Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Response from Hogan

Yesterday, I flagged a new book by Hogan Hilling and co-author Jesse Jayne Rutherford called The Modern Mom's Guide to Dads. And while I gave the caveat that a) I hadn't read the book and b) I tend to agree with most of what Hogan says, I did ding him a bit for apparently putting supermoms in the crosshairs (one chapter is titled "We Don't Want You to be Supermom"). Here's what the OC Register piece said:
Yet, Hilling says, fathers had complaints about their wives, too: Moms “hog” much of the infant caregiving duties, such as diapering and feeding, criticizing their husbands' attempts as not good enough ...
This reminded me of reverse "momblocking" (one of the dumbest and least-connected-to-reality ideas to enter the lexicon in 2007), and that sets my hair on end.

Hogan called me on my lack of a comprehensive take on his book, and he was gracious enough to let me share his e-mail with you:

However, I have to be honest with you. I was a little disappointed by two of your comments. “I'm not sure I'll agree with everything he has to say” and “epidemic of supermoms”.

I understand that you may have based the comments on the article you read. Nevertheless, I thought it was premature of you to make these comments without having read the book.

The purpose of writing the book was not to persuade the reader to agree with what my co-author and I wrote. BTW, my co-author, Jesse, deserves a tremendous amount of credit. I couldn't have done it without her. She did most of the writing. I provided all the content. I was trully blessed to find her.

The purpose of the book is to let moms know how dads really feel and give them a better understanding of the issues and challenges their husbands face as dads. And more importantly about bridging the communication gap between moms and dads.

There is no preaching in the book. And I do not indoctrinate any type of parenting philosophy.

I also never wrote that there was “an epidemic of supermoms.” I noted what some dads have shared with me about their wives‘ futile attempts to be a “supermom.” There is also a chapter about Superdads in the book.

Not every dad feels or has concerns about every issue I address in the book.

One dad may not be experiencing the “supermom” issue but he may be struggling with his fear of becoming like his abusive and neglectful father.

One dad maybe confident in his ability to care for a child but he maybe struggling to balance work and family.

Another dad may have a great marriage (and sex) :-) with his wife but he may be struggling in bonding with the baby. So on and so on.

Each dad is different and handles the issues and challenges differently. And the degree to which each dad struggles with those issues is also different.

The fathering issues Jesse and I wrote about are universal.


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