Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Blogging Father in a Mother's World

As I spend more time reading, studying, practicing, and blogging about trying to be a good parent, I'm constantly reminded that there aren't many men out there like me.  Sure there are lots of men working to be good parents, some writing about it in different venues.  Alfie Cohen is a good example as are a couple of the blogs I've listed in my blogroll.  But I find there are far, far few fathers writing blogs and sharing their experiences online than mothers. 

Some of the fathering blogs I check in on, though very heartwarming, insightful, and informative are infrequently updated. There are a couple of fathering websites I've found, but they seem a bit vacant to me.  For example, I visited and there seems to be some helpful information.  I visited the forums page, where fathers can gather and chat about just about anything.  It's practically dormant. is another example; the forum doesn't look like anyone's contributed in nearly two weeks. 

For a comparison, if you go to many sights by and for mothers, a forum post two weeks old is so buried in the forums it's hard to find.  On the Mothering website forum, numbers of posts are often measured in thousands; on the fathers', they would be lucky to be in the hundreds.  For this post, I decided to search the Mothering forum for "Fathering" and see what came up.  An early hit was for a woman looking for resources for her envious husband, last posted to in July.  There were a total of six posts in the thread, none listing specific resources.  They claimed an internet search found some interesting sites, but listed none.  Mothering Magazine recently listed a number of fathering websites, such as The Father Life Magazine, which is updated regularly, but the community is vastly smaller than that for mothers. 

Okay, I think I've belabored this point for a while.  Why the whine?  It's just an interesting observation, and I can only speculate why this is the case.  So here I go. 

Mothers are still the primary care givers in the home.  Yes, there are many exceptions to this, I know, but I still think moms rule the roost. Mothers are more interested in sharing their parenting experiences, and many, such as SouleMama, have used their skills to turn their websites into profitable businesses.  I know it isn't that men aren't interested in sharing experiences or turning their experiences into profitable businesses; I see it all the time on other forums, but less so for parenting. 

What does all this mean?  I'm not advocating for a secularized, digital version of  Promise Keepers rally.  I don't think dads should all come together and sing Kumbaya  It means I spend more time reading mother's blogs about family matters than father's.  That's mostly okay with me, though sometimes I feel like a stranger in a strange land.  And maybe my stranger metaphor is the reason so few men write about their experiences.  Maybe they are strangers in a strange land of parenting. I'll leave you with that, saving a discussion of fathers in the land of parenting for future posts.  But in the meantime, what are your thoughts?  Let's play armchair-sociologists.  Why do you think the disparity in online presence?

I hear little ones starting to stir upstairs and I'm on pancake duty this morning. 


  1. Just lurking here...I was lured in by the photo of the boxer on your page (ours recently passed)...and enjoyed your posts about "one thing".

    I am a mother who loves reading blogs written by fathers! Fathers blogs are less "flowery" and more observant sometimes.

    Another one that I follow is

  2. I think mothers talk/write/blog more about their children because having children, and raising them still somewhat defines who they are as a person - "Who are you?" ..."Oh, I am Johnny's Mom." It is hard for a mother to get away from that because of gender stereotypes of what it means to be a woman and a mother. Traditionally men are defined by their job (and the title breadwinner) and like you mentioned in your post, are not usually the primary child caregiver. I suppose men and women are both defined by their jobs, it is just that a lot of women did not work outside the home until 'recently' (can 50 years be seen as recent anymore?) and childrearing for a long time has been seen as 'women's work'.

    I also think that men and women think differently about their children and their place in the children's lives (importance, influence). It is not that men are less important in their children's lives, or that they love their children less, it is just that in a lot of ways they are made to feel that their role is secondary to that of mother, and perhaps in some circles it is frowned upon for men to talk about their children overmuch. So I think the majority of men leave the majority of child rearing talk to the women.

    Then there is the whole biological factor...

  3. @ Brian and Becky: Yea, our boxer passed a few years ago. That was tough; I still miss him. I'm sorry for your loss. Thanks for the heads-up about sweetjuniper. I'll poke around over there.

    @Jackie: When I wrote this post, I totally forgot about how men and women define themselves. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Fathers of the world unite? I'm going to have to agree with Jackie on this one, it's just a culture/society thing.

  5. Fathers of the world should unite! Especially divorced dads/non-cutodial dads. This is one woman that would get behind that movement.

  6. all the more reason to keep blogging!