Was having a chat a couple of days ago with someone about doing an interview, re grief / loss / solo Dadding / the shit fight that is life, and I found myself referring to many articles I have written over the course of my blogging days about such. What dawned on me, however, was that I don’t think I’ve ever told you nutbags why I started and called the whole thing “Just A Dad”.
For one, and probably glaringly bloody obvious to most of you, I am in fact a father. 💡 I just sense that there are enough seriously drunken arse bums amongst you that this needs to be unequivocally stated to begin with. 🤣
The creative epiphany that led to this whole shamozzle though, was actually quite a serious, grumpy bastard affair.
You see I was always a very hands on Dad, even before Renee got sick. I was always the chef in the house (mainly because I love to cook but also it meant I got to choose the dinners 😉), I cleaned, vacuumed, bathed, braided hair, read crap books again and again, danced to the wriggles, wore tutus to tea parties with teddy bears and wiped shitty bums. We had a symbiotic and totally harmonious family life. And it was great.
Now this is not totally uncommon in today’s parental culture. The days of super defined gender roles in family life are waning, thank christ, and more Dad’s are stepping up and enjoying the fruits of being an emotionally and mentally present parent than ever before.
But apparently, well for me anyway, this wasn’t to be acknowledged until Renee passed away.
All of a sudden praise was being heaped on me for being “such a good Dad” and for “doing such a good job being a parent”. I swear to God it was like people had only just realised I WAS a parent.
For me however, I wasn’t doing anything I normally wouldn’t be. Sure I was thrust into having to do it all, but none of it was new or alien. In my mind I was just doing what I’d hope any Dad worth their salt would be doing, I was, and am being
Just A Dad.
Why was this such a surprise to everyone? Why did it take such a heartbreaking situation for this to come to light? Why did no one realise I was a good Dad before this? Why is the sky blue and why the fuck is masterchef still on TV? So many whys and so little fuck’s left to give. 😂
But back then I had a handful of fuck’s left. And it pissed me off.
I scoured the entire interweb (well Facebook and some cursory google machine searches – which we all know equals solid research 😉) and what I found, or more accurately didn’t find, was the almost total lack of male voices in the overstuffed, super opinionated and vocal world of parenting.
There are literally a shit ton of women out there laying bare the truths and tribulations of family life. Nearly as many as there are writing, vlogging and snapping about life as a woman. Which is bloody great if you ask me. Because there are even more women out there that read, watch and digest this constant stream of information, which in turn provides answers, help, community, familiarity and connectedness.
So where were all the blokes?
Not talking, that’s where. Not sharing their journeys. Not helping each other. Being tough. Stoic. Men. Maybe after couple of jugs at the pub we might blurt out something bothering us, but when sober? Bah humbug..
Well fuck that I thought.
Which is how and why Just A Dad was born.
I decided, as a self acknowledged normal Aussie bloke and Dad, to be a voice. To share my journey, through thick, thin, hilarious and pathetic. To show all my bothers out there that we too can benefit from this simple dissemination of our lives.
Yes there are plenty of Dad websites, Men’s groups (urgh) and various other male focused online resources. But what there is (or was) a lack of was just basic, vocal and honest talk from real men. Not interviews with celerity Dad’s. Not PHD dissertations on fatherhood. Not a panel of upper middle class men discussing the need for baby change tables in male toilets.
Just normal guys talking about their normal lives. With a few Dad jokes thrown in naturally. And possibly beer.
So that’s why I am, and will continue to be Just A Dad. For me, for you and for my kids.
My blog / page is a pure reflection of my life. I’m not here to teach, advise, preach or fish for likes. I’m just sharing in the hope that others may find some of that help, community, familiarity and connectedness in my rambling.
I know it helps me. ✌️