Don’t know how I missed it, but the How To Be A Dad guys published my debut post for them here on the Tumblrs in its entirety a few days ago.
(Bonus: That pic is me and our little dudes back when I was a work-at-home dad. Look how small they were!)
Not all dads fall in love with their baby right away. There, I said it.
Now, I can see that you’re reaching for your pitchforks and torches. Before you light that Zippo, hear me out.
Dad blogs are full of images of new fathers cooing over their babies and expressing tearful joy over their new paternal role. And while that immediate, Hallmark-style love may be felt by a great number of new dads, it failed to appear in me right away. And I know I’m not that unique, despite what my grandmother once told me.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my boys from the second I saw their little fingers on the ultrasound monitor. But, my love initially manifested in a sort of hunter-gatherer thing. I had babies to care for, so my mind and heart snapped to behavior that left me fighting the urge to spear the neighbor’s Welsh corgi for an evening feast cooked over an open fire at the mouth of our cave. And that cave was a lower unit in a duplex, so I’m sure the landlord would’ve taken issue.
That version of love—my version—appeared nowhere online. In my world, those tears of fatherly joy would get you singled out for dinner by a damn saber-toothed tiger. Besides, I had no time for joy. There were pelts to clean, yurts to build.
My love felt honest and powerful, but not warm and enriching as it seemed for all other new dads. This meant, to me, that I was doomed to live as a terrible and emotionally distant father. It took a visit from a friend to realize my reaction was more common than parenting sites had me believe. He described his love for his newborn daughter in dispassionate terms of protecting her, fighting for her. Caveman love. I saw I was not special and that my grandmother was, as I stated, a boldfaced liar.
Dads who experience what I did likely feel the same shame and fear while scanning the online community of parenting blogs. They see the beaming dads, they read the stories of unbridled joy, but don’t identify.
But, can you imagine the reaction if any of them presented things as they actually were? If you’re having trouble, just scan the comments section below this post.
Just as Facebook users statistically tend to present the best version of themselves, dad bloggers tend to present the best version of their fatherly experience. And though some may be honest about the challenges they face, none would dare admit their love for their newborn was anything but cinematic. And this polished claim causes harm by perpetuating an unrealistic standard, the same way porn made me think Pizza Delivery Man was the best job in the world.
The initial shock of suddenly being a dad wore off for me, eventually. As it did, I was able to connect with my deeply emotional love and, yes, tearful joy. Still, because of the false perfection presented by most parenting sites, I vowed to remain as honest as possible on my site about the unflattering emotions (or lack of emotions or seemingly wrong emotions) that can accompany fatherhood.
I also offer a recipe for a nice slow-roasted Welsh corgi.
The father of twin boys, David Vienna is a screenwriter, playwright, former journalist, and spent a few years writing for reality television. He covers parenting issues at TheDaddyComplex.com and The Huffington Post.
Here’s another pic/tweet from our conflagration last night.
See parenting bloggers aren’t all squares… well, okay, some of us are.
Today we’re chatting with Charlie Capen, co-founder of the popular parenting humour blog, HowToBeADad. If you’re not already a fan of this site (and pinning their hysterical infographics like a madwoman) you should pop over and take a peek… then come back and read today’s Interview With A Blogger!
This is a nice little interview by my friend Amy of my other friend Charlie.
Also, he pays me a very nice compliment in the piece, which demonstrates Charlie’s inherent kindness and explains why, even if it was revealed he’s a serial killer, we’d all be like, “That’s okay. And hey, I love that suit. Oh, it’s made of human skin? Very slimming.”
With the wild success of The Daddy Complex’s “CTFD Parenting” and a multitude of other parenting philosophies variously titled with animals names, military equipment and dance moves, we think it’s time we got in on this lucrative moneymaking scheme.
Well, at least he’s honest.
Mothers. They hide in bathroom stalls, fashion elaborate blankie wigwams or take cover behind mall ferns and alley dumpsters to protect us from the horror of the breastfeeding process. And by “us” I mean the few deranged and perverted assholes whose stomachs and backs have turned on a process that is commonly known as fucking biology!
Models. Let’s look at this from both ends and be fair. Models and starlets have it rough, too. Aside from living on a diet of leaves spritzed with lemon and garnished with air, they have to spend countless hours with their slick-back-haired agents debating over the percentage of augPhotoshopmentation for covers and possibly how their outrage-detonating music video or sex tape will be leaked or released on the Internet. Stressful stuff. Most of us repay them with a kind of worship or avid fascination. This may be the same douchey “us” I referenced above.
All sarcasm aside (some of it at least, but probably not), despite the fact that some new moms may in fact be sort of privately pleased by their increased bra size, or just by the simple satifaction of taking care of their baby in one of the most basic ways possible, I’m pretty sure that newly-minted mothers don’t instantly become slutty exhibitionists trying to win the most Mardi Gras beads while feeding their infants. That’s only if I’m judging by every single mother I’ve ever seen, anywhere. In real life or on the Internet. But I’ve only co-run a globally popular parenting website for over two years, so who am I to lob such an uninformed observation onto the Interheap (whoops, more sarcasm).
When I see people ranting or getting weird and offended over breastfeeding, in public or in private, I feel like—and this is an honest moment—I’m seeing the words and reactions of people who would be the absolute first to perish as castaways on a desert island or smack dab in the middle of an end-of-the-world scenario. The depth of this shallow idiocy boggles my mind. If we’re calling teams, they are not on mine. Sorry. Except for that not at all sorry part.
I promised pictures of drunk bloggers from the “Delivery Man” premiere. Here’s one of me and Charlie. You’re welcome.