Thursday, March 31, 2005

Returning to normalcy. Here is some of the geekery I promised: When launched, long ago and far away, with an ugly URL and an even uglier color scheme, it was intended as a resource. I wanted the site to be the best possible reference for current at-home dad media mentions.

There was hardly any at-home dad blogosphere to speak of then, unlike the large and growing list at right (which has grown again today; more on that in a moment) and so I did not begin tracking in detail what was said across the blog world. Now, at-home dad blogs are too numerous to track all of the different conversations. Luckily, new tools are emerging that will make it easier to keep tracks of your favorite SAHD blogs. I'd like to highlight two.

1. is a "social bookmark" network that allows everyone to see your bookmarks. This is interesting. But what's really interesting is that you can add a one-word "tag" that people can also search under. In short, I can see every bookmark from every user tagged "SAHD." It's a small list now, but as I (and, hopefully others) add "SAHD" links, the list will expand to be much more comprehensive than the one I maintain on this site. So if you're already a user, I'd encourage you to begin using the SAHD tag. And if you're not, it might be something worth noodling with. (Furl also does something similar, but I haven't tackled it yet. And Flickr does the same for photos, but there aren't any good SAHD applications I can think of. Yet.)

2. Technorati also tracks tags -- but rather than bookmark tags, it tracks tags placed within blogs by the bloggers themselves. I've established a tag there, too, and I'd encourage at-home dad bloggers to start using the SAHD tag. Anyone looking for more info can track me down; I'll try to better explain why I think this is cool.

If you want to remain retro, keep referring to my expanding list of at-home dads. Newcomers include so-to-be-at-home-dad Mr. Nice Guy, Not In Kansas Anymore, which I've failed to add once before (a thousand apologies) and Poppa Large. At some point, I'll alpha the list; it's getting a bit long to continue to organize it randomly.

(As always, let me know if you want on the list. I keep it restricted to self-described at-home dads, though there are other dad blogs out there that don't make the list that you should probably be reading. If you meet the criterion, drop me a line.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm still here. I'm swamped. It's a long story. But I should be back with some new blogs for the blogroll, some new media mentions and some general geekery.

Friday, March 25, 2005

I take back every bad thing I've ever said about Michael Keaton as "Mr. Mom":
Michael Keaton's "Mr. Mom" character edges out Clair Huxtable from "The Cosby Show," 34 percent to 32 percent, as the TV or movie mother whom respondents would most like to care for them when they are home sick. Teri Hatcher's Susan Mayer from ABC's "Desperate Housewives" came in third with 17 percent of the votes.
(From a Quigley Corp. press release. Priceless.)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Continuing the clear out my pile of at-home dad media mentions. Across the pond, it looks like a huge chunk of men are taking the idea of paternity leave seriously. This story on PersonnelToday says that "nearly a third (31 per cent) of fathers-to-be intend to take more than a month off work after the birth of their child, while one in 12 said they hope to take in excess of four months off ..." The UK grants dads two weeks of paid leave, which means that one in three men take leave so seriously that the plan to take a financial hit. I have no idea what the historical numbers are, but my guess is that these are bigger.

Convention-goer Chad sent me this March Madness-themed piece from the Salt Lake Tribune on how dumb the dumb-guy advertising meme is. It's nicely done.

Finally, Kevin of I'm Not a Slacker sent along this St. Louis Dispatch piece. It integrates some of the stories of local at-home dads with a look at a Families and Work Institute report from last year that suggests that Gen Xers are more family-centric than previous generations. I plan to take a spin through the report; I can't be certain if that's something I've seen before.

That it for now ... I'll be flagging some new blogs next week, so if you should be in my blogroll and are not, shoot me an e-mail. And you *will* be getting a Rebel Dad Radio this weekend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

OK. I'm back in the saddle. I'm still a bit overwhelmed. Thanks to everyone who have been pointing things out over the last couple of weeks -- I *will* get to them.

Let's start with the fun stuff. While most stay-at-home dads are struggling to regularly empty the Diaper Genie refills, an at-home dad named Ian Van Tuyl managed to create an entire astrological concept built around the No. 1 song at the time of your birth. (Full disclosure: Mine is apparently "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" by Elton John. I had no idea Elton John did such a version. But then again, I was busy at the time. Being born and all.)

And moving on to good news: the best part about this the Des Moines Register Op-Ed isn't the message (though I support it: please respect the at-home parents of the world), or the fact that the story makes sure to reference at-home dads. Instead, it was the byline that caught my eye: the author is a member of the "Young Adult Board" at the paper. This lends a small bit of credence to my growing thesis that Gen X families are far more conscious of the father's role in child-rearing than the Boomers. (Except you, Chip ...)

Monday, March 21, 2005

It's official: I've hacked my way through a huge swath of my to-do list, but I'm still digging, so I'm calling off this week's Rebel Dad Radio. As it was, I had planned to move to a bi-weekly show schedule anyway. I had originally intended to start that schedule next week, but events have forced me to re-think that plan. So you'll get a show this weekend, and every two weeks thereafter. Thanks to everyone who listens, and a special thanks to everyone who shared their views on the schedule.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

It's highly unlikely that I'll be able to push out a Rebel Dad Radio today. Tomorrow is likely, and I'll talk about the future frequency during that show. Apologies. I also have some posts in the hopper -- with taxes (almost) done -- I may be able to resume more regular posting in a matter of days (or weeks).

Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Feedback, here and elsewhere. It's been a good few days for members of the public writing interesting things to a range of publications, via letters to the editor, web postings and (in the case of Rebel Dad Radio) e-mails and audio comments. Let me start with Slate, where a reader had this to say in response to a review of the latest mommying book, "Perfect Madness":
The attitudes of the older generation of fathers can been heard when an older man refers to taking care of his own children as "babysitting," or playing "Mr. Mom." It is not babysitting when you are taking care of your own children, its PARENTING, and doing so does not make you a mom. Most Gen-X fathers understand this, and those that don't need to get with the program. When they do, the mothers, fathers, and children will all be better off.
Though I am beyond sick of the "Perfect Madness" hype, I am still intensely interested in the response it is provoking. A profile of author Judith Warner in my hometown Washington Post was enough to generate these letters, including the one that read, in part:
[The Warner story] ... left me wondering why I have never seen a book published by a man lamenting his failure to be the perfect business partner/father/husband/community volunteer.

My husband naps on the couch while the kids run around eating whatever they want. His behavior is viewed by my friends as lame but acceptable, being just one of the many dad styles out there to choose from.
Fortunately, the napping-on-the-couch style of fatherhood is rather less popular than it used to be. Wonder if the aforementioned couch-napping husband is a Gen X guy. You know where my money is ...

Finally, feedback has been flowing on my question regarding the future frequency of Rebel Dad Radio. Right now, the majority says they'd be content with less frequent, but perhaps higher-quality, podcasts. I'm still gathering opinions, but I'll come to a decision by Sunday's show.

If you want to give feedback, Elizabeth from Half Changed World has a worthy target (from the comments to the latest RDR):
The new issue of Brain, Child has 3 letters (from women) asking why it's not "the magazine for thinking parents" (rather than mothers) and an answer from the editors.

They say they've only heard from one dad on the subject. Might be worth dropping them a line...
The issue isn't online yet, but I plan on picking it up on my next newsstand run and dropping those find folks a letter. Brain, Child is in some ways a wonderful and unusually thoughtful parenting magazine, but the seem to have the usual disdain for dad-as-parent (remember my rant following their at-home dad story?)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Attention Wives of Stay-At Home Dads: Men's Health is running an "All Star Dad Award" contest, which includes not just bragging rights for the winner, but a trip to NYC. A 100-word essay is required. Deadline is May 2.

While I'm on the subject of magazines ... Rebel Dad Radio listeners also heard me discuss my surprise at the last issue of Parents magazine, which included a piece titled "Can You Afford to Quit Your Job?" Naturally, I was sure that such a package was likely to utterly ignore men ... but flipping through the pages, I notice that three families who had gone the at-home route were featured -- including a stay-at-home dad (who, I must brag, often frequents the same playground as I). So kudos to Parents.

Of course, in the same magazine, there's a humor article featuring a "daffy dictionary" that "only moms could understand." That sort of headline isn't all that uncommon, but I felt bad for the author, who has the very non-mommy name of "Ron Kelly." The headline, I suppose, suggests that Ron Kelly (who I presume is a dad) doesn't really understand his own work. Kinda weird.

There's more to come this week as I get my act together ... thanks for all the Rebel Dad Radio feedback; I'll let you know where I decide to take the podcast later this week.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Rebel Dad Radio 3.13.05

I pulled out another Rebel Dad Radio this week, though all things considered, it's a tad weak. I'm beginning to run into a tough reality: I don't always have the time or the material to put together the kind of weekly show I envisioned two months ago when I started RDR. So I put the query out to listeners: would you rather watered-down weekly Rebel Dad Radio shows, or twice-monthly shows with a bit more meat on 'em?

By now, you know how to give me feedback: e-mail, leave a message on the phone comment line at 206.338.DADS or try Skyping rebeldad. I'll try to keep Skype up a bit more this week ...

Show Notes
* Welcome
* Discussion of the James Hall story in the Washington Post
* Mention of this pro-Rebel Dad post in the Slate reader forum.
* Non-rant on this month's Parents.
* Discussion of the future of Rebel Dad Radio
* "Bad Dog No Biscuit," as performed at the 2002 Stay-At-Home Dad Convention.

See you next week ...

Rebel Dad Radio 3.13.05 | 15:38 | 7.1 MB

Friday, March 11, 2005

Breaking the silence. The posting has kind of dried up as the week has progressed, due more to a surplus in personal chaos and less because of a deficit of news. The chaos surplus may continue for a couple more weeks; please bear with me.

But ... I should start by pointing out this piece in the Stockton (CA) Record on the birth of a new dad's group in the area. The article is fine, but it's the accompanying photographs that really make the piece zing. Check out this one ... sharp-eyed readers will note that the dad on the right (frequent reader/commenter Dayv) is wearing a hat from the Rebel Dad Shop. If you actually received the Record, check out the front-page tease for the story: Dayv appears again, and you can see the hat much better. But enough with the shameless plugs ...

Let me finish by taking everyone back to college. The Daily O'Collegian newspaper at Oklahoma State ran this column on male stereotypes. I can't say there's a kernel in there that has not been ranted upon here, but you have no idea how happy it makes me to know that the kids today have figured out the whole dads-can-take-care-of-kids thing. It's a bright future ...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Swimming against the tide (thank goodness): Chip flagged this New York Times article from over the weekend on the move for more paid family and sick leave.

As I have been discussing ad naseum here and on both of my podcasts, the Family and Medical Leave Act -- our meager federal law legitimizing leave (not paid leave, though) -- is under some attack, so it's great to see some counter-action. The story focuses primary on the fantastic group Take Back Your Time, which is pushing (successfully) for five weeks of paid leave in Washington State. (It sounds somewhat similar to the successful California law.) If you read the article all the way through, you get a rosy glow -- leave is painted as a concern that crosses party lines, something that everyone (with the very notable exception of businesses) thinks is a good idea.

The reality, as we're seeing with FMLA, is not that simple. Groups like Take Back Your Time and the efforts in California and Washington are up against a culture of work in the U.S. that is extraordinarily powerful. And with the federal government apparently leaning on the side of giving more leeway, not less, to the businesses driving that culture, I'm not as optimistic after reading the story as I should be. But I'd love to be proved wrong.

Weirdest line in the Times story:
Catherine H. Myers, executive director of the Family and Home Network, based in Virginia, said a preferable solution, instead of enacting mandates, would be for parents to quit or to reduce their paid employment to spend more time caring for their children. "When we consider what our children really need, how can we afford not to give them our time?" Ms. Myers said.
This strikes me that this is a bizarre argument against liberal leave policies. If I'm reading it correctly, they're telling parents that if the draconian conditions they work under are utter family-unfriendly, they should quit rather than press for change. Obviously, I'm all for at-home parenthood, but I'd rather people not base their decision to stay home on the utter inflexibility of the American workplace.

Monday, March 07, 2005

One of the seedy undertones of this site is the self-back-patting I do about the way that at-home fathers shatter certain gender expectations, how we boldly cast off societal pressure to define what we should be doing with our life. But I am humbled by a story today in the Washington Post that tells the story of a father who is truly bucking convention and expectations -- in the best possible way. If you click only one link this year from, make it this one:

A Young Father's Rare Choice

The piece centers around James Hall, an 18-year-old high school senior who is raising his two-year-old daughter as a single father. I don't want to demean the equally daunting choice made by young single mothers, but James Hall could have easily kept his daughter out of his life. He didn't. He made a hard choice, and he continues to make hard choices every day to ensure a good life -- or at least a better one -- for his two-year-old.

I haven't posted about any Rebel Dad Hall of Fame candidates lately, but James is certainly a first-ballot shoo-in.

(There is other news on the dad/family front, too, but I'll hold those off until later so you can read the story.)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Rebel Dad Radio 3.6.05

I'm making good on my promises this week. Bill Beagle from the Dayton at-home dad group appears to talk about how the zaniest (and probably biggest, per capita) dads group was founded. It's well worth a listen, if only to find out how to create the illusion of a thriving group with nothing more than a web site.

I always welcome feedback: 206.338.3237 is the listener comment line (I reserve the right to use your recorded wisdom), is the e-mail, and I can be Skyped at rebeldad. (By the way, if anyone wants to invite me to Skype voicemail, I'd happily accept the invite.)

Show Notes:
* Introduction
* Thanks to Eric Rice for the shoutout.
* Discussion of the TV story on the Northeast Wisconsin At-Home Dads. Daddy of the Year -- a stroke of genius.
* Interview with Bill Beagle of Dayton Dads At Home.

Thanks for listening.

Rebel Dad Radio 3.6.05 | 20:07 | 9.2 MB

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Good news: Green Bay dads (or, more accurately, Northeast Wisconsin At-Home Dads) got their moment in the media sun last month. It's a nice story, and there's a nice twist: the founder of the group was named (by the group), as the "Daddy of the Year." This is a crafty way to grab media attention: a lot of media outlets don't want to do the same old "hey-look-at-the-at-home-dad" story. They want a news hook. Giving out awards to your members (and sending out official-looking press releases alerting the media) might be a nice way to create news for the media to cover. More on at-home dad groups, the media, etc. on this week's Rebel Dad Radio.

Better news ... the rash of TV bits on stay-at-home dads all appeared in February. Pop culture junkies probably know that February is a sweeps month, where networks and local affiliates pull out all the stops to get viewers. So I find it interesting -- and heartening -- that TV news directors think that at-home dad stories are likely to really lure viewers. And I'd much rather hear about dads than the usual local news sweep stories (usually involving faulty products, consumer scams and unsolved murders ...)
Help Hogan write his book. Hogan Hilling, one of the godfathers of the whole at-home dad thing and the guy behind The Man Who Would be Dad, is working on a second book, this one titled "What Dads Want Moms To Know." Naturally, Hogan is trying to figure out exactly what dads want moms to know, and he is distributing a survey that he would like back. So if you're game, copy this survey, paste it in an e-mail to Hogan ( and send it along. It's worth noting that there is a mom version of the study, too, and you can e-mail Hogan for more information.
Dad Questionnaire



Number of Children, Age(s) of Children

1. Share two issues or anxieties you have about being a father and briefly
explain why.

2. Share two fathering issues or anxieties that you wish your wife would take time to better understand and briefly explain why. If the answer to #2 is the same as #1 go on to question #3.

3. Share any tips or suggestions you have on how a mom can encourage and influence her husband to become a more involved father.

4. If there is one thing you could share with your wife about being a father that you haven't told her, what would it be?

5. What was the most difficult thing about finding out you were going to be a father for the first time? Has this become easier or more difficult over time?

6. What are two things your wife is doing well in supporting your role as Dad?

Additional Comments:

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Back to talking about the at-home dad media landscape. I'll start in Johnson County, Indiana, where Shawn Malloy gets a nice profile. I liked the lede: "About half of Shawn Malloy?s buddies wonder why he?d want to stay home with his kids. The rest are jealous." I bet more than half are jealous ... On the East Coast, the Delaware At-Home Dad Association got their moment in the spotlight this week.

... my search through recent at-home dad mentions also pulled up this quiz from American Baby on "Are You Man Enough to Be a Stay-At-Home Dad." It was written by a woman, so if read with the proper attitude, it's funny as hell. Half of the questions are so basic that it only identifies those unenlightened men who can't change a diaper (are there any of those guys left?) The other half are judgment call questions that -- in reality -- have more than one "right" answer and could be used to showcase the different and wonderful ways in which men and women may differ in their parenting. And some are just insulting ("You need to clean the house, do the laundry, make dinner, and help the kids with homework all at the same time. You: ... (C) Curl up in bed and sob like a baby until your wife gets home") I love anything that makes clear that real men are really good parents, but this is laying it on a bit thick.

Finally, let me plug this post from Rogers Cadenhead on gay marriage, at-home dads, modern family roles and hypocrisy. I can't think this deeply, but I'd be happy to link to those who can.