Monday, July 17, 2006

The Competition

When I decided to start writing this blog I searched the blogosphere for other stay-at-home dad blogs, just to see what other people were doing. I was amazed at the variety of types of blogs, though some were a bit disturbing. One I did not find is done by a friend, Eric Cope. is a wonderful collection of heartfelt and humorous writings about Eric's family and thoughts. It is worth visiting if only for the amazing photography. The blogs I found on my earlier search were not as high quality. The disturbing ones I found fell into one of the following categories:

The Dad-As-Social-Statement Dad: As far as I can tell, this dad doesn't spend much time talking, or even thinking, about his children. His sole reason for becoming a stay-at-home dad is to announce to the world that he rejects a society that pigeonholes a man into a role of a breadwinner and a woman into a role of caregiver. As the caregiver, he says, he is doing more for society than the CEO of a major corporation, and should be paid as much in return. Somehow, he says all this without referring to any actual care or giving - I'm dubious this guy even has children. Now while I agree that the societal norms that make Stay-at-Home dads such a novelty are at best outdated, the important part of being a SAHD is the kids.

The Greener than Green Dad: This dad falls to the far left of the political spectrum. He seems to want to take control of his kid's upbringing to instill a true love of all things wheat germ. He warns against the evils of disposable diapers and corporations. He even boycotts not-for-profit organizations because they accepted donations from corporations he deemed immoral. No meat touches his kid's lips (anything can be made out of tofu,) at least until the kid is old enough to sneak out and get a McNugget fix.

The I'm-in-this-for-the-Chicks Dad: This one surprised me the most. This guy talked about his son's accomplishments and shortcomings in language so profane I wonder if he's trying to impress former fraternity brothers. He keeps a log of the hot moms he comes across and seems to think that pushing a stroller around is the best way to pick up women, married or not. I didn't read enough to see if he was married.

The My-Kids-Are-Cuter/Smarter/Stronger-Than-Yours Dad: This is where parenthood meets the competitive nature of manhood. Not only does this dad fill his blog with pictures of his kids (who would do that?) but talks about how his kids are smarter, more athletic, and cuter than the other kids in the park, pre-school, or play groups. His kids can count to 100 and pole vault a toddler-world-record 12 feet. And that modeling agency really missed out on an opportunity when they turned down this dad's kids. I hope the other kids' parents don't read this dad's blog. I couldn't help but think of Rick Moranis' character in Parenthood when I read this guy's blog.


Michelle Etter said...

I think those categories are true of Stay At Home Mom's too... but there are a few more that just kill me. Like this one, the "I am so Perfect" Mom: where everything she did raising her kids was the right philosophy, everything she knows is better than what you know, every developmental topic has been studied & memorized, and yet she still finds the time to do the laundry, make the dinner, clean the house, keep her kids clean, and wear designer clothes on playdates that never seem to be dirty. Okay, maybe I am jealous. How in the world does she do that. Seriously, mostly I need to know about the clean clothes. Her clothes that is. How does she keep spit up from getting on her clothes EVERY DARN day. Or how come there is never a mashed bean on her butt, or sand in her hair? How? HOW I ASK YOU!!!!! And just for the record, how come she has a tan and perfectly groomed hair and doesn't even look like she birthed a child? Did she rent them?

EBC said...

Thanks for the plug. I'm thinking that I'll surf the blogdom for stay-at-home dad sites to look at. My curiosity is peaked.

In a few weeks, I'll be back on my Mondays With Benny schedule. Hopefully we can hook up and take the kids to the park/stroll, etc... I'd love to take some pics of your little sweeties.

Anonymous said...

It's really very simple to be that "perfect mom". I'm not her (how does food wind up on my ass?), but I have seen her. Her secret to perfection is usually following a few paces behind or hiding out at home with the kids. It's the nanny/sitter/mommy's helper/etc. Whatever you want to call her, she's the one with the peas mashed to her butt, sitting on the floor singing "Elmo's World" for the millionth time. She's the lucky one as I see it.

You're a great mom by the way. Putrid-smelling shoulder and all. Love you:)