It’s been a couple of years now since I started this blog about my journey into the uncharted realms of parenthood and it’s been an interesting one. Along the way I’ve written about the pang of returning to work after paternity leave for the Guardian, far too many posts about poo and an exceedingly large number of posts about being up at the crack of dawn.
Even though I’ve only been at it for a couple of years, I’ve seen the landscape change. I wasn’t in the first wave of daddy bloggers, let alone the first wave of mummy bloggers this side of the pond but I’ve seen the numbers swell almost as much as my missus has and she’s been at it over twice as long as me. There are a lot more dads writing blogs now, so hopefully not as many blokes are getting told to be a real man when they get upset over something that’s happened to their kids, as though expressing emotions makes you some kind of sissy.
I remember the exceedingly tall, bearded and charming Tim who writes Bringing up Charlie winning all sorts of awards at last years MADs and thinking well done to him at the same time I was thinking a small element in his victory was probably the fact he was a bloke and that got all the mums to vote for him as they were too competitive to vote for each other :)
I even remember being top 50 briefly in the Tots 100 before 1,000’s of people registered and I dropped to a more respectable hundred and something. I like to be part of parts of the parenting community you see but there are some aspects of it I tend to avoid. I don’t like the endless memes that have proliferated. To me they miss the point of writing a parent blog (although I dallied with them briefly I’ll admit) because they’re so many of them now you can do a post a day for a week without having to have an original thought in your head. I see so many comments on twitter about people wanting to write about this or that or whatever that I think do it! stop faffing about participating in other peoples things and do your own thing! Write for yourself not for your audience. Content for contents sake is a bit pointless in my book, if you’ve got nothing to say, say nothing. I always have something to say though.
I’d much rather read one original thought that ten cribbed ideas. Even a post that’s a response to someone else’s idea is better than doing something by rote. You might as well still be at school doing homework in my book.
I’ve seen stats recently that show us dad’s are still in a tiny minority when it comes to parent bloggers, so perhaps there’s still more a community feel between some of us than there is in the mummy world. I dunno, it probably helps that chaps almost always have used the internet for years before moving into the whole blogging realm, whilst it isn’t necessarily the same for mums. I’m fond of saying when it comes to virtual willy waving that I hand wrote my first website in HMTL back in 1994 while I was a student at university. It was a site that reviewed student music gigs called Swing Your Pants and it used the command almost as much as a Geocities page would have.
Still, it’s changing, even for us dads. Cision have a Dad’s top 10 (I’m in it), and there are even some Brit’s attempting to infiltrate American top 25 daddy blogger lists (Tim beat me there again!). As parenting blogs have gone more mainstream, the dad’s have become the niche that mums were a few years ago. I think this is terribly ironic.
I saw the dot.com crash and saw a load of websites I used and knew people at fail and know that trends change and parent bloggers won’t be the flavour of the month for ever but you know what, I do it for the blogging, so I don’t care!