Last updated on May 20th, 2021 at 01:25 am
Forty Days to Father’s Day: Why I Decided to Write a Fatherhood Series
With Mother’s Day come and gone for another year, I’ve started thinking about Father’s Day and everything around it.
Many might think it’s too early for that—especially since we’re only days after the marketing onslaught that Mother’s Day always brings with it and we’d all like time to recover—but let me tell you a bit about how fathers see Father’s Day and why I’m already talking about it almost six weeks out.
Compared to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is a bit of a joke. Despite a growing number of men who are taking fatherhood very seriously, trying to change how the world sees us, there are a lot of past transgressions we need to overcome before dads are seen as people to be celebrated instead of simply tolerated.
It was something I’d notice as I started doing research for my book—a look at how the world saw its fathers:
“Why is my dad so angry?”
“Why do dads leave?”
“What is it like to have a dad?”
Compared to mothers, it feels like the world’s view on fathers can be overwhelmingly negative, and that has a whole lot to do with why Father’s Day feels like more of a concession than the celebration that we’d like it to be.
You hear it often, though, when it comes to raising kids—when faced with problems that feel so insurmountable because we see them wherever we look, there’s only one thing we can do to try and make things better:
We need to create the world we want to live in.
I Tell Fatherhood Stories Because So Few Dads are Doing It.
Since first finding out I was becoming a dad a little more than eight years ago, I’ve constantly worked at getting my fatherhood story right.
Fatherhood might not be the most popular thing to talk about, and I was a large fish in a very small sea, but despite that, it was important that I give it my best effort, because with so few dads creating, that meant there were so few opportunities to share the stories of millions of fathers whose experiences would otherwise go unheard, leaving our views on fatherhood stagnant without much to challenge them.
But if you’ve ever heard me talk about my creative process, you’ll know that’s no small undertaking.
In those eight years of dad blogging—and really, for at least a dozen more before them—I’ve always written my creative work by hand first, and when it all works, it gives me work that really reflects what’s on my soul.
But the process is pretty hit-or-miss, dependent on how motivated my soul is on any given day. And so my office is filled with all too many stacks of paper, half-formed ideas and notes scrawled all over each sheet, just waiting to finally come together into something more meaningful.
And you know what? It’s all getting there. The work I’m getting up to over the pandemic’s teaching me how to get the very most out of my content, with my sights firmly fixed on a specific niche—FATHERHOOD.
Forty Days to Father’s Day: What Exactly IS It?
What Forty Days to Father’s Day is, exactly, is a forty-day series that’ll run the six weeks between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, adding diversity to how we think about fathers! What I want is a world where dads can be active participants in parenting their children—not the backseat drivers many believe us to be! I want to develop an entire movement around social change instead of letting another Father’s Day pass without seeing any change.
But forty pieces of high-quality content about fatherhood is no small ask in a world where fatherhood’s scarcely talked about at all. Sure, my Google searches told me that people generally held a lot of unfavourable views when it came to fathers, but it also gave me a lot of insight into the myriad of paths that dads were taking, all trying to work with the cards that life dealt them.
The transgender dad struggling with their identity, trying to figure out who they are despite a society wanting to define it for them. The dad written off as a deadbeat dad who tries hard to right his wrongs but has past mistakes keeping anyone from believing he’ll ever change. There are all kinds of dads out there, both great and bad alike, but we need to let all those stories shine through if we ever really want to understand the full spectrum of everything fatherhood’s about.
And I’d write it all as a married Black dad of two multiracial children, using my life as a Canadian dad to take on the world.
Casey Palmer’s Canadian Dad Story and Why It’s About MORE Than That.
For the longest while, I undersold my story as a dad blogger because I always found my tale so… unremarkable. I don’t come from a background of neglect or abuse, with two parents still together after almost forty years of marriage. We had our problems just like anyone else, but they were ones we could recover from, and we all have wonderful relationships with each other today.
Contrasting that to what I’ve learned about the world—especially when considering so many of the rooms I co-moderate on Clubhouse—many of the problems we did face seem so minuscule, leaving me to wonder what people would want to know from a normal guy like me.
But what I understood the more I spoke with the world is that the #DadLife I took for granted as normal is something that so many aspired to. Whether they were the father in the situation or the child of one that never measured up, people often associate fatherhood with a whole lot of trauma.
It was time to highlight more positive examples of the great dads out there.
So Let’s Do This. Let’s Change How the World Sees Dads, One Post at a Time.
After all the conversations and the research for my book, I want to show that there are as many unique fatherhood stories as there are dads in the world. And that world? It’s still a ways from understanding what being a father’s about. Our stories differ from country to country and culture to culture, but they all centre around men just trying to figure things out, and hopefully getting better at it with each passing generation. Each Forty Days post will peel back another layer of our story and dive deeper into the things we have to share.
And if you’ve felt that I’ve got things wrong? If you feel like I’m only telling part of the story? I invite you to leave a comment. Drop me a line on my site or any of the social media platforms I’ll be sharing on. We’re all out here to learn together, and I want to make sure I get just as much from putting this content out as you do taking it in.
Forty Days to Father’s Day: Let’s Change the Fatherhood Story!
But let’s leave it at that. Let’s start the fatherhood story by defining what a father actually is, which bonds tie us together, and which ones set us apart. Whether you’re a dad-to-be, an old hand adopting, if you’re fostering children or even preparing to be a father figure, it’s all part of this narrative we’re all trying to figure out.
Forty Days to Father’s Day. It all starts here. We’ll see you in the next post!
Until then, I remain,
Posts in my “Forty Days to Father’s Day” Series
- Forty Days to Father’s Day: The Intro
- What IS a Father? The Definition of a Dad.
- The Importance of Sharing Fatherhood Stories
- Who Wants to be a Dad, ANYWAY?
- Getting Ready for a BABY: First Steps to Fatherhood!
- First Steps to Fatherhood: A Year Makes a Difference!
- 13 Things Dads Need to Know When Having Kids
- It’s Not Babysitting if it’s Your Kid.