When I was a little girl, a homemade note hung by our back door for as long as I can remember. It was a note written by my dad and directed at my siblings and me meant to be read each time we left the house for school or to go play with the neighborhood kids. It said simply: Be the best person you know how to be.
That’s it. It was nothing fancy—and far from a Pinterest-worthy inspirational canvas. It was just words written on a piece of graph paper (yes, my dad was an engineer), in neat, architectural, block lettering. But I know now that it was all about the message, not the delivery.
When I recently asked my siblings about this “love note” that we casually passed all the days of our youth, they agreed that we gave the note little thought in our daily departures from the house, but that message is stuck in our minds and hearts even all these years later. And although Mom basically ran the show in our family, when it came down to shaping our future selves, Dad summed it up in nine simple words.
Digital Daddy Words of Wisdom Are Breaking Traditional Norms
Fast forward a “few” years and the world has truly become connected in every way you can imagine, with words and messages flying at us from every direction. We all have a story to share, a tale to tell, and words to inspire the world. We all want to make an impact. And these days, it’s easy for simple messages to get lost in cyberspace.
A lot of that space is now driven by bloggers—more than 30 million in the United States alone—vying for your attention, just like I am. And, believe it or not, 3.9 million of them are Mommy Bloggers, sharing witty tales and words of wisdom about traveling with a screaming baby, how to get your picky toddler to eat veggies, or how to balance work-home life without feeling guilty. I’m not being critical here—I follow and listen to their advice about how to manage a family in the modern era and I totally respect the message.
But these days, dads are spending more and more time with their kiddos, offering a new perspective on the family dynamic. These non-traditional roles find dads seeking a work-life balance that allows them the opportunity to also be involved in their children’s upbringing as much as possible. And they, too, have words of wisdom to share.
How Daddy Bloggers Are Taking Over the Digital World
Enter the Dad Bloggers who have joined the ranks of the blogging world to share their own take on family life with a unique kind of honest, and often humorous, “she said, but he also said” message. It’s a departure from the dads a generation or two before them who quite possibly ran for cover any time a diaper needed changing, and who often had little opportunity or desire to share their innermost feelings with the world.
Keeping each other company on their journey through fatherhood is a growing Facebook community of Dad Bloggers that discusses a wide variety of topics, including the priceless rewards of parenthood that resonate with today’s modern dad.
One awesome member of this inspiring bunch of dads is John Kinnear, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and is owner and author of the blog, Ask Your Dad: Pretending to Know the Answer Since 2010. John writes, “I’m a dad and a husband. I work in marketing. I write a blog. I eat more bacon than I should.” He’s known for his fresh, funny, and honest look at his own job as a parent.
How did John find his calling as a dad blogger? In his words:
“Now I delight in figuring out the messier parts of being a dad. When I told someone the name of my blog the other day, they asked if it was an “advice blog.” I hadn’t thought of it that way before. I don’t have any advice.
“I used to ask my dad everything. If there was a question that no one knew the answer to, I’d go to my dad. He always had an answer. It probably wasn’t always the right answer, but he sure as hell had one.
“To me, that’s the perfect metaphor for my fatherhood experience. It doesn’t matter if I have the answer or not, the question is getting asked.
“And so I blog. And ask. And converse. And start sentences with “and.” It’s been a fun ride so far, and I look forward to continuing it.”
And in the years that he’s been blogging, he has certainly seen a surge in the number of his male counterparts. “Our group came together about five years ago when a friend of ours, Oren Miller, wanted a way for us all to be able to stay in touch,” John explains. “We started with about 20 dads who blog and now we have over 1200! We come from all walks of life, different religions, races, political views. The thing that ties us together is fatherhood and writing about being dads.”
A Dad Blogger Network Digital Gift Exchange
Many of today’s must-read Dad Bloggers from around the world have now become part of this online community that recently celebrated each other by hosting a Father’s Day online gift exchange using Elfster to connect.
“My wife recommended Elfster after she used it for a work gift exchange. I pitched it to our group and we have been doing two a year ever since. We have a Christmas Dad Blogger Exchange and a Father’s Day Gift Exchange,” John says.
“The only expectation is that everyone gives a gift,” he explains. “That doesn’t always work out, so a few times I’ve picked up a couple extra but it’s all worth it in the end. Everyone posts the pictures of the gifts they receive in our private Facebook Group and we all have a good laugh. The nice thing about the gifts is that they connect us outside of the digital space where most of our communication occurs.”
And Elfster is certainly happy to play a part. “We definitely use the wish lists [feature on Elfster],” John remarks. “It makes it more fun and reduces the risk of getting a 10 lb. bag of gummy bears! (Unless that is what you want…)”
And what great Dad wouldn’t want to share all that gummy bear love with his kids… along with all the kind and inspiring words of wisdom that will last them a lifetime! Thanks for offering so much of your time, support, and encouragement to the next generation, dads. Here’s to a great summer with the kids!
Want to connect with the Dad Bloggers on social media? Join their Facebook community to see what they’re currently up to.
Looking for a great way to spread a little generosity in your own community? Organize a free, online Secret Santa-style gift exchange with Elfster. It just takes minutes! Want to connect with the elves at Elfster? You can reach us via Facebook, tweet us @Elfster, or catch us on Instagram at @Elfstergram.