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 Fatherville.com 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. GreatDad.com 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.