Mr. Mom scours the Web

My wife and I, like many of our friends, have fluid roles in raising our son, Owen. I say this in comparison to my parents, or Sarah’s parents who had more traditional roles. (Both moms stayed home to raise the kids and both did the cooking.)

While the idea of mom and dad having interchangeable roles is more common among our peers, it’s amazing how often we bump up against the old stereotypes.

Local libraries still have “Mom and Tot” reading programs. Towns still run “Mommy and Me” daytime activities. I guess the fact is that stay-at-home dads are still in the minority. These social roles have been the norm for so long that even people who know us well sometimes fall into the old way of thinking.

Compliments on the décor in the house, or the family’s clothing go to Sarah while gifts like tool sets are given to me.

In reality, the lion’s share (a good masculine descriptor) of the cleaning, shopping (including food and clothing) is done by me while my wife is Mr. Fix-it.

Then again, I really can’t blame anyone for incorrectly guessing who does what because roles are something we’ve never bothered to define.

When it came to divvying up the household tasks, we took more of an organic approach guided by preferences. Sarah hates doing the laundry as much as I hate balancing the virtual checkbook. Voila! Duties were divided.

Many of our skills overlap. Either one of us can be found preparing a meal or putting Owen to bed. We both take an active interest in Owen’s development, the house and the family’s daily life. We share those responsibilities equally.

Among our friends, this is not uncommon. It’s a bell curve that’s been broadening for years. That’s why I’m surprised at how often it seems like I am a stranger in a strange land.

I’m one of the few male columnists who writes “mommy columns” as a fellow columnist once called them. And when I’m scanning the Web for resources, the pink blogs often make me feel like I’m crashing a sorority party.

When I turn to experts like Parents magazine for tips on raising my toddler, I have no choice but to click on “Mom Blogs” and then I am greeted by links for blogs like Breast Fed Up where flowers abound.

While moms on the 24/7 MOMS blog can “travel this motherhood adventure together,” I am left out in the cold.

I know my friends and I can’t be the only dads scouring the Web for quick and healthy meals and planning birthday parties.

So, I’ve done some digging and I’ve gathered some blogs together for me and my fellow Mr. Moms. Take heart driving that minivan — as long as you got the mag wheels and the big engine!

Here’s where you can find others like you:

Daddy Types

Daddy Types is written by Greg Allen. It is aimed at new dads. I heard an interview with this blogger in a Parents magazine podcast.
“I don’t want ruffles on a high chair. Why does a high chair need ruffles?” With that question, Allen came to the realization that the baby industry was geared to mommies. So he started his blog to help new dads on similar quests.

http://daddytypes.com/

Bobblehead Dad

Jim Higley writes this blog. He’s a dad with a little more mileage on him. His kids are older. He comes across as sincere and personal, without being too heavy. He is a “memoirist, humorist, life observer, cancer thriver,” as he says on his blog. In a recent blog post he defends his son, Kevin, for being a Duke basketball fan at University of Dayton.

http://bobbleheaddad.blogspot.com/

Dad Talk

Brett Levy’s Dad Talk covers a variety of topics, but he often focuses on safety. “My favorite topics are dangerous food, chemicals and toys,” he writes.

http://dadtalk.typepad.com/dadtalk/

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About genemyers

Gene Myers is a New Jersey poet, music journalist and columnist who learned to walk twice. His weekly column is called The Joy of Life. He was awarded first place in Arts and Entertainment Writing by The New Jersey Press Association.
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