Guest post – Why I blog

By Jonathan Ervine (@j_ervine)

It seems like not long ago that I was reading an article about the growing number of dad bloggers in the UK. Within little over a week, I too had joined the craze and set up a blog entitled Dad’s the way I like it.

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I didn’t set up my blog because I thought that I had something to offer that was better and different from all the other blogs out there, but rather that I’d seen that there was an exciting dialogue going on and I wanted to participate in it.

Since becoming a dad in April of this year, and indeed in the months just before that, I’d thought a lot about what it meant to be a dad and how dads are represented in the media. I wanted to share my views on both of these issues and also talk about my own experiences of fatherhood.

Setting up the blog and deciding on the name was in many ways the most challenging part as I spent ages trying out all sorts of different colour schemes on WordPress. Selecting a name for the blog was almost as challenging as trying to decide upon one for our son.

My first post was about preparing for fatherhood and the books that I’d read about this while my wife was pregnant with our son. It was read by massive numbers, but I was pleased to just get it out there and get my blog up and running.

Since my first post, I have blogged about representations of dads on television, nappy changing and paternity leave. I have deliberately tried to strike a balance between giving my views of topics to do with representations of dads and parenting and talking about my own experiences.

One of the most satisfying aspects of running the blog has been receiving comments from fellow bloggers and interacting with fellow dads from around the world. Over the last few weeks, I have had discussions with dads who live in the UK, US, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy and Brazil.

What I have found is that there’s a lot of solidarity among blogging dads, even if understandably there is not always agreement on all aspects of parenting. It’s been fascinating sharing different perspectives via Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in addition to discussing things on the blog itself.

There are so many groups for dads or parents who blog on Facebook and Google+ and I’ve particularly enjoyed being part of the Dad Bloggers Facebook group. This group is great for sharing posts, discussing fatherhood and issues to do with running a blog.

One of the main challenges with blogging that I have encountered is striking a balance between posting regularly and not spending too much time posting and reading other blogs. I’d initially planned to do one post at the weekend and another one mid-week, but have decided to stick to one a week so as not to give myself too much to do on top of a full-time job and spending as much time as possible out of work just being a dad and husband.

Another reason that I’ve decided to stick to doing just the one blog post a week is that I keep on discovering so many other dad and parenting blogs that I want to read. Some of these are fairly general, whilst others focus on more specific issues such as work-life balance or bilingualism and parenting.

I wouldn’t say that I feel that blogging about parenting necessarily makes me or anyone else a better parent, but I would say that it has helped me to think about what it means to be a parent and what is important in life.

Give Jonathan a shout out on Twitter and let him know you read his post. You can find more of Jonathan’s work at Dad’s the way I like it