In Support of Dads: Joining the Parenting Equality Conversation

In May, when my site Fresh Start Parenting was in its infancy, I wrote a well-intentioned post encouraging dads to “lean in” to their parenting roles and to play a part in the parenting discussions. I wanted dads to be involved in any parenting discussion I held and wanted them to feel welcome. I’d just been inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s book called Lean In and made an overzealous attempt to link her conversation to the issues currently facing dads.

In hindsight, that entry kind of sucked. I indirectly reinforced one of the biggest myths in the parenting discussions today—the idea that dads have to be pushed into the conversations because they wouldn’t want to be there otherwise.

While that is certainly true for some dads, I am not sure they are my target audience. I would rather reach, support, and encourage the dads who are already trying to join the conversation but are having a hard time getting a seat at the table.

If you read today’s blogs or parenting magazines, they are largely directed at mothers and are mostly written by mothers. Until recently, the “Parenting” section of the Huffington Post was even located in a sub-section of the women’s column. In an unfriendly climate like this, it can be hard for a dad to get a word in edge-wise.

In ways large and small, we as a society minimize the role of dads in parenting. Many courts do it in divorce settlements by limiting visitation to Wednesdays and every other weekend for dads. We see this in popular culture, social media, and anywhere we look, if we are willing to be uncomfortable for the time that it takes to do so.

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