Tuesday, October 16, 2012

WE ARE NOT ALONE

Hello fellow dads, moms and all other followers/readers. It is me Joël or GayDad as I fondly refer to myself. I met A.J. through Facebook and read his blog and liked his Facebook page and became a follower of his blog as well. He at one point was a stay-at-home dad. He did go back to work but has remained a blogger and him as his partner have two cute boys. They are a gay male couple and have created a lovely family. I am so honored to feature him on my blog and gain some new insight to parenting, blogs, adventures and to shed some light on his story. This is part of my interview blog series to highlight other dad bloggers like myself. Enjoy the entry!


Name:
A.J. and Daniel

Professional Title:
Dad Loves Daddy (www.dadlovesdaddy.com)

Why did you start your website?


A.J. (Daddy) originally started a blog called Confessions of a Gay Stay-at-home Daddy as a way to document some of the crazy things that were happening to him as a new stay-at-home parent to two boys after being in the professional world for so long. The site changed over time and Daniel (Dad) wanted to have more of a role so we changed it to Dad Loves Daddy and the focus of the blog is now about life for two dad’s raising two children while balancing marriage, work, family, and life in general.
What was your main goal or goals for the website?


Awareness, acceptance... we wanted to share with others that our lives are just like any other family. Just because we are two dads doesn't make our family issues any different for the rest of society.
What do you feel would be a benefit of your site to the dad community at large? Whether gay or straight?


Camaraderie.... for Daddy every time he would take the boys to the Science Center or a story time there were only mom's there. Where are all the dads!? Facebook and Daddy blogs have given me a great sense of "We are not alone!"

What are your thoughts of heterosexual families and same sex families of the male specific?


I don't think we really have any difference whether we are straight or gay dads raising kids. Kids are kids! They have tons of energy, need direction, and consequences for their actions in order to learn what is right and wrong. In the end, we are all human!

What challenges do you feel that stay at home dads face?


In Des Moines, we never see any other dads. We did find a stay at home dad group through the internet several months ago but they never really met. Daddy thought about starting his own group but didn't have the time or energy to really give it a fair shot so he quickly abandoned that idea!

How do you approach the concept of dads being more and more at home with their kids? Is it still an unconventional thing?


Daddy had a hard time with it at first. I went through this whole "who am I if I'm not working at a job" phase. Eventually I felt more comfortable in my new role and I can't imagine doing anything else at this point!


What would you offer to men who are stay at home dads as advice or insight to their roles in their family?


You are the glue holding it all together!! Stay strong and remember that even when times get tough because your toddler is screaming, the dog is howling, your oldest is laughing thinking it's funny, and your head is about to explode... it's all so worth it in the end!


As A.J. so eloquently put it in this interview, "Camaraderie, dads are not alone!" So they do exist. Yes, more and more dads have become the primary caregivers for their children. One of my good friends is a stay-at-home dad to his two boys. He is of a male/female married couple and I have known them since preschool. My oldest child and their oldest child were in the same class and coincidentally are in the same 2nd grade class now. I find it very refreshing that I too am not the only stay-at-home dad in my children's school community. 

So long I felt like I was the only stay-at-home dad. I remember countless times of being asked if I was the nanny when I would be out-and-about with my kids. I am of Mexican decent, born and raised in California, but for whatever reason other parents/nannies assumed I was the nanny and that I didn't speak English for that matter. Even at the grocery store, gas station and museums. This happens still to this day. Now I always politely say I am the dad of my kids and that I speak English. I'm Mexican American and I was born in this country. 

My point is, I am a dad. I too have the same issues as any other dad and stay-at-home dads do exist! Thank you to A.J. and Daniel for taking part in my interview blog series. I appreciate it a lot. Check out their website which is listed at the beginning of this entry.

Lastly,  WE ARE NOT ALONE!  

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