Some media outlets – yes, you, Daily Mail – seek to bring down parent bloggers by sneeringly putting us into boxes such as ‘slummy mummies’. However, I prefer to highlight and celebrate the diversity of bloggers and their views. So let’s do just that with this month’s dads round-up.
Two days in Manchester
Manchester was a focal point twice over the last month for me and a number of my fellow dad bloggers.
Firstly, the ever popular Blog On MSI conference took place at the Museum of Science and Industry. Although dads account for a tiny minority in the blogging community, we’re generally better represented at this event than others.
Blog On welcomed both conference veteran and newbie dads. Lewis from Dad Who Blogs certainly falls into the former category. He summarised his eleventy-millionth conference attendance in his Blog On MSI 2017 write-up. At the other end of the spectrum, Dave from Dad v World talked about Strangers and Free S**t!, while Nige (DIY Daddy) proclaimed I’m No Longer A Blog Conference Virgin.
Barely 24 hours later, news broke of the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. Nige, a father of five, wrote eloquently about how The world we are leaving our children terrifies me.
What else was occupying dad bloggers’ minds in May? Quite a lot, as it happens, covering a broad variety of topics.
Our school system and our expectations of it were scrutinised from two different angles. Nick at Bad Dadu railed against the allocation of primary school places, asking What Can You Do If Your Child Misses Out On A Primary School Place? Meanwhile Rich from One Hull of a Dad posed the question Should schools shoulder all the responsibility? Is it fair to expect schools to teach our kids everything? Or are there some matters where education begins at home?
A different point of view
If you know Martyn (Inside Martyn’s Thoughts) you’ll know he faces a daily struggle to cope with muscular dystrophy while also raising and home-educating his two sons. Muscular dystrophy can be passed down through the genes, so when Martyn tackles the issue of Should any parent genetically alter their child? he is doing so from a position with real rather than hypothetical consequences.
Also offering a distinct and personal perspective is Tom (The Unlikely Dad) who is not just an adoptive parent but one half of a same-sex couple. Set aside all stereotypes and prejudice when you read Adoption: Two years on and see the love of a parent for a child shine through.
Dads and daughters
The name of Simon‘s blog Man vs Pink will tell you he focuses on gender stereotypes. As a stay-at-home dad, he’s a living, breathing example of gender-breaking roles. His posts often take on our preconceptions when it comes to male versus female toys, role models and expectations. An incident while helping out at his daughter’s school prompted him to write about Gender specific colours: In praise of boys who like ‘girl colours’.
Of course, many of our preferences and biases are unconscious. John from DadBlogUK discusses some interesting US research that explores how dads treat sons and daughters. In It’s true: dads treat their daughters differently, John considers the research’s findings and the longer-term consequences of treating boys and girls differently at an early age.
Finally this month, Danny from How to Daddoo discusses the personal challenge of trying not to be over-protective of his young daughter in How to accept that babies bounce. I’m sure it’s a feeling many dads (and mums) are familiar with. Although I’m not sure how many of us could have squirreled a reference to a Sunderland goalkeeper into a post …