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February 16, 2006

Is Anybody Out There?

James Mehring

After Toddi posted Working Father Magazine? on February 6, I wanted to prove her wrong. In this day and age there must be some corner of the Internet where working fathers can find some useful information, advice, and support.

Alas, cyberspace really does appear to have some boundaries. I performed a simple test by typing the phrase "working mom" into Google. The result was a list of over 400,000 links. For the phrase "working father", I got about 37,000 hits and around 17,000 for "working dad".

If I could find 50 quality sites dealing with work and fatherhood it would be more than enough for me. However, once I saw those comparatively puny results, I was even more disappointed. The first entry for working mom was a link to Working Mom’s Refuge. In contrast, the first site I got for my working dad search was giving away clipart illustrations of a saluting man with a hard hat and wrench. A few listings down on the first page was a Craigslist classified with the headline “single cute working dad needs room any ladie takers.” Good grief!!!

Further searching yielded few strong leads. I have to admit that a reply to Toddi’s post by Jason was pretty good. He suggested Interactive Dad Magazine as a good resource and I agree. It tries to cover everything from finances to relationships with children and spouses. I was drawn immediately to the Dads & Daughters section since I am a first time dad and have a daughter. It was an encouraging section although a little repetitious.

When it comes to blogs, there are many by stay-at-home dads (SAHD’s in blog lingo). I did stumble across some funny dad blogs that gave an occasional mention to work. The one I liked the most was DadTalk. There are also a couple funny fatherhood blogs with multiple contributors, such as Blogfathers and DadCentric. I will keep searching for more blogs and websites with a focus on the working dads. Any recommendations are welcome, too.

01:24 PM

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As a contributer to theblogfathers.com and a first-time parent of 8-month-old twins, I can say that there aren't a lot of resources for fathers out there. In the blog community we have found each other and offer support and encouragement through our writing. I have touched on the topic of balancing work and fatherhood myself and others have too. I think some might be apprehensive about doing so on their blogs because no one wants to imply to an employer that they aren't 100% committed to their work. It's a touchy subject.

Posted by: Matthew at February 16, 2006 10:15 PM

Hi James - thanks for the mention. As Matthew mentions, there are at last count a gazillion blogs by and for mothers, but very few devoted to the challenges today's dad faces. I started DadCentric for that very reason; the guys that write for the site are dedicated to providing an offbeat look at fatherhood, and people have really responded to the site. It's heartening to see that we've inspired The Blogfathers and a number of other group dadblogs.

Regarding the work/fatherhood balance: I'm a recruiter by trade, and it seems to me that successful companies are the ones that do their best to attract and retain top talent. I've written pieces on what working fathers should look for when considering employers: the single biggest factor is getting to know the company's culture. While many employers say that they're "family friendly", the best way to find out if the company walks the walk is by spending time with employees. During the interview process, ask the interviewers if you can spend a few minutes chatting with your potential co-workers. Progressive hiring managers will be glad to arrange this. Reluctance to do so may be a good reason to look elsewhere.

Posted by: Jason at February 18, 2006 12:09 PM

I've liked these two. The second one is a father who's son was born something like 5 months early at 1 1/2 pounds...

http://daddytypes.com/

http://snowdeal.org/section/ex_machina/

Posted by: J at February 19, 2006 04:08 PM

DadTalk does a wonderful job of putting current events in the perspective of fatherhood. Most blogfathers are mainly interested in writing about their kids, or themselves as fathers (myself included). DadTalk does that, too, but manages to be useful as well.

I don't write about work/life balance on my blog, mainly because it doesn't come up much. I work eight-hour days, and my work stays at the office. For the most part, my job isn't an important part of my life right now, apart from the income.

The topic does come up now and again on DadBloggers.

Posted by: Jared at February 20, 2006 03:41 PM

Thanks James and Jared.

Posted by: brettdl at February 26, 2006 12:07 AM


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