Last year, when we inaugurated our Top 50 Dad Blogs list, we praised dad bloggers for “changing the way we think about fatherhood.” Indeed, a number of our favorite bloggers on this, our second Top 50 list, insist our thinking needs to be changed. They describe themselves as advocates for fathers, taking to their keyboards in order to counter dominant cultural stereotypes of dad-as-incompetent-buffoon. (You don’t believe them? Tune in to most any family sitcom on most any night of the week.) Others on the list aspire simply to entertain us with funny, relatable tales from the trenches. A few write to work through the shattering grief of losing a child or spouse.
This list features straight dads, gay dads, working dads, stay-at-home dads, geek dads, single dads, and more. In a culture where the dominant conversations around fatherhood center simply on whether dads can deign to change their kid's diaper, it's refreshing to see these guys take the public perception of parents into their own hands. We are again struck by the variety of their voices and experiences, which itself puts the lie to the notion of any one “typical dad.” A lot of our favorites from last year are back, while many worthy entrants are making their debuts. We hope you’ll enjoy laughing, crying, nodding, and discovering along with them as much as we have. As dads' online influence grows, this list will only become more and more difficult to curate — and that's a good problem to have. If you think we missed any of your favorite dad bloggers, nominate them here. – Barbara Spindel and the dad blog panel
18 / 50
Backpacking Dad is Shawn Burns, who explains, by way of introduction, “I am a dad. I have a backpack. My kids ride around in the backpack.” We love Shawn for his perspective as a Ph.D. student of philosophy at Stanford, as a Canadian father who is willing to get into the complexities of raising two kids in an ever-changing world, and as a guy who can really make us laugh.
On this sleekly designed blog, which ranked #11 on last year’s list, tot-wearing Burns covers all manner of parenting material, from taking his children to get haircuts to brimming with pride when his daughter learns to read, to processing the blow to his ego when she kicks his butt at Disney Princess Yahtzee Jr. (Ouch!) He also gives a lot of credit to his adored wife, Emily, as in this memorable caption: “Emily makes the cakes. I just make them ex-cakes.”
If you’re looking for a charming blog about fatherhood, slip on your own backpack and join the journey.