Working Dads Claim They "Can't Have it All" Either

Jessica Ferri
March 18, 2013

The debate over whether or not women “can have it all” has garnered passionate responses from women from all walks of life—but one group of people would like to remind you they too struggle with that work/life balance: dads!

“For once, I'd love to see powerful men in any field get bombarded with questions about finding balance between work and parenthood. How do they feel about missing the milestones?” Charlie Capen writes in “Working Dads Have Regrets Too.”

Capen is the blogger behind How to Be a Dad. In the piece, he writes that he recently attended the Dad 2.0 Summit, “an annual conference where marketers, social media leaders, and blogging parents connect to discuss the changing voice and perception of modern fatherhood.”

Doug French, of Laid-Off Dad, and John Pacini, founder of the Mom 2.0 Summit, are the founders of Dad 2.0. This year, speakers included Jason Avant, of Dad Centric, Carter Gaddis of Dad Scribe, Fred Goodall of Mocha Dad, Jim Higley of Bobblehead Dad, and many more.

These daddy bloggers have organized into a full-fledged fatherhood movement. So what do they stand for? For one, they’d like to get rid of the “bumbling dad” stereotype.

“The brand representatives who took part [in the Dad 2.0 summit] agreed that it was in everyone's best interest to stop portraying men as bumbling, idiotic babysitters of kids. The caricature just doesn't hold up,” Capen writes. “We do want more resources for ourselves as parents . . . I don't have a uterus, of course, but I don't need mom parts to be deeply and physically connected with my son.”

Ad Week recently praised a Tide commercial that portrays a father as a regular parent. “He's an ordinary dad. I'll let that sink in. He's not a buffoon, the butt of a joke, a clueless child who needs his wife to take care of him. He's not afraid of washing his daughter's clothes, or even a guy who has to supplement his masculinity by doing pull-ups and crunches after he handles a princess dress.”

Daddy bloggers are not only breaking down stereotypes about fatherhood, they’re making a living doing it. According to an article in The New York Times, “while the mom space is crowded with players, the dad space has room for more. So there is big money to be made, both by companies looking at fathers as consumers and by daddy bloggers looking to ride a wave of brand sponsorship just as mommy bloggers have.”

Capen closes his argument by hoping that parenting can become less about gender and more about the sacrifice that unites parents. The fact that more men are embracing their roles as fathers is certainly a good thing, but can men and women ever really be equals when it comes to the types of sacrifices they must make as parents?

Related on Shine:

The Everyday Conflicts of the Working Mom
How My Definition of “Having it All” Has Changed
How Fatherhood Changes Everything

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