Discovering Dads in Social Media

08 May

“Don’t talk to strangers” is something we tell all of our kids and something that was told to all of us as kids.  Thus, I find it ironic that this very habit seems to be taking up some significant time in my life recently.

In just last week’s post I used the phrase, “…even your best intentions can have the complete opposite outcome of what you planned.”  At the time I was talking about teaching my 4-year-old to use the remote control backfiring on me because of his resulting DVR obsession, but now I’m using that same phrase to describe one of my favorite side effects of blogging – strangers.

Specifically, dad strangers.

I’ll be honest, my foray into writing stemmed from two things – my obsession with reading and my propensity for the epic email.  I’ve probably read a little bit before bed nearly every night since I was in 7th grade, and anyone who knows me can confirm what is universally known as a “Marmo email.”  Matched by only a few others that I know, the Marmo email is a very effective weapon in the war against poor sports’ arguments put forth by friends, political debates with colleagues, and closing business deals with hard to reach executives.

So, with those two things as inspiration, I figured I would try my hand at blogging and see what happened.  One thing that did happen, something that I never expected and was the complete opposite of what I intended, was meeting and appreciating other dads.  I never doubted that they were out there, but until you engage with them your brain doesn’t really think beyond that simple fact.  They are out there, done…now what’s for dinner?

But once you engage you realize that there are other dads in this world, those who are complete strangers to you, that tear up over the simple act of their kid jumping off the bed into their arms first thing in the morning, just like you do.  That they think passionately about what they would really do if anyone ever intentionally hurt any of their children, just like you do.

I’ve always known that my day-to-day friends who are dads think this way, otherwise they wouldn’t be my friends, but to know that complete strangers are this way was a pleasant surprise.  Sometimes you can slip and let yourself believe that the world is made up of the people you see on local news or read about online.  Thankfully this is not the case at all.

Great parents exist all across this planet, and as a dad myself, I’m happy to realize that great dads exist as well.  So far in my brief writing career I’ve met dads that play guitar with their kids, dressed up as Super Mario for their birthday, coach/attend their soccer games, stay at home while their wives bring home the bacon, recreate their family in Lego character videos, exercise and get back in shape in the name of their kids, and most importantly – love their kids as madly as I love mine.

While deep down I’m not surprised by their existence, I’m definitely supported by their actions.

Keep it up dads.  You inspire me not only to continue writing and make an effort to meet and engage new people, but more importantly you inspire me to continue being the best dad that I can be.

‘Brad the Dad’ can be reached at Follow him on Facebook or Twitter at keyword: readbradthedad

This post was inspired by my friend Chris, otherwise known as Canadian Dad. I’ve never met him personally, but this open letter to his daughter on her 2nd birthday tells me all I need to know. Thanks for the inspiration Chris.

This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 5/5/12.


Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Brad the Dad, Chelmsford Patch


Tags: ,

13 responses to “Discovering Dads in Social Media

  1. EduDad

    May 8, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    I’ve heard that guitar playing dad is the bomb! 😉

  2. Daddys in Charge

    May 8, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    The last line said it all. We’re here to help each be better parents. We’ve all got issues and it’s good knowing that everyone has te same problems. Keep up the good work!

    • Brad the Dad

      May 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      Thanks JW. It is definitely a great thing to be able to share our joys and pains (dinner time, bed time, etc…) with others who are going through the same exact thing.

  3. CanadianDadBlog

    May 8, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Great Post Brad! Not just because you mentioned me in it either 😛 I couldn’t agree more about how amazing this community of Dads is! In a strange way, I don’t feel like I can ask my real life Dad friends the same types of questions I can ask you guys. I look forward to meeting at a Dad Summit someday, when I can afford it!

    PS – I hear the Super Mario Dad is awesome!

    • Brad the Dad

      May 9, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      I realized Super Mario wasn’t your only foray into the costume wearing birthday thing after digging around your blog a bit. A veteran you are, it seems. Looking forward to meeting all you guys at some point as well. I’m having a BBQ next weekend….can you bring ice?

      • CanadianDadBlog

        May 10, 2012 at 11:27 PM

        I will bring only Whiskey and a bathing suit. You make sure there`s a pool.

  4. christopher (@twistedxtian)

    May 14, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    It was a lifesaver for me to come across this community of dads online. During my first year as a dad, being home 24-7 with my son, I quickly realized just how little I knew about what I was doing. It was a little overwhelming at first (heck, it still is), so it made it a little bit easier to know I wasn’t alone. 🙂

    • Brad the Dad

      May 15, 2012 at 7:50 AM

      It’s definitely a great group of dads and comforting to know we all face similar challenges, like #DadFit.

  5. Trevor I

    January 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Great job Brad The Dad

    I enjoyed reading all the dad blogs that I have come across so far. I am new to this and did not know that there were so many dad bloggers or fathers that stay at home with their children. I stay at home now with my 2 girls ages 5 and almost 3. I did not realize what I was missing working 12 hour days and not seeing the girls all day until I fractured my lower spine. Even with all the pain I love every minute with my girls. They do grow up so fast.

    I look forward to reading more on your site(sites) Check out my web site if you get a chance any comments or suggestions would be more then greatly appreciated.

  6. Brad the Dad

    January 14, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    Thanks for stopping by, Trevor. If you aren’t on Twitter yet, get on board and come find us. It’s definitely the best place to start. I’m @readbradthedad and if you use the hashtag #DadsRT, you will find a crew of like minded dads (and moms) to associate with.

    Glad you are enjoying your time at home with the girls and yes, it goes by way, way too fast.



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