Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Weekly Fatherhood Newsletter: Criticizing P&G and Saying Goodbye to Mr. Mom

This week's roundup starts with a heartbreaking story about a kid suffering from Congenital Heart Defect, and ends with a story about a brain-dead woman forced to continue her pregnancy due to a ridiculous Texas law. Other links include a changing-table-locations map, the end of "Mr. Mom," and a few posts about the latest ad from P&G, celebrating motherhood (while ignoring fatherhood). There are also news about paid family leave, links to funny post-it notes, and a music video.

Please subscribe here to get these weekly newsletter posts in your email. Let me know if I've missed anything good, and I'll be sure to include it next week. Thanks for reading!

Congenital Heart Defect (CHD)

Tin Man Flynn
About a year ago, I wrote a post featuring Trey Flynn, from the blog Tin Man Flynn, about raising a kid with a congenital heart defect. I remember Trey describing some good news at the time, followed by bad news, followed by good news again... And this pattern seemed to continue for a while. I was hoping it would continue for many years to come. Sadly, Trey's son, Holden, has passed last week.

Since Trey has contributed to the Life of Dad blog, Tommy Riles from Life of Dad has written about Trey, his wife, Nicole, and their son, Holden. Please head over there and read their story. Maybe even leave a comment for Trey. (Trey, Nicole, and Holden Flynn – Life of Dad Champions)

Dads on Diaper Duty

Dads on Diaper Duty
Let's say you're holding a toddler with one hand, pushing a crying baby in a stroller with the other hand, and searching for a men's room or a family changing room. And let's say you've finally find a men's room, only to realize there's no changing station there--but there is one in the ladies' room. Because dads don't change diapers, apparently. Well, things are getting better, obviously. The existence of family changing rooms alone is proof of that. But we still have ways to go, and one man is on a mission to create a map of the US with as many changing stations he could get. Read his call for action, and then head over to his map, to see what's been added in your area. If you know of a store/restaurant with changing tables in the men's room, go ahead and add it there! (I Need Your Help) (Diapers Map)

Mr. Mom

banish Mr. Mom
Well, it looks like the efforts made by people who have refused to accept the term "Mr. Mom" are paying off. No one has been a bigger voice against the term "Mr. Mom" than Al Watts from the National At-Home Dad Network, who is sharing some good news on the blog:

Today, Lake Superior State University announced that “Mr. Mom” made the list of banished words for 2014:

“The 30-year anniversary of this hilarious 1983 Michael Keaton movie seems to have released some pent-up emotions. It received nearly as many nominations as “selfie” and “twerk” from coast to coast in the U.S. and Canada, mostly from men.”

Banishing the word “Mr. Mom” was one of the key goals of the National At-Home Dad Network’s advocacy campaign for 2013 to declare “Mr. Mom is Dead.”

It's good to know stay-at-home dads are not the only ones who believe "Mr. Mom" belongs in the same category as "selfie" and "twerk." (“Mr. Mom” is Banished Word for 2014)

And speaking of Mr. Mom, I have written about the movie on the blog. While people complain about the term itself, they usually say the Michael Keaton movie was harmless. But there is one fundamental problem with the movie: it promotes a "natural" order, where peace can only exist with a working dad and a home-maker mom. More about the movie on this post. (What's Wrong With "Mr. Mom"?)

P&G Olympics Ad

P&G New Ad
Before and during the Summer Olympics, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) came out with a "Thank You, Mom" campaign, celebrating motherhood. After some dads voiced their opinions that dads, as usual, were being ignored, P&G defended itself, claiming this was a special Mother's Day campaign, and that in the future, dads would definitely be included. Well, two years later, we're in the future, and it looks very much like the past. P&G has created a similar ad for the Winter Olympics. Again, we have an inspiring soundtrack, struggling kids, and devoted moms. And again, no dads. Some people who avoided getting into this argument two years ago, are now calling out P&G for their failure to fulfill their promises. Here are three posts about this ad:

(P&G: Because Moms are loving, sacrificing parents. Dads shave. #BecauseOfDadToo)

(Wanted: Dads of Olympic Athletes)

(P&G New Ad)

Paid Family Leave

paid family leave
A third state has just joined the 21st century, leaving 47 states behind. Paid family leave is now the law in Rhode Island, joining the ranks of California, where this law has been in effect since 2004, and New Jersey, where this has been the case since 2009. There are few things more important to new parents than paid family leave, and it's an embarrassment that this is something parents still have to fight for in the US. While this country supposedly guarantees unpaid leave, many don't qualify, and many of those who do, can't afford to stay off work long enough during the important early days of parenting. Let's hope this is the next big issue we get to argue about and fight for in the next elections. (Workers In A Third State Can Now Take Paid Family Leave)

Post-It Notes

The Chive has featured one dad's post-it notes last week. The stay-at-home dad leaves these notes for his wife as an original way to document his life at home. Some very funny stuff there, and even more notes on his Tumblr blog. (Stay at home dad leaves post-its for his wife (20 Photos))

post-it notes


A very strange and sad story from Texas, where a woman was found brain dead due to a blood clot on her lungs. Her husband wanted to carry on her wishes to terminate life support, but Texas law does not permit the doctors to turn off life support, since after she was taken to the hospital, it was discovered she was 14 weeks pregnant. Now the husband basically has no say in the matter (and neither do her parents, who are also trying to terminate life support). As the Time article argues, "That pretty much means that dads have a lot of responsibility but very few rights. And in situations like the one in Texas, a father doesn’t get a say in the fate of the fetus currently gestating in the womb of his dead wife. On the face of it, that’s simply wrong." (Why the Dad Has No Say in Tragic Texas Brain Death Case)


Music in General
I'm a sucker for dad videos, and this one is another great one. They're called Music in General, and the song is "Don't Tell Me ft. Jae Lava"


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