OUR TOP DADDY BLOGS
Stay at home dads on the rise
With SAHDs (stay-at-home dads) on the rise, daddy blogs are still few and far between. Mums have been blogging about motherhood for over a decade at least - mommasaid.net claims to be the oldest, going live back in 2003. So how come men blogging about fatherhood still seems a relatively new?
Once you crunch the numbers, SAHDs are only 6% of the UK population who are "economically inactive due to solely caring for dependant children at home"; compared with 45% of women "economically inactive" looking after kids at home.*
A study by Aviva and the UK National Office of Statistics found that there were ten times more stay-at-home dads in 2009, than in 2000. In real numbers, that's a growth from 60,000 to 600,000. So, even if they're only 6%, a ten-fold increase is inspiring.
Although these daddy bloggers don't seem to have the same contentions around working vs. not working, their mutual experiences and different perspectives draw just as many female readers as males - sometimes more.
Because, just like us mums, SAHDs are a mixture of full-time carers by choice, full-time carers by circumstance, work-from-home and part-timers. In the above study 18% of UK parents who share childcare.
Over in theUSA, the number of stay-at-home dads more than doubled in the last twenty years from 1.1million in 1989 to 2million in 2012 (that's 16%) though stay-at-home mothers still make up 29% (10.4million) of theUS population.
Other studies have pitched American stay-at-home dads much lower, but it's worth noting that in the US there may be a disparity between some the statistics, due to the way census information is collected and collated and because the SAHDs who work from home around nap times, school, nursery, etc do not fall under the label: "economically inactive due to solely caring for dependant children at home".
Had enough numbers flung at you?!
Where are all the awesome dad blogs?
There are not nearly as many daddy blogs as mummy ones, but they are out there - with some distinctive voices and commentary. So I've gone out (metaphorically speaking) and hunted down some of the best dad blogs around, both here in the UK and the US.
BritMums, the UK's largest collective of bloggers, have a great Dad Blog Round-ups collection. So that's where I started, leaping into a world of economics, teen boys bedding and tantrums.
I am inspired by what I've found - refreshing, sincere and witty individuals relating their experiences and opinions, plus some fascinating communities too. Let's dive in...
The top 17 daddy blogs, no. 1-7: The Stateside Seven (USA)
1. The Good Men Project * Star points for exploring gender topics*
A quick search under "gender neutral" on The Good Men Project yielded 1,040 results. The Good Men Project covers a spectrum of topics and has dedicated Dad's & Families writers. Though they claim not to endorse every single word on their website, they do have core anti-discrimination values and discuss "what it means to be a man in the 21st Century". Founded by Tom Matlack in 2009, it's now a fully-fledged media company and social platform with lots of writers.
2. Life of Dad
Tommy Riles started blogging in 2008, just 30 hours after his daughter was born. His family's inspirational journey was shared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show - his daughter has a heart defect and she powered through life-saving surgery at just three days old. Over the years, Life of Dad has become a social network for fathers, with multiple blogs, videos and podcasts, and no less that 88.5K facebook fans! Tommy and co-founder Ryan E. Hamilton are no doubt very proud. FYI, there's not much gender neutral / bias related content on here, but they have a huge network of interesting dad bloggers.
3. Designer Daddy
Award-winning graphic designer, Brent Almond started blogging after he and his husband adopted their son in 2010. His intentions were to keep his blog design focused, but he ended up blogging about far more: from general parenthood and stuff his kid loves to LGBT topics and pop culture. One of his most talked about (and amusing) posts has to be Is being a dad turning me straight?
4. Mr Doug French
Trailblazer Doug French began his writing life under the title "Laid-Off Dad" in 2003 and never believed he would find so many like-minded parents or that it would lead him into co-founding the influential media company, XY Media Group in 2011, and then the Dad 2.0 Summit in 2012. He blogs about life, business, film, books and co-parenting post divorce.
5. How to be a dad
A silly-slash-honest blog from Charlie Capen and Andy Herald, filled with puns and amusing "instructional diagrams" like Zombie vs. Baby and a long list of sleep positions, such as "The Roundhouse Kick" and "Donkey Kong" (which were collated into a book and published in 2013). My all-time favourite post has to be their 36 Toddler Hide-and-Seek Masters! Not Really.
6. Lunch Box Dad
Don't you dare let your kids get this website in their line of sight! I'm serious. Beau has three kids, works full-time and somehow manages to squeeze in creating amazing packed lunches and blogging about them! Do not go here if you're having a bad day - you'll berate yourself for being a neglectful parent. If you think you can handle it, check out this post where he collates the top Star Wars themed lunches whipped up by him and his peers. They're so cool, but you'll hate yourself afterwards - you've been warned!
7. Dad and Buried * Star points for Gender topics*
Stay at home dad, Mike Julianelle, from Brooklyn, NY, blogs truthfully about raising his son on his (often sweary) virtual diary: Dad and Buried. In this post he reflects on the moment he stopped being angry at people assuming his son was a girl (due to his long curly locks) and started contemplating his kids "veering outside the lines of stupid, often arbitrary, gender assignations" - sparking 127 comments.
The top 17 daddy blogs, no. 8 - 17: The UK ConTENders
8. BritMums Dad Blog Round-ups
As mentioned earlier, BritMums wield a huge amount of parental media influence, as well as being a great support and promotional network for UKparent bloggers. Susanna Scott and Jennifer Howze launched the BritMums social network in 2008. Their regular round-ups cover all sorts of topics, from mental health to arts to politics and their first Dad Blog Round-up appeared in 2012. They also host annual a Brilliance in Blogging Awards and hold a live conference inLondon every year.
Sally Whittle put together a list of 100 great blogs by parents in 2009 on her personal blog, Who's the Mummy. Now Tots100 boasts a community of 8,500 UKparent bloggers, subscription-based directory for brands, BlogCamp events, conferences and their annual awards - the MADs (Mum and Dad Blog Awards). Every month they continue to index via the special ranking system, bloggers covering all topics who happen to be UKparents. Men account for 8% of their community and, yes, they've compiled their own Tots top 10 dad blogs.
10. The Dad Network
Founded by Al Ferguson and his wife Jen (and son Ted), The Dad Network is a community of writers blogging about sport, gadgets and fatherhood - their tagline is: "cos dads have babies too". Al shot to fame in September 2014, when he uploaded this photo taken during a professional photoshoot, capturing a classic family moment. Ah, those first early months of projectile bodily fluids - sweet memories! It will no doubt follow Ted around like a bad smell (pardon the pun) for the rest of his childhood. Us parents treasure those embarrassing photos - or in my case a particular video - to be presented to future girl/boyfriends. Mwahahaha.
11. Northern Dad *My favourite!*
Northern Dad is my personal favourite out of all the independent blogger dads on this list. Julian Boffin brings his sardonic sense of humour as he writes about the minutia of daily family life - from his pet hates (using the stairs as shelves) to tips on which type of flame retardant suit to wear when changing your pre-teen boy's bedding. Even if you're not feeling particularly glum, his blog will make you laugh out loud. Normally I'd warn against reading super-funny stuff in public places, but once you're a parent, you soon get beyond public embarrassment. So if you've had one of those vomit-smeared-crayon-handrail-on-the-walls-expensive-face-cream-in-the-carpet-I'm-still-wearing-my-pjs-at-5pm days, get a hit of Northern Dad.
Shortlisted for BritMums' Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2015
12. Dad Blog UK * Star points for exploring gender topics*
John Adams writes for Huffington Post, BritMums and InsideMAN and on this own website, he blogs product reviews, including a "Baby change facility of the week" column. He also talks about his equality issues, family finances, days out and his experience as a stay-at-home dad. He's even published a book called A modern father (...and dad blogger). In this post he talks about his shock the first time his daughter said "That's for boys".
Shortlisted for BritMums' Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2015
13. Daddy Dazed
TV producer, Glenn Barden has been blogging since 2006. Narrating his and, wife, Iza's journey through two tough cycles of IVF and, subsequent parenting of baby Maia gets pretty deep. But he has plenty of silliness thrown in for good measure. He wrote a very touching article (also published in The Times) about the pre-IVF years of disappointment, the rollercoaster of IVF and the birth of his daughter
14. Becoming Pappy
Rob blogs about being a full-time stay-at-home dad, things that effect a family with two dads, the adoption story of their two kids, their first 100 days as a family and "Adventures at the breakfast table". To break the ice on the very first night their kids slept at their house, Rob and his partner came up with an impromptu idea... Each night they create a scene with their kids' toys and homemade props, to the delight of their bouncing bundles: "Adventures at the breakfast table" was born. It's sparked interest in the daily newspapers, across the globe and with the BAAF (British Association of Adoption and Fostering).
15. 4 Relative Strangers
Another stay-at-home gay dad, James Williams, writes about his family of four: two gay dads + two adopted children and all the challenges, fun and wonder that comes with it. He writes some very honest and moving posts, sometimes about the issues that can arise from being a gay dad, like his 9yr old son being ashamed of him or problems cropping up at school. 4 Relative Strangers is also sprinkled with many happy times - like their wedding celebrations. Expect to see a book, of the same name, out soon!
16. Love All Dads
Darren Coleshill started his personal blog OneDad3Girls in late 2011, focused around photography, family, arts & crafts projects and parenting. In 2013 he started LoveAllDads, which showcases blogs by fathers, has a community forum and a weekly podcast, where Darren AKA @OneDad3Girls is joined by three other blogging fathers: Lewis AKA @DadWhoBlogs, John Arnold AKA @FloydUK and Tom Briggs AKA @DiaryOfTheDad, where they talk about all sorts of stuff mostly dad related.
17. Man vs. Pink Buried *Star points for exploring gender topics*
Finally, we can't miss out our friend and contributor Man vs. Pink. Former TV producer, Simon mixes freelancing with being a stay-at-home dad. He talks about feminism, raising his daughter, parenting and sci-fi related geekery on his blog. He also guest blogs for us about railing against a colour coded childhood.
Bonus: Special Mentions from Australia
Big Kid Little Kid *Star points for exploring gender topics*
David Hawkins started Big Kid Little Kid as a mission to get dads to do out-of-the-ordinary activities with their kids. They explore a huge range of topics from DIY to tech to health and, of course, fatherhood. Check out his post about people's reactions when his toddler began wearing his sister's pink hand-me-down trainers: Will pink shoes ruin my sons chance of being an astronaut.
Beard and Bug *Star points for exploring gender topics*
On Dan Lister's brand new blog, he writes about becoming a dad whilst trying to keep his beard lush and shiny. He also happens to post lots of atmospheric photos and blogs about music, fashion and culture too. Read how he dreaded announcing they were having a girl, because he just can't stand the whole "pretty dresses & princesses only" attitude. We're a fan!
We're always interested in hearing dad's perspectives here on our blog - if you'd like to write for us, email: email@example.com with your submission proposal.
Do you have a favourite daddy blog? We'd love to be introduced! Give them a shout out in the comments below.
Jeda Pearl is a freelance writer and content creator. She loves working with words and championing people who are passionate about their business. She moonlights as a mum of two. Connect with her at www.jedapearl.com
Images: Matthew Thomson photography