Recently I ran into researcher writing a book on fatherhood that wanted to interview dads who are actively involved in their children’s upbringing. As I’ve done before, I volunteered to tell my story. Half way through the interview I was asked why I volunteered and I was stumped! Why DO I feel the need to tell our family story?
This isn’t the first time I’ve exposed my family to the world through my writing. I have a couple of dad-blogs on the go and I am currently writing a monthly column for a local parenting magazine. I recently submitted a piece for a “collection of dad stories” book and when we were pregnant, we agreed to a few interviews that led to stories in magazines and newspapers. Nobody ever asked me WHY, they were just happy to get a story I guess.
I suppose there are three main reasons I feel compelled to annoy you all with my banter. First of all, it forces me to take a pause. Between work, home, raising two young boys, and that constant struggle towards balance, I feel parents don’t often get a chance to stop and reflect on their own parenting. Blogging has forced me to think about things like why I yell, or how I felt leaving my kid at daycare for the first time.
Secondly, I feel involved dads don’t get enough of a voice out there. The infinite sea of mom bloggers seems to drown out the voices of my fellow compadres. A lot of dads are DO-ers, not writers or bloggers. So I want to add my drop in the bucket and maybe motivate other dads to speak up and tell their awesome stories about our distinct take on raising kids.
And finally our family dynamic is a little different than many of yours. We are gay dads who had our two boys thanks to an egg donor and a surrogate. Despite our unique way of making babies, our day-to-day struggles are the same as yours. I feel I am in a position to educate and maybe even “normalize” our family to the world.
I don’t usually have a consistent spin on what I write about. If it’s on my mind and it warrants a few words on screen, then perhaps you might find it interesting… or not!
Frank Emanuele, DCL member