Saturday, December 19, 2009

Changes Afoot

Early in 2010, will re-launch, with renewed vigor and regular postings on all things fatherhood. I'll use this space updated with more details as I nail them down. Please know that if you've dropped me a line in the last little bit, I have received it, and I appreciate the thoughts.

Even though posting has been sporadic, the blogroll should be up to date. If your blog should be on the list but isn't, let me know and I'll fix within 72 hours..

In the meantime, you can keep up with me at On Parenting over at, where sane commenters are always appreciated.


Monday, November 02, 2009

More on Donating Your Dadness to Science (and an Update)

Another from the inbox:
I am a graduate student at Indiana State University working on my thesis. I am interested in examining aspects of being a stay at home dad and was hoping that you could help me with data collection. I have created an online survey that I would like to post on your website.
It's legit: check it out here.

Also: looks like The Doctors found their guy: Dan Klass of Bitterest Pill fame has hinted that he'll be the guy who gets a visit from Brooke Burke ...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On More Media Request: Any SoCal Dads Out There?

From my inbox:

I work for a nationally syndicated CBS health and medical talk show, called “The Doctors”. ...

My reason for reaching out to you involves an upcoming family show that we will be taping at our stage at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA on Thursday, November 5th, 2009. The theme of the show is Ask Our Doctors: Family Edition. The show will feature some very special guests, our new mommy correspondent, Brooke Burke, and three Sesame Street Characters—Oscar the Grouch, Zoe, and Prairie Dawn. Brooke Burke does a lot of work in the field for us and the next the she wants to tackle is stay at home dads. She will be the liaison between stay the new stay at home dad and “The Doctors”. Ideally, she’d love to do a house call with a new stay at home dad in the Los Angeles/Orange County area that needs some help in the organization of the household while mom is at work. She will bring a lot of first hand knowledge to the table. I would love for the house call to happen this Friday, October 30, 2009 during the day. The dad will also have to be in studio on November 5th.

Are you able to connect me with any new stay at home dads in the Los Angeles or Orange County market? You can feel free to give them my name and contact information.


Alyssa Coopman
As always, feel free to get in touch with Alyssa directly, and please let me know if you connect.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Blogs!

I'm still trying to make good on my promise to flag as many dadbloggers as possible ... here are some additional ones worth a click:
For more on the At-Home Dad Convention, check out this post from the KC At-Home Dads.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Blogs (and Media!)

Thanks to those who are continuing to send me blogs. I'll keep adding them. Among the new additions are:
And, in the department of media-that-want-to-talk-to-*you*, this landed in my inbox:
I'm writing an article for Working Mother magazine about the way that the recession has caused a role reversal in many families. Because the recession has disproportionately hit male-dominated fields, many fathers are now at home raising children and looking for work, while their wives become the primary breadwinners for the first time. I would like to interview fathers and mothers (aged 22 to 44 or so) who are in this situation. What are the challenges? What are the benefits? How do you work through conflicts? Please email me at
I don't fit the bill, but if you do, please flag yourself to Sara ...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Dad-o-Sphere Continues to Grow

Those of you who were in Omaha last weekend know that I made a presentation on blogging and assorted other ways to reach out via the Internet, and I made a bold promise, given my recent not-so-impressive history of updates: I'd flag -- within 48 hours -- any convention guy who started posting. I got in at 8 p.m. last night, so the clock is ticking. I also have a huge backlog of blogs I need to feature, so here is what is going to get integrated into the blogroll:

As a reminder, I'll put any blog by an at-home dad on the blogroll, provided it is substantially about fatherhood and is regularly updated.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back at the At-Home Dad Convention

I'm without wifi here, but really excited about what's being discussed, so I've fired up the @rebeldad Twitter account:


Friday, September 04, 2009

The New Gig

As some of you may have noticed, I've bumped up my blogging at On Parenting over at the Washington Post. That leaves open the question of what I'll be doing with Rebel Dad. Obviously, the missions of the two sites overlap, but not by a lot, and I still have plenty to say about fatherhood. But in a world where time is finite, posting here may be more sporadic. Please keep the e-mails and suggestions coming in, and I'll do my best to keep posting and (perhaps more importantly) keep the blogroll up to date.

And -- of course -- I welcome all of your voices over at OP. A little sanity in the comments over there goes a long way.

Thanks for your patience,

Monday, August 31, 2009

At-Home Dads get the Dr. Phil Treatment Wednesday

I've pretty much given up on a thoughtful discussion of at-home fatherhood by television shows, but if your hope springs eternal, please tune into Dr. Phil on Wednesday and let me know whether or not he has at-home dads figured out. Here's the teaser:
More than 80 percent of the jobs lost in this recession belonged to men. As more and more women re-enter the workforce, marriages turn upside down while the men become stay-at-home dads. Dr. Phil speaks with families struggling to deal with the role reversal. Why does it oftentimes hurt a man’s pride to become a househusband? And, how do women feel having to dust off their resumes and bring home the bacon? Plus, don’t miss the top five tips for finding a job.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

For the Record ...

... I hired a Spanish tutor for my daughter. He happens to be a guy. At the end of the day, I hope that the vitriol that my column generated won't stop others from examining (and working to get past) their own prejudices. We all have them, regardless of whether we're willing to speak about it openly.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stirring the Pot at the WaPo

Today, I wrote a post for the, my regular gig, about the process of hiring a Spanish tutor for my daughter, and the fact that I am, hypocritically, a bit uncomfortable about getting a guy in that position. That's not a reasoned, statistically driven opinion. It's just something in the back of my head. I'm not especially proud to feel that way.

But I will stand on my record of promoting father involvement and breaking down barriers for male caregivers. Heck, my kids have probably spent more time with non-family men than 99 percent of children in this country. My point wasn't that guys are intrinsically dangerous: I was trying to be honest about something that nagged at me, even though it shouldn't .

So I am currently getting hammered in the comments section, which thrills me. I'm not thrilled to have people equated my feelings to the worst kind of racism or question my commitment to dads, but I am thrilled that so many people are so publicly taking me to task for even admitting to these thoughts. It means there is a huge and vocal group of parents who are completely gender-blind when it comes to their children. For the sake of argument, I take them at their word. My big fear, of course, is that these outraged readers represent a minority ... we'd be living in a vastly different world if no one actually gave a second thought to gender.

The big question that went unanswered in the Post commentary is what I should do about my feelings, both on a personal level and a societal level. Is it enough to acknowledge my unease and move on?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Key Stuff to Know About the 2009 At-Home Dad Convention (Such As: I Will Be There)

Things are coming together for the 14th annual At-Home Dad Convention (Oct. 10, in Omaha), so I wanted to share some stuff you should know.
  • I *will* be there this year, after a few years off. I'll be doing a session on dads and the Internet.
  • The early registration discount ends on August 15. So do yourself a favor and register, like, today. If you don't have the funds, there is a scholarship available. Let me know and I'll put you in touch with the right guys.
  • That's just the start. There's a lot more on the program, and I'll be flagging it as we get closer to the date. Let me know in the comments if I can expect to see you there.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Giving "Mr. Mom" a Pass, For the Month

I was in the video store on Saturday, looking for "Home Alone." I wanted to demonstrate to the handful of kids we had sacked out at our house what John Hughes was all about, and "The Breakfast Club," really wasn't age-appropriate. It look me about 15 minutes to find the film; it was stuck in a special display up front with a bunch of other Hughes movies, including "Mr. Mom."

I had no idea that John Hughes wrote that particular screenplay, and -- quite honestly -- it inclined me to view the film that much more charitably. Because, at the end of the day, my problem is not with "Mr. Mom" itself (indeed, the moral of the story is perfectly in line with everything I believe) but with the continued reference, a quarter-century later, to the bumbling-dad clips from the film. I'm also curious to know if anyone has ever seen anything from Hughes talking about his own experiences? (He would have had young kids at the time he wrote "Mr. Mom.")

So, out of respect for John Hughes, who died last week, I'll refrain from bashing "Mr. Mom" for the rest of the month.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Life is Really Like For Those NYC Dads

I swear that I'll get off the New York City thing soon (it's not like at-home dads only appear in crowded overpriced metropolises), but first I really need to direct you to this wonderful and funny first-person piece, Welcome to Dadhattan, in which a new at-home dad named Chuck Pagano successful skewers everything from Little Children to playground conversations.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quick Reminder: Great Event Tonight at 92YTribeca

You really ought to stop by, if you're around. Say hello to Jeremy. And buy his book.

The New York Times Continues To Discover At-Home Dads

The New York Times wrote a rather breathless account earlier in the month about what used to be called "Mommy and Baby" classes at the Prospect Park YMCA, in Brooklyn. It's the latest in a series of well-reported pieces in the Times that all fall under the general heading of "Holy crap! Look at all of these economic-recession-dads suddenly showing up at events for kids."

What is extraordinary is that the story makes it sound like "critical mass" was achieved in just the last 6 or 7 months, with dads being absent before then. While this sounds suspect to me -- it's not like childreading-dads suddenly descended on New York, like dormant cicadas, when Lehman Brothers folded.

But, hey, maybe we have reached that magical point in NYC where formerly closeted at-home dads are now showing themselves in public. Either way, it's all good ...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kiwis, Dads and Staying at Home

Giving my longstanding frustrations with the Census Bureau's inability to sensibly quantify the manner and extent of involved fatherhood in this country, it's not surprising that looking abroad gives a more nuanced view of what's going on.

If you're looking for beach reading, you could do worse than print out this report out of New Zealand on "Men's Participation in Unpaid Care." In addition to giving the state of things in New Zealand, is a great review of the literature and where other countries come down in various areas. It also nicely summarizes the reasons why dads tend *not* to end as the primary caretakers.

But if you want to get right to the heart of it, there is a tally of the number of at-home dads (men not in labour force, looking after children). Those numbers have shot up from 6,100 in the mid-80s to more than 14,000 today. (The peak appears to have come earlier in this decade.) The "playground ratio" of at-home moms to at-home dads is about 10:1.

Though not huge numbers, that ain't bad in a country of 4 million (and, again, underscores that the U.S. Census count misses a lot of at-home dads in this country).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Data You Can't Trust (And the Silver Lining)

The worst of the summer madness is behind me, so I can now turn to the enormous list of things that have piled up. In the days and weeks to come, I'll be pointing out a bunch of old pieces of news and updating the blogroll.

But I need to start with with Every year, they commission a survey to see how many working dads would do the at-home thing "if their spouse or significant other’s income could comfortably support the entire family." The numbers here have bounced around over the years -- it rose as high as 49 percent in 2005 -- and this year landed at their level in the 6 years that the effort has been taking place: 31 percent.

CareerBuilder makes no effort to explain this, but let me make two overarching points:

1. Men have not suddenly decided that hanging with the family isn't all its cracked up to be. I'm guessing that the decline in the number of would-be at-home dads is actually a reflection that the number of working dads who can imagine -- in this economy -- having one income earner "comfortably support[ing] the entire family" is at an all-time low. This says a lot more about the psychology of the American workplace than it does about the American family.

2. Despite this (and despite the fact that I think this kind of survey is scientifically marginal best), these results show that one in three dads out there have absolutely zero problem with a reverse-traditional family. This findings (if true) remains extraordinary by historical standards, even if the numbers are moving around a bit.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Bright Lights (of Parenthood) in New York

This is a can't miss event if you're a resident of the greater tri-state area: Jeremy Adam Smith (who I love) and Amy Richards (who also rocks) at the 92YTribeca on July 22. Good stuff:

In cooperation with 92Y Parenting Center and NYC Dads Group

A revealing talk with audience discussion on a growing phenomenon among American families: fathers who cut back on paid work to focus on raising children. Explore with Jeremy Adam Smith, journalist and author of The Daddy Shift and Amy Richards, author of Opting In: Having a Child without Losing Yourself, what happens when dads stay home; What do stay-at-home fathers struggle with—and what do they rejoice in? How does taking up the mother’s traditional role affect a father’s relationship with his partner, children and extended family? And what does stay-at-home fatherhood mean for the larger society?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm Mr. Seahorse

At the Mall of America
Originally uploaded by Rebel Dad
If you like your children's books with a healthy dose of gender-equality (or better yet, widespread destruction of traditional gender roles), you really ought to be reading your kids "Mr. Seahorse," an Eric Carle book on all of the fathers of the sea and the way that the whole pregnancy/egg-hatching thing becomes dad-first when it happens under water.

At the aquarium beneath the Mall of America, dads can do the seahorse thing and put on a fake belly that reads "I'm a Seahorse Dad." Corny, yes. But fun.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Local TV Broadcast That Puts It All Into Perspective

OK. It's official. If you are a TV producer doing a national piece and you don't try to book Jeremy Adam Smith, you're doing your job wrong. I love this piece, which -- visually -- isn't that different from the run-of-the-mill dad story. But it makes clear that we're dealing with changing gender roles and that is what makes this trend interesting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Donating Your Dadness to Science

More good stuff from the academy. If you meet the criteria, consider checking it out:

Every day, in the United States alone, over 10,000 men become the fathers of new babies. Surprisingly little is known about the social and emotional experiences of fathers with babies and young children. In an interest to improve the well-being of new dads – and to foster the well-being of their children and families – the purpose of this study is to better understand the experiences of dads with babies, as well as the causes and consequences of the joys and challenges these fathers face.


This study is being conducted by Dr. Will Courtenay, in collaboration with the Center for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Courtenay is an internationally recognized researcher and scholar whose work focuses on understanding and helping men and fathers. Dr. Courtenay has served on the clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and the University of California, San Francisco, Medical School.

Taking part in this study means completing an online survey. In the first part of the survey, you will be asked some background information about you and your baby. In the rest of the survey, you will be asked about experiences you’ve had as a father and with your spouse or partner, as well as your attitudes on a variety of topics. You will also be asked questions about your feelings and behaviors that relate to your moods. The survey should take about 20-25 minutes to complete.

The survey is completely anonymous. You will not be asked to identify yourself or provide any identifying information.


For this study, we are interested in the participation of adult males over 18 years of age, who have had a baby (or babies) within the last year. If you are not an adult male over 18 years of age and have not had a baby (or babies) within the last year, thank you for your interest in the study, but please do not continue with the survey.

All fathers of babies are invited to participate, including fathers who have adopted, fathers who are gay, and fathers whose spouses or partners gave birth to their babies.


Fathers have an enormously positive impact on their babies and young children. We understand this from lots of good research. But the impact that babies have on their fathers, is relatively unknown. Your participation will help to generate a greater understanding of the experiences of dads with babies. We hope that, ultimately, this greater understanding will help foster the well-being of fathers, their children and their families as a whole.


If you would like additional information about the study, or have questions about it, you can contact Dr. Will Courtenay at to answer any questions about the survey.

Monday, June 22, 2009

While We're Still Feeling the Dad's Day Buzz

I wanted to take a second to put in an additional plug (not the first, and certainly not the last) for the At-Home Dad Convention, which will be held in Omaha this year on October 10. Given that there are a lot of new AHDs (or so the media would have us believe), I'm hoping for a stellar turnout.

So block your calendars now and keep checking Southwest for good rates. Registration rates are signficantly lower this year (thanks to all of the new sponsors), and this should be another great opportunity for dads of all stripes to share experiences.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pampers Has Figured Out That I Am a Dad. I Think.

Every year, I give the Pampers people a hard time because they send me Mother's Day e-mails telling me how great it is that I am a mom and how special moms like me really are. It is one of those subtle reminders that society still doesn't see moms and dads as equally fit parents. (Or equally committed consumers.)

But I should note, in the interest of fairness, that I did receive a Father's Day greeting from them:
Hello BRIAN,

Moms get a lot of focus, but now it's Dad's day in the sun! Dads share their own special bond with their little ones that deserves special thanks and appreciation. ...
Now, you can argue that everyone gets this e-mail -- moms, dads, grandparents, obsessive coupon hoarders -- and that it hardly shows that Pampers has my parenting status figure out. But, heck, I give them credit for trying. And I'll give them extra credit if their Mother's Day e-mail next year is equally gender-neutral.

Happy Dads Day to All

I usually wake up early to give a Father's Day shoutout to all of the fathers out there doing right by their kids, but my first present this morning was a couple of extra hours of sleep (thanks, RebelMom!), so I'm running behind. That said, let me throw out some quick hits:
  • Happy Father's Day, Jimbo. Everything I know about loving kids unconditionally I learned from you.
  • Thanks to RebelMom, not just for letting me sleep in this morning, but for working with me every day to make sure that we're making the best possible decision for the kids ... and the marriage.
  • Thanks to all of the other Rebel Dads out there for making involved fatherhood a reality. And thanks to everyone who has supported those dads: parenting is never a solo effort.
  • Longtime readers my remember back when I tried to chronicle every Father's Day story about at-home dads, back when such stories were rare enough that such a project made sense. (I also had more free time back them.) But various folks *are* scanning the headlines. You may want to check out Daddy Dialectic's link round up ("part 1"). Or check out Daddy Types' "Token Father's Day Story Contest," which is loaded with wonderful stories that I would love to mock, if time permits, in the days to come.