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men who change diapers change the world

Monday, 26 March 2007
Linda Hirshman's Food Fight with Rebel Dad
Topic: Media

Forget the mommy/daddy wars - Yesterday Linda Hirshman has launched this high brow food fight  with Rebel Dad (Brian Reid) at the TPM Cafe. Brian's crime?  He  spent under three years at home with one baby.....Once the second baby came Rebel took his rebellious self right into full time work in public relations, leaving his former lawyer wife with a newborn and a kindergartener.

Although this fight has history,  Hirshman's latest comments lead you to believe he practically abandoned his kids, when in my opinion he ranks pretty high on my involved-father-o-meter.  

After she was done bruising up Brian she spotted Daddy Dialectic's Jeremy Smith on the other end of the playground and started poking him with her stick:  Dialectical Smith didn’t even stay home a year, but lived exactly the life the mommy activists dream of. He posts: “You know, my wife and I tried [both working part time] (she . . . is fortunate to have a unionized part-time teaching job that provides full health care) and I must say that it was extremely difficult to maintain . . . I'm interviewing for jobs. For our family, it might better for one of us to work full-time while the other stays home . . . I'm sort of thinking that maybe it's my wife's turn to stay home.” A few hours later: “Well, for us the issue is resolved: yesterday I accepted a full-time job . . . Poof! I'm no longer a stay at home dad and now it's my wife's turn to stay home -- actually, she's still thinking about whether she wants to go back to work. I hope she doesn't; I want her to have time with the boy.” Poof. I’d hate to be the woman with the desk next to Dialectical Dad, taking family leave while he minds the workplace. 

Geez Linda! Brian and Jeremy have both presented  fair arguments, regarding your basic creed of choice feminism and you have to get into a verbal fist fight.  Now I have been home for the last 14 years, with 2 boys while my wife works as a school teacher... does that make me a better father or am I being more fair to my wife than Brian or Jeramy? Well for my family I am, and for their families yes,  we all have a parent at home, which is the best family balance you can have. 

It's important that when couples decide who's staying home to do diapers,  they make the best choice for them and their kids, not for any social agenda or statistical conclusions that's created. Yes it is taking a long time to achieve the equality that you are reaching for. And if we get there great,  but lets concentrate on getting at least one parent to stay at home first, not which sex stays home.

Posted by athomedad at 11:11 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007 10:43 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 20 March 2007
From oil wells to the frontlines of fatherhood - a guest post by Robert Johnson
Topic: Guest post
Gawker take note

(Note: With a seven month old and a four year old on his lap Robert Johnson of Wyoming sat down at his computer and wrote the first guest post on athomedad.  Originally submitted as a "rant" on the message board, he agreed to share his perspective on dads and masculinity.)

There are difficult days, and because it is always fun to create or add to stereotypes, most men can not handle being at home with the kids all day let alone weather the difficult days. I know because I worked in a number of male dominated environments and saw how lazy, mostly emotionally lazy, my compadres are. This distance runs the same gamut through the oil field labor hands to the career motivated professionals. Yeah, there are exceptions, but like I said, I am adding to and creating stereotypes here. 

 The brother-in-law the other day was lamenting how busy he is at the bank every day. I reminded him I worked in banks, was a specialist in department consolidation during the big bank mergers of the 90's, and knew how hard bankers worked most of the time. He forgot. He was using the "work" exhaustion to cover why he wasn't very patient with my nieces. We live in a small city where, like most places, the male is driven by their status in the community. Here it manifests itself in the young professionals in the board hunt. There are numerous boards and civic organizations all layered in a pseudo hierarchy that represents your importance to the community. The bonus is the members to got to make a difference, add to the community, make things better, contribute to society, do good work. 

 The down side is the younger "boys" have to build their chops. To do this they must multi-board so they can make the jumps to the higher status organizations. The multi-board makes them a stranger to their families because of the number of outside obligations connected to each board. They are living up to their maleness to compete and be a big dog while almost shunning their families. Then they parrot in interviews, "Yes, the most important thing to me is family and especially my kids." (the ones who run to the door to the see the familiar stranger before he runs off to another board meeting). I've witnessed male teachers, feeling the strain of proving their masculinity, coach all three school seasons, join less status boards, and join or start clubs focused on their personal interest. All proving that despite their dedication to the next generation, they can still be manly by avoiding their families. 

When I worked in the oil field, the focus was on embracing as many hours as possible because of the overtime pay-- the same pay most of them used up at the local strip club they used to avoid their families. The thing I noticed in all of these environments is how little the male wanted to work at connecting with either his wife or his kids. They all said the same thing, their wife and kids were the most important thing in the world--. The same guys who wouldn't think of cracking a parenting book, believe that authoritarian parenting is the best, actually brag about spanking, complain their wives are too indulgent, and want the home and nurturing work done so they can build their status and bank. An emotionally easier path because there is no investment of self, only an investment for self. If the societal push of real but minor sex differences is to cater to an illusion of self sacrifice and the myth of providing for the family then we can assume there will always be a high divorce rate, a trend in kids leaving their communities when they enter the workforce, and the continued breakdown of families. 

I am glad there are a lot of books to justify this "difference" because it must make some people feel better-- mostly men-- who are usually too emotionally lazy to build the real future (had to toss in some corn). Now I need to clean up a blow-out, fill a sippy-cup ,and reload the diaper bag so I can fill up the truck, get the oil changed, go to the library, and have the ski stuff ready so my wife and the oldest can go to their skiing lesson after school today. I love this job but... boy am I tired. 

(If you would like to guest post on athomedad drop me  a line)

  The Inside Poop

  • The KCDADS have been invited to voice their opinion on the a new Children's Museum during the planning stages. The 36,500 square-foot museum which will focus on literature is slated to open by the summer of 2009. Source: Al's KCDADS blog

  •  I've seen thousands of clients, and almost every time I've seen a stay-at-home dad seek alimony, the wife--she's usually a software executive--goes ballistic. - Carol Ann Wilson, a certified financial divorce practitioner speaking out on women and alimony. Source: Forbes Women Increasingly Paying Alimony


Posted by athomedad at 11:07 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007 8:29 PM EDT
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Monday, 19 March 2007

Gawker take note


Fathers are like having a day-old helium balloon around the house

Gawker take note,  Jerry Seinfeld was spotted  here over the weekend and offered his  glimpse of fatherhood. "Why would you want someone in your house who craps in his pants while looking you in the face and even smiling about it a little?" Fathers, he concluded, are like having a day-old helium balloon around the house:  "It's just hanging out, floating somewhere between the floor and the ceiling. The rest of the family has to decide, 'Do I play with it, pop it? Why is it even here?' "  Source: steve barnes, times union, (albany, ny)

Posted by athomedad at 11:13 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 9:00 PM EDT
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Thursday, 15 March 2007
How to get a vasectomy the hard way

I'm always grateful when the media values fatherhood with headlines like Matador's chances of fatherhood hurt by goring One of his wounds involves the scrotal area and eviserates both testicles.  Geez, let the man have his testi-pain first then he can worry about fatherhood. 

Vasectomy video


Posted by athomedad at 5:32 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2007 7:10 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 14 March 2007
Shut the hell up!

Every once in a while I get a masterpiece on the initial shock of the at-home dad life. Yesterday David Barringer, an aspiring  freelancer writer, designer and at-home dad sent me his. The first line,  Shut the hell up!? jump-starts his take on the all too familiar tale of a man who went from a "WIHF" (work in home father)  to unemployed, in debt, and facing about three hours of grade school homework every night for the next eight years.  

If his upcoming "comic novel"  American Home Life. is anything like what I just read, we will be hearing a lot more from this North Carolina dad.  I really hate novels but I'll wander through it on my Virginia beach sand sofa during April break with my kids and post my review.  More on David:

I received 3 more entries for the best rookie daddy blog contest Daddy Dialectic. (thanks rebeldad for the suggestion)  Daddyshack and Inside Fatherhood. If your new daddy blog meets the 2 requirements please send in your link, I'll add it right on the left blog roll. 

400,000 at-home dads - Thats's the new number buried in a Colorado Biz Today story (ad?) about dadgear's "at-home dad" gear.

Posted by athomedad at 10:38 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007 1:14 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 13 March 2007
Rookie daddy blog contest for 2007 now open for entries
Topic: Rookie Blog Contest 2007

To give some of the new daddy blogs a jump start I thought It was time for a first (annual?)  best rookie daddy blog contest  for 2007. 

There's only  2 requirements to worry about: 

 - Your blog's first posting must be in 2006 or 2007.     

 - It has to be a "daddy" blog  (relating to at-home dads, fatherhood, ect.)

That's it, so just send (or nominate) your link & I'll add it alongside the first two entries,  thinkdaddy & horray for saturday on the left sidebar for all to read.  If you just post artsy pictures of  kid poops as they twirl down the toilet I don't care. If you think your postings on baby naps are a bit too trivial just look what Ben MacNeill did with them. Or if your template looks like this its not my call, It will be your call. In January of 08 the readers will vote for  the top three new daddy blogs of 2007.  If you make the top tier you get bragging rights, glowing reviews and your site meter will stream straight up like your new baby should. If you get first place, your site name will be emblazed on the toilet for all to see and for you to display on your site. 


I added 2 new groups to the playgroup listNorthern Kentucky/Cincinnati , OH area. & Lawrenceville Gwinnett (GA) Stay at Home Dads  also check out this new TV feature on the Middle Tennessee Dads  "From The Daily Grind To Daddy Day Care"   


Posted by athomedad at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007 9:02 AM EDT
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Monday, 5 March 2007
An inside look at the production of the Stephen Colbert SAHD Report
Topic: Media


Eamon Stookesberry,  the Texas at-home dad featured (see video on right) on the Colbert Report last week agreed to clear up a few questions the readers had on the planning and filming of the SAHD piece.  Eamon says Colbert Report producer, Aaron Cohen originally thought of doing the piece at the At-Home Dad Convention last November but felt he needed something with a more personal feel. When he saw a local CBS affiliate story (left video) done on the Austin Stay At Home Dads  group they tracked Eamon down and asked if they could film "a day in the life"...


I'll let Eamon share with us the rest of the story......

That was a hard sell to the boss (also known as my lovely and gracious wife Tracie/Tasty!) but she agreed and the producer and asst. producer arrived at my door step at 6:30 in the morning to capture the morning routine. They followed me around all day with a camera crew in tow. They interviewed a bunch of the dads at the park and tried to get every one of us to say: "My name is ------ and I am SAHD  :-(        They had me do multiple takes folding laundry, vaccuummmiiinnnggg... and I think I cleaned the kitchen counter about 8 times and used a Wet Swiffer(c) (which does ROCK!!!) for about 6 passes. That floor was CLEAN!!!! 

They taped us waiting for Lord Tracie/Tasty to arrive home and then had her sit on the couch and drink a beer while they interviewed her. I was waiting for them to ask her to scratch her balls and burp, but they didn't. One of the funniest lines from her was when they asked her about how she felt about making me do all this house work and how I do not get paid. She said "he does get paid! He has a roof over his head, he is obviously well fed. He's my Bitch!!!!"  I was surprised that that did not get in there instead of saying" Sometimes I feel like I have a wife". " He's my Bitch!!" would have been way funnier.

They then went with me to one of our monthly DNO's (Dads Night Out) to film us there. They had the bar/restaurant put the home shopping network on the big screen TVs and had a bunch of Shirley temples dressed with the fruitiest frilliest crap possible delivered to our table and asked us to sip at them like women do. I revolted and got my team, when it was our turn to drink them on camera, to pound them in a race. I guess it was too manly, it did not make the cut. Hehehehehehe

They said that the original idea was to do a piece about how pissed off Colbert is to find out that there is a sub-class of workers in the US that are being exploited. Here is a copy of the original description from the producer about what angle they might possibly take:

Our angle is more or less the following:

Stephen is astonished to learn about the existence of stay-at-home-dads. He believes that they are  economically oppressed, exploited workers. They rise early, clean, cook, perform child-care and household-management duties -- all for no money!  He wonders whether they should be paid a decent wage.

(And by the way, for Stephen, women who stay at home don?t need to get paid because they innately know to do this work, and they enjoy it to boot.)

Here are some sample questions for Tracy :

what reactions do you get from people when you explain that your husband stays at home?

-did you ever have second thoughts about your decision?

-is it sometimes a relief to head out the door in the morning, off to a relaxing office?

-is there a working-wives-of-stay-at-home-dads group in your area?

-are you planning to give Eamon a Christmas bonus this year?

They had NO interest in the acronym that I came up with which is DADMAN (Dad All Day - Man All Night) or the shirts that I had made (see below). They very much wanted us to play up the fact that we were sad/SAHD.


Even though it was different than what had originally been planned, it was still funny as hell and we have had very positive feed back from just about everybody from members of the group, family and friends and even a teacher at my sons school approached me today and said she saw us on TV and thought it was great.

Well I have to go clean the kitchen with my Rockin' Wet Swiffer (c) and then get dinner started.

Thanks Eamon!!! 

The biggest question bought up was a near shocking, but hilarious scene where  Colbert appeared to be  hugging and groping  Eamon's wife Tracie in the mirror. Was he?  Eamon assured me it wasn't his wife.  Several people were shocked that  "Tasty" would let Stephen grope her ass, but it was not her. My guess is it was one of his interns or something.  (Stephen did not come out for the actual filming.) 

Personally I though the piece was hilarious, and a quick  look at the dad message boards show that most that viewed the piece agreed.  Had this been a "serious report" the outcry would have been deafening but only Stephen Colbert and writers could pull off a parody like this and get such a positive response.

Posted by athomedad at 8:07 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007 8:51 AM EDT
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Friday, 2 March 2007
Expired: MommyWars - Tired: BetaMale - Wired: MomBlocker
Topic: articles
 Unabridged (v 1.1)

a dad having a strong need to control his wife.

[Origin: March 12, 2007 - Amy Sohn]
New York Magazine article Unabridged (v 1.0)



Today's new made up word is Momblocker.  It's courtesy of  Amy Sohn who will show it off in next weeks New York Magazine article In short a momblocker is a control-freak dad.  Amy defines them as the men you see chastising their wives for not dressing the baby warmly enough or using only the three-point latch in the stroller, not the five. They insist on pushing the stroller on family outings, they crowd their kids on the jungle gyms, they spend hours online researching high chairs. Somewhere along the line, Mom gave up her automatic veto power?and Dad seized it for himself.  As proof that these dads exist she interviewed Greg Allen of Daddytypes who actually does spend hours online researching high chairs.  Sohn notes that Allen became a de facto momblocker during the first three months of his daughter?s life, when he and his wife stayed home to care for her. ?We decided that I would do EBB?everything but breast-feeding?to help her out. It was so much easier for her to let me change the diaper and give the kid a bath than to do it herself and risk screwing up. It took a lot of effort for her finally to say, ?I need to learn how to do this now.'   

Coincidently, (amazingly?) Allen was also quoted last year to discuss the opposite theory in a Time article titled ?When Moms are Gatekeepers?. (These are moms who ask for help but tell hubby exactly how they want it done).  In it Po Bronson quotes him as saying,  A pattern is established in childbirth and breastfeeding that can be hard to break, The mother becomes the expert first, then cringes as she watches her husband awkwardly stumble through his learning curve. As she hears the cries of her fragile infant, she can't help but interrupt.  

As for the new word? Amy actually thought of it in response to this same Time piece, where Bronson states, As many as a quarter of all new moms are actually blocking their husbands' attempts at involved fathering.  

Oh and another thing about that sentence. A quarter of all new moms? I'd like to know where that statistic come from.... but if it were true, 75% of us must be Momblockers.




Posted by athomedad at 12:56 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007 1:22 PM EST
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Thursday, 1 March 2007
Colbert Report - Stay at Home Dads Threatening the American Way of Life
Thanks Rebeldad for first spotting this absolutely hilarious Steven Colbert video featuring Amin Stokesbury  of the Austin at


Thanks Rebeldad for spotting this absolutely hilarious Steven Colbert video featuring Eamon Stookesberry of the Austin At-Home Dads.  It's a  Colbert Report Exclusive Report: Stay at Home Dads - part of a dangerous movement that's threatening  the American way of life. No doubt Eamon, (if that is his real name) and his wife were very good sports to agree to be a part of Colbert Nation.



Posted by athomedad at 8:25 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007 10:21 PM EST
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The inside poop on Brad Pitt and Bruce Cantrall !
Topic: celebrity dads

The Inside Poop >>   I've noticed a small trend about two types of at-home dad stories. You know, the ones about us and the ones about celebrity dads. Every time a story about dads with kids crosses the copy editor's desk he/she has to describe us as a Mr Mom or a Stay at-home dad in the headline.  For instance Brad Pitt was a Mr Mom in this  headline about missing the Oscars so he could stay home with the kids a few days, but Bruce Cantrall's  Northeast Wisconsin At Home Dads group were Stay-At-Home Dads in this headline.  Of course we will always find a misplaced Mr Mom heading but it just seems they will be reserved more for Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise's table. 

 Do your own research here:  googlefight   



Posted by athomedad at 2:58 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007 8:24 AM EST
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