I’ll be the first one to argue with people who make fun of good fathers. I don’t think the stereotypes many of us still hold on to are doing anyone any good. Fathers aren’t big apes walking around totally confused about all things parenting.
I am an avid and regular reader of blogs like 8 Bit Dad, Ask Your Dad, and How To Be A Dad. I read these blogs because I feel a certain kind of camaraderie with these parents. When it comes to moms and dads, I rarely feel like it’s “us” and “them.”
Which is why I am a little annoyed by this crowdfunding campaign I saw today from the dad who founded Fodder 4 Fathers. He’s trying to crowd source $50,000 from readers to prove once and for all that dads can survive in a “moms” world:
I’d like to leave the corporate world behind for a year to take on the role of stay-at-home parent with my kids and prove once and for all that anything moms can do DADS can do equally-one year to chronicle my life doing the hardest, most rewarding job in the world and doing it well. But I’m just not in a position to do this financially, so I could really use your support.
Fund me so we can once and for all end this ridiculous idea that dads can’t survive in a “mom’s” world…and watch the fun as I take on my the responsiblity
of managing my househould
and two small children.
Okay, so do you want to rid the world of the “dad as buffoon” myth or not? The reason I ask is because there is a certain amount of Hey! Dads are so entertaining! implied with this project. “Watch the fun as I take on my responsibility of managing my household and two small children.” No thanks. I do that all day. That doesn’t sound fun at all. Well actually, it sounds like a little more fun with an extra $50,000 in my pocket.
Obviously, people are free to crowdfund whatever they want. Buzz Bishop pointed out on Babble yesterday “Countless bloggers have openly asked for money to pay for a variety of things in their lives from attending conferences, to adoptions, to funerals, to medical expenses, to finding a home for their children.” Maybe this is no different. He says of his Gofundme page:
I didn’t want people to fund me to stay home, I wanted to see if people would pay for me to put my life on display. As dad bloggers we do it for free everyday. I just wanted to see if it was worth a dollar to people to be, in essence, a reality show for them. If I wasn’t going to posy about it, yeah, it would be a handout. But, if I put myself and my kids on greater display for other’s entertainment, what would that be worth?
I just don’t understand on the one hand claiming your life’s work is to “show the world that dads are not the bubbling
are made out to be in the media” and on the other acting like a dad’s home life is an interesting sideshow. If you really believe that a man cooking, tending after children and folding laundry is the norm – well then what is so entertaining about it?
Basically what I’m asking is, is being a SAHD a respected norm or a sideshow? I don’t think you can have it both ways.