Being a dad that blogs can be strange experience; I am white, male, British, I have a degree, my hobbies include running, cooking, walking and fishing. In almost all cases I am part of a majority, part of a crowd. As a dad that blogs I’m not, I’m most definitely in the minority, of the 2000+ plus parent blogs that are part of the Tots 100 index my guess is around 50 are dads but certainly less than 100.
For most dads that blog then this is probably an alien environment, we aren’t used to being in this position. We need to shout that bit louder to try to get our thoughts and views heard. We need to develop new strategies to engage and become a true part of the parent blogging community. But that’s our issue and our challenge that we must adapt to, however in my view that isn’t the only issue here.
There are a number of organisations who aim to talk to/sell to/work with parents but in most cases they are primarily catering for mums with dads added as an afterthought (or at least that’s what the names of the organisations suggest). Britmums and Netmums being the 2 classic examples, they state they want to embrace dad bloggers but do they really mean it? If so why not truly make their organisation name etc inclusive? The same goes for the associated blogging conferences, I had to check that dads were actually invited to Britmums live. You should try explaining that one to people who don’t blog.
Interestingly the vast majority of mums that blog that I’ve interacted with are so positive about dads and hearing their views. They’re interested in seeing the other perspective on raising a child and the challenges it brings for us. Seems odd that this isn’t reflected in the organisations we are part of.
I’ll give you another example, I recently received a PR approach sharing some recent research on baby food. It cited how many mums didn’t trust the quality of baby food and the work that this company was doing to dispel the myths. Now I know that most of the time it is the mum who is doing most of the feeding, but no where in this research that I can see are the views of dads mentioned. Are we not important? Should we not be educated on the quality of baby food so that when we pop into a shop on the way home from work we buy the right thing?
The views and expectations of dads by society have changed, we are expected and want to be involved in the raising of our children. When I talk to other dads of my age and generation on Twitter they share similar views. We love doing our share of looking after our little ones, making decisions about how to bring them up, taking them out on our own for daddy time. But it seems the industry as a whole needs to wake up to this and start engaging with us properly and not as an afterthought (see also this post from Tom on a certain high street chain’s ‘parenting’ club), develop new ways to work with us rather than just assuming we’re interested in cars and football.
Ok, rant over. As ever would love your views and opinions.