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
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Mike Spohr, a copywriter-cum-stay-at-home dad and husband of mom-blogging fixture Heather Spohr, appeared at #24 on this list last year under the blog name The Newborn Identity. He had begun blogging when his first child, Maddie, was born in November of 2007. Months premature, Maddie survived a long stint at the NICU and was at home and thriving when a sudden and severe respiratory infection claimed her life in April 2009.
Spohr now has another daughter, two-year-old Annie, and another baby on the way. He writes about parenthood with all requisite joy, but he will always carry a torch for Maddie. His experience of fatherhood, filtered through his profound loss, has helped many readers process their own grief. But more often than not, he makes us smile, as with a recent post about how simple Annie’s Christmas-gift requests are now and how impossible they might one day become (“a unicorn for the backyard?”). We’re sure if there’s any way for him to get that unicorn, he will.