learn that very few comments were left by men and I began to wonder if there really was such a thing as this “dad blogging community.” I began to doubt its existence.
I also began to notice that the controversial posts were far more popular than the posts that tried to put real meaning behind the words. The realization of what people are interested in was more of a punch in the gut than anything. I decided to title a post, “Top 10 Things Mothers Do Better Than Fathers.” It wasn’t my intention to offend fathers. It was written as a humor piece using personal examples from my own life. As someone who really didn’t have any interaction with the dad blogging community up until today, I had no idea that fathers would take offense to the post — especially not to the extent in which they did.
I was also surprised at the very small number of fathers who commented using a tone that called for reasoned discussion on what concerned them about the post (one such reasoned comment was from The Real Matt Daddy — he will be writing a rebuttal of sorts to my Top 10 post, and you should check it out). Most comments were made with the sole intention of being as insulting as humanly possible. Apparently, I’m a pathetic, sexist loser of a parent, and my wife should divorce me, and my kids will be lucky to survive into adulthood — at least, that’s the overall spirit of the comments.
I know that fathers’ abilities change from father to father. All fathers have responsibilities that vary from family to family. Some fathers are stay-at-home fathers and become great at everything that primary caretakers do well. It has nothing to do with their gender and everything to do with the fact that they are there doing those tasks over and over again. Some fathers may be excellent diaper-changers, and others, like myself, get physically sick when poo touches their skin. For my family, I can’t be home to become better than my wife at all those things in the Top 10 list — because of my career, I will never have as much experience as my wife at those tasks. I do what I can, and we’ve gradually moved into our parenting niches, and it works for us. For instance, my wife changes all poopy diapers. As a tradeoff, I do all night-time feedings and I get the eldest kid ready and off to school in the mornings because my wife needs her sleep. Does that make me a sexist loser of a parent? I guess to some, yes. It does.
If you don’t want to read controversial articles, don’t read them — read the posts that actually mean something. Where were the fathers when I published my post about approaching child support with the appropriate attitude? Where were the fathers when I published my post about the importance of pain? Where were the fathers when I published my post about supporting a mother who suffers from postpartum depression? Where were the fathers when I published my post about supporting a wife who can’t breastfeed? All of those posts were far more important to me and to fatherhood than anything in that Top 10 post, and yet many of the fathers were nowhere to be found on those posts. If you want to support fathers, read the posts that have meaning.
It wasn’t my intent to offend anyone, and for that I apologize. It would be nice if we all fit into this nice little mold where everyone is the perfect parent in the manner we think every parent should be, but that’s not reality. It would also be nice if we, as fathers, could come together to discuss the issues some of us may be facing with reasoned discussion rather than hate-filled insults, name-calling and personal attacks directed at members of my family.
More on Dadding: