I guess I’m not the same as most dads. Or most dad-bloggers.
I’m a member of the Facebook Dadbloggers community (come and join us!), and through it I’ve met a lot of great dads, some with blogs big, some with blogs small, some with no blogs at all! (Seriously. There’s a guy.) I get along with all of them, give or take, but I’m not the most vocal member of the group.
I think that’s because my sensibility is a little bit different. For example, I enjoyed the following video.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks the “Dadholes” videos (there are two others in the series: Episode 2; Episode 3) are funny, but there always seems to be a handful of dads – both within the Dadbloggers group and without – who take real offense to this kind of thing. They are usually the same guys that constantly call out every ad that exclusively mentions moms or depicts dads as clueless nincompoops and incompetent parents. Maybe I’m a bad ambassador for dad-dom, but I don’t give a shit about that stuff. It just doesn’t bother me.
I’ve written before about my experience as a Stay-at-home Dad, and it boils down to this: I worry about myself and my family, and not so much about outside perception or the general role of dads in society. Now, it’s possible that I’m being shortsighted. There’s a chance and that I’m slow to wake up to the revolution that I’m already a part of whether I like it or not, like Katniss in The Hunger Games series I mean like someone more manly in a more manly series! Maybe I should be railing against this stuff because it’s detrimental to some good causes, like the fight for paternity leave, and the ability for dads to breast-pump.
Those things would be nice, definitely, but when it comes to my own day-to-day? I don’t really care.
As a stay-at-home dad, I’ve been thrust into a role that hardly existed or was, at the very least, rarely discussed back when I was growing up, and when it was discussed it was mocked. But that’s not the case anymore, no matter how many diaper companies fail to mention fathers in their advertising. And if it were still the case, so long as my kid was happy and healthy and my wife felt supported and satisfied (wink-wink), I doubt I’d care. I gotta do what’s best for me and my family, and I’m not going to worry about Madison Avenue while I do.
The guys who write about this stuff are good at it; good writers who make great points, and my reluctance to take that stand says less about them than it does about me. I just don’t do earnest.
I’m also not going to get up in arms every time someone makes a video that depicts fathers as assholes. Some of us are assholes. Some of us are jerks, some of us are Republicans, some of us are gay. Some moms are bitches and Democrats and bisexual. We’re all different, parents and non-parents alike. One guy in a commercial acting the fool or not knowing how to change a diaper doesn’t mean all guys are that incompetent as parents. And one clip of a “supermom” juggling housework and making multiple lunches and helping find her husband’s keys doesn’t mean all moms are that efficient. We’re all as unique as snowflakes, just because one snowflake gets pissed on doesn’t mean we’re all yellow.
I think the “Dadholes” video is hilarious – better than 95% of the dad-based sitcoms that usually make it to air – but I happen to find swearing funny, and I like mocking my kid, and I like bitching about the many shitty lifestyle changes that come with being a dad. I do it all the time, and I certainly don’t hate my kid or my wife or my life. But I do hate a lot of the bullshit that comes with becoming a parent. Like bouncy houses and “Dora the Explorer.” And I don’t have a problem being vocal about it.
I could see myself having that very conversation they have in the video with some of my dad friends, and then happily scooping up Detective Munch and giving him a kiss and going home and sitting down and actually watching Dora with him, because that’s what he wants to do and it’s easy for me to check my phone and post snarky, swear-filled tweets about while he does. I don’t judge the Dadholes or take what they say at face value or automatically assume they’re terrible parents; it’s called venting. And while there’s obviously a line between loving mockery and abusive language, I don’t think I’ve crossed it.
I don’t see the dads in the video saying that occasionally vile – but funny! – stuff to their kids, so I don’t think they have either. Sure, calling your kid “a mistake” is problematic (at the very least) if it’s said in all seriousness, it’s clearly not the case in the video. So I laughed and didn’t feel even the slightest bit guilty about doing so.
I don’t know the people who created “Dadholes”, but I do know the person who writes this blog, and that person can occasionally say some pretty shitty things about his kid and his role as a father. But he’s mostly just joking.
I’m okay with that, even if you’re not.