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
24 / 50
Clicking through Portland, Oregon artist/designer (and stay-at-home dad) Joel Henriques’s lovely blog brings to mind the words of 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon: We want to go to there. There’s something soothing and inviting about the beautifully designed site, which walks you through the steps of creating gorgeous and useful toys and crafts. Henriques’s style is modern and minimal, and the projects run the gamut: you’ll find coloring sheets featuring his whimsical art, Halloween decorations, embroidered gift bags, travel-size toys, even a slingshot with “the perfect balance of safety and excitement.” A “repurpose” section will help you discover a meaningful second life for things you’re likely to have around the house. Bonus: Pictures of Joel’s three kids in action, taking their dad’s amazing creations for a test drive.