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Where Have All the Dad Blogs Gone? Were They Ever Really Here?

Dr. Casey Scheibling, Sociology adjunct faculty member, was featured in a recent InsideHook article.

Jun 17, 2022

You hear a lot about mommy blogs.

As in, there are a lot of them. Which suggests that they’re both successful and useful. “Mommy bloggers are a unique set of bloggers,” as Elna from the site Twins Mommy notes in her roundup of her 42 (!) favorite mother-focused sites. “We have to multi-task efficiently, have strong time management skills and above all, balance motherhood with business.”

If these blogs (and Facebook groups and social media channels) can occasionally offer less-than-great advice — see this subreddit for some cringe offerings — at least they’re trying.

What about dads? Do “daddy blogs” exist?

The short answer is yes (and they’re usually called “dad blogs,” thank god) although seemingly not in the mom blog numbers — and certainly not with an engaged readership, at least by men. All the way back in 2010, the site Backpacking Dad suggested that “men will read dad blogs when dad bloggers start writing as though their audience is male.”

“The men online don’t care about parenting from a guy’s perspective,” writes Backpacking Dad author Shawn Bruns. “The dads care about parenting: in the absence of dad blogs we were already reading mom blogs. The non-dads don’t care about the subject or your perspective (or at least not in any numbers to swing your audience). So who are you attracting with your writing from a guy’s perspective? Women who want to see what a guy’s perspective is.”

There also seems to be a fair amount of criticism within the dad community, which is how you’ll find articles like “Why Reading Dad Blogs Is a Waste of Time” and “Do DadBloggers Suck?” that are written by dad bloggers.

A 2018 study published in Sage Journals makes a positive case for dad bloggers, but also suggests exactly how the audience for these types of sites might be limited. “Dad bloggers challenge traditional notions of masculinity, construct ‘caring masculinities,’ and adopt a pro-feminist perspective,” writes Casey Scheibling, from the Department of Sociology at McMaster University in Canada. “Despite certain tensions and contradictions within the community, I argue that dad bloggers are reconstructing fatherhood and masculinities in ways that promote care and equality overall.”

Which, unfortunately, might not appeal to a lot of men, even if the ideas surrounding fatherhood and rethinking masculinity are wonderful goals. You can feel the frustration that some of these men bloggers have toward their indifferent audience. “Stop trying to change the fucking subject. You have to talk about being a parent. You have to think about what it means to be a good father. You have to give some consideration to what kind of stroller is best and when to introduce solid foods and whether or not to hold the kid back from kindergarten. You’d rather talk about football; well, that’s just too fucking bad,” Clay Nichols wrote on DadLabs (in the aforementioned “Do DadBloggers Suck?” article).

Potential dad blog readers are missing out. As The Conversation notes, dad blogs can have a social impact, advocating for paternity leave, changing stations in men’s bathrooms and even just spreading awareness of issues such as gender stereotyping, better sex education and protection for LGBTQ individuals and families.

There are also organizations that recognize the potential power (even financial power) of fathers — witness Dad 2.0, where attendees at the annual summit can network with “influential dads, media and marketers” and have an open conversation about the “commercial power of dads online.” That said, the summit seems to have ended in 2020, and the site’s social media accounts have not been updated since March of this year … suggesting (if not pandemic-related) that there is a limit to the influential dad blogger.

One solution might be to look for dad content or influencers in ways that aren’t necessarily “blogs” — I’m not a parent, but I’ve come across (and read) dad/parent advice on Twitter, where someone like David Morris (“Working daily to be an honoring husband, engaged father, world-class COO, and a man worth trusting”) can mix in parental advice in quick tweets (usually presented in a quick-read list/thread) while also discussing issues outside of parenting — I found his account when reading something about hidden tricks on Microsoft Excel. There are also newsletters/sites such as Fatherly, which is as much about parental relationships as it is about raising kids (and doesn’t assume that your child is a newborn or 1-2-years old). And newer sites like Fathercraft are more about product reviews mixed in with a parenting MasterClass — they promise “content backed by research and science.” (Admittedly, that’s not exactly exuding parental love, but rational discourse is always welcome). And if you’re on Reddit, well, there’s “Daddit.”

In the end, there are plenty of dad blogs out there and plenty of listicles rounding up the best ones. No matter your parenting style, it’s likely you’ll find one that doesn’t, as some early dad writers suggested, “suck” or waste your time.

This article is republished from InsideHook under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.