Thank you for visiting The Modern Father. I’m the founder, Eric Olson. I want to take a moment to introduce the site and the idea behind it.
How I got here
I’ve been a father since 2015, when my wife and I welcomed two boys into the world. We’d been trying for a while to have kids, and we went from no family to two boys in 9 months. This was both wonderful and frightening.
I dove into the preparations with a purpose that was missing from other aspects of my life. But I noticed rather quickly that most resources were written with Mom in mind. While I didn’t realize it at the time, that made a lot of sense. Many of us learned growing up was that fathers were responsible for supporting a family by venturing out into the world. Mom stayed back to care for the kids and home. However, the 20th century saw a lot of changes in the way a household earned income, first as single-income households, and later with two income families. This meant a lot of what we learned growing up is not as applicable today.
What I learned
This is a long way of saying that most child care help is focused on Mom. While there are some publications that try to provide advice or tips with Dad in mind, some don’t even try. They explicitly market themselves as a mom publication, even if their title says otherwise. Obviously Dad can’t breastfeed, but there is so much more to do if he’s willing. Fathers can find daycare, enroll their kids in school, help with homework, and meal plan. But many don’t, and some even maintain the idea that it’s Mom’s job to do those tasks.
When I encountered these ideas in the beginning, I brushed them off. However, I became more frustrated over time. I read resources which implied or said something was Mom’s job, or that Mom was best suited for a particular task. Whether it was teething, discipline, or just finding other parents for support, there was a lack of resources for Dad. Dad was thrown in as an afterthought or “Mom” and “she” was replaced with “Dad” and “he” as a way to make it seem more father-inclusive.
Why I created The Modern Father
While this is a reflection of the world and how most families operate, it’s not how I wanted to do things. The Modern Father’s intent is to supplement those sites, provide many of the same ideas packaged in a way that’s engaging to a dad. Father’s need to know about breastfeeding and how much of a struggle it can be for Mom when at work and in public. Dad’s need to understand what will happen to their partner’s mind and body during pregnancy, after the birth, and for the first year or two after. Even in straightforward pregnancies, Dad is Mom’s only advocate besides herself; much of the prenatal and postnatal advice focus on the impact to the baby. And it only gets crazier from there.
There are plenty of fathers out there who are fine with the traditional roles or are forced due to circumstances. This site is for dads who want to adventure into a different version of fatherhood than the one they saw as kids. Fathers who come here should be energized by the other options available to them. I want fathers find encouragement and support in expanding their role, learning what else they can do, and model for their children a different way to be a father.
As The Modern Father continues to grow, I will add more voices to my own. The site will also address non-parenting things, as each sphere of a father’s life influences the others. A father who prepares meals can take on more responsibility at home. A dad who understands education can help address their child’s strengths and weaknesses at school. And relationships with other adults, whether social, work, or with a spouse, that can help a father be more engaged at home.
Once again, thank you for reading The Modern Father.
-Eric Olson, Founder