Mothering welcomes Dads

I (and other blogging Dad’s) have bemoaned about the complete absence of mass magazines aimed at Dads before, so I perked up when my wife handed me this month’s issue of Mothering magazine and told me to read the editorial by Peggy O’Mara.

The gist of the article is that O’Mara has come to the realization that Mothering magazine hasn’t always been a Dad friendly place and she wants to change that in the face of the changing role of Dad’s.

One of these fathers e-mailed me some time ago to say that he and some of his friends, many of them stay-at-home dads, felt left out of Mothering‘s coverage, even condescended to. Though at first I felt defensive—it is not my intention to exclude dads from the magazine’s coverage—I suspected that this young father was telling me something I needed to hear.

I replied to him, saying that while we didn’t intend to leave out fathers, Mothering is, after all, as its name suggests, an intimate conversation among mothers. I also pointed out that if women can take pride in reading men’s magazines, and even brag that they “like the interviews,” then fathers can take pride in reading a mothers’ magazine. This was evidently not the answer he was looking for—I never heard back from him, and I suspect he felt patronized once again.

Some months after this e-mail exchange, I was speaking at a breastfeeding conference in Albuquerque. During the question-and-answer period, a man in the back—I think he was the only man in the room—said to me, as he held up a copy of the magazine, “There are no pictures of men in here.” Others tried to hush him up. Later, I looked through the entire issue to see if he was right. He was.

O’Mara then goes on to say some nice things about the change face of Dad’s.

There is a new generation of fathers who are not second-class parents to their wives. They are fully present and know what to do. Just like mothers, they have to figure things out for themselves and learn from their mistakes, but more of them than ever are willing to show up and get involved.

As I read O’Mara’s responses to Dads who brought up the lack of inclusion in their magazine over the years, I felt an emotion somewhere between annoyance and anger at her patronizing responses. I commended her for doing an about face attitude adjustment realizing that, like Moms, we too desire to have those types of intimate conversations about what it means to be a parent that Mothering has been facilitating between women for years.

Okay, I hear you – the name of the magazine is Mothering so why should I expect that there be any mention of Dad’s at all? Well, because I think of Mothering as being something different, something more progressive than the likes of Today’s Parent. And as such, I like to think that those with a progressive voice are open to the idea of inclusion of those who have traditionally been seen as outsiders. And, let’s face it, Dad’s have long been seen as the outsiders in the parental arena.

So, good on you, Mothering, for realizing that there has been an imbalance. And I hope your attempts to correct it by (among other things) recruiting one from the ranks of us Daddy bloggers, Daddy Dialectic’s Jeremy Adam Smith, to help fill in the missing Daddy pieces, is embraced by the Dad’s out there who are involved and want to be part of a larger community of like minded people. I think when you get to know us, you’ll find that, while our styles may be different, we’re just as committed, capable, compassionate and caring as your primary audience.

4 responses to “Mothering welcomes Dads

  1. I’m always amazed at the lack of awareness in our culture of the unique way that fathers nurture their children. We have to find that balance of nurturing through action and attention, yet where are the role models for men as fathers? Not a Hollywood stereotype or fall-guy (Fred Flintstone, Married with Children, the Simpsons), but really connected and committed fathers?
    Mothering’s popular in my community, and there isn’t a comparable resource for fathers. Men who are very involved in their kid’s lives would certainly benefit from a “Fathering” magazine…

  2. I’d be on that subscription list, d_man. Fortuantly there is the web and other Daddy bloggers like yourself out there that make it easier to connect.

    You do raise a great point. Who are the role models for Dads today? The Family Guy? Gene Simmons? Off hand, there ain’t much to choose from.

  3. I love your blog post. This is 100% true. You can not find many good resources out there for fathers. I am a soon to be father who is expecting his first in October, and I need all the help I can get. I recently created a website over at http://www.justdaddys.net that is a place where fathers both new and veteran can come and trade thoughts, advice, and stories. I wanted to create a community of fathers for fathers that could act as this missing resource. Its still very new and only a small community. After coming across your blog and reading it, I would love to have someone like you get in on the ground and get involved as a community leader and resource. If you have any questions or would like to email me please feel free. Thanks, and see you on the boards.

    Jason
    DaddyKV

  4. Anthony Gallo

    “A Father’s Right” by Anthony Gallo @ Barnes&Noble.com, Amazon.com, 1800AUTHORS, (anthonygallo.exploretalent.com).

    I am angry with Obamas Fathers Day Speech. He spoke of family structure, and how the fathers need to be more responsible. He never made any mention to the problem that exists in everyones mind. We all know about the family courts incomtence, ignorance and discriminating ways towards fathers.

    I have a solution for Obama……………..fix the faulty family court system, and more fathers will stick around, it’s that easy. I also felt alone during this process, no place to turn to for fathers struggling when their children are taken completely out of their lives (many places for women) It’s easy to talk “Change”, we need to address it, not ignore it Obama.

    Anthony Gallo

    FathersRight@yahoo.com